Ecosystems Expert Folke Gunther on Home Efficiency, Part 2

From on February 15, 2008 in Green Remodeling

Folke GuntherOur last conversation with Folke Gunther unveiled some interesting information on how homeowners can contribute to environmental well-being through simple actions taken at home. Gunther, a Systems Ecologist, is dedicated to finding viable solutions to global warming, water pollution, and other environmental dilemmas. His techniques are based on an open-minded approach and a close investigation of the natural world.

In this segment of our discussion with Gunther, we will cover the topics of living walls, sustainability, and solar energy.

Would you recommend living walls in the residential setting? Can you suggest a few ways homeowners can incorporate a living wall into their landscaping or home interior?

As soon as you have gotten rid of the MIFSLA system and set the greywater (more than 90 percent of the water) of the house free, a multitude of options will open. You can use some type of vertical greywater purification system combined with plant or vegetable growing. This could be a part of the house, freestanding, or situated in a greenhouse. For larger areas, or for more than one family, the double-cycle system could be used. This system can also be used for pool purification (or for fish ponds). In that way, you avoid noxious chlorine additions.

You mention these words on your webpage on Sustainability: Sustainability, like other forms of functionality, is a multi-leveled quality. Some of the constituting qualities are more basic than other. If a basic quality is not fulfilled, the fulfilment of ‘higher level’ qualities is not enough. How does this concept translate in the home?

It’s easy. Say that you have a perfect knowledge of permaculture (higher level knowledge of how to behave on a certain piece of land). This knowledge is of no use if you are put into prison, or if your connection to your supporting ecosystem is broken. But permaculture is intended to avoid that.

Why do you believe we will eventually all be driven into a solar society? Why aren’t more people utilizing solar energy today? Which method of solar collection and usage do you recommend for homeowners new to the technology?

Geologically, the fossil fuel driven society is a Podunk. If you live off storage, [the supply will eventually become exhausted.] In our case, we can calculate the extent of the storage. The midpoint was passed two years ago (2006). If you include coal, it will be passed around 2020. Any sapient human would use this affluence to prepare for future times and improve the relations with the supporting ecosystems. (Compare: ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’.)

In Part 1 of our interview, Gunther’s recommendation to homeowners who want to work against the greenhouse effect was not something you hear everyday. According to Gunther, simply reducing carbon dioxide emissions is not enough. Homeowners can contribute to removing carbon dioxide from the environment by preserving it in their plant beds with charcoal. Gunther also stressed the importance of buying locally grown food.