Humans Pollute the Air Everyday, Even Though We Cannot Live Without It
The air of our atmosphere is vital for all aerobic creatures. Only in an environment with clean air, humans and animal can live in a healthy way. Global warming drastically illustrates the importance of balanced conditions and temperatures of the atmosphere. Stabilizing these temperatures is the best way to avoid natural disasters related to climatic conditions.
The climate above the surface of the soil is one factor that determines how fast soil degrades and water evaporates. By planting trees (see page 43) around the fields, we achieve several effects, on top of a pleasant scent: The trees break the wind so that it cannot blow away the top soil; the shade brings cooler and more humid air, which creates a micro climate among the surrounding tree lines of a field; the photosynthesis of the trees uses carbon dioxide and emits the needed oxygen instead; and in the long term, the groundwater level slowly rises because of the cooler surface and brings additional micro-climatic change.
Green Waste into Carbon Credits
By processing the green waste of SEKEM and of surrounding farms into compost (as opposed to conventional waste management methods), greenhouse gas emissions are decreased substantially. In 2011, a total amount of 79,500 VERs (Verified Emissions Reductions) was issued by the TUEV certification body for our methane avoiding composting method. One credit (= one VER) offsets one tonne of CO2 emissions. We then trade those received carbon credits internationally.
More than An Ingredient in Your Drink. Water is the Base of all Life.
Water constitutes the basis of all life. The hydrological cycle of planet Earth is similar to the human blood circulation system: Water evaporates, falls back down as rain and runs from fresh water rivers into the salty oceans. Without the influence of human beings, the water clears and cleans itself along the way. 71% of the surface of the Earth is covered by water, mainly salt-water. Potable water is a scarce resource and must neither be wasted nor polluted any further.
SEKEM needs water to irrigate the plants on the fields and green corridors, for processing and for the employees. We use three sources of water: Nile water, government-distributed water and well water. In all companies and all farms, certain rules for water usage apply though they are not yet enforced through a written policy. The waste water from all companies is reused after treatment as irrigation water for the trees at the main SEKEM farm.
We support the CEO Water Mandate, a UN Global Compact Initiative. As Egypt will be hugely impacted by the world’s water scarcity, we regard it as one of our highest priorities to raise awareness for the careful and efficient usage of the country’s water sources.
Waste Water Treatment with Effective Organisms
EM stands for effective microorganisms in a watery mix of 84 aerobic and anaerobic varieties such as the family of yeast, lactobacilli and photosynthesis bacteria. When applied to waste water, two effects can be observed. Due to the activities of the microorganisms, the odor is drastically reduced and sludge in the sewage treatment plant is decreased by 50%. We get our high quality EM from a company in Germany and re-breed them only twice to avoid uncontrollable mutations.