Richmond Vale

SVG's 'Energy for the Poor' project wins international award

front-bio A project that trained five families in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to build their own biogas digester has won an international award.
A project that trained five families in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to build their own biogas digester has won an international award. The Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) won the Energy Globe Award based on the project, which also teaches local communities about the benefits of biogas as a renewable energy, global warming, climate change and organic...
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Richmond Vale Academy to use 100% renewable electricity by May

100-renewable-electricity-blog RVA focuses heavily on sustainable living will have 100 per cent of its electricity generated by renewable energy by May
RVA focuses heavily on sustainable living will have 100 per cent of its electricity generated by renewable energy by May. The move by Richmond Vale Academy (RVA) falls under its 10-year programme, The St. Vincent Climate Compliance (CCCP) 2012 - 2021. Under the programme, the institution has trained hundreds of students to take action as well as in...
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Why do an Erasmus program in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Front-erasmus-turkey-lithuania Erasmus+ Volunteers in Richmond Vale Academy from Turkey and Lithuania!
People coming from Europe have a very unique opportunity to see how the developed world is impacting on developing countries, particularly small island nations like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This can clearly be seen in Saint Vincent because there is such a huge change in the climate and all across the country we can see the devastation that...
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Rebels of the Caribbian

rebels-of-carebian-front
We don't generally think of the Caribbean as a place of suffering and vulnerability. However, Stina Herberg and Selwyn Patterson, who are fund raising to attend the CCC19 conference at Findhorn, live on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent where each day they experience the truth of the Caribbean's defencelessness against climate change. They have s...
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Permaculture Ethics and Principles (A life Example) - by Heather

Permaculture Ethics and Principles (A life Example) - by Heather
When I first heard about permaculture, I didn't really have a concept of what it was. I knew that it was something to do with the garden and producing your own food, I knew it was organic and based around sustainability, it was a little alternative and out there on the edge (Principle 11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal). In the last 10 days, I have been able to take part in a Permaculture Design course and what a journey it was! I now know that there is so much more to permaculture, it is not just gardening or agriculture, it is actually a way of life and a willingness to be aware of the life we are creating. The word Permaculture came from the concept of 'permanent' and 'agriculture' and focused around making our farming practices not only sustainable but regenerative. The code of ethics that is followed is care for the earth, care for the people and fair share. Care for the earth looks at everything from what we put into and take out of the land including all the plant and animal species and the most important thing, soil! When we talk about care for people we are thinking about the idea of everyone being treated with respect and care and love that they deserve. Fair share is in all things, if...
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Richmond Vale

Do you know this numbers?

Do you know this numbers?
  2°C 565 Gigatons 2795 Gigatons Do you know this numbers? For us and our future generations it is very important to know about it. Our climate changes very fast, faster than we want to be true.  To explain the numbers I have to start with a calculation: In all medias we can read about CO2 and that we have to reduce the CO2 emission. But first we have to know how much is too much? Jim Hansen and his Team at NASA studied exactly this and published which said, that we don’t know enough to know how much is too much. However any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350ppm is not compatible with the planet on which civilisation developed and to which life on earth is adapted. But 2013 we already had 395ppm CO2 and it is rising around 2 points every year. Everything frozen on earth is melting and the result is: - The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than the half- The oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago- The atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago We have burned enough coal, gas and oil to raise the temperature of the earth one degree.  Now to the numbers... 2° C That’s how much the world has...
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Richmond Vale

Why start organic gardening

Why start organic gardening
People start organic farming for a lot of reasons, as a hobby, a way to eat healthier, to reduce their grocery spending, to earn extra income, etc. There are also many people (like myself) who do it for philosophical reasons as part of a value system. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy my work in the garden or on the farm, it's tiring and in my case there is quite a bit of trial and error, but I do genuinely enjoy it. Which I guess is lucky for me because my reasons for doing it would have me out working with the plants regardless. Now I’m not going to go on a sustainability rant or try to convince you that the ideologies to which I subscribe are right for everyone. The purpose of this post is to try to put organic gardening into a big picture perspective, because I feel that looking at it in that way not only enhances its value, and the fulfillment that we can get from it, but also it can increase our yields and reduce the amount of work that we have to do.   I guess that to begin it would be worthwhile to define “organic”, because it's a termthat is subject to interpretation. In the commercial world it simply means non chemical, which in my opinion isn’t...
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Richmond Vale

