Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scientific ways to counteract Global Warming

  1. Mitigation. Mitigation of global warming involves taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation is effective at avoiding warming, but not at rapidly reversing it. Building insulation, fluorescent lighting, and public transportation are some of the most common examples of mitigation. For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Mitigation of global warming.
  2. Adaptation. Adaptation to global warming consists of ways to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems against actual or expected climate change effects. David King says that "adaptation to global warming is inevitable as it is unlikely that levels of greenhouse gases can be kept low enough to avoid a projected temperature rise of 2 °C". Because of the current and projected climate disruption precipitated by high levels of greenhouse gas emissions by the industrialized nations, adaptation is a necessary strategy at all scales to complement climate change mitigation efforts because we cannot be sure that all climate change can be mitigated. For example, increased use of artificial snow-making in the European Alps, adaptation is also anticipating future climate change, such as the construction of the Confederation Bridge in Canada at a higher elevation to take into account the effect of future sea-level rise on ship clearance under the bridge . For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Adaptation to global warming.
  3. Geoengineering. The modern concept of geoengineering is usually taken to mean proposals to deliberately manipulate the Earth's climate to counteract the effects of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. To date, no large-scale geoengineering projects have been undertaken. The National Academy of Sciences defined geoengineering as "options that would involve large-scale engineering of our environment in order to combat or counteract the effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry". Examples of this include reducing the amount of sunlight hitting the Earth, removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and limiting Arctic sea ice loss. For more about this, visit this Wikipedia site; Geoengineering.

Another sustainable building product

I was browsing the web today when I saw a link to a site called "Nycon GreenBuilding Materials so I followed it up and here's what it said:
"As a structural material, Nycon's reinforcing fibers allow products to withstand the forces of nature for decades. Now, with NyconG fibers, your products are kinder to nature than ever before. In addition to superior three-dimensional fiber reinforcement, NyconG provides an environmentally sound choice for globally responsible, truly sustainable construction.Proven effective in countless applications, NyconG fibers are made from 100% recycled nylon from reclaimed carpet. For years little has been done with carpet waste besides throwing it away. Today, thanks to an advanced patented technology (U.S. Patent #6,971,784, other US and foreign patents pending), Nycon "harvests" carpet waste, much like an agricultural asset. Carpet once taken to landfills is now a resource for producing our proprietary, high-value reinforcing fibers. And more than just conserving landfill space, recycling carpet saves water and reduces carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.Along with outstanding performance properties at reduced cost, NyconG fibers provide a further incentive to "go green" : They facilitate the process of obtaining project certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Program, as well as provide tax credits to architects and owners."Green" is not a cliché and climate change is serious business. Everybody and everything can make a difference in the Green Revolution, and Nycon is committed to making a difference. We do this by reducing our reliance on scarce resources, extending the useful life of our reinforcing products--and now, with environmentally friendly NyconG fibers, reducing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and landfill waste".
There is, of course a lot more about it, so to view the full thing, CLICK HERE.

Footprint Diary #3

This post is the third in a series, and to view the previous two follow the links below:
Footprint Diary #1
Footprint Diary #2
As it is still the school holidays, there is still not much that I can do to improve my goal of biking to school as often as I can.
The amount of waste that goes into landfills from my house has been reduced by probably about a shopping bag, and there is now a lot more air in the rubbish bag we put out to be collected.
My shower times have continued to grow smaller and my hot water use has been drastically reduced.

Why we need to be sustainable (Argument Writing)

