Transfer AT Transfer
Solutions for Sustainable Living for Over 25 Years
In this issue:
Herb gardening Alternative Energy 2003 Bioneers Vermiculture and more...
The mission of CCAT is to demonstrate appropriate technology in a residential setting, to provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities to Humboldt State University and the surrounding community in Arcata, to collect and disseminate information about appropriate technology, and to dispel the myth that living lightly on the Earth is difﬁcult or burdensome. CCAT is dedicated to sustainability and self-reliance and seeks to help others live likewise.
Campus Center for Appropriate Technology staff: Front row left to right: KJ Coop (Web
Administrator), Michael Padget (Web Master), Playalina Nelson (Herb Gardner), Lisa Murgatroyd (Info Request Coordinator), Eddie Tanner (Co-Director), Beej Berhanu (Outreach Coordinator), Jeff Adams (Maintenance), Katie Harbaugh (AT Transfer Co-Editor). Second row: Charles Heinberg (Tour Guide Coordinator), Kendra Cecil (Co-Director), Krystal Rogers (Co-Director), Dustin Jolley (Project Engineer), Jennifer Lumbert (Groundskeeper), Garret Mcsorley (Groundskeeper), Bart Orlando (Volunteer) Not pictured: Josie Santos (Ofﬁce Manager), Brenda Francek (Librarian), Jo Manmondi (CRP Compost Director), Astrid Dobo (Biodiesel), Sara Hall (Biodiesel), Jamie Allen (Vegetable Gardner), Kyana Taillon (AT Transfer Co-Editor), Molly Wingland (Events Publicist)
AT Transfer staff:
Co-Editors: Katie Harbaugh, Kyana Taillon Design: Kyana Taillon Photography: Bart Orlando & Katie Harbaugh Drawings: Molly Wingland
The AT Transfer is the newsletter for the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, which is funded primarily by the Associated Students of Humboldt State University. The views and concerns of The AT Transfer are not censored or reviewed by the Associated Students. All correspondences may be addressed to: The AT Transfer, CCAT HSU, Arcata, CA 95521. HSU supports AA/EO
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By JML, Groundskeeper live in a shack. It may be tiny, but it’s cozy and it’s in the woods. There are no annoying wires attached to my roof like parasitic umbilical cords; no overambitious IV tubes feeding me water; and no artiﬁcial intestines transporting my wastes to some other creature’s backyard. You see, I got tired of making baby steps toward a lighter footprint in houses supported by the mothergrid. It’s useless trying to green up a rental home that is poorly designed. No, I wanted to start from the bottom without all the accoutrements of civilization and modify gradually with additional components. I consider my lifestyle a form of solidarity with developing countries in which I plan to work. Many of these nations want an improved quality of life for their citizens, yet detest the havoc our developed world has wreaked through its wanton, gluttonous “modernization” processes. Scientists cannot predict which straw will break our planet’s back, yet the race toward international development is already on. Helping such places implement appropriate technologies before infrastructures are established is crucial if total environmental collapse is to be avoided. Which brings me back to my experiences attempting to put together a portable, ﬁeld-capable appropriate technology (AT) micro system for my cabin that would include a) lighting and b) a charging system JML sits outside her home, a self-sustaining example of for properly chosen AA, cell phone and laptop batteries that appropriate technology doesn’t rely on a 12-volt storage bank. By the time I’m ready to globetrot I should be all set up. Thankfully, I will also have accomplished a major step in my personal evolution and adaptation to the simplest life I can see myself living. From there on out I’ll be in a position to carefully monitor the inﬂux of goods and services to my existence, choosing to incorporate only those items that would truly serve me and others well on my path through this world. It’s no secret that much of the primary emphasis of appropriate technology is on replacing grid-supplied power for current consumption levels. Native Americans used to laugh at the huge ﬁres white men made when such little ﬁres met people’s needs. The same could be said about Western society’s desire for power among the A.T. community, and it’s troubling. So here’s my pitch: let’s all adapt to little ﬁres. When consumers demand change, industry eventually listens. Invest $300 to $400 and put together an AT system you can bring along when you move. So what if you don’t have a shack! Stick a solar panel on a pole outside your window. Tie one onto your roof, (Look, landlord, no holes!) Downsize your stereo to ﬁt your energy production. Eat food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Use a rechargeable battery-powered clock. Be creative, and remember, we are the paradigm shift. You’ll appreciate your foresight later when the developing world becomes the model for culture change.
So will the earth...
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The joys of herbs are endless...
By Playalina Nelson, CCAT Herb Gardener ll too often when gardens are planted, herbs used for culinary or medicinal purposes are ignored. The beneﬁts and pleasures of incorporating an herb garden are frequently discounted. There are many useful daily herbs that can be cultivated in many different environments under varying constraints and conditions. In fact, some of the easiest herbs to grow are the most fun and versatile to use. Here is a list of easy-to-grow herbs that are great to have on hand. Make a little space in your yard or garden for a plethora of herbs.
