Workshop series offers education on permaculture

Web Lead

  • Feb. 3, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Three mini-workshops about creating a sustainable living environment will be held at the Creston and District Community Complex on Feb. 10.

The workshops will be led by Calgary’s Rob Avis, whose Verge Permaculture company specializes in a systems design approach to sustainable human habit and a focus on interconnected elements (lower energy buildings, water management, waste re-use, renewable energy and food productions systems).

Sponsored by the Wynndel Innovation Society, Avis will focus on delivery practical information that local residents can use in their own homes, society spokesman Brent Cameron said.

Avis will divide the evening into three themes: Needs and Yields Analysis — systems at home, Beyond Waste — water flow analysis and cycling water use, and Landscape Design for Water Harvest — water flow.

According to Avis, an engineer, about a third of the energy consumed by society is used to deliver potable water and remove sewage.

“Pumping fluids is extremely energy intensive,” he said. “If cities adopted rainwater catchment, grey water, composting toilets and landscape harvesting, we could stop this monumental misallocation of fine energy resources.”

Facing homes toward the sun, and not to the best view, could eliminate a household’s heating energy by 30 per cent. Super insulation and efficient design can boost that number by up to 90 per cent, he said.

“It has been estimated that 10 units of hydrocarbon energy are used to produce one unit of food energy,” Avis said. “This problem could be alleviated if we converted the most energy wasteful icon on the planet — the lawn — into food production.”

For those who want to add a more in-depth knowledge to what they learn in Avis’s mini-workshops, he will be leading a two-week course in Nelson from June 5-19.

The permaculture workshops will be held on Feb. 10 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in the Erickson Room. Admission is $5 or by donation, with all proceeds going to local permaculture initiatives.