Plenty Canada has completed Year 1 of its Greenbelt Foundation funded project entitled Nbwaakaawining binjibaamgad Gkendmaawziwin (Wisdom from Knowledge): Documenting and Sharing the Indigenous Biocultural Richness of the Greenbelt. In partnership with Guelph University and allegiance with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Indigenous knowledge and Western science were used to identify and assess the presence and status of Indigenous plants within Ontario’s Greenbelt. The work involved conducting comprehensive Indigenous ethnobotanical research and biodiversity surveys at 23 sites, analyzing a total of 69 plots, along historic Indigenous trails within the Greenbelt.
The primary goal of the project was to begin restoring Indigenous knowledge, visibility and character to the Greenbelt as an important Indigenous cultural landscape within Ontario. The project has four Activities to be executed over two to three years:
• Research and completion of an ethnobotanical survey of culturally significant plants in the Greenbelt, including medicinal trees and plants (where deemed culturally appropriate and safe) and Indigenous foods and uses in the Greenbelt, e.g., spring ephemerals, summer berries, fruits and vegetables, autumn nuts, roots, and mushrooms.
• The technical adaptation of Plenty Canada’s existing prototype interactive digital map of the Niagara Escarpment to cover the entire Greenbelt region. In using this established platform, which has been developed in consultation with numerous Indigenous advisors over the past several years, the Greenbelt Indigenous plant survey will indicate areas and ethnobotanical plant knowledge and information, and will receive its own name and identity that will be activated during Year 2.
• The development of a pedagogical strategy that utilizes the Indigenous biocultural mapping content to appropriately process and share Indigenous histories, knowledge, and stories of the Greenbelt in ways that will make learning accessible, interesting, enjoyable, and purposeful. Place-based learning, sometimes called pedagogy of place, has gained ascension in teaching practices and educational curricula for its immersive and experiential qualities that connect students to local heritage, cultures, landscapes, ecosystems, and experiences that serve as a foundation for understanding Indigenous histories and scientific knowledge.
• The production of an ethnoecological Indigenous plant field guide in both digital and print publication formats to enhance and support cross-cultural training for the public with particular attention paid to the membership of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance in forging and sustaining partnerships with the Indigenous peoples of the Greenbelt. The web platform will be entitled the Greenbelt Indigenous Botanical Survey and the print product will be named the Greenbelt Indigenous Botanical Field Guide.
Some of the outcomes of this project, prior to publication, are the development and facilitation of relationships between Indigenous knowledge holders and conservation organizations in the Greenbelt. These relationships are significant and burgeoning. The team’s ethnobotanical, archival and field research provides evidence that the Greenbelt is an important Indigenous cultural and biological landscape, and has been, for thousands of years. Thus our project aim and methods are to demonstrate the Greenbelt’s cultural and ecological necessity to southern Ontario, as a landscape that provides critical biodiversity and ecosystem services, but is also a beautiful and accessible public good across cultures, which can be enjoyed and cared for by everyone.
Learning cultural relationships with these landscapes helps empower people to know, appreciate, and protect them. As well, the data we have collected far supersedes the amount we will use. For example, more than one thousand herbaria specimens collected by the team will be useful, for years and years after this project, in demonstrating the plant biodiversity of the Greenbelt. In addition, all of the gathered ethnobotanical and archival data gathered from museum collections is shared among the Indigenous cultural educators on the project, who can in turn use it for their pedagogy.
Our publications, the field guide and digital atlas, will be broadly accessible and aesthetically beautiful productions for the public to use, to engage in place-based learning when they travel to locations throughout the Greenbelt.
We intend for these works to be ready for publication by December 2023. It is also worth noting that some of the sites the team surveyed are in close proximity to areas proposed in Bill 23 to be removed from protection within the Greenbelt (Boyd Conservation Area, two blocks from Vaughan North of Teston Road and East of Pine Valley Drive; Dundas Valley Conservation area in Hamilton, two blocks from development south of Garner road West, between Fiddler’s Green Road and Shaver Road). Thus, the project has generated current data from this year, on plant and tree species diversity and richness of those protected areas.
