Posts Tagged ‘environmental friendliness’

When I arrived at Jiwa Damai the pressing issue of a lack of infrastructure to manage the large amounts of waste now being produced here in Bali, was quickly brought to the forefront.  My initial exposure to this was on my first beach walk from Legian to Seminyak when I noted trash scattered beneath my feet.  I was informed here that common practices of disposing trash include dumping it into the rivers or local waterways, burning the trash (plastics included releasing toxic chemicals into the air) or simply creating a trash pile in the backyard.  Each of these methods have both environmental and personal health implications that will surely grow worse as production here tries to keep up with mass amounts of visitors like myself.

In an effort to begin addressing this issue, our host here at Jiwa Damai has begun a program to educate locals in the village of Mambal on the hazards of the current methods utilized for trash disposal.  As well, the volunteers and interns here at Jiwa maintain a weekly schedule of picking up trash from the river that runs through this beautiful property.

Kristin McMaster and Daniel Schweizer getting ready to pick up trash in the river

Kristin McMaster picking up trash, the bag filled up quickly

Like many systemic problems, this one will take time and collaborative efforts to resolve.   For me, it was important to be exposed to a place like Jiwa where I could become a participant in the solution rather than just taking a backseat, as is easy to do when you are just a visitor.

Collection of bags from previous trips along the riverbeds

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Here at Jiwa Damai, we are currently in the process of adding to the retreat center with the construction of two Balinese lumbungs. A type of traditional Balinese housing, lumbungs are small, two-story bamboo huts that are open to nature. Ours sit on the hillside and have a scenic overlook to the jungle and swimming pool.

Lumbung construction

The first floor has of the lumbung will feature a couch, living area and patio with large hammock. The second story is a bedroom. The lumbungs are for guests who want to be closer to nature. Here, you will be sleeping open to hum of cicadas, singing of frogs and croak of the gecko. The patio provides a perfect place for meditation and yoga.

In our efforts to be the forerunners in environmental friendliness and to pioneer energy efficiency in Bali, we have installed a BioPro, bio septic tank for the lumbungs. We considered a solar water heater but ultimately decided that it was not worthwhile – too many rainy days here! Our bio tank is one of only two pieces available on the island.

Bio tank

The pipe runs, as pictured, from the lumbung bathroom into the bio tank. From there it goes through a treatment process. Clean, recyled water flows out at the other side.

Connecting the pipes of the bio tank

The outflow of the tank will be used to water the upper garden. This will be particularly useful during the dry season, when every drop of water counts.

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