The paper business and the problem of monoculture. A trip to collect drinking water.

19/11/2014

Where is your water coming from?

About once a month, the people at Tribodar load two 200L water tanks on a pickup truck and drive 15 minutes away to a mountain water tap to collect drinking water.

We drove there with Gennaro in the morning in the rain, where we connected the tanks to the tap with a hose to fill them with water. Each tank took about 20 minutes to fill up. On the way back I wondered how on earth are we going to unload the tanks from the truck? Well, we didn’t. When we arrived back at Tribodar, we connected the tanks on the truck with two tanks on the ground at the entrance of the space with the hose. It wasn’t easy to get the water to flow, Gennaro actually had to suck out air from the hose and I had to stand and hold the hose up in the rain.

After we finished filling up the tanks outside, we got the smaller water tanks with taps and filled them to keep inside in the kitchen. That’s when I felt thirsty and had a glass. It was the most satisfying glass of water I had in my entire life.

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Building with eucalyptus. The paper business and the problem of monoculture.

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The main building material at the moment here in Tribodar is eucalyptus wood that comes from eucalyptus monocultures around the area. These areas are owned by paper manufacturing companies and are densely covered with fully grown eucalyptus trees.

Monoculture is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop or plant species over a wide area and for a large number of consecutive years. It is widely used in modern industrial agriculture and its implementation has allowed for large harvests from minimal resources.

Gennaro explained as we drove by, how monoculture creates a dead ground, as light, which is essential for grass to grow is blocked out by the trees. Monoculture has major impacts on biodiversity. He himself had been in those areas on the search for wood and saw how no other plants grow in there, there is no life apart from eucalyptus trees, so I thought, it’s the opposite of an ecosystem, stunned at how it looked like a healthy dense forest from outside.

I realized that my eyes are not trained to spot life.

 

 

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