Carbon Footprint 101: How to Calculate it and Reduce it

Carbon Footprint 101: How to Calculate it and Reduce it
Carbon footprint is one of those terms that has gradually — over the last 10 years or so — moved its way from the obscurity into everyday conversation. But what, exactly, does it mean? What is a carbon footprint, how can you measure yours, and how can a carbon footprint be reduced? The term carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon (usually in tonnes) being emitted by an organization, event, product or individual directly or indirectly. Everyone’s carbon footprint is different depending on their location, habits and personal choices. Each of us contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone) either by the way we travel, the food we eat, the amount of electricity we consume and much more. However, there are people, organizations, nonprofit institutions (like Richmond Vale Academy ) and even local governments who have begun talking about the carbon footprint and motivating each other to put in place programs to reduce their carbon footprint, like our Climate Change Activist Program . Click here to go straight to how to calculate it Click here to go straight to how to reduce it What are Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Greenhouse gases are a group of gases that are able to trap heat (longwave radiation) in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth's surface warmer than it would be if...
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The Caribbean produce less than 0.1% of the global pollution

The Caribbean produce less than 0.1% of the global pollution
Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Thursday championed the cause of Caribbean and other Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), which he said are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Addressing the 72nd session of the United Nation General Assembly, the Antigua and Barbuda leader noted that whatever position and nation takes on climate change, the evidence of global warming is now irrefutably stronger. “Two Category 5 hurricanes within 12 days, that unrelentingly pounded so many countries, can no longer be dismissed as ‘the vagaries of the weather’, nor can they be explained as ‘nature’s doing’. Hurricanes are stronger and bigger because they are absorbing moisture from increasingly warmer seas, caused by global warming,” Browne said. “And, that is a man-made phenomenon, whose manufacture is attributable to those nations, that consume 80 percent or more of the world’s primary energy, emitting dangerous levels of pollution into the atmosphere.” The prime minister outline how on September 6, Antigua and Barbuda was the victim of the ferocity of Hurricane Irma, the largest storm ever endured in the Atlantic in human history. He reiterated that Barbuda, the smaller of the two islands, was decimated; its entire population left homeless; and its buildings reduced to empty shells. Antigua and Barbuda was spared the full blast of Hurricane Maria just nine days later, although, Browne said sustained...
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8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!

8 climate change facts that definitely make you think!
Climate change and global warming are hot topics these days. Studies conducted by various scientists suggest that climate change is happening and it could have devastating and damaging effects on human life. So, what is climate change? Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place's usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth's climate. This could be a change in Earth's usual temperature. Or it could be a change in where rain and snow usually fall on Earth. Weather can change in just a few hours and climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change. Climate Change facts Climate change facts show clearly that we need to act. Change is happening; the Paris Agreement set the ball in motion – though has been criticised for not going far enough –; and as well as nations including Portugal, Denmark, Costa Rica and Scotland producing huge amounts of energy from the sun and wind; Sweden is soon set to become the first fossil fuel-free country in the world; largely due to public demand in the past few years. The effects of climate change has already started occurring in the...
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Richmond Vale

Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!

Anita Joined the Team of the First EPONA Workshop in SVG!
We are very happy to receive Anita in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which will be part of the first EPONA: The Secrets of the Wild Horses , to be held at the Eco Center in February 2018. Anita is a certified Eponaquest Instructor, EAGALA Instructor, Yoga teacher, One Horse Life Teacher and a certified Health Coach. In her 47-year long life, she have been curious about horses and how to learn from them. Attending a traditional riding school at a young age left her with many more questions than answers on how to connect with these wonderful animals. In the Stina Herberg Website , Anita said that: “The search for knowledge has not always been easy as I found that the knowledge I was searching for was not always easily accessible. It has taken me on several journeys, some far away abroad to foreign countries. There have been many incredible horse-people that has inspired me through the years, people like; Carolyn Resnick, Linda Kohanov, Anna Marciniak, Klaus F. Hempfling, Fredrik Pignon, Jean Francois Pignon, Marc Rashid, Bill Dorrance, Marjike De Jong, Karen Rolf and Alexander Nevzorov, and Stina Herberg, to mention a few.” But at the end, the best teacher to understand horses, is of course horses! Anita said that her horses teach her how to be strong and positive, especially after suffering from stress...
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Richmond Vale

How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra

How to Build a Biogas Plant by Alexandra
By Alexandra Biogas is a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, called also anaerobic digestion. It is produced from biodegradable materials and more than half of the resulting gas is methane. In order to create an anaerobic digestion we started our project with a tank made for the purpose of storing water (picture on the left). We tried to seal it by gluing it, but since it was initially designed for water we couldn’t seal it properly and gas was escaping through the lid. This is the only design for tanks that you can find to buy in Saint Vincent, so we decided to import the IBC tanks from Ariaponics Ltd. in Trinidad and Tobago. IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container and is used for shipping different things, so you can find it everywhere around the world. One of the advantages of building a biogas plant made out of IBC tanks is the fact that it’s an open source design made by Solar Cities, so you can find a lot of information on their website. It’s very easy to build. For the first model we build we used 2 IBC tanks for digesters, one underground concrete tank filled with water and a water tank with the top cut and rotated 180 degrees in the concrete tank...
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6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!

