Water Recycling: Is it the one for you? 2/2

The first part of this article about water recycling introduced you to gray water. Undeniably, recycling water generates extra savings that can be allocated to other expenditures.

Aside from the money savings, we have to know that water recycling plays a major sustainability impact by preserving natural resources. It might sounds like a cliché sentence, but "water is life"!

gray water

LEGAL RAMNIFICATIONS: we talked a bit about legal issues in the first path and they can vary from place to place. The legality of water recycling differs greatly depending on where you live. Although gray water recycling has been widely embraced and depicted by numerous investigations and studies as safe for humans and its environment, laws focusing on sewage and sewerage are but slow to be amended. Therefore, before installing a gray water recycling system, you need to check out several laws and regulations relating to water recycling in your area.

ECONOMIC AND ECOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES: Recycling your water can reduce water consumption not only in your household but also at your place of business, and it can reach up to forty percent!

The advantages of water conservation, especially in areas experiencing drought, are prevalent. Lessening one’s use of water can ease pressure on strained and aging sewage treatment systems but also on natural water tables.

reclaimed water

The initial installation of a home recycling system and water reclamation can vary in price depending on the type of system you will install. That being said, you shall try to have a long-term mindset. Indeed, the amount of water you will be saving will more than cover up for the installation and initialization costs.

True enough, water recycling can bring a major impact not only in one’s household but in the society as well taking a great part into sustainable development. Saving substantial amount of water is akin to saving substantial amount of money. And protecting our ecosystem. Just like recycling other elements such as hardwood and transforming it as a new product, item or décor, water recycling gives you a different view of sustainable development but the same results. At the end of the day, what is important is that you taking an active part in resolving the looming condition of the environment while giving life to your old items instead of throwing them away.

Remember, conserving water is prolonging and sustaining the water cycle. We might say that resources are infinite, but it is better to be safe than sorry. All we know is that it is not harmful to do and act now but that tomorrow It might be too late to take action.

There is no better time to recycle water than yesterday. I hope that this article opens your eyes to the great things that are waiting for you.

reuse recycle

Water Recycling: is it the one for you? - 1/2

The first part of this article will focus on gray water. Its importance is highlighted in the entire article. Since Water conservation methods and drought are prevalent in many places worldwide, you may have come across the term reclamation or water recycling. But the question is, what is gray water recycling and will it be appropriate for you and your surroundings? Will it be able to save you substantial amount of money? Will it be an advantage in the water conservation system in your community?

water

GRAY WATER: This term denotes all waste water that does not include sewage. In other words, all utilized water from your house or business except those what has been used to flush your waste in the toilet. Clear water also called “white water”. Sewage water is referred to as “black water”. So, gray water is a classification in between the two which simply means not suitable for human consumption but not absolutely contaminated.

USES FOR RECYCLED WATER: The major use for recycled gray water is landscape, irrigation, crop system and toilet flushing. And in this regard, there are several risks to utilizing it for toilet tank storage. A separate plumbing system should be installed at home destined for gray water. This will simply operate as a mini-sewage treatment facility on a household level.

However, there are several things to consider before taking this plan to utilize it for crop irrigation system or simply for planting. There can be advantages in using recycled water as it has nutrients that can boost plants health and growth. Hence, if you decide to utilize the household’s water in your backyard, it simply means that you need to be more cautious of what household products and cleaners you are using to be able to stay away from poisoning your plants. Harsh elements found in detergents contain high levels of boron, chlorine or salt which can simply harm your entire garden system. It is surely an excellent idea to avoid using soaps and bleach with heavy elements of bath salts, phosphorous, solvents and artificial dyes. That will not pass as gray water. It can be classified as black water already.

Caution is required when applying recycled water as irrigation water. This is because it contains contaminants which directly harm human health. We also have to be reminded that it should not come in to absolute contact with vegetables and fruits meant for consumption especially now that people tend to consume raw vegetables.

The next part of this article will focus on its benefits and legal requirements as well as the cost efficiency and effects on environment and how can it help in the sustainable development.

  DIY bathtube Gray water recycling - source milkwood.net

DIY bathtube Gray water recycling - source milkwood.net

Five Easy Steps in Water Recycling

 Biofilter with wood chips.