Melissa ofﬁcinalis, Lemonbalm:
Perennial—can be harvested all year if cut back regularly Sun/part shade Very easy to grow Spreads by runners Used in cold and ﬂu remedies, good for balancing the nervous system in times of stress and depression, helpful for inducing relaxation
Playalina Nelson, CCAT’s herb gardener. Photos by Bart Orlando Drawings by Molly Wingland
Rosmarinus ofﬁcinalis, Rosemary:
Perennial Shrub with many different forms Full sun Best propagated from cuttings Flowers attract many bees and birds Wonderful as a culinary herb in many recipes, can be infused in oil for cooking or used externally as a hair oil to induce hair growth, or as a massage oil rubbed into the temples for headache relief
Salvia ofﬁcinalis, Garden Sage:
Perennial Full sun Resists drought Violet-blue ﬂowers attract bees and pollinating insects Can be propagated with cuttings Great fresh or dried as a culinary herb, can be made into an infused oil for cooking, can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes such as a gargle for sore throats or as an every-day mouth wash
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How does your garden grow?
Tips for a healthy herb garden
• • It’s very beneﬁcial to interplant herbs into your garden for natural pest control, inviting bees and other pollinating insects. Many herbs are very hardy and can be grown in pots, window boxes, raised beds or in the ground. Many can tolerate cold and a range of sunlight and soil types. Growing and processing your own herbs can save you money! You are guaranteed access to the freshest and highest-quality herbs when you grow your own. Cultivating your own herbs is sustainable, ensuring your herbs are being grown without chemicals or GMOs. Growing your own herbs is gratifying and inspiring to others and brings a sense of balance and beauty to your garden. • • • •
Mentha piperita, Peppermint:
Perennial—will grow all season long if harvested regularly Very easy to grow Some shade Great when used in tea formulas for indigestion, good cold and ﬂu remedy
Symphytum ofﬁcinale, Comfrey:
Perennial—can be harvested yearround if continually cut back Extremely easy to grow! This plant multiplies by root divisions and needs to be planted in restricted areas to prevent take-over of gardens Tolerates some shade Highly valuable for external use to promote healing of bruises, wounds, cuts and sprains Can be made into an infused oil or salve
Calendula ofﬁcinalis, Calendula:
Annual—self-seeds and will perpetuate ﬂowers all year long Prefers mostly sun Will grow in pots or in the ground, tolerating different types of soil Has bright orange/yellow ﬂowers useful in treating skin conditions, including rashes, dryness, diaper rash and sunburn; also effective in combination with other herbs for some fungal infections
Alternatives to conventional energy production
and House Joint Energy Conference Committee are working behind closed doors ﬁne tuning the national Energy Bill. Remaining reserves of fossil fuels are a precious resource. It is essential they are used wisely and sparingly. Since the energy debacle, California has become even more dependent on natural gas to supply electricity to the veins of our utility grid. Natural gas is a high-quality fuel and relatively cleanburning compared to its fossil relatives. Unfortunately, it is in short supply, controlled by outside corporations, and with increasing demand, prices are soaring. The obvious solution is to drill for more. Don’t invest in renewable energy—open up our pristine coastlines and install rigs. Drill the Rocky Mountain Front. Drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and build an Alaskan pipeline. Make pollution reduction voluntary for the industry. Streamline environmental protection regulations and make it easier to obtain extraction permits. After all, we need it. These are the arguments used for the exploitation of our public lands. We’ve heard them for some time now, but they are far short of being long-term solutions.
HSU students pedal to power the stage at HSU’s ﬁrst annual Car-Free Day, Photo by Bart Orlando
By Garret McSorley, Groundskeeper urrently, students at Humboldt State University are working to apply the solar photovoltaic and wind turbine technologies demonstrated at CCAT to power the entire campus. This monumental task will be accomplished by simultaneously reducing energy demand through improved conservation and increasing energy efﬁciency. HSU is creating a model for fellow universities and communities to follow.
We live in a time that is dominated by excess resource consumption and demand for energy. The low prices Americans pay for electricity, natural gas, and gasoline do not reﬂect their true cost. We can’t ignore our growing dependence on limited supplies of fossil fuel—changes must be made. The Campus Center for Appropriate Technology models what we can be done in our own homes to shift from petroleum to clean renewable energy. As this ripple moves outward, we are confronted by the emerging national energy policy. Currently the Senate
How about nuclear?
