Envisaj Mercy Environmental Sustainability and Justice League Student Club builds biodigesters abroad

A year after our Envisaj Mercy team went on the "mother of all biogas tours", a faculty-led service learning expedition  to Israel and Palestine, visiting Eco-gas Isreal and the Palestinian Wildlife Society and introduced our Solar CITIES IBC/ARTI hybrid biodigester to the Green Apprenticeship Program in Kibbutz Lotan, we found ourselves on a "student-led" service learning expedition in the Dominican Republic where several of our Envisaj Mercy club members have family.

A Solar CITIES team member aspires to be a "Possibility Manager"

As we work to define our roles in the Solar CITIES movement around the world, clarity comes from considering that what we really aspire to be are "Possibility Managers" in the sense discussed by Clinton Callahan. These paragraphs from his book "Adventures in Thinking" do a good job of summarizing how a Solar CITIES team member should approach the work:

Virtual World Building and the Realization of Eutopias

There was a time when only planners and architects and engineers had access to the toolkits necessary to turn dreams into realities.

Those days have changed.

For several years now, would be world builders have had a plethora of pre-visualization tools at our disposal.

Blogging as a way of getting serious thoughts together for Academic Publishing, by T.H. Culhane

When I was pursuing my Ph.D back in grad school, starting in 2000 when I completed my master's degree, I had a hell of a time researching and writing my dissertation.
Basically I got writers block because I felt lonely.

"Blogging the world's first basement biodigesters" by T.H. Culhane

Envisaj Mercy students build America's first basement biodigester at a family home

Domestic food wastes have been the focus of many environmental remediation efforts, from municipal attempts to encourage source separation and collection to “Do it Yourself” (DIY) and commercial attempts to treat organic residuals on-site through aerobic composting.

Sensing pH in a way that makes sense (for the other 90%), by T.H. Culhane

For years now, many of us have been engaged in various discussions and experiments to determine the best way to continuously monitor the pH of our biogas systems.  Those of us doing this at home on limited to nonexistent budgets have dreamed of an inexpensive DIY microcontroller based system that we can stick in a port in our tanks and forget about (except for the readings on our smart phones which would alert us when things are going sour, of course!).

Home-scale Biogas for the World

Situations like these are a daily occurrence in the South American 6-million-inhabitant metropolis. Especially the World Cup and the upcoming Olympic Games have intensified the conflict between the Brazilian government and the drug cartels ruling the favelas. In fact, the local residents appreciate some of their government’s more recent concessions like the garbage disposal or public transportation. However, what they appreciate even more is the form of personal independency that they managed to preserve over the years. Simply calling the favelas a slum would not do justice to them.


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