Biofilter with wood chips.

Water recycling is hastily obtaining popularity around the globe. Water bills are rapidly increasing and water availability and quality are decreasing in a lot of regions all over the world. Gray water is utilize as an efficient way to conserve water while saving substantial amount of money that basically just flows down the drain of your house. Listed below are five easy steps to help you, your household and the entire community in recycling water right at your very home:

·         KNOW THE REGULATIONS BEFORE YOU INIITALIZE: You have to know the rules before you start your water recycling. You have to check your local codes in order for you to know more about what type of water systems are permitted in your community. Some country or city codes have minimal or nothing to say about the recycling gray water while some have restrictive rules and regulations intact.

·         PINPOINT THE SOURCES OF YOUR GRAY WATER: There are some classified potential gray water sources at your house. An excellent and efficient source of gray water should have easily access plumbing and it should not comprise harsh sewage and chemicals. You have to avoid toilet and batch water since these kinds of sources could obtain dangerous elements like pathogens. The kitchen sink is an excellent place to begin.

·         YOU HAVE TO MULL OVER WHERE TO UTILIZE YOUR GREYWATER: Gray water can be utilized to water a flower bed, a tree, a vegetable garden, or any combination of these. Know your area in your back or front yard that could utilize recycled water. Efficient locations for gray water should be close to and a bit lower than gray water source.

·         SELECT YOUR VERY OWN GRAY WATER SYSTEM: There are a lot of options when selecting a gray water system. You can have a system professionally initialized and installed or you can engage in a do-it-yourself type of project if you feel you can initialize a simple plumbing system. To begin, you have to bear in mind that simplicity is beauty. The simplest system to install is basically a pipe that runs from the source drain to the exit place and discharges underneath a bed of mulch. Having the gray water discharge under or beneath the surface is crucial because standing surface can simply cause accumulation of bacteria and other harmful elements.

·         LEARN WATER RECYCLING SYSTEM MAINTENANCE: A lot of gray water is regarded as low maintenance. If you utilize the simple drain method describe at the onset, you should not have to do anything on it regularly. If the system is clogged with anything, you should not pour any harmful chemicals on your gray water system.

 With natural washing machine products this scheme is easily doable - source coastal-watershed.org

With natural washing machine products this scheme is easily doable - source coastal-watershed.org

If you start minimal, maintaining and installing recycling water using gray water system can be fun and easy. Your plants will simply enjoy the extra nutrient rich water, and you will surely enjoy knowing you are simply saving and contributing to sustainable development. Low water bills are just bonus.

In next two weeks article we will get into more details about what is gray water as well as clean and black water and its economical advantages.

 We can easily see where most of the water is going and how we can recycle some to lower other.

We can easily see where most of the water is going and how we can recycle some to lower other.

Successful Home Vegetable Gardening with Minimal Space

Following our articles on Hydroponics and Aquaponics let s have a closer look at vegetable gardening on small spaces

Nowadays, people are getting more inclined with home vegetable plant gardening. With all the price increase in the market, people are finally growing their own source of vegetables and edible plants in the backyard, whether it is in a pot or on the ground. This is very convenient- especially if you make home good recipes most of the time. The good thing about this idea is that there is no need for a big space to make it work, just enough for growing crops and herbs. And to be able to maximize all the space you have at home, here are few suggestions you might want to consider in growing a successful home vegetable garden.

 Small space gardening can enhance your garden.

Small space gardening can enhance your garden.

First would be the easiest part- making the decision in picking the right vegetable plants that fit your personal needs. One might need more of herbs and spices, while the other one might need more of crops or leafy vegetables. Whatever it is, make sure you are planting the right kind of vegetable plants that will surely benefit your home most. This also may lead to a better harvest.  Since you are focused on a specific type of vegetable plant, you are going to be able to nourish and grow them properly.

Second would be the companion planting process. This is a process of planting vegetables next to one another that complement each other as opposed to fighting for the same nutrients. Say for example, growing beans, corn and squash. This works to the advantage of crops growing nearby because they benefit each other for each and every vegetable plant has their respective companion vegetable plant. The companion plant helps the other vegetable plant to grow, nourish, and produce more plant.

 Your own vegetable always taste better!

Your own vegetable always taste better!

Last but not least grow your vegetable plants vertically! Yes you read it right, considering the minimal amount of space you have for growing vegetables, crops and plants, growing them vertically would be the best procedure to follow.  There are plants which we call indeterminate plants. These vegetable plants like pumpkins grow vines immeasurably, and since you do not know exactly how more space it will occupy, growing them vertically would mean giving them more space to grow.

Basically, these are amongst many considerations to take before setting up a home vegetable plant garden. While the real issue here is the limited space you might have in your backyard or at the veranda of your apartment, many concerns should also be considered before putting an actual home vegetable garden- from the type of vegetable plant to sow to the kind of procedure of planting. Regardless, having a limited space should not hinder you from having the comfort of growing your own vegetable plants at home.  As long as you have the passion to grow your own vegetable plants and you heed all the suggestions mentioned above, in time, you will surely make your way and harvest the vegetable plants fresh from your backyard.

Using anti rot, anti decay and more than anything else anti termite materials and/or wood such as reclaim Ulin can add a classy and long lasting touch to your vegetable garden (cf first article picture).

Edges of Having a Small Pool

Having your own pool is like having your own paradise at the comfort of your home. Imagine spending time with your friends and loved ones without the inconvenience of driving miles away, or even throwing a party without renting an actual party place? Sounds comfort. Having a pool at home is indeed one of the greatest investments. But who says it’s all convenience? Having a pool, as they say, is a huge responsibility to sustain. You may opt having a small and easy to maintain pool which has an advantage compared to big ones. Here are top 3 edges to consider for having a small and easy to maintain pool:

 1.   Saves water. The best advantage of having a small pool is being able to conserve water. Stating the obvious, the smaller the pool, the lesser water is needed for cleaning and refilling. This actually can already make a big impact in maintaining a pool.

2.   Less chemicals and cleaning materials. The question is how often should you clean a swimming pool? Unless you are opening your private pool to public, your pool doesn’t need an everyday thorough cleaning. Aside from the fact that it isn’t a simple task, cleaning a pool everyday would be very costly. So if you have a small and private pool and use it on a seasonal basis, it is advised to have it cleaned at least once every two weeks. 

3.   Conserves energy. Your pump and skimmers are very essential in maintaining a clean pool. They circulate the water and clean the surface of the water, respectively. And these are used with the help of electricity of course. Basically the pump and skimmers are the work horse of a pool and the most costly to maintain. So depending on the size of the pool, a small pool will be likely easier and faster to pump and clean. Hence, conserves more energy. 

 The relaxation combination of wood and a small pool - source hgtv

The relaxation combination of wood and a small pool - source hgtv

You see, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to experience your own private pool. You can enjoy a small pool just the same as the big ones, and maintain it. You can take a quick plunge built for the purpose of relaxing, lounging, and cooling off.  Some pool owners prefer the ideal small sized pool since it is has a lower costs to build, easier to maintain, and consumes less space. Not to mention that it is kid friendly too.

So if you have been thinking of putting up your own private pool, you might want to consider the 3 edges mentioned above. These are considerations not only proven but tried and tested by personal experiences of small pool owners. Small pools are worth having as a personal investment. Having a small pool is like having a holiday at a resort in the comfort of your own home.

Not crazy about using chemicals? Get yourself a Healthy pool!

Healthy Pool is a system that can greatly reduce the chlorine that you used for your pool, save money and prevent algal growth. Learn more on our sustainable friend’s website.

 Small pool and its wooden deck - The Luxe Bali

Small pool and its wooden deck - The Luxe Bali

A Quick Guide to an Eco-Friendly Home

Almost everything nowadays is eco-friendly; from the food that we eat to the water bottle we are using, all are starting to considerate Mother Nature. But didn’t you know that even up to the kind of material we are using for home decors and interior design, Mother Nature is first to be  considered?  Here’s why and what to choose.

