Friday, November 25, 2011

Earth University

Earth University

After Guayabo, we boarded the bus for the two hour trip (what a trip that was!) to Earth University near Guacimo, Costa Rica where we will be studying sustainability, tropical agriculture and we will be visiting rural schools and have an overnight home-stay day with local sustainable farmers.

Earth University is a private, international, non-profit university dedicated to education in the field of agricultural sciences and the rational use of natural resources.  It was started in the early 1990's because a group of dedicated scientists and sustainable farmers felt that the industry and the conventional agricultural research establishment would have a hard time developing more sustainable strategies in agriculture.  To move in a more sustainable direction in agriculture, a university dedicated to that model was needed and it has been very successful.
Looking Across one of the Greens
Beautiful Plants are Everywhere
Covered Walkways are a Necessity Here 
Our Primary Meeting Place is across the Green

It is a beautiful campus located right in the middle of a Tropical Rain Forest.  We have seen toucans, giant iguana lizards and even heard Howler Monkeys while on expeditions to the demonstration farm sites.

Sustainable Landfill/Composting

Our first trip was to see the landfill composting system.  Earth University operates its own landfill using sustainable practices which returns sections of the landfill back into forest in 10 years.

To get to the campus landfill, our tour bus had to cross a bridge that it was too heavy for fully loaded, so we got off the bus, the bus drove over the bridge and we got back on the bus.
Crossing The Bridge

Compost Structure
Composting Packaging Material

Landfill Leachate Treatment/Collection System

This is the Active Landfill Site for the college

Trash goes in here and is buried by hand

Active Landfill Trench

 While we were doing this trip, we heard Howler Monkeys in the distance (they didn't sound that far away!).  In this Cecropia tree next to the landfill, there is a three large, male 3 toed sloth (the dark lump near the very top of the tree).

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