Tuesday, 15 September 2009


On the island of South Uist, in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland, I believe that defunct microwaves are recycled as mail boxes mounted on posts at the end of the driveway to your croft. I don't have a picture of one, unfortunately, but what I do have - a poor substitute, I know - is a photo of a caravan in South Uist being pressed into service as a post office:-

On the island of Raasay (Inner Hebrides), I gather that washing machine drums are used as filters in hydro-electric generation although I emphasise we're talking domestic micro-HE plants here, not the Hoover Dam ... and as I type this I find myself wondering if that dam is so called due to reliance on recovered vacuum cleaner parts? Does the harnessed might of the Colorado River get channelled through an old Hoover nozzle before it hits the turbines?

I digress. The island of Flores' contribution to the reciclagem of white goods is that fridges and freezers are re-used as field troughs for the cows to drink out of:-

So between that and motor cars doubling up as soft fruit driers, Flores is pretty far ahead of the curve on the old low carbon economy doo-dah. Once they've done something about the cliff edge ... I beg your pardon, "municipal coastal waste disposal facility" (no pics but not joking) ... we'll be well on our way to being the green capital of Europe.


Kathie said...

Hoover Dam, obstructing most of the Colorado River's flow near Las Vegas, Nevada, was originally named Boulder Dam. It was renamed in honor of President Herbert Hoover, an engineer by profession -- but best remembered by history for having presided over the first 3½ years of the Great Depression in the US (till defeated for reelection by Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Hoover dealt with the Depression chiefly by reassuring Americans that "Prosperity is just around the corner." My maternal grandfather regarded this as such, ahem, hogwash that he named one of his pigs "Herbert" because of the beady eyes that both porcine and President possessed. My grandfather also insisted to the end of his life upon referring to the dam as Boulder Dam, averring that Hoover was in fact even a lousy engineer! (Well, he attended Stanford, so what else could you expect?)

As to "reciclagem," any island is arguably a miniature biosphere. In fact, just a few months ago Flores was named to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves:

"Flores Island, Portugal, part of the western group of the Azores archipelago, represents the surface part of a seamount close to the Mid Atlantic Riff. It was created by volcanic activity which started less than 10 million years ago. The biosphere reserve includes the whole emerged area of Flores Island and some adjacent marine areas with significant landscape, geological, environmental and cultural assets. High cliffs dominate most of the coastline, which is dotted with islets. The area supports traditional fishing and attracts valuable tourism, specifically for diving, whale and dolphin watching and shore walking."


Neil King said...

close to a Mid Atlantic Riff??

Kathie said...

Re "Riff": Blame whoever posted the blurb on the UNESCO website (perhaps someone whose native language is not English). I simply copied/pasted hurriedly from the website. I assume they meant "Rift," don't you?

Neil King said...

I too had assumed a rift but the notion of a mid Atlantic riff amused me ...