Does the world need to be sustainable? Is the Pope a Catholic? In a word, yes, definitely or absolutely would be appropriate. Sustainability is a vital part of this world’s survival, and if the trees keep getting cut down, pollution being pumped into the atmosphere, and natural resources exploited, then there won’t be any earth left to live on. Research shows that there could have once been rivers and water masses on Mars, or even life forms. Now it is known for being a big red desert that couldn’t sustain a life form. No-one knows what happened on Mars, but I hope that the same doesn’t happen to Earth because of Global Warming.
One of the primary reasons to be sustainable is the trees; if we humans keep cutting the trees down to create paper, because it is all being wasted, then the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in the air are going to keep rising. Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and then release Oxygen (O2) back into the atmosphere. This (at least partly) counters the emissions produced by humans, factories, cars, etc, and with the number of all these rising, we need trees more than ever. So why is it that trees are getting chopped down right when we need them the most? It is because of people who think that Global Warming will never affect them, and are not recycling their paper waste.
Another great reason for being sustainable is that if we keep polluting, then disastrous things will happen to the environment. Already, Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to a called the “Arctic Climate Impact Assessment”. Air pollution can cause very bad things to happen; aerosol sprays such as hair spray (or chlorofluorocarbons) can cause the Ozone layer to thin and get holes in it, this will increase the chances of us getting skin cancer (or melanoma) from being in the sun. For more about air pollution, see THIS SITE. Also, Greenhouse Gases will trap all the Sun’s heat on Earth, and cause the polar ice caps to melt and the world to become unbearably hot. To understand this better, follow THIS LINK. Greenhouse Gases are caused by burning natural resources, and that brings me into my last point.
The Earth’s natural resources take thousands (or even millions) of years to form, and us humans have evolved and come along and dug the Oil, Petrol, Diesel, Coal, and more up and just burned it like there’s no tomorrow (which, of course, there won’t be if we keep polluting the way we are). If we keep doing this, the fumes from the burning are going to pollute the atmosphere, and in turn, cause Global Warming. Secondly, those same fumes are going to cause major health issues for those who are stuck near, or working with, the fumes. And thirdly, if we keep burning the Earth's fossil fuels, then aside from ruining the environment, creating health hazards, and causing Global Warming*, burning them means that there will be no petrol, diesel, LPG, coal, or any of the other fossil fuels left for the next generation, and the generation after them. So I think that everyone should experience stuff, and the people of the future are going to miss out on this if we don't stop soon.
Likely side-effects of the Global Warming include melting of sea-ice (the Arctic especially affected), expansion of deserts, rainforests and forests growing smaller, increases in the intensity and regularity of extreme weather events such as tornadoes and flash floods, more species of animals going extinct, and many more. As I have mentioned, if we are not sustainable we will cut down all the trees and pay for it with our Oxygen, Global Warming and it’s by-products will destroy the environment, and the burning of natural resources will also cause major grief for the entire planet’s eco-system. So for all these reasons and also many more, we should be as sustainable as we can, else the past of our planet be in vain, the present a waste of time, and the future almost non-existent. There are simple ways to change, such as recycling and reusing paper and plastic, but also more scientific ways, such as Mitigation (the reduction of greenhouse gas release, though it would take centuries to work effectively), Adaptation (which involves various measures that range from installation of air-conditioning to abandoning cities and towns threatened by sea rise), and finally Geoengineering (pretty much just changing the Earth’s natural environment to suit us, like removing carbon and carbon dioxide from our atmosphere).

Monday, July 13, 2009

About Global Warming

See the following video for a simple explanation of Global Warming:


N.B. Contains slight violence and futuristic themes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Footprint Diary #2

To reduce my Carbon Footprint, I have set myself goals. To see these goals, follow this link:
Footprint Diary #1
I haven't had a chance to improve on the first goal, as it is now the holidays, but I have been walking almost everywhere I go, and started biking to school before I set the actual goal, so yeah.
My second goal has been improved apon almost as much as it can be, because I am doing as much as I can with the amount of influence that I have over my family's groceries.
And as for the last goal, I now have a timer that I use to decrease the amount of time I spend in the shower to save hot water and electricity.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Footprint Diary #1

We were supposed to start a diary of how we are improving our ecological footprint on the earth a while ago, but I missed the session so I am starting mine now.
I want to decrease my ecological footprint by firstly, biking to school no matter whether the weather is nice, or whether the weather is bad. Secondly, I want to recycle all my recyclables and not be lazy and just put them in the bin, also buy less non-recyclables in the first place. Thirdly, I want to take shorter showers to conserve electricity and power.
I guess that that's about the end of this post...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Three reasons to be sustainable