There is considerable drive by the authors of national energy policy to offer the nuclear industry incentives to begin building new nuclear power plants. Nuclear power, once considered to be the answer to the world’s energy needs, producing electricity “too cheap to meter” has proven itself to be outrageously expensive and
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unsustainable. No new nuclear power plants have been constructed in the United States since the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. Due to safety concerns ﬁve plants have been shut down in California alone, yet not one has been fully decommissioned and cleaned up. Locally, Humboldt Bay Power Plant is currently housing 396 high-level radioactive spent fuel rod assemblies contained in an oversized swimming pool.
efﬁcient use of resources and making lifestyle choices for a healthy future. Many states including California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Texas have in place Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Energy producers are required to increase the percentage of their renewable energy production to meet set standards. Solar utilities unable to meet standards can purchase credits from producers that have gone beyond the requirements, thereby creating incentive in the market for
year, shows the economic strength for moving to clean energy. The project will pay for itself in less than eight years. CCAT is working on a Community Energy Audit Program for local home and business owners who wish to lower their energy bills and identify energy-saving potentials. Welltrained students perform the audits while gaining real-world experience, spreading knowledge of energy efﬁciency. Beginning with the simple things, from our own homes, we can harvest the low hanging fruit, turn off the lights and write to our government representatives about the need for investing in renewable energy.
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Comments: (202) 456-1111 Switchboard: (202) 456-1414 FAX: (202) 456-2461 Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fax: (202) 228-3954 TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501 Senator Barbara Boxer 112 Hart Senate Ofﬁce Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3553 e-mail: http://www.senate.gov/~boxer Representative Mike Thompson 119 Cannon Ofﬁce Building Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-3311 Fax: (202) 225-4335 e-mail: http://www.house.gov Senator Dianne Feinstein United States Senate 331 Hart Senate Ofﬁce Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-3841 e-mail: http://www.senate.gov/~feinstein Armory Lovins: Rocky Mountain Institute www.rmi.org Schatz Energy Research Lab http://www.humboldt.edu/%7Eserc
The Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada is touted as the answer to our radioactive waste problems. It is an engineering challenge that’s far from being complete. Designing a “Any intelligent fool storage system that will last 10,000 can make things bigger, years is considerably complex. It’s also a multi-billion dollar endeavor, more complex, and more that requires trucking nuclear waste violent. It takes a touch on American highways and through of genius and a lot of our densely populated cities. With the capacity to store 70,000 metric tons, courage to move in the Yucca Mountain is not big enough to opposite direction.” handle all of the radioactive waste we E. F. Schumacher are currently sitting on.
What are the alternatives?
Some policy makers are pushing to build nuclear power plants with the capability to electrolyze water, thus producing hydrogen to power fuel cells. This is a deliberate act to confuse nuclear hydrogen as being “clean.” Essentially, hydrogen is an energy storage medium and in order to be renewable it must be derived from a renewable source. The Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC), a leader in fuel cell technology, advocates the use of solar photovoltaic, wind and hydropower to produce hydrogen. SERC makes it clear that meeting the renewable energy challenge requires more
companies to produce renewable energy. Unfortunately, attempts at making RPS a component of national energy policy have been purged from the current legislation.
The potential for a renewable energy future is not lost…
Progress is all around us. Solar panels on the roofs of neighborhood homes is becoming more common. Arcata, home of HSU, is currently undergoing energy-saving upgrades and installing a 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on City Hall with incentives from the California Energy Commission. The city, making this investment in such a tight budget
composting with worms
By Eddie Tanner, CCAT Co-Director ermiculture is a method of composting that uses worms to break down organic wastes into the richest organic topsoil on earth. The ﬁnished product can be used in the garden or in houseplants. For anyone producing a constant stream of kitchen wastes, it is a simple and practical composting method.
Vermicomposting bins are usually smaller than other compost bins, as worms don’t need much space to live. Depending on how much waste you need to compost, a bin can range in size from one to three feet square or larger. They do not smell when properly contained, so they can be conveniently kept indoors. Worms used in vermicomposting are small, red and have a much faster lifecycle than their large earthworm cousins. Red worms, often called manure worms, ﬂourish in a pure organic environment and don’t tend to migrate from the worm bin. Red worms survive in temperatures between 45-85°F, but prefer temperatures in the 60°s. This usually means keeping the bin in the shade during the summer and inside when the weather gets too cold. Worms can be found in old compost or manure piles, or purchased at some garden stores.
Worm Bin Trouble-Shooting
What’s the problem? The worms died Why is it happening? Bin is too hot Bin is too dry Material is too dense Population is too small What to do? Add less food waste at a time Water the bin Add more shredded paper Add less food or get a bigger bin
Worms not eating fast enough Too many ﬂies
Add thin layer of soil or ash
It smells putrid
Don’t add liquids. Instead, add shredded paper
Worm bins can be made with any sturdy rectangular container by punching many small holes in the bottom and sides for aeration. Be sure to ﬁt the bin with a tight lid. A user-friendly approach is to divide the bin into two or three sections, each with at least one square foot of surface area. Add fresh waste to one section —following the procedure below—until it’s full; then begin ﬁlling the next. Worms don’t have teeth, so make your food scraps small. Worm castings are harvested by digging out the oldest section. The worms in the ﬁnished compost can be returned to the bin. Castings can also be harvested by making the bottom of the bin out of 1/2" wire mesh. When the bottom of the mesh is tapped, the ﬁnished castings will fall out. It is helpful to place a tray under the bin to collect nutrientrich runoff. Place wine corks under the bin to allow excess liquid to ﬂow out freely.
