Working with Local People on Sustainability:
Knowledge and awareness of sustainability and environmental issues is low in Laos. We aim to raise awareness of these issues and work with local people on issues of sustainability including responsible use of natural resources, organic/permaculture farming practices and environmentally friendly building techniques.
One of the biggest problems threatening the local environment is deforestation. Each household cuts down thousands of small trees for firewood. Replanting trees to replace the ones cut down is one strategy to minimise this problem but more importantly people need to understand alternative options to minimise their dependence on this resource.
We have set up our biogas system and it has been working well since 2011. This energy source decreases the use of firewood and generates natural fertilizer that can be used in farming.
The biogas plant was built with assistance from Fernando Pascual, a volunteer from Spain. We use manure for producing biogas, which is used for cooking at our restaurant. The manure comes from the Project itself as well as from the other farms in the village.
After SAE LAO pioneered the way in the area for the biogas system, there are now 5 households in the area that use this clean and effective source of energy.
You can read more about our biogas system here.
Eco-friendly building techniques
Our community centre has been constructed using mud bricks made from mud on-site along with stones and reclaimed timber. We construct using traditional local methods. All of our buildings have been constructed using locally sourced natural materials, such as recycled wood, bamboo, mud and rocks from the region.
Not long ago, the Lao people used natural materials (like banana leaves) for storage, instead of plastics. Today all over the world a huge amount of plastic are used every day. We seek to find local solutions to reduce or reuse non-recyclable waste. We offer a cheap water bottle refills at the restaurant and also old water bottles to make plant holders, use in construction, lampshades and much more.
The Health Awareness is in the early stages of being implemented into both the 2017 school curriculum and adult workshops.
The focus areas include: