Mar 15, 2016

Toilets + SOIL = <3

SOIL celebrated two of our favorite holidays recently: World Toilet Day and World Soil Day. To us, toilets and soil go together like peas in a pod. Many of you know that SOIL uses the natural processes of ecological sanitation in order to transform toilet waste into nutrient rich compost, as shown in the EcoSan Cycle graphic.

ecosan.engThe SOIL Poop LoopSOIL EcoSan cycleHere in Haiti, we celebrated World Toilet Day as a platform to spread the word about Ecological Sanitation. We had a large crowd of over 300 people join us for an event that included DJs, government officials from the Ministry of Public Health, and a theater troupe known as Twoup Djabolo.

Afterwards, we visited a women’s group that invited us to celebrate the day with them. With around 80 participants, we reflected on the theme “Every house with a toilet!” and watched a short film about cholera. Me Daniel Jean-Jacques, an EkoLakay household toilet client, gave a testimony about the importance of toilets. She told the group, “in our neighborhood, there are a lot of problems with sanitation. People don’t have toilets and so they defecate wherever they can, such as in an abandoned house or a plastic bag that they throw out, or by the sea. I thank SOIL for helping this community with the EkoLakay service because it makes an impact on health. It’s important that we participate by telling our neighbors to sign up for an EkoLakay toilet.”

Although the subject matter was serious, we also enjoyed moments of lighthearted fun with the Twoup Djabolo. And of course, no SOIL event is complete without Algate, our Hygiene Promoter, singing her popular EkoLakay song.

SOIL World Toilet Day celebration in Haiti

While we were busy at these events in Haiti, you were celebrating World Toilet Day with us from abroad! We so appreciate the #Unselfies that you shared on social media in order to spread the world about World Toilet Day and SOIL. Our staff also contributed with the reasons that they are grateful for their EcoSan toilets. 

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s World Toilet Day and World Soil Day very special for SOIL.

Dec 1, 2015

SOIL Wins the 2015 Water and Food Aid Award

Harvesting beets grown in SOIL compost
Harvesting beets grown in SOIL compost

We are pleased to announce that SOIL is a winner of the 2016 Humanitarian Water and Food Award! Founded in Denmark in 2008, the WAF Award promotes global best practices in water and food security initiatives.

With billions around the world still relying on water sources that are polluted by human wastes, and declining soil fertility disrupting global agricultural productivity, we still have a long way to go – but we’re excited that more and more people are learning about the power of Ecological Sanitation to address these problems.

Thank you for supporting SOIL's work in Haiti to strengthen sustainable agriculture production in Haiti. Without the support of people like you we would not be able to do the work that we do.

Test plots of peanuts at the SOIL farm
Test plots of peanuts at the SOIL farm
Preparing fields for an onion experiment
Preparing fields for an onion experiment

Links:

Nov 24, 2015

P-a-P's Got a Brand New Bag*

Old (left) vs. New (right) Compost Bags
Old (left) vs. New (right) Compost Bags

My apologies to the late great James Brown

Here in Port-au-Prince, our customers love Konpòs Lakay – in fact we recently sold out our stock yet again – but there is one regular complaint we were getting: What is with that bag? It’s true. For a product that is all about restoring health to the earth, made by an organization full of people who truly love the environment, it sure had unfortunate packaging. The 5-gallon plastic bags were thin and tore easily, so they were difficult – if not impossible – to reuse. Since our waste treatment site is inside the Port-au-Prince city dump, we know firsthand how terrible it is to send more plastic bags to the landfill. Even aside from the environmental impact, there wasn’t much to love about the packaging. The tiny (yet expensive) sticker didn’t leave us much room for helpful information. Furthermore, our customers aren’t used to calculating in gallons for agricultural products, so determining how many sacks they’d want to order frequently involved a lot of extra math. As with all things SOIL, we did plenty of research, testing, and planning, and now we’re finally ready to debut our new packaging! These new bags are:

  • More eco-friendly: the woven polypropylene bags are made from recycled plastic, are durable and reusable, and can even be re-recycled.
  • More Informative: the bag has helpful nutrient information and usage guidelines right on the label.
  • Bigger: the new bags now match other fertilizer/soil amendment packaging on the market, both in units (weight) and sizes (20-lb and 40-lb).

We’re pretty excited about them, and we think our customers will be, too! And even with all of these upgrades, there’s one thing hasn’t changed: rich, organic compost that’s rebuilding the health of Haiti’s soils!

Port-au-Prince SOIL team shows off the new bags
Port-au-Prince SOIL team shows off the new bags
Compost in the sunlight
Compost in the sunlight
Growing peanuts at the SOIL experimental farm
Growing peanuts at the SOIL experimental farm

Links:

 
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