These are three reasons to be sustainable:
  1. Because if you waste paper and stuff made from trees, then they will all be cut down. This will mean that they won't be able to turn Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into Oxygen (O2), and then we will all die because there is no Oxygen in the atmosphere.
  2. If we don't stop polluting the atmosphere, then the Ozone layer will get thinner, and the hole in it will get bigger. This will allow more heat from the Sun to get in, and the Green-house gases will keep the heat in, so this will cause Global Warming*.
  3. The Earth's natural resources take thousands (or even millions) of years to form, and then we humans are just burning them like there is no tomorrow. Firstly, if we keep doing this, it will contribute greatly to Global Warming*. Secondly, the fumes from burning it are going to cause major health issues for those who are stuck near, or with, the fumes. And thirdly, if we keep burning the Earth's fossil fuels, then aside from ruining the environment, creating health hazards, and causing Global Warming*, burning them means that there will be no petrol, diesel, LPG, coal, or any of the other fossil fuels left for the next generation, and the generation after them. So I think that everyone should experience stuff, and the people of the future are going to miss out on this if we don't stop soon.

We can stop all of this, and much more, by making our lives more sustainable, and helping the environment by doing the most that we can towards a cleaner, greener Earth.

*This says Wikipedia on Global Warming: Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zork Planet

I found a cool website (with absolutely no help from Mr Woody [shifty eyes]). It is called "It's the Planet, Didiot". It is a bit weird, and it is filled with strange green people, but it is also very useful when it comes to being green (just like this guy:
It's not working, will be inserted soon)
Here is an interesting article off the website:
Which machine creates the most air pollution per hour of operation: the typical car, or gasoline-powered lawn mower?
A single two-stroke engine such as those found in lawnmowers produces pollution equivalent to that of 30 to 50 four-stroke automobiles.
The EPA estimates that one hour of operation by a 70-horsepower two-stroke motor emits the same amount of hydrocarbon pollution as driving 5,000 miles in a modern automobile!
The two-stroke motor, found on 75 percent of all boats and personal watercraft (jet skis), generates 1.1 billion pounds of hydrocarbon emissions each year.
Every year, marine two-stroke motors spill 15 times more oil and fuel into waterways than did the Exxon Valdez.
Two-stroke engines are highly inefficient users of fuel: up to 40 percent of the fuel and oil goes out of the exhaust pipe unburned. This exhaust is packed with oxides of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, hydrocarbons and fine dust - all toxic contributors to air pollution.
The 2-stroke engine emits significant amount of particulate matter (PM), un-burnt hydrocarbons (HC), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx).
It is estimated that particulate emissions from a single 2-stroke motorcycle is comparable to those from a diesel truck or bus.
The following machines typically use two-stroke engines:
Gasoline-powered landscaping equipment such as lawnmowers and trimmers
Many outboard motors
Chain saws
Leaf blowers
Some snowmobiles
Smaller motorcycles
Posted by Rebecca on April 14, 2009 at 8:52pm

Told you it was interesting!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kris Wilson

The other day an architect came in to talk to us about sustainable architecture. His name was Kris, and he works for Design House Architecture ltd. (Click here to view their site). He told us about all the waste created, and the energy and resources used on a building site (See slide 2). He told us all about what a sustainable home should have (See slide 3). After that he showed us some examples of sustainable buildings (See slides 4-8), and an example that he designed on Google Sketchup (See slides 9-15). Then the last slide is about all who can be sustainable, and etc...
HEHEHE!!!! I finally learnt how to upload powerpoint presentations on to the Internet and from there on to Blogger!!!!!

Joe + Clement

The other day two university students came in to talk to us about sustainability and worm farming and stuff. They were part of SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise). SIFE students' vision statement is “To create sustainable outreach projects that make a positive difference in the community”. They did an activity with us using an apple. The apple represented the surface area of the earth, and the skin represented the area of land that we were able to grow food on. First they cut the apple into quarters, and took one. This represented the surface of the earth that wasn't sea. Next, they cut that quarter into another four quarters. This was because of the mountains, the rocky bits, the too hot or cold bits, and finally, the bits that we could grow food on (1/16). But they didn't stop there, we humans have built on and polluted some of this area, so he cut it in half again. This astounded me. There is only 1/32 of the world that we are able to grow food on, and it needs to support the whole globe!!!!
I do not believe that this is entirely accurate, because things can be grown almost anywhere in a hydroponic place, or artificial conditions. Stuff could also be grown on a volcanic slope, or many other places.
They also showed us a bunch of other stuff, including how much of the contents of our bin could be recycled, or put in a worm farm/compost bin. That's about all I'm gonna right for now, but I'll post again soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dangerous dangers in the bush

Fear - For anyone faced with a wilderness emergency survival situation, fear is a normal reaction. Unless an emergency situation has been anticipated, fear is generally followed by panic then pain, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, boredom and loneliness. It is extremely important to calmly assess the situation and not allow these seven enemies to interfere with your survival.

Pain - Pain may often be ignored in a panic situation. Remember to deal with injuries immediately before they become even more serious.

Cold - Cold lowers the ability to think, numbing the body and reducing the will to survive. Never allow yourself to stop moving or to fall asleep unless adequately sheltered.

Thirst - Dehydration is a common enemy in an emergency situation and must not be ignored. It can dull your mind, causing you to overlook important survival information.

Hunger - Hunger is dangerous but seldom deadly. It may reduce your ability to think logically and increase your susceptibility to the effects of cold, pain and fear.

Fatigue - Fatigue is unavoidable in any situation so it is best to keep in mind that it can and will lower your mental ability. Remember that in an emergency situation this is often the bodies way of escaping a difficult situation.

Boredom & Loneliness - These enemies are quite often unanticipated and may lower the mind's ability to deal with the situation.

Stuff you need

Here is a bunch of stuff that you will be VERY likely to need in the bush (or on the Matai Islands)

A small shelter which is insulated from the bottom, protected from wind and snow and contains a fire is extremely important in wilderness survival. Before building your shelter be sure that the surrounding area provides the materials needed to build a good fire, a good water source and shelter from the wind.

Clothing must provide warmth and offer protection from the elements. Layers of light, natural fibers are best. Hats are a must, as they offer protection from both the heat and cold. Water proof outer layers are necessary.

Equipment must be easily manageable and promote survival in any situation. Items to carry in your pockets may include a fire starter, waterproof matches and/or lighter, a pocket knife, goggles, compass, small first-aid kit and some sort of trail food.

Survival Kit
Items for your survival kit should be packed in a waterproof container that can double as a cooking pot and water receptacle and be attached to your belt.

In addition to a survival kit, a good, comfortable backpack is mandatory. Loads of about 18 kg (40 lb.) are average. Items to include are; flashlight, extra jacket, socks and mittens, a pocket saw, gas camp stove, first aid kit, emergency food, and a tent and fly.


Useful items to include on your hike are:

. A map and compass.

2. A large, bright plastic bag will be useful as a shelter, signaling device or in lieu of raingear.

. A flashlight with extra batteries.

. Extra water and food.

. Extra clothing such as raingear, a toque and gloves, a sweater and pants.

. Sun protection such as sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and long sleeved clothing.

. A sharp pocket knife.

. Waterproof matches, a lighter and/or a flint.

. Candles and fire starter.

. A first aid kit.

. A whistle, flares, a tarp.

How to build a fire in the bush

Here are some tips:
1. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches are your best bet. Matches may be water-proofed by dipping them in nail polish. Store your matches in a waterproof container.

2. A cigarette lighter is also a good way to produce a spark, with or without fuel.

3. The flint and steel method is one of the oldest and most reliable methods in fire starting. Aim the sparks at a pile of dry tinder to produce a fire.

4. The electric spark produced from a battery will ignite a gasoline dampened rag.
5. Remove half of the powder from a bullet and pour it into the tinder. Next place a rag in the cartridge case of the gun and fire. The rag should ignite and then may be placed into the tinder.
6. Allow the suns rays to pass through a magnifying glass onto the tinder.
Dry grass, paper or cloth lint, gasoline-soaked rags and dry bark are all forms of tinder. Place your tinder in a small pile resembling a tepee with the driest pieces at the bottom. Use a fire starter or strip of pitch if it is available.

