Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
– Bruce Lee
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It’s easy to forget, living in most necks of the woods on this Earth, that the freaking majority of the world’s population live on … a very low income (80% live on less than $10 a day), and they don’t CARE…. Sorry, Can’t AFFORD to care about whether something (whether a product, method or material) is “sustainable” or Not, and the majority of the world’s lifestyles reflect this. But YOU CAN help do something about it!
Money talks… so if sustainable practices are only accessible to “the rich”… and that’s ALL OF US if you come from a developed country (where your currency is worth 10x the value of theirs)… then we are all on One Big Titanic and we all know where that’s going: We can rearrange all the deck chairs we like… it’s still going DOWN.
My pastime in Indonesia (apart from building community around my daughter with intellectual disability) is to learn more about building and designing with bamboo and recycled materials that could make human habitation (especially in cities where most seem to congregate) somewhat less environmentally destructive, and to see if it’s possible to create a zero (or close to zero) waste home that’s affordable/accesible to people in developing countries (where most people do KNOW how to use bamboo but it’s perceived as a “poor-person’s” building material due to lack of longevity/insect attack – 5-7 yrs).
The Green School and Green Village in Bali has made fabulous and amazing examples of how bamboo can be used in modern architecture and has popularised this material and given it “remarkable” status. However, these designs are not made for mainstream people… they are for the rich/elite. They take huge work crews to construct and huge amounts of bamboo and rattan… And to go shopping for non-toxic treated bamboo that resists insect attack… is by-and-large totally unaffordable for people living on a working wage in “developing” countries (as well as in most western countries).
Unless… the non-toxic treatment processes can be made accessible at a local/village level and PROMOTED/DISSEMINATED and Made VIABLE…
So, we are interested in housing designs that are practical and affordable/accesable at a Local level in terms of work crew size and material use … USER-FRIENDLY in other words… People here can only afford to occupy small areas (usually 5×5 or 10x10m2 up to about 30m2 if you’re well-off). SO we aim to develop/share low-cost transferable building methods and design that CAN make a difference for more of the world’s population.
We want to incorporate Low-tech Systems into designs that can reduce pollution and recycle waste, grow food etc… In developing countries grey water is rarely treated, plastic waste pours into drains… in some countries people are still burning charcoal to cook food (Hello Deforestation)… Our challenge at the moment is to design a methane digester for human poop that’s going to work in an urban environment. So far this design is looking like 2 toilets with a methane tank made from bottle bricks (plastic-stuffed empty bottles) lined with a plastic “bladder” (basically). And I am VERY open right now to expertise/ knowledge/ input about developing this type of design (hint hint).
Back to bamboo: I do hope to continue learning more about this wonderful material and one day build a bamboo house in Australia (and plant timber so in 10-50 years- hang on, will I still be alive then?) can then build a wood house using selective timber harvest (as was NORMAL before the advent of urbanisation and industrialisation and resource exploitation).
Ok so if you’re still with me, maybe you’re interested also to learn about bamboo…. Maybe you’re interested to come and help work on this design (and that does involve WORK) and aside from that, explore options and develop the model I’m envisioning for inclusive Intentional Community.
Your financial contribution to our project will help us to sponsor internships and living costs for people from Indonesia, Philippines and other developing countries to come and learn these building methods and treatment processes (as well as low-cost sustainability technologies such as the electricity-free hydraulic ram water pump) and pay for them to disseminate this knowledge in their homelands through example designs and local projects – which we HOPE will enable those communities which are currently selling off their traditional lands to developers (because they don’t have INCOME) to stay PUT and create their own viable lifestyles and businesses.
NOTE AGAIN: A “developing country” person’s wage is around AUD$10-15/day (currently common practice is to pay expats from AID organisations on a much higher wage to go out and try and teach these methods) and so: To harness this latent resource and funnel energy into micro-projects that can help promote and enable Local people to adopt practices and the uptake of technologies that will make a difference to Global Sustainability as a whole, WE THINK, will make a greater impact.
Please Check out our Facebook Page: Bamboo Creative Bali and send us a message or email us as email@example.com for more information about how you can join our build in Bali.
Bamboo Creative Workshop Internship 1 week package
All inclusive 7-day Complete Accommodation, Tuition, Tour package: Accommodation in the bamboo house and daily meals are included. Also includes: Saturday afternoon Bamboo Crafting workshop and Sunday Afternoon Plastic hunt and hot spring tour in Penebel. (If you have your own accommodation, the fee is AUD$665)
See our other Internship Programs and Options on our Internships Page