Ecological Engineering — Ecotechnology
Ecotechnology is a technology or any manufacturing action that works within the natural cycles of the ecosphere to ensure that the process produces materials that are biodegradable, and uses the whole range of biodiversity in a holistic and noninvasive way, with the aid of efficient engineering. Ecological technologies fit into sociocultural patterns and serve humankind.
Ecological Engineering designs low-impact systems for waste treatment, food and energy production, habitat restoration, and other benefits. It works with the natural system to provide biological waste treatment and biogas production, energy crops, food, and much more.
Visit the International Ecological Engineering Society website, which has extensive links to progressive engineering groups around the world.
Green Engineering Principles
The Principles of Green Engineering were developed by more than 65 scientists in Sandestin, Florida in 2003. The preliminary principles are intended for engineers to use as a guidance in the design or redesign of products and processes. For more information visit the US Environmental Protection Agency's website.
Zero Emissions Research Institute
Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives (ZERI) is a global network of creative minds seeking solutions to world challenges. The common vision shared by the members of the ZERI family is to view waste as resource and seek solutions using nature's design principles as inspiration. For more information please visit http://www.zeri.org
Zero Waste System
For an overview of Otterpohl’s zero waste systems visit this website.
Natural treatment systems are used for wastewater treatment, water restoration and watershed protection. These systems, such as Restorers and constructed wetlands, are:
- Ecologically complex, mechanically simple
- Low in energy consumption
- Easy to operate
- Inexpensive to construct
- Effective at reducing organic loading and pollution
- Appropriate for the developing world
For information about Ecological Systems for greywater treatment visit the http://oceanarks.org/ecodesign/.
Zero Emissions Research Institute
The Zero Emissions Research Institute has a number of ZERI case studies round the world; all share the same concepts. The purpose is to design production systems, which increase productivity, increase jobs and eliminate pollution. The systems are based on diversification within the ecosystem. All of these projects demonstrate:
Growth: Systems increase output with less input, pursuing growth, in coevolution with nature.
Place: Systems are more efficient when localized, clustered, and driven by biodiversity from all five kingdoms of nature, optimizing the whole, without maximizing the benefits of only one or without overexploiting the benefits of one, thus creating a domino effect of imbalance in the others.
Competitiveness: The systems competitiveness is based on economies of scope, diminishing the importance of economies of scale.
(Thermo)Dynamics: Systems are open, without closing the loop, which is a never-ending creative cycle of increasingly efficient integrated operations, evolving from chaos and disorder to a higher level of synchronicity.
The Zero Emissions Research Institute has done many projects around the world:
- Cement factory goes organic
- Beer bakes bread and feeds fish
- Reforestation finances drinking water
- Grow your own house
- Water hyacinth fights AIDS
- Learning to secure food and energy by working in
- Mushroom farming on coffee wastes
- Maggots secure hygiene
- Packaging mined for aluminum
- Bamboo preserves itself