One thing to consider is the aggressive effect of the material used for interior design. It can even be health threatening to humans. So as time goes by, people are becoming more cautious in dressing up their homes. They opt to use eco-friendly materials not only because of health and environment reasons, but because it can be very affordable too.

Choose Non-Toxic Paint. Eco-friendly paint could be the best investment in any interior design. There are the toxic and the non-toxic, and the latter is always the winning choice. Non-toxic paint does not contain lead and may reduce landfill, groundwater and ozone contaminants through the years. Usually, non-toxic paints are odours free. This alone is very beneficial already to our health. Although it may be a bit pricey compared to the toxic ones, you can definitely feel the difference once it is painted on the wall and its long term effect can be priceless.

Next would be the wood. Yes, wood never go out of style and makes your home look natural, earthy and yet classy. Match your eco-friendly paint with sustained and reclaimed wood for your interior design options. From your floor to ceiling, to bits and pieces of small furniture inside your home, wood is going to fulfil your goal to have an eco-friendly home.

 Hardwood flooring . Warm and classy.

Hardwood flooring . Warm and classy.

Sustained and reclaimed woods are wood products which are made from managed forests. These are woods that did not undergo through the usual clear-cutting process. What they usually do is they select few trees, cut them down, and re-plant again giving the tree time to regenerate again. This kind of process made it eco-friendly. It does not reduce the number of trees we have in our forests.

Finally, put an eco-friendly floor with the right carpet tiles. Once you are done with the walls, it’s time to put in the eco-friendly idea to your floor. Now this may be crucial since you really need a solid ground to carry the whole house. Instead of putting a traditional carpet tile, opt to a more environment friendly tiles. Example of this is the modular carpet tiles which you can change if one tile gets damaged. These are recyclables and have raw materials that can never damage the environment, at the same time, very beneficial to health since it has an indoor air quality.

 Mud, stone and wood. Work of art by our friends of Mud sustainable home in Penestanan, Bali.

Mud, stone and wood. Work of art by our friends of Mud sustainable home in Penestanan, Bali.

These are the basic major areas you need to address when doing an interior design. And since the main goal is to make an eco-friendly home, switch the tradition type of materials for your walls, furniture, and floor, into a pro Mother Nature home. Eco-friendly materials are not restrictive so you have plenty of options to decide. This is what makes it more fun in doing eco-friendly interior design. 

Hydroponics VS Aquaponics

Do you recall the words hydroponics and aquaponics during your botany class? Have you ever joined a planting activity in which you encountered the process of hydroponics or aquaponics? Do you remember reading all over google and facebook about hydro and aquaponics? If not, let me give you a brief background of these systems and how it actually work for our society.

First is the Hydroponic. This is a system or a process of growing plants without the need of soil. The plants grow through the intervention of nutrient solution. This solution consists of different minerals mixed with fertilizer and raw water. Minerals such as sulfur, magnesium and calcium are some famous example of the nutrient solution. The 3 procedures of planting using hydroponic system are as follows:

  1. Place the plant in a medium size container where the plant can fully catch the nutrient solution.

  2. The nutrient solution is directly injected in the root area of the plant. The plant will no longer be needing the soil to make it grow.

  3. Since the plant is grown using nutrient solution, it is advised to flush the hydroponic system on a periodical basis. This will avoid clogging or building up of nutrients

 Hydroponic illustration

Hydroponic illustration

Second is the Aquaponics. This is a system which combines hydroponics and aquaculture. This kind of system is usually being practiced in fish farms. As illustrated in the picture below, aquaculture is the system or process of growing fish in an enclosed environment. Here is the detailed process of growing fish through aquaponics:

  1. The enclosed environment of the fish creates a closed circuit water way in which the waste of the fish is being pumped into the hydroponics plants beds.

  2. The fish waste encompasses nutrients and nitrogen which are used to nurture the plants. These nutrients are very beneficial to plants.

  3. The fish waste then goes to the plants and then being recycled again as purified water. The water goes back for the use of the fish. Therefore, aquaponics is simply a kind of system that constantly recycles water, waste, and food for the benefit of the plants.

 Aquaponics cycle, as easy as it gets!

Aquaponics cycle, as easy as it gets!