— Tim Johnson, Jessica Dolan, Yu Zhao (Mia) Ni
Foremost in the minds of the board members of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network is protecting the sanctity of ecosystems that harbour species at risk and advancing conservation ethics and practice. As the grassroots and community-based organization that maintains UNESCO’s mandate and designation of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Region, the Network strives to enlighten and inspire everyone to help preserve the biodiversity of life present along one of Canada’s most magnificent landforms.
Plenty Canada, with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, is working to nurture and develop the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network. Since its first public launch event held at The Brown Homestead in April of this year, with a second event held at Cape Croker Park in May, the organization has worked diligently to establish a highly credentialed board of directors and identify its operational and program objectives.
Operationally, as a UNESCO biosphere region, the Network has positioned itself at the leading edge of creating an Indigenous co-governance model that both imbeds and ensures that Indigenous leadership and participation are structurally built into the organization. For example, the president and chair of the organization is Patrick Robson, a professor of Environmental Studies at Niagara College. The vice president and vice chair is Charlene Winger-Jones, a water walker and environmental activist from Neyaashiinigamiing (Land Surrounded By Water). The Board includes other Indigenous members and specialists with expertise ranging from municipal government, biology, and community planning to education, conservation, and more.
Cognizant that the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere houses nearly a quarter of Canada’s species at risk, where organizations and landowners require support, encouragement, and sometimes guidance to ensure their continued commitment to conservation, the Network is currently collaborating with partners to ensure that varied ecosystems are valued. This includes considerations around gathering data and information to develop maps, information sheets, and signage that connect the public to sensitive and precious environmental areas. Increasing public awareness regarding the importance of biodiversity and its conservation along the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere is critical. It is envisioned that information sheets will also discuss other aspects such as the role the Biosphere plays in climate regulation and the importance of trees and green infrastructure as expressions of climate action.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived there has been an increase in visitors to the Bruce Trail and adjacent side trails and parks. However, most people don’t necessarily understand the importance of the Biosphere for conservation and the rich biodiversity it contains. The Biosphere is home to many endangered or threatened species including the Jefferson Salamander, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, the Southern Flying-squirrel, and the Eastern Pipistrelle bat. Unfortunately, very little signage and information is available along these trails and parks to inform visitors when they are walking through sensitive areas. Furthermore, most people are not aware that they are visiting a UNESCO biosphere region with a core zone; over 76 percent of the Niagara Escarpment being protected for its biodiversity. Considering the pressures for urbanisation and agricultural expansion, it is urgent to improve the awareness of people to better protect these regions that contain a high level of biodiversity, including several species at risk.
These efforts were all brought to the fore during a Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network conference session held at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines in September. The event featured officials of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network and representatives of network organizations explaining the importance of preserving the Niagara Escarpment. They included Gimaa Kwe Veronica Smith from the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, Chief Executive Officer of the Bruce Trail Conservancy Michael McDonald, Network board members Patrick Robson, Tim Johnson, Liette Vasseur, Larry McDermott, Mark Zelinski, Walter Sendzik (then St. Catharines Mayor), and Victoria Serda. Others included Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton, Niagara Parks Senior Executive Steve Barnhart, and tourism specialist Michael Hallé. The presentations and conversations were deep and extensive. In an effort to address profound and increasing environmental challenges, a program also featured stunning never-seen-before photography and aerial and drone video of the Niagara Escarpment by Mark Zelinski.
Among a range of other activities underway, the Network is conducting reviews and beginning research for the next Periodic Review of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Region. These reviews take place every ten years and are required for the maintenance of UNESCO’s biosphere designation.
— Tim Johnson, Bradley May, Liette Vasseur
Healing Gardens Work Advances
In collaboration with Bruce Trail Conservancy, Forest Ontario, and Indigenous partners, Plenty Canada has identified the locations for two new Indigenous Healing Gardens.
Healing Gardens, also known as Healing Places, are havens used to meaningfully engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in a restorative process, creating physical places of healing while at the same time cultivating safe and ethical spaces. They are intended to provide spatial experiences defined by natural elements that convey Indigenous principles and teachings and nurture a healing process of reconciliation.
The identification of the new garden locations took place over a two-day assessment trip during which the team visited five sites along the Bruce Trail recommended by Brian Popelier, land stewardship coordinator and ecologist for the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
The first day of travelling took place in the southern region of Ontario. The group comprised two from Plenty Canada, two from the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network, and three from the Bruce Trail Conservancy. The locations visited included Fisher’s Pond, Smokey Hollow, and a section of the Bruce Trail called Woodend Meadows, located near Niagara College.
