Turn that Waste into Money
EM (Effective Micro-Organisms) is a unique way to turn rubbish into a valuable resource right at home. The idea is simple, we put lots of water, fertilizers, and resources into growing fruits and vegetables just to throw most of it away. EM is a way to put those nutrients and organic matter back into plants and soils, instead of bringing them up to the mountain to be burned. Not only are these nutrients recycled, but through the EM fermenting process special types of bacteria are formed which can detoxify soils and waste water, allow for faster and healthier plant growth, prevent insect eggs from developing, and break down dead organic matter that would normally be burned (palm leaves, coconuts, grass cuttings, rice, etc).
Uses for EM:
- Recycle waste food products, instead of feeding them to the fish or burning them
- Fertilizing flowers, trees, fruits, vegetables, and other plants
- Improving soil conditions for plant growth (EM detoxifies soils, kills certain ‘bad’ types of bacteria, and provides carbon for plant growth)
- Creating soils in sandy areas
- Preventing infestation of insects in organic crops (less insects means faster plant growth and bigger/healthier fruits or flowers)
- Treating waste water and septic systems (introduces ‘good’ bacteria and breaks down organic solids)
- Breaking down compost piles and waste plant material
- As a bonus, EM adds antioxidants to the soils, which go into the fruits or vegetables, then into your body when you eat the fruit
EM is simple and easy to make, anybody can do it. With multiple containers you can have one at home, one at the dive shop, and drop one off at your favorite restaurant. Not only will you be recycling waste and restoring soils, you can educate those around you about sustainable living and improve the customer perception of your business or dive school.
Here are the materials you will need:
- (1 or more) containers with a lid to make the EM inside (bucket, barrel, 20 liter soap jug, etc)
- 8 liters of fresh water
- 250 ml of EM Molasses (available in 5 liter jugs at Pen’s Warehouse near the Temple)
- Waste Fruits and vegetables (skin included)
To Make the EM:
- Mix the water and molasses
- Add the mixture to the drum
- Throw in your fruits and vegetables as they are available
- The fruits should be mostly below the water line. If you need to, you can mix more water and molasses and add it again
- After the container is full, put a lid on it and let it sit for 4 weeks (this is why it is nice to have multiple drums)
- Next, pour out the water and put into bottles, save the solid matter for the next batch or mix into your soil as compost
What is happening? When you close the container, oxygen breathing bacteria (aerobic) living on the fruits and vegetables will consume all the oxygen from the system and die. Then, non-oxygen breathing bacteria (anaerobic) will take over, these very special bacteria thrive on toxic compounds and will cause a fermentation process to occur while breaking down all the nutrient rich organic matter in the container. Later, when you pour these bacteria onto your plants or into your septic tank (toilets) they will get to work breaking down toxins and recycling nutrients. Use it every time you water your plants and trees (about 1:50 EM to Water solution for daily use, 1:20 for less regular watering) and you will be amazed at the difference right way. If you have lots of plant waste such as palm leaves or natural food waste like rice, try getting a big drum or dig a hole and throw them in with some of the EM solution you have already made, next cover over with soil or a lid and come back in a few weeks to very rich compost soil. It is a great way to lock up carbon instead of burning it back into the atmosphere.
If it just sounds too good to be true, or if you want to know exactly how it works, check out some of this links for more info.
If you have questions e-mail
, or if you want to see the process in action stop by Chintana clinic near Mae Haad, Ban’s Resort (with organic farm), New Heaven Bakery, Koppee Bakery, or Viewpoint Resort.