It is important to keep in mind that smaller pieces of kindling such as, twigs, bark, shavings and gasoline, are necessary when trying to ignite larger pieces of fuel. Gather fuel before attempting to start your fire. Obviously dry wood burns better and wet or pitchy wood will create more smoke. Dense, dry wood will burn slow and hot. A well ventilated fire will burn best.

Primitive survival in the bush

If you are living in the bush, then you will need to have methods to keep food cool, cook, build shelters and hunting equipment. How to make a wilderness shelter:
1. Natural shelters such as caves and overhanging cliffs. When exploring a possible shelter tie a piece of string to the outer mouth of the cave to ensure you will be able to find your way out. Keep in mind that these caves may already be occupied. If you do use a cave for shelter, build your fire near its mouth to prevent animals from entering.
2. Enlarge the natural pit under a fallen tree and line it with bark or tree boughs.

3. Near a rocky coastal area, build a rock shelter in the shape of a U, covering the roof with driftwood and a tarp or even seaweed for protection.

4. A lean-to made with poles or fallen trees and a covering of plastic, boughs, thick grasses or bark is effective to shelter you from wind, rain and snow.

5. A wigwam may be constructed using three long poles. Tie the tops of the poles together and upright them in an appropriate spot. Cover the sides with a tarp, boughs, raingear or other suitable materials. Build a fire in the center of the wigwam, making a draft channel in the wall and a small hole in the top to allow smoke to escape.

6. If you find yourself in open terrain, a snow cave will provide good shelter. Find a drift and burrow a tunnel into the side for about 60 cm (24 in) then build your chamber. The entrance of the tunnel should lead to the lowest level of you chamber where the cooking and storage of equipment will be. A minimum of two ventilating holes are necessary, preferably one in the roof and one in the door.

I will post some more tips soon :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


On the Wikipedia page: "Supply and demand", it states that "Supply and demand is an economic model based on price, utility and quantity in a model. It predicts that in a competitive market, price will function to equalize the quantity demanded by consumers, and the quantity supplied by producers, resulting in an economic equilibrium of price and quantity. The model incorporates other factors changing equilibrium as a shift of demand and/or supply".
Pretty heavy stuff, but the basic stuff is:
If the demand for the product increases, then the manufacturer would increase the price of the product.

If a new type of game came out, the price would not e decided by the manufacturer, nor the consumer, but the market forces, or the equilibrium point.

The equilibrium point is where the price (p) meets the quantity (q) at the dotted lines.
For example: The price of shoes would go up if the demand for them also went up, but the price wouldn't go up if nobody was buying them.

That's about all I'll write for now, though I haven't covered a lot of it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Native woods on our island

On our island we have the following trees:
  • Kahikatea (also known by the misleading name "white pine")
  • Matai (also known by the misleading name "black pine")
  • Rimu (also known by the misleading name "red pine")
  • Kauri (one of the most ancient species of trees in NZ)
  • And possibly a few other types of trees, and also undergrowth.

On the scale of how threatened a species is, all of the above trees are "least concern", except for the kauri tree. The kauri is classified "conservation dependant" and often grows to at least 600 years old, though many seem to have reached the 1000 mark.


[Kauri] In the past the size and strength of kauri timber made it a popular wood for construction and ship building, particularly for masts of sailing ships due to the absence of branches extending for much of its height. Kauri is also a great timber for building the hulls and decks of boats because of its resistance to rot. Kauri stump wood was much appreciated for its beauty, and was wanted for ornamental wood panelling and fancy furniture.

[Rimu] Historically, rimu and other native trees such as kauri and totara were the main sources of wood for New Zealand, including house construction. But, many of New Zealand's original stands of rimu have been destroyed, and new laws forbid the cutting down of rimu in public forests, though allowing limited logging on private land. There is also limited recovery of stump and root wood, for use in making bowls and other wood turned objects. The inner bark can also be used to treat burns and cuts.

[Kahikatea] Since the wood does not impart an odour, and is clean and lightweight, Kahikatea was used to make boxes for the exporting of butter when the refrigerated export got better between Australia and New Zealand in the 1880s. For Māori, the kahikatea had many uses. The fleshy aril or koroi was an important food resource, and was served at feasts in great amounts. The wood was also favoured for making bird spears. Soot obtained from burning the heartwood supplied a pigment for traditional tattooing. Kahikatea, along with other trees in privately owned forests, can only be harvested under a permit system and if sustainable harvesting techniques are used.

[Matai] The timber of this tree was used extensively in New Zealand for flooring during the mid-20th century. Mataī is not threatened, although as a forest-type it has been greatly reduced through widespread logging. Very few intact examples of Matai-dominated forest remain.

To read more about them, visit the following websites:

Dacrydium cupressinum (Rimu)

Agathis australis (Kauri)

Dacrycarpus dacrydiodes (Kahikatea)

Prumnopitys taxifolia (Matai)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wharf pictures

Here are the pictures from the Google Sketchup model of the wharf:

I'm an architect

My primary job on the island is architect. I share this occupation with Sprint Gas Racing, and so far business is booming. Because we are starting from scratch on the island, we are needed a lot. The plans for the wharf are complete, the eco-housing design is finished except for the furnishings, and the blueprints for the community centre/town hall are still in the first stage.
On my other blog (no pun intended), I have done a post about architecture throughout the ages. To see it, click here.
Soon I will upload some pictures of the Google Sketchup model of our wharf, and hopefully the finished versions of our other buildings.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things an eco-house needs

1) An energy-saving design.
2) To be constructed with environmentally friendly materials (such as the EcoFaeBrick or homemade concrete).
3) It could use the natural features of the land to it's advantage (for cooling and heat and the like).
4) A way of powering the electrical neccesities of life (like a few small wind turbines or a tiny dam over a nearby stream).
5) The eco-house could have a water tank to store the rain-water off the roof.
6) A stone/concrete floor to trap the heat from the day and releases it in the night.
7) To look fabulously awesome.
8) A revolutionary way of not producing lots of carbon.
9) Lots of plants and vegetation.
An eco-house is an environmentally sustainable building that uses all of the above to help save our planet, etc...

Sustainable house

Here is a sustainable eco-house with solar panels and efficient heating.
It's specifications:
Construction: Timber frame walls; floor is 100mm slab with 50mm screed and 50mm polystyrene (with embedded water pipes for heating via solar hot water / wet back system); timber truss roof with corrugated steel cladding.
Windows: PVC framed double glazed.
Thermal mass: Concrete floor and stones surrounding wood burner.
Insulation: During building used the thickest batts possible along with 50mm of polystyrene.
Materials: Untreated timber used in the house.
Passive design: North facing windows and blinds.
Water heating: 6 flat solar panles.
Energy saving features: Heating system using solar combined with wetback to heat underfloor of house as well as hot water for showering etc.

1st contender for the Eco Building Material

This is likely to be one of the building materials used in the building of our civilisation on the Matai islands:
Under the brand of EcoFaeBrick, we are providing a breakthrough wall material to you. We offer you a brick that 20% lighter compared to the clay brick but 20% stronger in terms of compressive strength. By using EcoFaeBrick, you will get benefit not only in the higher quality of bricks but also in the lower structural cost. Please do not worry that such high quality of bricks will cost you extra, as we sell EcoFaeBrick at the same price as you pay for ordinary clay brick.We use 75% of processed cattle waste as our material. EcoFaeBrick is a safe product in terms of technical as well as health concern. Laboratory tests for the product have been conducted.
This was sourced from

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Plans

As you may have noticed on the post before this, there was a large clearing by the bay on the island, and that is where we plan to build our civilisation. There is a whole list of things that we need on our island, and we have a plan.
Order of things we need to do:
1) We require boats to get to the island
2) We need a dock or port for our boating needs
3) We must to establish our vegetable gardens and livestock
4) We need to get the clearing ready to be built on and get the materials.
5) We must build our Town Hall, for a meeting place and an operations centre
6) Build the housing
7) Establish all our businesses and trades, plus the classroom and recreational ground (rec ground)
8) Let our community flourish and grow
I shall soon post our building needs, and describe our all of our plans in more detail, plus provide a map of all the additions to our community. Here is a close-up of the clearing as it is now, and I shall update it every time something happens or is built:
To the right is the sea, and the stream feeding into it, at the top is the deep forest, the bottom is the light woodland, and to the left is the river. I hope to publish my plans soon, but there is only so much you can do in a day.