By the end of the day it became clear which area best suited a Healing Garden. The southern Healing Garden is planned to be located along the Bruce Trail at Smokey Hollow in Waterdown. Our group greatly enjoyed the contours and surroundings of that space, relaxing to the wind blowing through the tall Indigenous grasses while picturing how the land looked and felt like an amphitheatre.
On the second day, the group of seven became eight as a member from Forests Ontario, Emily Hart, joined the contingent. The group travelled to Cape Chin and a meadowland called Vanishing Stream, located near Colpoy’s Bay. Upon assessment everyone in the group agreed that the northern Healing Garden location be that of Cape Chin, which includes a stunning outcrop view of nearly pristine shoreline along Georgian Bay. Not only is the location secluded from bustling city or suburban life, but visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic view of crystal teal waters.
Our group became immediately impressed and in awe of our surroundings. It felt like we had been transported into a place we could all call home. There is the potential added bonus of a house on the property, which could provide support for local Indigenous partners and a space for further Indigenous programming for youth, but plans for the home have yet to be finalized by the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
Both Healing Gardens will help connect Ontario's northern and southern regions. The gardens will provide many programming opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth and provide inspirational spaces for all who visit. The process now turns toward assembling appropriate members from the participating organizations and identifying Indigenous advisors from each of the regions to provide cultural and curatorial guidance. Through this process conceptual content will be determined, Indigenous plants selected, designs considered and approved, and resources procured with installation to begin in 2023.
— Amanda Harwood
Shooting for Net Zero at the Makwa Inn
Amidst the recent discussions about housing prices and housing availability within Ontario and throughout Canada, it is easy to blindly support the construction of new developments to increase the amount of housing available, ignoring the opportunity to redevelop and renew our existing and thriving neighborhoods to accept more people. Rather than developing new land into sprawling suburbs, we need to renovate and densify existing housing to allow for truly sustainable neighborhoods.
When considering starting a sustainable renovation project, it can be daunting to learn about the many aspects that feed into the broader concept of sustainability. These include health, comfort, durability, energy consumption, embodied carbon, and recycled content to name but a few. However, in every case, it begins with a general mindset towards sustainability and one can commence their project by making many small and interconnected choices. It is important to remember that sustainability is about the journey travelled and not a destination, there is no absolute, only a series of relative choices.
As part of the sustainability upgrades of the Plenty Canada property and developing the Plenty Canada CampUs, we took on finishing and revitalizing the Makwa Inn (Bear Inn) to create a community focused multi-use space in which we will run activities and programming organized and hosted by Plenty Canada. This space also serves as a demonstration project for the community to see, learn about, and experience sustainable and energy efficient construction techniques, materials, and equipment.
The Makwa Inn was originally constructed in the 1980s, but never fully finished. The plan was to complete small upgrades, similar to those performed on Plenty Canada's main office building envelope; namely a new weather resistive barrier (WRB), additional exterior insulation, new windows, and new siding. After some discussion and consultation with local experienced high-performance builders and our energy advisor for the project, it was determined that with some extra effort, the right contractors, and carefully selected materials we could achieve the additional performance targets set by the Canadian Home Builders Association’s Net Zero Renovation labeling program. This would allow us to go through the entire Net Zero Renovation process, document each step, and later showcase the process to guests and visitors, hoping to inspire their own renovations and retrofits and serve as a resource for those pursuing their own projects.
The Net Zero standard is based on achieving an EnerGuide rating of 0. The EnerGuide system was developed by the Government of Canada to rate the energy performance of homes to be able to compare their relative performance and provide a meaningful basis of comparison. To get an EnerGuide label for your home, a registered energy advisor needs to visit your residence, where they will take measurements to determine its square footage, wall perimeter, and volume, and then investigate its construction, generally considering the amount of insulation throughout the enclosed space. Finally, they will use a blower door device to measure the air tightness of the structure. All the information gathered is entered into a software program to generate a model of the home’s performance, yielding an estimate of the number of gigajoules (GJ) consumed per year. Inherent to the model is a base load consumed by the occupants of the house, with the remainder consumed by the space conditioning and domestic hot water systems. By improving the envelope of the structure and selecting high efficiency mechanical units we can reduce the energy consumed by the home to the point where a solar array can generate enough energy to balance out the energy consumed. By achieving Net Zero with our renovation, we hope that more people are inspired as they pursue their own home performance upgrades.
