TAG: Soil

Short Films, Tall Messages

Short Films, Tall Messages

Art and film have the power to bring awareness and offer both exploration and stance on issues. The following are a few short films with an environmental focus and attention to sustainable civilization. Excellent Development has several community oriented short films that reveal the significant need for land and water conservation in rural regions. This video explores the collaborative relationships that exist within communities, and shows how when social efforts are united, even stronger ones can be formed. As pointed out by the organization, every year approximately 75 billion tons of soil is lost because of land erosion. When combined with severe drought and risk… read more

DIY Terrariums

DIY Terrariums

Terrariums are a fun way to bring some of the green indoors all year round, especially appreciated when the weather is cold and drab. When purchased from a plant nursery or storefront, terrariums may lean on the pricey side. With a few materials to get started, one can be made DIY style for a budget friendly version. Though they require some know-how regarding supplies and growing conditions, they do not demand extensive upkeep. Ferns, miniature palms, succulents and moss work well in terrariums. Plants will need a lot of indirect sunlight and attention to the moisture level is important. Terrariums… read more

The Earthworm Advantage

The Earthworm Advantage

Forget high-tech machinery and farm implements. Earthworms themselves are the equivalent of countless inventories of agricultural equipment, compliments of Mother Nature. Vermiculture, or worm cultivation, uses sustainable farming techniques and efficient ways of turning waste into benefit, naturally. Worms eat up what we might consider waste, consuming much of what we just scrape off our dinner plates. They aerate the soil and compost waste organically, helping the soil afterwards. This effect is circular of course, since better soil equals healthier plants which lends to more nutritious meals, and so on. This do it yourself video shows simple steps for creating an… read more

Natural Pest Control

natural-pest-control

Gardens are a lot of work, and anyone who has ever had one knows that an increased effort is involved when aiming for an organic one. Instead of relying on insecticides to rid your garden of infestations, it is essential to consider a few ways to incorporate natural pest control into your garden before you start to plant. Give some thought beforehand of natural ways to control pests. Don’t fall prey to the misconception that if you just spray a little homemade repellant here and there, weed and water, things will just naturally grow pest free. Don’t fail to consider native insects,… read more

When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

When Scientific Research And Legos Collide

To some children, Legos are a first primer to serious architecture. Though in the fun guise of play, most of us don’t recall the strategy, composing and hours of constructing, erecting and regrouping to begin again, that was involved in a serious afternoon of Lego assembly. Science, who is no stranger to hours of constructive exploration, often strays from the ordinary to investigate and find answers, and when searching for a solution to fill a laboratory need one team did just that. Researchers at Iowa State University wanted to investigate what effects the environment has on plant development. In order to… read more

Halting The Sands

Desertification, Africa

If you were to visit rural southern Africa you would likely experience the beauty of a primordial country life. The cows would be grazing, farmers would be in the fields, their irrigation sprinklers would be at work, and maidens would be collecting firewood from the nearby forest. At face value there is nothing wrong with the picture, however if you would multiply the activity described, and look forward by 10 years or so, the picture would change to a cover on a document entitled “The Leading Cause of Desertification”. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification focuses particularly on those African countries… read more

A Chair Made from the Elements

"Soilid" Chair is Made from Baked Soil and Fungi

Growing your own furniture might seem like a crazy idea, but some designers are already experimenting with this weird and wonderful concept. That is the case of Erez Nevi Pana who is growing his own furniture from natural materials and watches it grow! Made from a mix of soil, fungi and other natural materials, “Soilid” is Pana‘s first experimentation with these kinds of elements, which are common in the garden but rarely seen within the design world. To make this odd looking chair the materials are first measured by volume and weight, and then mixed all together. The mix is then shaped… read more

High-End Designs Using Fruits and Soil

Designs Using Fruits and Soil

Designers may often find inspiration in unexpected places. Applying intricate concepts to produce works of art using the simplest of mediums requires a skillful balance. The following are a few examples that mix remarkable design with basic means to produce upscale interior pieces. Robert Dziura creates incredible lampshades made from gourds. Gourds are a fruit originally grown in Africa that have hard exterior coverings. In search of a do it yourself design to replicate an eye-catching piece, Dziura turned to an inexpensive but effective medium to make a lightshade. Once the gourds are dried he drills them, forming patterns along… read more

Global Land Degradation

dry_land

Due to the diminishing conditions of soil from climate change and chemically dependent agriculture, many acres of land have become unusable for the growth of plant life and equally unable to function as a suitable habitat for wildlife. Because soil is needed for vegetation to grow and create energy, without soil, to put it simply, there is no life. Yet the world is facing global soil degradation that threatens our ability to provide  a stable food source for our growing population. The problem can be found in virtually every country, among both developed and developing communities. On a global scale, the… read more

Ignorance breeds Damage

Illegal road repair in Africa

In Swaziland, we have a saying that goes “ignorance is akin to blindness”. The same can be said of people who unwittingly cause damage to the environment by engaging in activity which may appear harmless, when in actual fact will have adverse long term consequences. One such activity is occurring in numerous rural communities in Swaziland. In a bid to generate some income, many young men in Swaziland have been effecting road repairs on damaged gravel roads in their communities. What typically happens is that these young men will remove soil from the side of the road to fill up… read more