Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Archival Eco-House, owned by Counselor Nestor Archival who spoke at a TEDx event at the University of San Carlos, Talmban Campus, Cebu, is a two-story installation built to uphold the counselor's advocacy to protecting the environment. Energy consumed by the building is sourced from renewable energy generated within the property.

Counselor Nestor Archival at TEDx University of San Carlos

He started off shaky as he begun his talk at the event, mostly because of his nervousness, not that I blame him, But gradually, he gained more confidence and had this contagious passion as he talked about his project and how he encourages everyone, in their own little way, to be responsible about caring for the environment. Sir Archival explains that if the power the house consumes is greater than the energy it can provide, he takes from the grid, but usually, he gives back to the grid as his installation's generated energy is more than enough to sustain their day-to-day operations. He has an in-door garden and a pig pen whose waste are re-used in the establishment. For example, black water, water from the septic tank, is processed and filtered organically through his system (with the help of the bandera espanola plant) and is given back as the source for his plants in his garden and gray water, water drained after you take a bath or do the laundry, is again processed to be used as water for flushing in the toilets.

All of this sounds awesome, by the way and kudos to sir Archival for pulling this off! I'd love it if sometime someday, sometime (possibly tomorrow) that all the houses in everywhere were like this. But facing reality, to have all the irrigation and filtering systems installed would probably cost us more than an arm and leg. Being a cheap-ass "be green" wannabe, here are a few things that I'm personally doing around the house to live sustainably:

1) Grow vegetables - I know, it sounds tiring (and it is), totally not sexy and I am definitely still a noob at this but tasting the sweet fruit of your hard mostly sweaty and back-aching labour makes it all worth it. Plus, you're helping the environment and your community! I grow a few onions, lemonsitomalunggay and alugbati which I just leave hanging at the gate for my neighbors to take for free.

2) Instead of using artificial fertilizer, create a compost pit - After eating a scrumptious, satisfying meal, I dump all the bad leftovers, fruit peelings, poultry or fish bones into a tupperware and leave it in the freezer until its time for me to garden (which I do once a week). I thaw that gross mixture and dig a hole in the soil outside to bury them. A few weeks later, I use that soil for my plants. It helps a lot since the ground here is pretty rocky.

3) Use two teaspoons of baking soda and legit lemon juice as a drain cleaner - To get rid of the gunk in the kitchen and bathroom drains, I throw in that mixture to get rid of any excess organic stiff sticking inside the pipes. I let it set for five minutes and rinse with warm water. It works! Honest!

4) A mixture of water and white vinegar makes a great cleaning solution - From glass, to microwaves and even chocolate stains on my tile floor! I dump an even amount of both into a spray bottle and use that as a cleaner.

I know I'm not as fancy as the Archival Eco-House and I know I'll never be (until a few years, hopefully) but a little is better than nothing and after hearing his talk, I though I'd share a few of these that I'm actually doing in to hopefully encourage, especially the younger generation, to think about the bigger picture when you go about your business everyday. The "turn off lights when not used", "flush maximum of twice after toilet use" and "sort your bio and non-bio" all go along with what I'm doing so there is action behind these words people! I just hope someday more people will realize that we only have one planet (that we have access to) that can serve as our home and we owe it to them to take care of it as best as we can. We've got no where else to go, after all (for now).

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