A lot of plastic is being burnt in Latvia

People in the world. Please share this information, so that at some point it reaches European Commission or other European institution upon which the Republic of Latvia is dependent as a member state of EU.

There is really a lot of trash burning in Latvia. Mostly it is plastic. Individuals burn in their yards. Enterprises burn in their areas and facilities. Government is not acting enough. Only clean PET and HDPE bottles are accepted as recyclable plastic. There is no deposit system for accepting used bottles in exchange for coins. There is no additional tax for plastic packaged goods. There is not enough action to collect plastic in the environment. Is there no European Regulation that obliges member states to reduce landfill and emissions?

I propose that EU member states that do not have a well operating waste management and recycling system receive less emission quotes and are forbidden to sell their emission quotes.

Click here to see an article with photos on major plastic fire in Latvia.

LETA article. Dangerous fire in Jurmala started at illegal waste dump

Dumpsite fire sends choking smoke over Latvia’s seaside resort

 

Posted in Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alūksne region was one step away from having an ecovillage and alternative (knowledge balanced with skills) school

Education system of Latvia is suffering from encyclopedic type of education – mostly we learn only to read and write. Such education system has resulted in unbearable bureaucracy culture in Latvia. There is a lot of office workers and very little craftsmen and engineers. Read’n write education phenomena has pushed forwards different alternative education movements – homeschooling movement, private schools and parents NGO based schools. Such names as Montessori and Steiner became widely known. I, too, have dreamed of participating in creation and maintanence of such school or at least that my children could attend it. A few months ago this dream was very close to come true.

Group of young people from Riga lead by Raimonds Celms and Anita Mitriķe, members of Give and Get NGO were searching for a place to start their own school and ecovillage somewhere in Latvia. They traveled this country and examined abandoned schools until they ended up in Alūksne region small settlement Mārkalne. It just had it’s school closed. They started negotiations with municipality and in the beginning they seemed to receive support. They were almost granted the building with 4 hectares of land.

At the same time they published announcements in local newspapers to invite locals to participate in creation of the school. It was my happy day, when I read it.

4 km away from school I own some 30 ha of land, where I dream of creating an ecovillage, where people from all the world could meet to share or improve their ecological skills. This ecovillage would be a community of those who gather money and seek for his or her own piece of land in order to make an organic or permaculture farm. Life in this ecovillage would be free of charge to give people maximum opportunities to save money for their own land. Impressed by Pope Francis encyclical letter “Laudato Si”, I even thought of option that this could be a christian or even catholic community, however that would narrow my opportunities to attract ecological people from outside of church.

When I found out about Raimonds and Anita, I could not believe it. My dreams of ecocommunity in Alūksne region were coming true. If they succeed, that would mean a lot of young people moving in this area. Not just young people, but ecologically aware individuals. I felt like I was teleported to another reality. It seemed so impossible and unbelievable.

And impossible it unfortunately was. Municipality changed their mind and offered only a small part of the building. 3rd floor would be some appartments, 2nd floor – the school, 1st floor – library, dance corner, canteen and doctor’s cabinet. Municipality did not believe that creation of alternative school had any financial basis. Well, they are right, of course, because starting ecocommunity does not produce as much money as craft works, vegetables and fruits. But, well, it is hard to believe that something is possible without money. However I suspect that some locals had their own plans towards the building.

Raimonds and Anita are now searching for a new place with more friendly welcome. But they will need support anyway. If you wish to support them, please, find them on facebook and write them.

As for me. Life returned to it’s previous state. I herd my sheep and continue to pick up plastic and other trash all around while meditating on creation of ecovillage here. Cow gave birth in march, now we have our own milk and a second cow.

Posted in Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beauty of old apple trees

One day I heard a terrible crashing noise behind my house. I went to take a look and discovered that an old apple tree collapsed. I don’t know the age of this tree nor the breed. What a pity. You can’t buy these apples with at least hundred years old taste. Apple trees of this breed are also unavailable because it takes ten years for old breed trees to start to give their first fruits. Alright. Here it is, down on the ground. And the first thought on my mind is to go and get the chainsaw to clean up the yard. But something inside me said “Wait! You have other business more urgent than that.” So I left the tree alone.

After two years this tree, even though parallel to the ground, gave its next harvest. And you know what? It is very convenient to pick up apples in such case.

So. If you have an apple tree accident in your yard, then pay respect to the old tree and spare it. See if it is still connected to the roots. If it is, it will still live a few years longer.

How long is it going to last? I don’t know yet. Tree is still alive. I will write here, when it dries out.

One more experiment to conduct is that if I bury some branches to the ground, they are supposed to give new sprouts. That means new trees of the same breed can be created. And these old breeds are lost. Almost. Let us hope it will be a success.

Posted in Organic Food, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to extend operational life of garden solar lamps

Most of my garden lamps I did not buy. I found them in the trash during my one-euro-job times. Apparently people threw them out as soon as they did not work. But these lamps are very easy to fix. Most important and most fragile element of this lamp is a battery, usually NiMh, size AA or AAA. In low temperatures and with little winter light this battery simply might lose functionality. Battery is easy to replace which might completely renew the lamp. However it is possible to use an old trick to revive the battery. I am sure you have an AA or AAA charger for your camera batteries. Use it to fully charge the garden lamp battery, then insert it back and cover the solar elements to see if it worked. If not, try another battery or check the wires.  Please, do not throw out these lamps, because the batteries they contain (and plastic details) are degrading the environment.

img_5996

 

 

Posted in Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to start the fire in the oven or stove with less or no paper

I often heard people say “I am trying to be ecological. Instead of throwing out the paper, I burn it in the oven.” This is of course the worst example of ecology. We should not burn paper, but give it to recycling instead. If we burn paper, we produce CO2. But if paper is recycled, then it means less demand for more trees to be cut.

