| Dec 7, 2017
Building capacity & developing sustainability
German visitors welcomed by the local choir
Our Environmental Training Center is almost ready! The main walls are up, the windows and doors are in place and the elaborate solar/pellet integrated heating system is keeping it from freezing. We’re deeply grateful for all the support we received along the way from you this year, whether in the form of a message shared, a prayer or a donation, every contribution was much appreciated!
But the work does not stop here. In fact, the main job of developing the project and increasing the Eco-Center’s capacity is only starting. Till now the Center has been slowly building local capacities in the village: there are more people growing food ecologically in Riscova, 3 of our local workers were recruited for the summer to help build an eco-home in Romania and there is a newly registered local NGO, focused on sustainable rural development.
But the big question is how to make the Environmental Training Center even more sustainable. Here are a few ideas on our mind:
- Responsible water usage – water-saving shower heads, composting waterless toilets, rainwater collection and drip irrigation are just a few steps we took towards saving precious drinking water.
- Energy efficiency – passive solar design and two solar water panels are aiding our heating system, thermal mass floor and well-insulated walls help maintain that heat, LED lights allow us to use less electricity. Next we’d like to install solar electric panels once we fundraise for them.
- Using primarily local resources helps us reduce the Eco-Center's environmental footprint
- Lowering operational and maintenance costs – our energy efficient design will ensure smaller heating and electrical bills, our garden already started providing fruits & vegetables, thus reducing the costs of our training events.
- Diversifying sources of income – in addition to crowdfunding we’re attracting funds through grants, social investors and income generating activities, like hosting training events for businesses and other NGOs.
- More and more people know about the Environmental Training Center from participating in our training events, simply visiting or reading about it in mass media. We’ve noticed a growing community of people practicing more sustainable lifestyle (growing food ecologically, building eco-houses, using bicycles for transportation, etc.)
- Our Center triggers other community development initiatives: a local NGO was created in the village in August, local library introduced an innovative service – solar fruit drying, local school started a plastic recycling program and more individuals fixed up their homes, opening them to host training participants.
- Building individual capacities – our Center benefits from the knowledge, skills and energy brought to the project by staff, local and international volunteers, but it also provides opportunities for growth and learning. This year our core team doubled and we hope to engage and train more people to expand the Center’s capacity next year.
We’d love to hear your ideas on increasing this project’s sustainability and we count on your support in 2018, because we can only succeed thanks to partners like you!
Floor heating is more efficient in large spaces
ActivEco participants planning to green up spaces
Students discover DIY solar dehydrators
Raw vegan lunch for BFC Company on their retreat
Training Center construction progress