Matai Islands Map

There are four (non-existent) islands in the Matai Islands, and we are pretending that we are going to inhabit one of them (Three other classes are going to have the other ones). Our island has a bay facing the North Island, and our settlement will be near the bay. I drew a picture of the island, and I will be posting the updated version every time we (supposedly) build a new bit. Here is the image (Click on it for enlargement):
It is 45 by 22 kilometres, which makes it 9902 kilometres. There is a key to go with it:
Orange: Beaches.
Light Green: Light Woodland.
Dark Green: Thick Forest.
Blue: Water.
Purple: Higher Ground e.g. a mountain or large hill.
Our island has some Uranium deposits and also limestone.
The other islands all contain different materials
One of them has Oil and Diamonds,
Another one has Natural Gas and Ironsand,
And the last one has Coal and Gold.
The other three islands contain more valuable materials, which is good because then we won't be digging up our island and ruining it's ecosystem.
We have a plan for what we need and are going to put on our island, but more about that later.

Matai Island Jobs

Here is a list of available jobs for the Matai Islands:
I am one of the Architect Designer-type people, in conjunction with my friend, Sprint Gas Racing.
There needs to be one or two people to farm our crops and tend to the livestock and chickens.
Also someone to provide the manpower (or womanpower) to build our community and earn their living as a builder.
We would, of course need an explorer so we could use the island to it's full potential.
And a navigator to help the explorer map the island.
Another person we need would be a technician to fix all our technical problems.
A Boatman or two would be needed for getting across to the mainland and taking care of the boats.
The position of Mayor would have to be debated over,
And a City Council would be an addition to another job, a night job perhaps.
Electricians would be required to install and maintain all our technology.
I would also like to be a Politician, and debate treaties and stuff with the other islands over resources and political stuff.
That's about all the jobs I can name right now, but I'm sure that there's more needed. If you can think of any, please leave a note in comment form :).


Uranium is a seroius business, as it sells for about US$44 dollars a pound, that's about NZ$78.75284 as of the current market. It requires strict rules and regulations, like the Australian's "Code of Practice and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management in Mining and Mineral Processing" and the Canadian's "Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission". There is a lot of radioactivity in the business, and a no-nonsense crew is required. The process of extracting Uranium is long and tedoius, and probably not worth it at all on a smaller scale. To see the full process, click here or look at this picture:

This is not the way for our Matai Island!!!
I believe that we would be better off with the limestone and farming for a living.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wikipedia's definition of "Sustainability"

Sustainability, in general terms, is the ability to maintain balance of a certain process or state in any system. It is now most frequently used in connection with biological and human systems. In an ecological context, sustainability can be defined as the ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes, functions, biodiversity and productivity into the future.
Sustainability has become a complex term that can be applied to almost every system on Earth, particularly the many different levels of biological organization, such as; wetlands, prairies and forests and is expressed in human organization concepts, such as; eco-municipalities, sustainable cities, and human activities and disciplines, such as; sustainable agriculture, sustainable architecture and renewable energy.
For humans to live sustainably, the Earth's resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. However, there is now clear scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably, and that an unprecedented collective effort is needed to return human use of natural resources to within sustainable limits.
Since the 1980s, the idea of human sustainability has become increasingly associated with the integration of economic, social and environmental spheres. In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of sustainability: "[to meet] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This is a blog for school work and my own environmental endeavors. This term (term two) we are studying sustainability, environmental sustainability, and (I think) the global-economy-type-social-studies-environment thing.
In case you were wondering, the Matai Islands are our class's (supposedly) non-existant land. We have to design ways to live on these four newly-discovered islands off the coast of Raglan (The west coast of the North Island, NZ). They are totally uninhabited and forested, with a mountain on two or three of them (I might try to upload a drawing of one of them some time). They all have either a river or a lake, and most of them have a highest vantage point, where you can see most of the island.
I hope to post a lot of interesting stuff, about all the aspects of sustainability, and a bunch of other stuff too.