Of course. Some paper is necessary to start the fire. Traditionally though people used wood shavings. Nowadays you may not have time to make them or it might simply be not convenient. What are the options then?

Birch bark. You may find it in large quantities in places where birch forest was cut with harvester machine. Having birch bark at home helps to disinfect the air.

Hot coals. This is possible in larger homes with more than one oven. If you already had fire in other oven or stove. Take a metal shovel and carry some coals to the next. First put some firewood, then hot coals, then more firewood on top. Help the fire by blowing. Beware not to drop the coals on the floor. If you like alcohol, don’t use this method.

Cold coals. It is also possible to start the fire with cold coals. Use your hand to catch some coals from the ashes from previous burning. Using only a match might be too little, so a small piece of paper (A5 size) will help a lot. This method will require a lot of blowing. You have to blow as soon as the paper starts to burn to direct the flame on to the coals. 20161214_101459.jpg

So bring the paper to the blue (color may vary in different countries) container and enjoy the trees around.

Posted in Natural materials | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer for Standing Rock

Introduction (see the end of article for prayer itself):

I always believed in a power of prayer. I admit, it depends on a person. Be it muscle strength or strength of a prayer, it is about practice, how strong you get. This is the way established by God, the creator of universe and, if there is nothing good left in it, annihilator.

I follow the struggle of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against corporate greed in United States, where oil enterprises plan to build an oil pipe through the homeland of these people. I believe, the reason why the pipe cannot be planned left or right away from this sacred land is greed of investors. Oil industry pollutes everything where it is starting from mining site and ending with an exhaust pipe of your car.

I live in Latvia, far away from Standing Rock, and I cannot attend events taking place there now. I cannot afford to call the officials of the United States to express my opinion. I can only give up driving a car, give up plastic goods or goods packaged in plastic, I can give up synthetic clothes, because they are made of oil. I can give up food that is grown using nitrogen fertilizer, which is made using natural gas from oil drilling sites. But there is one thing that I can do on their request.

I can pray together with people of Standing Rock for Mother Earth and for clean water.

Here is a link to Standing Rock prayer announcement of December 11 prayer event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1877139975850233/

I would like to publish my prayer here. I understand that this is against teachings of Christ, that religious practice should not be a showoff. But I would like to make exception. I think that if someone reads my prayer, it might receive extra strength. Jesus Christ told on the other hand, that his followers should be the light of  the Earth. And the light should not be placed under a table, but rather be on a table, so that all room could be enlightened. I do not pray for a new motorbike, career development or miraculous healing of my illnesses. I pray for common good and the good of the Supreme Creators work results, so I believe, it can be open. Here is my prayer. Please, read it and pay attention to the current events at Standing Rock. Take action, if you can.

Dear God, the Supreme Creator and Annihilator of universe, the One above my understanding. You created this Mother Earth and life on it. You govern it and you are the Supreme Lord here just as anywhere else in universe. You gave us wisdom how to live and take care of life on Earth. I pray to You to pay attention to what is Yours, for Your magnificent work of creation on this Earth is gradually defiled and destroyed by people of greed and desire. Humanity is obsessed with burning “the blood of serpents”. People learned to extract crude oil from deep under the ground. There is invisible force that supports the spread of use of items made of crude oil. People dress in serpent blood (polyester, polyamide garments) and even grow food out of it (nitrogen and sulfur fertilizer, pesticides). Crude oil gives individuals great power to destroy. I pray to You to protect life on Earth by creating obstacles for crude oil industry. I pray to You for decline of its rule on Your Earth. I especially pray to You to bless people of Sioux tribe, who are now protesting building of an oil pipe in their homeland at Standing Rock. You gave this land to their ancestors long time ago and they keep it to this day with respect to life You have created and put there. This is the way they obey You and show respect to You. Give them your strength and send Your Watchers and Your Holy Spirit to help them protect the water, that is essential to all life, from pollution that will result from building a crude oil pipe. You have once prevented the towers of Babylon to be built. Now it is time for oil pipes and all industry. Show the power of Your rule and give us hope that you have not abandoned people devoted to You. I am awaiting for life without crude oil. Life thriving, simple and humble, where the only notable power is You, Lord.

Posted in Sermons, Church, Faith | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to make hay without tractor on 30 ha of land. Cutting grass – harvesting direct payments. 2016.

This article is about how I made hay on 30 ha small farm without tractor.

It is quite difficult to start a farm in Latvia. There is an invisible political force which does not want you to do anything on your land. Reasons are simple – they want your share of EU direct payments. They will like that you don’t do anything with your land, which means there are less people to divide EU payments among. And big farms will love if you sell or rent your land to them, so that they could have your share of EU payments. EU payments are indeed important now, during times of declining population, that is, shrinking market.

Continue reading

Posted in Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment