This is one way we succeed in reducing, reusing and rethinking. This project and many others around the kibbutz become tools for education, are aesthetically beautiful, they give a sense of fulfillment, and help bond the community. In short, creative ecology has become a part of our daily lives, and we want to share this with you!
Beginning in the collective dining hall and spreading to individual neighborhoods, the kibbutz separates food scraps from other forms of waste to provide the components for compost. It sorts other forms of recyclable materials (paper, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles, containers) at its Collection Center–built with the help of Israel’s Ministry for the Environment–for processing at Lotan’s Center for Creative Ecology . Most of the recyclables find their way into alternative building projects.
Over the last four years Lotan, through its composting and recycling efforts, has reduced its overall waste disposal by 70% each year. As a result of its advocacy and educational activities, Lotan has contributed to raising its thousands of guests’ awareness of environmental quality issues while instilling a sense of personal responsibility for finding creative solutions for ecological challenges.
Our organic gardens are a means to demonstrate how to grow vegetables and herbs, save energy and water consumption, create soil, nurture a cooperative spirit and excite people so much they actually go home and start doing it.The Center for Creative Ecology has its roots as a simple home garden for supplying organic vegetables for Lotan’s internal consumption.
The quiet pastoral setting has proven to be very fruitful not only for organic produce, but for fertilization of ideas, concepts, and vision for a healthier planet and ways to live on it.In striving to create a micro-climate and attain an ecological balance in the garden, we find a metaphor of Lotan’s community aspirations: local sustainability, minimal environmental impact, while quietly spreading a message of global responsibility for our surroundings.Remember! Composting, Community Supported Agriculture, layered gardens, biologically friendly pesticides -birds, insects, flowers, plants, and trees- mixed row planting, all contribute to serene surroundings.
Environmental conditions of desert life have throughout the ages necessitated a nomadic life style for those who chose to settle the desert. Attempts to force the desert to yield to human will have not always been successful over the long term. Experiments that try to integrate the natural logic of desert surroundings in architectural and environmental planning have had more success in building sustainable settlement in the desert.
The Arava Valley imposes extreme conditions of heat and cold on its residents. Standard and conventional construction techniques have produced housing and public space that neglect insulation, requiring extensive heating and cooling, substantially raising Kibbutz Lotan’s energy expenses.
Motivated by a growing awareness of the importance of sustainability in community planning, Lotan has made significant efforts to use renewable resources in building projects that aid in dealing with its specific desert environment issues. In adopting traditional and creative approaches to face its building challenges, Lotan is developing a reputation as one of Israel’s leaders in alternative/natural construction.