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Homemade Worm Bin
Here is one simple way to make your own worm composting bin. Start with a large plastic container and punch many small holes in the sides and bottom. Secure lid not shown.
plastic divider with holes for worm passage
kitchen scrap layer
shredded paper & soil layer
plastic tray to collect excess liquid
wine corks for aeration
Diagram by Kyana Taillon
Using your Bin Homemade Worm Bin
1) Add a 6" layer of shredded paper mixed with a small amount of soil or ﬁnished compost. in the sides and bottom. Secure lid 2) Add compost worms (if not already present). not shown. 3) Add a thin 1-2" layer of food scraps. 4) Mix in an equal amount of shredded paper. 5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until bin is full. 6) Put un-composted material in a bucket. 7) Harvest ﬁnished compost from the bottom and retrieve any worms. 8) Add new bedding (shredded paper with some soil or compost). 9) Replace un-composted material into bin. 10) Repeat steps 3 through 5.
Start with a large plastic container and punch many small holes
Compost worms don’t like meat, dairy or citrus peels. Bread should be torn into small pieces and moistened.
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Designing with the Intelligence of Nature
This is not to say that construction is the sole cause of environmental damage or that current architecture and design practices don’t also have their triumphs. Rather, we need to re-evaluate the way our settlements interact with the environment, from resource extraction to decay, acknowledging all the embodied energy of the materials and methods used. We must question our practices to see if there are ways we can design our shelters and settlements developing concepts of conservation, regeneration and cumulative impact. Inspired by the philosophy of many Native American’s, we must make decisions with forethought of the effects these decisions will have on the next seven generations. I have noticed a movement continuing to spread from the counterculture catacombs to mainstream America. We are undergoing a resurgence of environmentally conscious design and construction as is evidenced in the growing ﬁelds of Ecological Design, Natural Building, Permaculture and Biomimicry. Water, energy, heating and cooling, food and waste cycling can all be met through ecologically integrated buildings and landscapes. Inspiration for such innovations primarily is derived from natural systems, but this is only part of the solution. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we must look not only to nature, but also to the experience and wisdom accumulated by the people who have lived with a close connection to the land since pre-historic times. By studying Native American architecture and settlement patterns, we can begin to explore how to treat the natural world as a relation and work with, rather than against, the ﬂows of nature. Native people had different
Dustin Jolley, CCAT project engineer, builds with bamboo. Photo by Bart Orlando
By Jeffrey Adams, Maintenentce
or centuries, native peoples have lived in a symbiotic relationship with the land on which they dwell. Intertwined with a close understanding of the ecology of place, native people adapted their survival patterns to the patterns and cycles found in nature. At the heart of Native American culture is an understanding of the connection between healthy people and a healthy environment. Out of this symbiosis settlement patterns emerged, designed for local weather conditions, and utilizing local resources.
Presently in America, we are experiencing a mainstreaming of the design and construction ﬁelds that utilizes a cut and paste methodology. Application of nearly identical building styles and construction materials is employed in many diverse bioregions. Little regard is given to the natural conditions acting upon a building or the origin of the building materials. Instead, ease of construction and bottom line proﬁts to the developers are paramount. Thoughtful design and material choice by the construction industry could greatly reduce ecological degradation.
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not only threaten the health of the planet, they threaten the health of those they are intended to shelter.”
Daniel Chiras, natural builder and author
For more information...
Chiras, Daniel The Natural House Nabokov, Peter Native American Architecture Gale Encyclopedia of North American Indians Van der Ryn, Sim Ecological Design Mollison, Bill. Permaculture Designers Manuel Benyus, Janine www.biomimicry.org List of books on natural buildng: www.rimjournal.com/mudhouse/ booktech.htm Solar Living Institute P.O. Box 836 Hopland, CA 95449 www.solarliving.com
Volunteers participate in straw bale construction
shelter locations and types that coincided with region, season, ceremony, and proximity to food and ﬁber resources. Variations in local climate and habitat are reﬂected in the wide diversity of Native American structures. Each settlement area had characteristics that made it uniquely adapted to the natural environment and the cultural practices of the people. For example, the Yurok of the Lower Klamath River region built semi-subterranean plank houses for the winter and more temporary shelters of willow saplings and pine boughs for summer and fall. By digging themselves into the ground 2-5� cold winter temperatures were mitigated by the thermal properties of the earth. The excavated earth was then mounded around the dwelling to further protect against chilling winds and internal heat loss. Planks of
redwood were used for the walls and roof because of their local availability and natural resistance to rot. Though commonly considered hunters and gatherers, Natives also actively manage their natural resources. Strategies such as coppicing, burning, and selective harvesting were employed to maintain the health and vigor of the natural environment while promoting abundance in the sources of their subsistence. These techniques were beneﬁcial to other species as well. Selective harvesting provided timber for use in buildings while opening up the forest canopy making more sun and water available to support a diversity of species. This increased the amount of forage for wildlife and humans. Coppicing is used to promote growth of saplings such as willow, which is used for wattle and daub construction, bent and lashed as a frame for domes and huts, woven
into basketry and used to make fences, drying racks, and more. All across North America and the world, there are examples of people who have adapted their dwelling and settlement designs to their bioregion out of necessity and practicality. In our age of globalization, we have the luxury of importing virtually anything from virtually anywhere and having somebody else do it for us. However, this is as much a burden as it is a beneﬁt. We have to ask ourselves, is it worth it? If so, on what scale? And, at what cost to the rest of humanity and the environment are we willing to build our shelters? There is a lot to think about and even more to learn, so we must start now if we hope to make changes for the sake of our descendants and our planet.