So if you are to ask which system plays a more vital role? I am pretty much one hundred percent sure that you have an idea. The answer is neither.  Both of the systems has its own procedure and benefits. None is superior to the other. But how will you know which one you will be needing? You have to determine first if the goal here is either to grow plants or to breed fishes. If you are into plants, then hydroponic system is the right one for you. On the other hand, if fishes are your main objective to nurture, then go for the aquaponics.

Both systems can be used as a tool for gardening. It will also help in sustainable development. They have their respective advantages and disadvantages. But definitely, both are very ideal in breeding fishes and growing plants at the same time. Both methods, hydroponics and aquaponics, will grow abundant plant life.

Five easy steps in making your own compost - Part 2/2

On our last week article we saw the two first step, now let us continue to the conclusion on how to make your own compost at home.

 DIY compost bin - source Homesteading.com

DIY compost bin - source Homesteading.com

·         The next thing that you have to do in making your own compost pile is the maintenance of your pile temperature. As your pile decomposes, the microbes begin to generate a certain amount of heat from their activities, and this can be an efficient thing for you. If you can create this efficient setting for your microorganisms, they can be able to generate more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit which is the proper amount of heat to be able to eliminate plant weeds and diseases that may be included in the compost pile. In order to obtain the desired results, you can use special compost thermometers to be able to monitor your compost pile temperature and even if your pile does not reach the desired state that would be practically all right because there are other factors that you can be able to perform in cleaning your compost.

·         Having a right amount of particle size is very crucial as well because in composting, the smaller the particles, the faster the organisms can perform their task. Imagine the scene as having a hundred people eat a hundred pound steak compared to a hundred people eating half a pound each. It is very obvious that the second scenario would likely finish first.

·         In making your very own compost pile, it is important to monitor the ratio of carbon to Nitrogen, because throughout the years, scientists have agreed that a pile which has a 30:1 ratio is at their prime nutrient state destined for the microorganisms. At this point in time, avoid yourself to go crazy in putting an accurate 30:1 ratio because that will make the whole activity a lot tedious and there is a probability that you will simply abandon it.

Truly indeed, the world has so many wonders for us to dive in to. Unraveling the beauty in these earth elements make it more appealing in eating organic foods growing at your backyard. Having the right amount of knowledge is not difficult nowadays. There are ways which you can utilize to gain confidence in making these simple steps. Basically, if you try to do a little research over the internet you can be able to find a lot of charts destined for different scenarios to aid you in figuring out the approximate ratio that your compost pile possess.

Do not forget, if you abide by these easy and enjoyable steps, you will surely attain success in coming up with a nutrient-rich compost pile to add to the soil destined for your backyard veggies. So, what are you waiting for? Feel the taste of freshness while you munch on your lettuce that you grow right at your backyard. Go out there and make your own compost pile!

 Title says it all. Find more about it on MPH website at http://mph-bali.org/en/home-eng/

Title says it all. Find more about it on MPH website at http://mph-bali.org/en/home-eng/

Five easy steps in making your own compost - Part 1/2

As seen in our October 1, 2018 article “Tips and Tricks in Starting a Vegetable Garden”, soil quality is a very important component. Here is how to make your own compost in more details!

Sustainable development is very crucial nowadays a lot of things can be done to contribute to sustainable development and maintenance of our ecological systems. There are a lot of activities that is in store for you to be able to contribute to sustainable development. There are activities which you can make in your own backyard. One of which is making your own compost pile!

 Home made compost pile - source tasteforlife.com

Home made compost pile - source tasteforlife.com

If you are eyeing on “going-green” one of the most effective things you can do is to begin with your vegetable garden. With vegetable garden, you can be able to supplement your immediate family not only with healthy but with organic food right from your very yard. But what if your soil possesses negligible nutrients and stinks as hell for your organics? To tell you the truth, this is not discouraging. The only answer is to come up with your own compost pile. The most efficient thing in terms of having a compost pile is that all you need is a combination of waste food scraps coming from vegetables and fruits, some dirt, leaves, grass and even sawdust which you can delegate the task to your kids so that it will be a family activity.

In order to achieve an effective, precise and fast decomposition of said materials, you need to pay close attention to five factors that will give you the freedom for the compost loving organisms to thrive; aeration, pile temperature, moisture, the ratio of carbon into nitrogen, and more importantly particle size. If you do not supply an efficient environment for the microbes then it would take you several months for your compost to disintegrate. As soon as you obtain the method in making your compost file, you will be able to supply excellent nutrient-rich soil destined for your backyard vegetables.

Listed below are easy steps in making your own composite pile:

·         The initial consideration of your compost pile is to maintain a fair amount of moisture in order for the microbes to thrive. This does not mean to drown it in water instead, you should only make it wet enough for moisture to be maintained. You have to remember that making the mixture too wet can compact the pile down so much that organisms will not be able to move around efficiently to perform their task.

·         The next crucial factor that you have to consider is its aeration during the period of making your compost pile. Do not forget that there are tiny organisms in that pile that are processing the stuff in there, and they multiply each second. And as they grow, they can practically deplete the pile of the oxygen that is needed which will hinder their reproduction. In turn, it will simply prolong your composting period. So you have to secure either a pitchfork or an auger and begin turning over your pile once or twice every week.

The next part will be the conclusion of the article. Are you excited?

 Reclaim materials composting pit - eco-bali

Reclaim materials composting pit - eco-bali

Our partner eco-bali are specialized in composting and can help you take your planning to reality!

Wood as an Art in Itself - Part 2/2

Majority of wood species has capability of producing a burl (a rounded knotty growth on a tree, giving an attractive figure when polished and used especially for handcrafted objects and veneers). In a so-called burl, there is minimal consistent grain. A wood with this kind of feature can have an array of imperfections from darker portions of the grain up to the heavy knots. Burls are immensely unstable which simply means that the wood has the capacity to easily move on its own. The most effective time to utilize a burl is when the wood is dry. And because wood with burls are a bit unstable, extreme care should be taken in to consideration in order to prevent the splitting of the wood.

Several species of wood can possess different types of grains. Maple does not have a sole type of grain pattern. Bird’s eye Maple, which is curly, has that roller effect infused with bird’s eye pattern. Because burls possess an inconsistent grain, a lot of different types can be found in them. A slap of cherry burl can possess a lot of discoloration running through its grains with some knotting and of course bird’s eye.

One specie of wood that possess an extraordinary type of grain is the so-called snakewood. It has a brownish color that is high in density. It is one of the few species of woods that will sink in water. The grain emulates the appearance of a snakeskin all the way through the wood. No growth rings can be seen on the grain. When finished, the wood turns out to be amazingly appealing.

 African snakewood - source http://woodquestions.blogspot.com

African snakewood - source http://woodquestions.blogspot.com

HEART ELEMENT: Wood also has sapwood and heartwood. Sapwood is located at the outer part of the tree. Heartwood is located at the center or the heart of the tree. There is a substantial difference between sapwood and heartwood. The former is lighter in terms of color and a bit softer as compared to the latter. Wooden plates and other ustensils can be made out of heartwood, sapwood, or even a combination of both to come out with a fusion of color combination.

 Reclaim teak custom phone cover for Iphone X - Kaltimber work

Reclaim teak custom phone cover for Iphone X - Kaltimber work

Some wooden elements are finished by means of lamination. Laminated wood simply consist of several pieces of wood that are positioned in a particular pattern. These wooden blanks must be prepared prior to being turned into any specific piece.

If it were not for the broad differences and peculiarities between elements and different classes of woods, then all wooden products would practically look the same. From linear-grained type of wood to the most extraordinary burls, the said imperfections of the wood will simply showcases aesthetically appealing impact on its appearance. Primarily, the more imperfect the wood, the more special the work of art can be.

Truly indeed, there is beauty in the wooden industry. One only has to appreciate and give life to what wood has to offer. Not to mention that these species can be immortalized if maintained and dealt with properly. Otherwise, we would simply miss the chance that this beautiful gift of nature has to offer. Look around you and witness all the wooden items surrounding you. Visit our showroom and factory and enjoy that wide range of grain variation, knot and other perfect imperfection.

At the end of the day, the wood itself is an art.