During my trip to Israel I’ve found a kibbutz where rare animals mentioned in the Bible are being reintroduced into their natural environment.
The original kibbutzim were highly regarded in the West and have long attracted idealistic young volunteers from all over the world. The new eco-kibbutzim offer an opportunity to work on the land, but also to learn how farming is gradually changing as new environmentally-friendly techniques are created and old ones rediscovered. I also discovered some very futuristic sustainability projects.
Last year Sue and I visited one of these, Kibbutz Lotan to the south of the country, close to Eilat and Jordan. Fortunately for us it was winter so the temperature was a cool thirty degrees or so, rather than the 40-degree plus summer desert heat Lotan dwellers are more used to.
Three kibbutzim with fascinating environmental initiatives:
1. Kibbutz Lotan
As well as offering eco-tourism in its low energy mud-brick rooms Lotan hosts a permaculture centre offering a four week Sustainable Development & Permaculture Design Certification, a one week eco-experience work immersion and practical workshops in local food production, natural building, sustainable community and alternative technologies.
On Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve endangered and locally extinct animals mentioned in the Bible are bred for possible reintroduction to the Negev desert.
Species bred include:
▪ Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
▪ Scimitar oryx (Oryx dammah)
▪ Red-necked ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus)
▪ Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)
▪ Asian wild ass (hybrids of Equus hemionus kulan and Equus hemionus onager)
▪ Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis)
▪ Caracal (Caracal caracal schmitzi)
▪ Arabian sand cat (Felis margarita harrisoni)
▪ Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr)
▪ South African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus)
▪ Arabian wolf (Canis lupus arabs)
▪ Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas)
▪ Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)
▪ Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana)
▪ Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica)
▪ Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)
3. Kibbutz Ketura
Apart from the massive Arava solar farm Kibbutz Ketura houses Alga Technologies, which produces sustainable antioxidants using solar energy and purified water from local boreholes, 80% of which is recycled.
How sustainable is my life? #1
This is where I start looking at my own life and making those small but vital changes towards sustainability. Let’s see what effect a few small changes can make. I’m going to start with plastic waste.
We live in a commercial world. Very. Environmentalists and just about every other campaigner keeps telling me. So when I read about trendy companies like Lush, hear about them from all my female friends, pass by their store in my local town, I’m going to be a bit sceptical.
This is because we also have this thing called greenwashing. Greenwashing is where commercial concerns try to make out they care more than they actually do by spending loads of money they could be spending on actually caring more on caring less and making it look like they care more. Really, they couldn’t care less and I care about that, although I’m sure they also couldn’t care less that I care more. Continue reading “9 reasons I’m getting all my stuff from Lush now”
A number of years ago I was at a friend’s house listening to records. “One day” he told me “you’ll be able to switch on your TV and choose exactly what film to watch, what music to listen to.” At the time, this was the most implausible, futuristic thing I’d ever heard. I need hardly say how true that prediction became.
Carmaker Volvo has fascinated the world by announcing yesterday that all Volvos launched from 2019 will have an electric motor. Wow! That’s a world away from the beloved Volvo tanks I used to own in byegone days.