Equal Step Camp has made good progress on beginning to devise some ecological sustainability standards for the childrens camp at Point 290, as I previously mentioned here and on Tour Watch and Rolling Rains. Ruth Richardson VSO from the camp met with VSO Secure Livelihoods tourism adviser Brian Watmough and I - and a dozen good action points emerged for the camp's sustainability plan;
1. Transport; explain the ecological and social benefits of using rail transport in Mongolia.
2. Waste; packaging of all supplies purchased (food, consumables etc) should be studied, and bulk purchasing benefits analysed. Separation of waste (participatively & educationally) into organic/ non-organic or combustible/non-combustible is a good principle.
3. Toilets; management of a) flushing disabled accessible pedestal toilet and b) pit toilets may be studied with alternative c) ecosan composting toilet (ecosan.org) - for future consideration.
4. Rainwater harvesting (collection from a roof gutter) from one building roof.
Grey water collection from food preparation areas, possibly for garden / greenhouse use, in buckets.
5. Solar; collectors, photo-voltaic panels, one per ger. Painting shower header tanks black, to absorb some warmth from solar radiation.
6. Tree planting; Consider Sea Buckthorn and also trees, vis a vis carbon offsetting, VSO community forestry, see also literature on Ecological Footprint (GFN, NEF)
7. Fire evacuation procedure; first aid and safety train volunteers, also as fire marshalls.
8. Local land management; River and Water Pollution training for staff and volunteers.
9. Accommodation (adaptations for children and for conference guests - beds, food etc)
10. Recreation; Horse Riding, Milking Goats, Walking, Swimming
11. Community Liaison with the Local Shop; catering for guests, e.g. conference groups
12. Information; about the history of the camp and its social and ecoogical aims, and the Equal Step children - photographs or drawings of or by the children of the camp, volunteer participation in establishment and ongoing maintainence of the camp.