— Kasper Gruszczynski and Aaron Wood-Lyons
Indigenous Languages Gain Support
The Department of Canadian Heritage has awarded Plenty Canada a grant to support our efforts to reclaim, revitalize, and strengthen Indigenous languages. This grant will build on our work last year when we held several cross-cultural and language workshops on topics such as transportation, canoe-building, traditional hunting, and foods. We also provided online Algonquin language lessons.
Each of the project components is focused on advancing Indigenous languages including Anishinàbemiwin (Algonquin), Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), Kanienʼkéha (Mohawk), and Inuktitut and other Inuit languages, as well as the vast knowledges and cultures of these diverse communities, strengthening the capacity of Plenty Canada to deliver ongoing programs and developing relationships that will further reconciliation efforts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
With this grant, Plenty Canada also plans to add more destination sites to The Great Niagara Escarpment Indigenous Cultural Map, a multimedia online prototype resource containing stunning photography, captivating video, and contextual information that identifies important Indigenous historic, cultural, and natural world locations along more than 750 kilometres from Niagara Falls to the western region of Manitoulin Island. Indigenous language sites that are in Kanien’kéha, Anishinaabemowin, and Michif are already implemented into the program, so this is an exciting opportunity to add more.
We aim to create positive momentum for the acceptance of languages that were once prevalent on the landscape in southern Ontario and which have developed a presence in more recent years (e.g., Inuktitut). We aim to connect land-based learning with language, in the spirit of ginawaydaganuc, the Algonquin way of saying "we are all connected". As we develop our program schedule, we hope you will join us for one of our cross-cultural workshops or a language lessons. Please stay tuned for more details.
— Deb Pella Keen
NEBN Bill 23 Official Statement
The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network maintains UNESCO’s mandate and designation of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere
The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere represents an extensive stretch of forested land in south-central Ontario which includes two major biomes, boreal needleleaf forests and temperate broadleaf forests. The Biosphere remains one of Ontario’s most scenic landscapes and offers a mix of both natural and urban environments. The main goals of the Biosphere are to preserve the region’s ecological diversity, to encourage stakeholders to use sustainable practices, and to uphold socio-cultural relationships through educational programs and tourism.
Proposed Bill 23’s erosion of the Greenbelt, which intersects the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere from Niagara to Tobermory, is effectively an attack on biodiversity and on the capacity of our natural areas and farmlands to provide ecosystem benefits, human physical and mental health benefits, and in this time of food insecurity, the ability to feed ourselves. If we learned one thing from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the best prevention for future recurrence is biodiversity and people's ability to immerse themselves in open spaces.
Through UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme, biosphere regions are established to cover internationally designated areas that are “meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature” and promote sustainable development. Biosphere regions contain three zones. These include Core Areas, which comprise strictly protected lands that conserve landscapes, ecosystems, and species and genetic variation; Buffer Zones, that surround Core Areas and are intended for activities compatible with sustainable ecological practice; and Transition Areas, that are intended to foster sustainable economic activities.
Ontario’s proposed Bill 23 presents a clear and present threat to the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere.
The partners in our network are diverse and include sectors ranging from conservation trusts, to environmental organizations, to conservation authorities, to colleges and universities, to municipalities, to Indigenous nations, organizations, and groups, to sustainable businesses, to non-governmental organizations, and more, representing populations within Ontario that possess credentialed knowledge and the healthy human empathy required to provide responsible solutions to housing needs. All seek to maintain their agency and voice and to be respectively heard in responding to the singular strategy that Bill 23 represents.
While several important sectors have been publicly muted, meaning some of the leading experts in conservation are being prevented from sharing their knowledge and insights, sitting in silence as the green and conservation lands previously believed to be protected are placed in jeopardy, numerous questions arise.
For example, what data or intel does the province have to suggest that allowing development in currently, and appropriately, protected lands is good public policy or good land use planning? Has the process included sound science including the traditional knowledge and perspectives of Indigenous peoples? Why does the legislation essentially eviscerate municipal, ie. community, authority over the manner and means by which local people define and shape their towns and quality of life? Has it assessed, for example, standing Indigenous land claims, treaty rights, and unceded territory recognition, or is the province leading development speculators and the public purse into protracted conflicts?
We agree that the provision of adequate and affordable housing is of vital importance. But destroying long-established conserved and protected lands in pursuit of that objective is neither a sensible, nor honourable, nor appropriate option. A thorough public process that allows for conscientious dialogue and consideration of creative options to protect biodiversity, and that provides adequate time for fulsome assessment and discourse, is one we would support.
Plenty Canada is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Karen Beckwith, our financial coordinator. She served Plenty Canada for over 13 years.
For all that time, Karen had been a fiercely dedicated employee and friend of ours, keeping the financials in order throughout years of miscellaneous projects, grants, renovations, and everything else a non-profit like ours requires to keep going. She was with us from a time of relatively small budgets to a period of fantastic growth, and steadfastly navigated through all the challenges that come with that growth. Throughout it all, Karen always felt like she knew exactly what was going on—she was the first person you could go to if you had questions about anything at all, the truest friend to our organization we could ask for.
Right up to the end, despite her waning health, Karen was committed to Plenty. She did everything in her power to pass on her vast store of knowledge and information to us, especially to her good friend Bonnie Ennis.
Of course, she will also be remembered as a kind and hilarious wife, mother, grandmother and friend. We won't just miss her dedication around the office, of course—we'll miss her razor-sharp wit, her sense of humour, her patience and generosity.
We'll miss her greatly, for all these reasons and more. She was truly irreplaceable. Thank you for everything, Karen.
Greetings From Plenty Canada
I realize that, at this point, bringing up the climate crisis is like beating a dead horse. But at the end of the day, I always like to take this opportunity to talk about the issues that are closest to my mind and heart at the moment, and after the summer we've had it'd be impossible not to circle back to this topic.
A devastating heat wave in England, a country so accustomed to mild weather that homes aren't properly insulated and air conditioned to protect from soaring temperatures.
Severe flooding throughout the entirety of Midwestern United States, after St. Louis broke its 1915 record for the most rainfall in a 24-hour span.
Even to the most casual observer, climate change is no longer a theoretical phenomenon—it is a lived reality.
Now, more than ever, we must truly think about what it means to take personal responsibility for this crisis. Yes, I realize that the environmental impact of your average individual pales in comparison to the average corporation (and those corporations should absolutely be held accountable), but our response to climate change should address every level of our existence, both the personal and the political.
I've tried my best over the years to practice what I preach in this regard. I live, and have lived for many decades, on a 500-acre nature preserve, a place where natural resources are constantly recovered (this means that the wood furnace that heats my home only uses sustainable resources). I also have a well for drinking water, generate our electricity with solar panels, and continue to live in a 170-year-old log house.
To me, these are all simply prerequisites for being a climate leader in my community and throughout Canada. I feel that it is my responsibility to use my personal experiences with sustainability to help make Plenty Canada even more carbon negative, and to position our organization as a leader among similar groups.
Almost all of our new programs further these goals, our various food sovereignty projects, our initiatives helping species at risk, the studies we have conducted on the American Eel, etc. They contribute to our overall vision for sustainability: the notion that carbon neutrality and environmental advocacy should be the norm for every organization going into these next few decades—not just NGOs (non-governmental organizations), but for profit-making businesses as well! On the local, national, and international levels we should all pool our knowledge and create new modes of living that prioritize every living being on Earth.
This two-pronged approach, combining personal responsibility with social cooperation, absolutely cannot wait for some arbitrary time in the future. The time to act is now. But you don't need me to tell you that, do you? This summer, the evidence is more undeniable than ever. Let's just hope that the people who continue to deny the worrying effects of climate change finally wake up and join us in our efforts.
Chi Miigwech. Niá:wen. Merci. Thank you.
Tsundzukani Daycare Center - New Classroom Project - South Africa - August 2022
The New Classroom project at the Tsundzukani Daycare Center is now successfully complete. Ms. Nyango and staff are delighted with their new building and can't wait to have it soon filled with approximately 30 students to attend their classes. This is a great project for the Mashangaan and Bapedi community of Acornoek and the village's elders are very pleased with the development taking place at the Daycare Center where a lot of their children attend their first years of school.
