John Robb: Resilience 101 – Close the loop…all of them

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John Robb


Reslient, local production can reach amazing levels of capacity and efficiency by obsessively closing loops.  How do you close loops?  Simply:

  1. Turn the waste of one production process into the fuel/input required to operate another.
  2. Do that again and again and again until there is nothing left to reuse.
  3. All along the way, find ways to take the good parts out of each process.  It could be food in one.  Heating/cooling in another.  Fresh water in a third.

For example.  Let’s say you want to produce vegitables and fish.  If you did it in a disconnected way, you would be hit with expenses (both monetary and time) at each step in the process.  You would need to fertilize the plants.  Feed the fish.  Clean the water.  It gets expensive early.

If you connected the production systems together, by closing the loops, you would have an aquaponics system.  In an aquaponics system, the fish waste feeds bacteria which in turn produces fertilizer for the plants and fresh water for the fish.  The food the plants produce generate excess that feeds the fish.  With a tiny bit of automation and design, the entire thing operates seemlessly.  Loop closed!  The biggest chore is collecting the bounty.

Closing loops can turn problems into opportunties.  Waste into bounty.

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