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By Krystal Rogers, CCAT Co-Director ree workshops, live music and good times were had by all at the second annual CCAT Week. The event was a success with over 300 visitors throughout the week, many of whom had never been to CCAT. The week began Monday, October 27 with nearly 80° temperatures with popcorn popping from CCAT’s parabolic solar cooker, and ended with cool 45° breezes, pumpkins and crazy costumes for Halloween. Guided tours were held daily, solar cooking was demonstrated in the afternoons, ﬁve to seven workshops were held daily and live music mingled throughout the week. All day, CCAT was buzzing with
The Second Annual
HSU students learn to knit at a workshop during CCAT Week.
Abel Kloster, CCAT’s vegetable gardener, gives an introduction to permaculture workshop. Photo by Bart Orlando
Jeff Adams, maintenance, conducts a rocket stove demonstration. Photo by Bart Orlando
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CCAT Week was created in the fall of 2002 to highlight the purpose of the CCAT organization and to give university students and community members a taste of what CCAT has to offer. Feel free to participate in these activities anytime: Workshops Weekly workshops are free and open to the public Tours CCAT holds free, guided tours weekly or you may take a selfguided tour anytime during business hours. Workdays On Friday afternoons, volunteers help make CCAT look beautiful and work on projects. Potlucks Every month, everyone is invited to share a meal at CCAT. Courses Receive credit at HSU by enrolling in classes taught at CCAT. Library Check out a book from CCAT’s extensive library collection.
Lumby, CCAT groundskeeper, shares the art of music during CCAT Week
popcorn munching, discussion, laughter, music, tours and dancing. CCAT Week provided a peaceful sanctuary to relax, a learning center to develop new skills, a hub to meet new people and a dancing ﬂoor to let loose. Halloween, the last day of the week, was a festive grand ﬁnale with massage therapy in the living room, thermal curtain making in the yurt, organic gardening outside, cooking with herbs in the kitchen and a live bluegrass band provided a knee-slappin’ good time in the backyard along with hula-hooping, pumpkin carving and a costume contest.
Visit CCAT’s website at www.humboldt.edu/~ccat or call (707) 826-3551 for more information.
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Bioneers Conference 2003:
Revolution from the Heart of Nature
By Kendra Cecil, CCAT Co-Director & JML, CCAT Groundskeeper
ho are the Bioneers?
Bioneers—a term coined to signify “biological pioneers”— is a non-proﬁt organization aimed at restoring the Earth and communities through the means of environmental programs and multimedia communications. Aiming to solve our environmental crises, Bioneers integrate social, political, cultural, ecological, medicinal and industrial solutions. Members of Bioneers come from all walks of life, strengthening and expanding the networks of environmental visionaries to bring together work based in social justice with the goal of a sustainable future. They embrace that everything in life is interconnected. In order to improve the environment, we must change the world, looking deep into the heart of nature to apply solutions that are condusive to all life.
pro-Earth, pro-justice faction imaginable gathered this October at the Marin Convention Center in San Rafael to take part in the annual Bioneers conference to offer progress reports, compare notes from the ﬁeld and absorb hope. The conference involved speakers from all over coming together to educate others about the solutions to our most difﬁcult environmental and social problems, emphasizing the difference one person can make. The success stories Bioneers shared with thousands of people gave hope to those striving for pro-social environmental change. So many speakers gave enlightening stories of courage and hope that their experiences can not be summed up. The educational experience of the Bioneers Conference is immeasurable. The inspiration that all of us from
What about the 2003 Conference?
The movers and shakers of every
CCAT obtained at the conference will encourage us throughout the year to strive to uphold the Bioneers’ mission as well as CCAT’s by educating the public about the importance of sustainable living. It is our hope that next year HSU can be one of the lucky universities around the nation to satellite broadcast the Bioneers Conference directly to the campus providing every student and community member access.