The technical implementation was carried out successfully once more by the Vulavula Construction team as it went smoothly and on schedule despite the out-of-season rain falls this year, which interrupted our work several times. We also brought in two local friends for assisting the construction team with basic labor such as digging foundations, moving of building materials, etc. This is also part of our on-the-job training program through which we offer an opportunity to these local potential artisans to advance their building skills and earn much needed cash. These Mashangaan and Bapedi youngsters, men and women, are starved of opportunities and therefore are highly motivated to work hard and learn more skills. According to the latest official Labor Force Survey in 2022, the unemployment rate is around 32.6 percent. Approximately 55.5 percent (30.3 million people) of the population is living in poverty while a total of 13.8 million people (25 percent) are experiencing food poverty. As of 2021, an individual living in South Africa with less than R 890 Rands per month (roughly) is considered poor. Consumer prices are up 9 percent in June 2022, the largest increase in 40 years and fuel prices rose by 33.2 percent in twelve months.
In conclusion Nyango and all Tsundzukani staff are again very grateful to Plenty Canada and the Canadian donors for the financial and technical assistance provided so far to the Center. Plenty Canada has funded its entire water and sanitation systems, irrigation to its vegetable garden and orchard, the complete upgrade of the Center's kitchen, and now the new classroom. The next important development project of the Center will be the construction of a resource center, and we are currently busy pricing it so that we can provide Plenty Canada with a detailed project proposal.
— Mwana Bermudes
Plenty Canada is currently developing an innovative water and waste management system at its head office location in Lanark, Ontario. We are seeking to incorporate and integrate methods and technologies into the renovation of our “Makwa Inn” multipurpose space that will reduce consumption of potable water, reuse both water and nutrients, as well as release the used water in both a sanitary and ecologically sound way. We are viewing both water and nutrients as part of a cycle that should be cared for and designed to be resilient.
As mentioned in a previous installment of this water and wastewater management series, heavily populated rural areas experience many of the same concerns around nutrification of natural water courses as urban populations do. The minimum standards for home-scale sewage systems such as septic fields or buried trenches do not remove most nutrients from the water we are releasing, and these nutrients end up in our waterways. Cottage country around lakes release large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into groundwater and when this filters into lakes it creates algae blooms and habitat loss for marine life by starving the water of oxygen. The alternative to septic fields is storing water and having a truck come pump it out.
There are a variety of advanced on-site wastewater treatment products available, such as the Waterloo Biofilter, Ecoflo, and SystemO)) Enviro-Septic which can reduce the footprint of a septic system as well as convert and remove nutrients from our wastes. There are also alternative methods such as constructed wetlands which use the natural processes of wetland plants to absorb contaminants and treat water. All these systems rely on creating aerobic (or oxygen rich) environments that encourage the proliferation of aerobic bacteria which (similar to composting which also relies on aerobic bacteria) convert ammonia to nitrates and starve out harmful bacteria.
There are also new water recycling technologies which reuse greywater (all of a home’s water other than from toilets). Systems such as the Hydraloop and Greyter greywater recycling systems collect and treat water from showers and laundry to be used as water to flush toilets, wash laundry, irrigate gardens, or fill pools. The Hydraloop uses no filters and relies on alternative physical methods and biological processes to treat the water through a series of steps, finally passing through a UV light. The use of one of these systems reduce a home’s water consumption by up to 50% (depending on use) and avoids using potable water to flush our wastes.
Plenty Canada will be incorporating greywater recycling to reduce water demand as well as explore the potential of constructed wetlands or another advanced treatment system to treat the water coming from the “Makwa Inn.”
The combination of rainwater collection, efficient faucets and appliances, greywater recycling and reuse, composting systems, and ecologically sound release of used water into the environment integrate to create a circular system that does not take from the land but in fact creates value to the surrounding environment. Taken as a whole, these methods and technologies create a long lasting and resilient system that works together with natural processes. Resiliency is the ability to adapt and rely on oneself through a changing world.
Plenty Canada is incorporating these technologies to educate the public on issues surround human water use, as well as to create a template or inspiration for other buildings and communities to copy our plans. We will make the plans available to the public and encourage anyone who wishes to incorporate similar technologies to share freely.
— Garrett Johnson