It goes without saying that Josie has a passion for the environment. Having spent time at The Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, she became interested in environmental topics and more importantly the need to live and demonstrate these techniques. Linked to The Information Centre at Butterfly she felt it could become a brilliant demonstrational place, where techniques used throughout the site were described and educated about. Coupled to that, International links to universities and like minded people could bring in new ideas and appropriate technologies.
Josie has a background in water and sanitation, and therefore Butterfly has built two compost toilets here and one en-suite compost toilet. All the grey water from the site is used on the growing permaculture gardens. In the future we would like to develop a small reed bed system for the two en-suite toilets we have, to demonstrate this as well. We have recently come off the mains water as well at Butterfly and there may be the chance in the future to incorporate a sand water filter system to treat the already very clean water. The kitchen are increasingly using the solar dryer as well as the solar cooker, especially during the dry season.
Recently we had a brilliant new innovation as well, with a couple of engineers coming out from Engineers without Borders at Sheffield University. This is the start of a 6 year link between Butterfly and EWB Sheffield and the first team developed a brilliant bicycle powered water pump. This was demonstrated to local farmers and made all, almost, from local materials. This will be demonstrated on site here at Butterfly and future volunteers will be encouraged to help farmers in the area build their own and provide a free source of water to help with a second crop a year.
The growing permaculture spaces around Butterfly and at the local schools provide other places for you to share your environmental skills. For anyone with an environmental skill to teach, it is the perfect place to come and share it, whether here at Butterfly or at a local school or government building. Coupled together with how to do hand outs in The Information Centre it has massive potential.
Ideas for the future include; a wood-reducing stove, a solar drying rack, a herb spiral, a turf roof, rainwater harvester, alternative building techniques, wind power and solar energy. Please see our Wish List if you would like to make these dreams a reality for Butterfly Space.
If you are interested in volunteering, please see our Volunteer Package page. If you would like to contribute to this project but you are unable to make it over to Malawi, please see our Make A Donation page.