6 Major Effects of Urbanization That Will Make you Think!
In 1800 only about 2 percent of the world's population lived in urban areas. That was a small wonder: Until a century ago, urban areas were some of the unhealthiest places for people to live. According to The Department of Economic and Social Affairs , half of the global population already lives in cities, and by 2050 two-thirds of the world's people are expected to live in urban areas. But in cities two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation. The majority of people move to cities and towns because they view rural areas as places with hardship and backward/primitive lifestyle. Therefore, as populations move to more developed areas (towns and cities) the immediate outcome is urbanization. This normally contributes to the development of land for use in commercial properties; social and economic support institutions, transportation, and residential buildings. Eventually, these activities raise several urbanization issues. Poor air and water quality, insufficient water availability, waste-disposal problems, andon density and demands of urban environments. Strong city planning will be essential in managing these and other difficulties as the world's urban areas swell.   Environmental Effects of Urbanization Urban populations interact with their environment. Urban people change their environment through their consumption of food, energy, water, and land. And in turn, the polluted urban environment affects the health and...
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Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses

Benefits of the Moringa Tree (Infographic) + Uses
Moringa oleifera is a small to medium-sized tropical tree native to the Indian subcontinent. The tree is easily recognizable from its light colored knotty trunk and highly branched compound leaves. The fruits of the Moringa tree are thin, 1 ½ -2 ft. long pods.  Click to go to the Uses of the Moringa Tree The M. tree has several names in different parts of the world including its common name of “horseradish tree,” since its roots taste similar to horseradish root when raw. In Ayurvedic medicine it is known as shigru. Although the sparse crown of the drumstick tree offers little shade from the hot sun of the tropics, it is a common fixture in almost every yard and by the wayside. The M. tree have innumerable health benefits. The leaves, flowers and the green pods of Moringa are all edible and are widely use in Indian cuisine. This miracle tree is beneficial as food because of its ability to grow in a variety of climates, especially subtropical climates. In fact, M. Oleifera grows in virtually all countries where malnutrition is widespread and may be a great part of a comprehensive plan to alleviate malnutrition throughout the world. Nutritional Value Of Moringa Moringa leaves and pods are a nutritional powerhouse.It is a rich source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. It...
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4 Benefits of Intercropping that you never imagined!

4 Benefits of Intercropping that you never imagined!
Intercropping is defined simply as growing two or more crop types on one field. The practice of intercropping has actually been around since farming began. Modernization of farming equipment has changed our farming practices into what they are today, which is largely mono-cropping. Mono-cropping is planting only one crop on a field that was adapted with the intention of maximizing the amount of seeds you could plant on one field and in a shorter period of time.  Types of Intercropping These are the basic four methods commonly employed. Sometimes they involve annual grains and vegetables, such as the mixed intercropping classic of corn, beans and squash. Sometimes there are perennial species with annual crops growing amongst them, say perennial garlic and basil with annual tomatoes. Perennials also work well with other perennials. In parts of the tropics, bananas, papayas, coffee, vanilla and cacao make a crackerjack intercropping team (For example here at Richmond Vale Academy , we have what we like to call the “Dessert Field” with bananas, cacao and vanilla. Delicious!). In essence, these are all forms of companion planting, in which one plant provides some useful component for another. The technique can be small in scale, something seen in a home garden. However,  strip cropping is also becoming more common for progressive industrial models. - Row Intercropping It’s the growing of two or more...
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6 Causes of Water Pollution and How to Stop It INFOGRAPHIC

6 Causes of Water Pollution and How to Stop It INFOGRAPHIC
Over two thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water. As Earth's population continues to grow, people are putting ever-increasing pressure on the planet's water resources. In a sense, oceans, rivers, and other inland waters are being "squeezed" by human activities—not so they take up less room, but so their quality is reduced. Poorer water quality means water pollution. Pollution is a human problem because it is a relatively recent development in the planet's history: before the 19th century Industrial Revolution , people lived more in harmony with their immediate environment. As industrialization has spread around the globe, so the problem of pollution has spread with it. When Earth's population was much smaller, no one believe pollution would ever be a serious problem. It was once popularly believed that the oceans were far too big to be polluted. Today, with around 7 billion people on the planet, it has become apparent that there are limits. Pollution is one of the signs that humans have exceeded those limits. Causes of Water Pollution Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and makes up over 60% of the human body.  Water pollution affects marine ecosystems, wildlife health, and human well-being.  The answer to solving pollution is to make changes in our daily habits and pay more attention to the types of products you consume.   (Click infographic to...
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Rainwater Harvesting: 6 Ways to Save the planet!

Rainwater Harvesting: 6 Ways to Save the planet!
Rainwater Harvesting is one of the best methods to save money and help to protect and care for our planet, especially to avoid dependency on regular water supply system . But, what is a Rainwater Harvesting System? It is an innovative technique that is use to harvest rainwater from roofs and other above surfaces to be stored for later use. Rainwater harvesting have many uses, such: garden and crop irrigation, watering livestock, laundry, and flushing toilets. However, unless you establish a well purification system, you cannot use the harvest rainwater for showering, bathroom sink or kitchen because it’s not really fit for consumption. In a normal scenario the rainwater is collect from roof buildings and then store inside of a tank. The desing of rainwater harvesting systems is done after assessing site conditions that include rainfall pattern, incident rainfall, subsurface strata and their storage characteristics. Those in the city, can harvest and use rainwater, also, the people in more rural areas can use it too. Reasons for rainwater harvesting Water in the oceans and seas is not always drinkable water and little [caption id="attachment_10903" align="alignright" width="375"] Rooftop's rainwater harvesting linked to ground storage. Photo Credit: Gilbert García . of it can be directed to other purposes. So, there is a constant shortage of water that is either good for drinking or home and industrial use. Besides,...
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DIY: Reduce your Footprint! Part 1 by Annick

DIY: Reduce your Footprint! Part 1 by Annick
By Annick    Our way of living is largely contributing to climate change . On average, the ecological footprint of a US citizen is 9.0 gha meaning that this amount of land is needed to sustain one person in the US. It also means that 9.6 worlds would be needed to sustain the current population. Obviously, we only have one world. So how do we live? And how does this affect our footprint? Find out all about how you can reduce your footprint by reading my blog series in which I present every other week simple steps on a new topic. And guess what?, becoming more sustainable is more easy and fun than you would think. So stay posted! [caption id="attachment_10882" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The ecological footprint of several countries. Photo Source: The Green Market Oracle Blog 1: Food This week we will talk about food! Your diet can have a large footprint via multiple ways. Let’s find out how that works and what you can do! Livestock: how eating meat increases your footprint Let’s start with meat. The meat industry is recognized by the Food and agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) as one of the main contributers to GHG in the atmosphere . This has various reasons. First of all, eating meat is less efficient as a lot more land is needed to...
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6 Benefits of having an edible garden at home (INFOGRAPHIC)

6 Benefits of having an edible garden at home (INFOGRAPHIC)
Traditionally the lawn was a symbol of status in the Feudalism . Large expanses of lawn, meant that the farm had many sheep and many cattle. Americans have been obsess with lawns since the 1950s, but that way of thinking is changing. It's time to rethink and use our lawns better. [caption id="attachment_10844" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Photo credit: Pexels Keeping and caring for a lawn requires a staggering amount of energy. It uses a lot of water, uses valuable soil and the pesticides and petrochemicals used to fertilize the grass, filter and contaminate our groundwater. The typical American lawn uses 10,000 gallons of supplemental water (not including rainwater) annually. This a serious problem, especially as we see more and more areas facing water shortages and droughts. Here are some problems caused by lawn pesticides: They contaminate our water supply . A study from Virginia Tech found that most homeowners apply chemicals to their lawns in ways that pollute our drinking water. They create serious health risks for wildlife and pets . A 2013 study published in Science of the Total Environment found that dogs exposed to lawn care chemicals can have a higher risk of bladder cancer. They get into our homes and present health risks . They are correlated with increased risk of a variety of cancers, nervous system disorders, and other illnesses. Children get expose...
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Why we March against Monsanto

Why we March against Monsanto
The 19th of May we will march against Montsanto in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In St. Vincent many farmers, teachers and other people want to protect the island against the growing of Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs are created in a lab, by inserting a gene from one organism into another unrelated organism, producing plants and animals that would never occur in nature. No long-term safety studies have been done on humans, but animal studies link the consumption of GMOs to an increase in allergies, kidney and liver disease, ADHD, cancer, infertility, chronic immune disorders and more. Monsanto, Astra Zeneca, Du Pont, Novartis and Aventis, are some of the big food industry companies. They dedicate themselves to the commercialization of genetically modified agricultural products. They use policies on which the producers become dependent.The seeds sold by the companies are genetically modified. They speak of “seed protected from agrochemicals” that is developed from chemical products. A soy plant, for example, does not produce grains that can be used as seeds for the next season. Companies use this system to promote the sale of seeds and agrochemicals and to increase its lucrative potential through producer dependency. The producers remain trapped in a vicious cycle, totally dependent on these companies and the price policies they adopt. If the producer acquires seed through these companies he should secure fertilisers, insecticides,...
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