A few highlights from the conference:
~Maude Barlow, co-founder of the Blue Planet Project and the author of “Blue Gold: The Battle to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water” Clean water will be the oil of the future. Water is becoming a globalized market commodity for corporations to privatize and sell; making water a human need that can be used for proﬁt, instead of a human
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right. As the primary cause of death in most developing countries is overwhelmingly water-borne disease, waterrights are literally a life or death issue. Bottled water companies are backed by the World Bank and are gaining control of the world’s water resources. Little control over water rights if given to local communities in third world countries. www.canadians.org
~Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer who was sued by Monsanto when traces of their genetically modiﬁed corn contaminated his ﬁelds, ruining 50 years of selective breeding The damage the Canadian farm industry has suffered due to contamination is great, as Canada can no longer export any canola to the European Union. The lower courts ruled that regardless of how genetically modiﬁed genes ended up in his plants, Monsanto now owns said crops and any the products of ﬁelds with even a probability of contamination, creating a dangerous “Organisms have managed to do everything we want to do, without guzzling fossil fuels, polluting the planet or mortgaging their future. What better models could there be?”
break down PCBs and other extremely damaging and difﬁcult to remove environmental toxins. Other species of mushrooms: clean and kill E. coli bacteria from water, posses antiviral and anti-bacterial properties, build soil and biodiversity, break down highly-polluted soil, combat chemical weapons and can attract and kill insects. The endless solutions provided by mushrooms will be lost if we continue to destroy their habitat in old growth redwood forests. www.fungi.com ~Oren Lyons, a member of the Onondaga Council of Chiefs, author/ editor of “Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations and the U.S. Constitution” and one of the most respected indigenous leaders today The original democratic principles of this country were directly modeled after the Native American Council of Nations. It’s important to have unity between movements, making political decisions based on the health and welfare of future generations. ~Janine Benyus, a life sciences author with a background in forestry Biomimicry, a new approach to technology which mimics nature’s designs to solve problems, was described as an “innovation inspired by nature.” It is a science that respects nature for recognition of what works and what is appropriate by using the design of animals, plants and microbes to reinvent technology. We can learn how to harness energy, how to grow food, how to make materials, and how to conduct industry without taxing the environment. Biomimicry creates such solutions as: more efﬁcient solar cells inspired by leaf
structures, shatterproof ceramics from mother of pearl studding, more powerful ﬁber optics from the design of a ﬂower, and strong ﬁbers woven like spider webs with little energy input...and the list goes on. www.biomimicry.org ~David Suzuki claimed everything revolves around the biosphere and there is no division between humans and the environment—we are the very air and the water that have been here since the beginning of time. www.davidsuzuki.org ~Van Jones talked about the injustice of the social justice system and gave alternatives to the U.S. incarceration industry. www.ellabakercenter.org ~Devra Davis talked about the battle against pollution and the connection of pollution rates with the increase of cancer. www.whensmokeranlikewater.com ~Fred Kirschenmann talked about the problems with industrial agriculture and how to move toward sustainable agricultural methods. “Those societies that succeeded in the past are those who are ready to perceive future challenges and make changes to prepare for future needs,” he said. www.leopold.iastate.edu
precedent. Fortunatly, the Canadian Supreme Court has decided to hear the case in January 2004. www.percyschmeiser.com ~Paul Stamets, top mycological expert, author and preserver of mushroom species from Washington old-growth forests Bioremediation potential in the fungi world is incredible. Recent tests show that oyster mushrooms degrade hydrocarbons such as oil spills at an amazing rate, outperforming the ﬁeld’s top technologies. Certain species will
For more information about Bioneers, visit www.bioneers.org.
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Nature‘s solutions to every-day health
By Charles Heinberg, CCAT Tour Guide Coordinator hen I was eight years old, I was diagnosed with Attention Deﬁcit Hyperactivity Disorder. As a solution, doctors prescribed Ritalin, a mind-altering drug. This substance, which has chemical properties similar to speed, is supposed to have a calming effect on ADHD patients. Over a period of a decade, this drug caused me to feel out of control, fuzzy-minded and slow. Ritalin was not only the wrong biological solution for me, but the wrong social solution, as well. As a result, the past years I’ve spent dedicating my time to ﬁnding naturally-occuring solutions to my health concerns. I learned that peppermint and passionﬂower are calming agents that helped me focus. I was inspired to seek out herbal alternatives to conventional medicine. Here are some of nature’s solutions to common ailments.
Preventative medicine works the best. Parsley, bananas, pecans, avocados, wheat germ and greens will supply the proper amount of vitamins and minerals to your diet. Lots of antioxidants, vitamin C and beta carotene are beneﬁcial anti-inﬂamatories. Ginger is also a powerful anti-inﬂammatory agent. Recent studies have found that leeches may reduce arthritis pain and stiffness. You can also try stinging the affected area with stinging nettles, but please do this at your own risk!
