What started as a Greening Sustainable Commons project by Three Crowns junior secondary school in the rural area of Lady Frere, within the during jurisdiction Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) in the Eastern Cape is now braking frontiers in the Environment Management Sector all over the world. The school-to-community empowerment project, spear headed by CHDM’s environmental health introduces alternative energy designs, such as a greenhouse / shade-house nursery made from recycled plastic bottles, solar cooker, two different models of solar water heater, hot-box, bio-gas digester, eco-circles, vermiculture and permaculture, and a zeer fridge. According to CHDM Acting Director Health and Community Services, Francois Nel “These designs are simple, effective and easy to replicate and built from any readily available material. The concept is now ready to be replicated into a village setup in all local municipalities within our jurisdiction”. The Department of Basic Education is set to use this project as a pilot project for all schools in the district to be able to visit the school in order to learn about energy efficiency and be able to replicate similar projects within their own schools. Educators at Three Crowns have also developed lesson plans and units of work which detail construction of the models, sustainability of the energy supply, and environmental benefits for using the models.
- To give communities home based economies to assist in alleviating poverty.
- The generation of energy which is an alternative to electricity supplied on fossil energy.
- To build sustainable communities this can be self reliant.
- To give the people in the rural sector a chance to learn through doing and sharing.
The schools have become vehicles for change in their communities. The project comes out of the naturally occurring technologies within the community.
The following Technologies were Implemented:
Hot Water Snake
This item is composed of an ordinary black pipe filled with water. This is then exposed to the sun making it warm and thereby hot up the inside water.
This is composed of used two litre plastic bottles. This keeps the house warm during the cold day and cool during the hot day.
The nursery takes place inside the green house.
The overall purpose of the item is to process waste into gas which is used in the kitchen for cooking.
In which anaerobic effluent from the digester is introduced. Carbon dioxide is available to support growth in pond.
High rate Algal Pond
Provides a method for oxidisation of effluent. In 4 days in this pond oxygen is produced. Algae is produced which is to be harvested in the Algal Settling Pond. Algae is rich in nutrients which is used the vegetable garden
- This is a method of irrigation.
- The method reduces the rate of evaporation of water during the irrigation period.
- The system takes water to the roots of the plants.
- This is an effective way of irrigation and it preserves water.
Vermiculture uses commercial worms. These worms produce a liquid which serves as a fertiliser which can be used in your garden or flower bed.
It is half moon shaped panel which cooks by using sun rays. This method is completely a clean method and can be used instead of electricity.
Wind Energy Generator
Through the use of, energy can be generated. This method generates electricity. Fortunately the participating schools are such situated that wind is never a problem. The system provides environmentally friendly energy source.