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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Towards COP16/CMP6 in Punta Gruesa!!

As it is getting close to the COP16 meeting, we here at Punta Gruesa have decided to write up all of the ways which we are trying to keep our carbon footprint down and live more sustainably. Some of these ideas we have been doing for a while, and others are new to Punta Gruesa.

  • Beach Clean

We regularly walk our beaches and clean up the litter which has washed up over the previous week.

  • The Recycling Centre

With the help of the local Mahahual community we are in the process of starting a recycling project in town. We are also teaching lessons in the local school about the importance of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle attitude.

  • The Composting Area

Thirty some expedition member can consume a staggering amount of food. Still we were producing large amounts of organic waste and we needed an alternative to throwing it into the mangroves, or sending it to be burned. We found that it is not easy to find good soil in the Yucatán coast. We immediately set to drawing up plans for several pretty looking compost bins. Our first plans were revised to incorporating reclaimed wood. Not only were we going to minimise our waste production, we would produce nutrient rich compost that we shall one day use to grow our own vegetables, at the same time rescuing a dozen or so wooden pallets from decaying slowly in some Mexican landfill.

  • The Veggie Patch

This is a new idea for us here and we decided that as we are now composting our food waste, it would be good to use it to help grow more of our food. We are hoping to get this up and running as soon as possible and grow some vegetables and herbs, therefore helping reduce our trips into town

  • Sustainable energy

We use electricity very sparingly here at Punta Gruesa. Generally we turn it on for about 3 hours a day, during the hours of 6pm until 9pm. Our electricity is collected from solar panels and a wind turbine, and stored in 12v batteries. Occasionally we also use a gasoline fuelled generator, but we try to use this only when our batteries are low.

  • Plans for the future

We are currently talking about the possibility of collecting our cleaning water from the rain, and the possibility of using eco-friendly cleaning products and where we could purchase these from in Mexico.