Bad Breath: Powder some cloves, apply to toothbrush and let the
magic begin. Cloves also make a great rinse when you steep about six of them in four cups of water. Chewing on mint or fennel is also a nice afterdinner pallet cleanser.
Body Odor: Dilute lavendar, tea-tree or peppermint oil with water
and apply to the underarms and highly affected areas. Applying apple cider vinegar changes the pH levels, inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Sage tea reportedly reduces overall sweating.
Foot Follies: For fungus, apply fresh aloe juice to the affected area twice daily. Apple cider vinegar is
also an antifungal agent. Soak feet in a solution containing one part water and one part cider or just apply the cider with a cotton ball, being careful to get between toes. For odor, steep cinnamon bark in water for about 45 minutes and give your feet a refreshing soak. For blisters, soak the affected area with a wet black or green tea bag. The powerful tannins in these teas are also good alleviations to foot odor. For corns, grind licorice sticks with mustard or sesame oil until you have a paste you can apply and cover with a bandage.
Hangovers: Drink lots of water to get the body re-hydrated. Ideally, you’ll do this the night before,
preventing a hangover in the morning. B-vitamins will also help metabolize leftover alcohol. Try to eat as much nutritious food as you can force down.
Mouth, Teeth and Gums: Brushing and ﬂossing twice a day is essential to proper dental
hygiene. If you lose a ﬁlling and you can’t immediately get to a dentist, ball up a little beeswax and mold it into the tooth. For toothaches, place a whole clove inbetween cheek and tooth and chew as much as possible. Apply the open side of a slice of onion to an infection for antibacterial action. Green and black teas also make great mouth rinses since they contain tannic acid, an antibacterial agent.
Warts: Slice garlic thinly, place and tape over the wart, replacing once a day. Wrap affected area in duct
tape to smother the wart.
16 AT Transfer
By Katie Harbaugh, AT Transfer Co-Editor e are on Wiyot land. The Wiyot along with the Hupa, Yurok, Klamath, Kuruk, Tolowa, Chilula, and Whilkut are the original inhabitants of Humboldt County. For thousands of years North Coast tribes have developed physically, culturally, and spiritually with the land. At CCAT we strive to foster community, derived from a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle. These goals cannot be achieved without the inclusion of indigenous peoples. In the interest of being appropriate, we must look to the wisdom of indigenous cultural practice as an excellent model to guide our own social and technological endeavors. If we are to become a community of higher consciousness it is essential we bridge the gap with our neighbors. I highly encourage Humboldt residents to actively acquaint themselves with the history, current actions and people of our neighboring tribes.
The Circle Of Life
A poem by Larry Kibby, Wiyot Nation
Oh Great Spirit, Of the Indian People, Hear my words For they are words that come From the heart, soul and mind. Oh Great Spirit, Be my mind Be my eyes Be my ears Be my heart Be my soul Be within me So that I may walk With dignity and pride. Oh Great Spirit, Of the Indian People, Know of me. For I am of your people. I am Indian, An Indian of the Circle of Life A prisoner of War In my own Land! Oh Great Spirit, Of the Indian people, Hear my words For they are for you. They are of you. You are my way of Life In the Circle of Life.
For more information: Wiyot Nation 1000 Wiyot Dr. Loleta, CA 95551 Phone: (707) 733-5055 1(800) 388-7633 Fax: (707) 733-5601 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wiyot.com
Garret McSorely, Krystal Rogers and Charles Heinberg proudly sport CCAT 25th anniversary t-shirts
CCAT Co-Directors, Krystal Rogers, Eddie Tanner and Kendra Cecil
AT Transfer 17
HSU Energy Independence Fund:
A Responsible Solution to Our Energy Problems
By Krystal Rogers, CCAT Co-Director s a result of the energy crisis higher education is suffering statewide. Currently students pay more for less. This profoundly affects the quality of education each student receives. Students now experience an increase in class size and a decrease in faculty and courses.
The HSU Energy Independence Fund (HEIF) offers a tangible solution to this problem by ensuring that students won’t cover future costs of irresponsible energy management. HSU will become energy self-reliant by implementing renewable energy technologies like photovoltaic Eddie Tanner, CCAT Co-Director, demonstrates pedal power grid inter-tied systems to produce its Photo by Toni Carnelli own electricity. Additionally, the HEIF will fund renovation of existing facilities with energy conservation upgrades. A student initiated $10 per student per semester fee will create the Fund. Money from energy savings will go toward other HEIF projects. The HEIF offers students numerous opportunities to gain real world experience. The Fund is designed to integrate and implement student projects from a variety of majors. Also, outside matching grants will be sought by students to reduce the fee duration. Students will feel a sense of pride and empowerment knowing they are contributing to not only a healthier environment, but also to a higher quality education and an increased reputation for HSU. CCAT is one of the few places on HSU campus that still offers unequaled opportunities for students to gain real life experience doing hands-on projects despite signiﬁcant budget cuts. Similarly, the HSU Energy Independence Fund will offer students opportunities to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom. If approved by the Student Fee Advisory Commitee, a student referendum will be held for the HEIF spring semester as part of the Associated Students general election. If passed and approved by the president and the chancellor, the HEIF will go into effect fall semester 2004. Project proposals would be accepted for review by the HEIF student majority board as soon as summer 2004 and initial projects could be implemented Spring 2005.
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Turning a New Leaf
By Eddie Tanner, CCAT Co-Director Thinking about my time at CCAT, my mind ﬁlls with the images of the people I’ve shared this space with. I see people smiling and relaxing, people sharing knowledge, eyes ﬁlled with wonder at the possibility of a healthier society, and others moving fast to actualize their visions. I think about the thousands who have visited CCAT in the last year, and I know that many of these people have been inspired by what they’ve seen. We at CCAT reach out to promote an ecological and equitable society, but it is all of us together that will take charge and make it happen. Many people come to CCAT not realizing that an easy alternative to our wasteful lifestyle has been thriving here for over 25 years. Many of them leave wondering why, in all this time, this alternative has not become the mainstream. Why do we so commonly see such a gap between our values and our practice? Why do we lack the will to change? I feel like we are constantly led to believe that our individual actions are insigniﬁcant on the whole. Yet, if there’s one thing that my time at CCAT has conﬁrmed, it’s that this belief is untrue. When I leave CCAT I will work hard to keep my values in practice, and I encourage others to do the same. I want to give thanks to Holly and April, to Kendra and Krystal, to Jared and Garrett, to Molly, and to the countless other employees and volunteers, past and present, who have put their beliefs into action at CCAT and have inspired me to keep at it!
By Garret McSorley, CCAT Groundskeeper The Campus Center for Appropriate Technology has become the center of my education at Humboldt State University, and soon it will become my home. I am honored and excited to be a part of CCAT. The CCAT house is to be moved about seventy-ﬁve feet down the hill to a new foundation during my time as a co-director. I am committed to keeping the CCAT program running strong during this transition. From my experience here I know it will be a successful community effort. I grew up in southern Orange County. I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo my ﬁrst three years of college, majoring in mathematics. Drawn by the beautiful North Coast and its reputation as an environmental and socially responsible campus, I transferred to HSU as an art major in 2001. I soon switched to environmental science and was captured by the interdisciplinary, hands on learning opportunities at CCAT. I follow a long line of hard-working co-directors, including Eddie Tanner, an inspiring individual who has helped me in preparing for this position. It’s wonderful to be working with people of all different majors and backgrounds, all teaching each other with the common goal of creating healthy communities.
Please come up to CCAT and visit us!
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Campus Center for Appropriate Technology CCAT, HSU Arcata, CA 95521
Non-Proﬁt Org U.S. Postage PAID PERMIT No. 78 Arcata, CA 95521
Get Involved In Your Community
Arcata Educational Farm
Support local, organic, sustainable agriculture at the Arcata Educational Farm (AEF). AEF provides fresh fruits and vegetables to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Farmer’s Market customers. AEF is a student run 1.6-acre organic farm located in Arcata’s Bayside Park. Classes are offered through HSU. Drop by the Farm anytime, volunteers are always welcome: head down Bayside just after the roundabout; turn left at the purple sign. Phone:(707) 825-1777
Wild Urban Gardeners
Wild Urban Gardeners is a community agriculture group promoting the cultivation of native plant species, edibles, and organic gardens as an alternative to resource intensive lawns. Learn to depave your property, start composts, grow your own food and share in the tool lending library. For more information e-mail Wild Urban Gardeners at email@example.com.
Redwood Peace & Justice Center
The RPJC is a non-proﬁt community program dedicated to fostering peace and justice via community involvement. Space and resources are available to local organizations and community members to aid in the advancement of social, and environmental justice. To get involved stop by the RPJC Monday through Saturday 12-6, 1040 H St., Arcata. Phone: (707) 826-2511, www.rpjc.net
Library Bike Program
The Library Bike Program utilizes a check out system in which community members rent used restored bikes for $20. Money is refunded upon return of bike. Workshops and classes are offered in bicycle maintenance. Check bikes out in a variety of locations in Arcata, such as Wildberries Marketplace on G and 13th Street in Arcata. For more information call Bill at (707) 822-3759.
Kendra Cecil, CCAT Co-Director
Northcoast Environmental Center
The NEC is a non-proﬁt group at the forefront of the Northcoast environmental movement. Their monthly publication ECONEWS documents local and national environmental matters and events. For More Information visit the NEC at 575 H St. in Arcata. Phone: (707) 822-6918, www.necandeconews.to.
Youth Educational Services
Y.E.S. supports Humboldt State University students in creating and implementing volunteer programs, which provide service to community members in need. Visit the Y.E.S. house on campus at House 91, Humboldt State University. Phone: (707) 826-4965. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org