First the contrast: Some people are color blind, no amount of explaining will ever get them to see red.
Still others are garbage blind and likewise no amount of explaining will ever get them to see trash.
The ecologically blind are a hopeless lot that are entirely incapable of living in harmony with nature. These are the PPP or ecology enemies that pave it, pollute it and poison it.
As George Bernard Shaw so aptly put it; “An art gallery is a dull place for a blind man.”
Being ecology friendly is not for everybody, but for those who embrace this kind of unpolluted untainted world the reward is incalculable.
ECOLOGICAL CONCEPT HOUSE:
Our requirements for an ecological house and its location.
We needed a home in a semi arid tropical location with fresh natural air flow because of my wife Jane’s asthma.
The year round climate had to be salubrious with no extremes.
We wanted a quiet nature friendly environment.
Privacy in a sanctuary setting.
Location, close to shopping, abundant restaurants and on quiet bicycle friendly streets.
International airport in town.
Excellent public transport by bus and taxi.
World class medical facilities; Mérida is renowned as a prime leader.
Bicycle friendly: Yucatán is a bicycle touring paradise we have not fully explored even after 34 years.
Almost all neighborhoods still have owner operated grocery stores.
Our ecological concept house didn’t just fall out of the sky.
We thought long and hard about our dream home because we had certain requirements that were absolute imperatives. Number one being my wife Jane has asthma, and we were not going to live someplace where she would be required to take medications just to survive. Jane’s doctors in Florida had told us that she could live there, she just wouldn’t live long.
In our many years of travel we fortunately discovered Yucatán with its tropical semi-arid climate and set about locating a north-south facing lot to take full advantage of the prevailing sea breezes. We would want high land that didn’t flood in a heavy rain, away from busy thoroughfares but close enough so we would have good public transport. After four years of poking around and investigating nearly two hundred places we finally found our “special spot” that suited all our requirements.
When our search ended our work began and after two months of hard effort the first person finally came by that told us they thought the place might have possibilities.
Hardly anybody could envision the dream that Jane and I shared.
The property we ultimately purchased resembled a garbage dump in the desert, but we both immediately recognized its hidden potentials.
Two years after we had begun our ecological home project that would use thermo-siphon air exchange without fans or motors to heat in winter, cool in summer, and maintain humidity at low levels, we achieved our goal.
Finally when Jane and I finished we were told how very lucky we were to have such a lovely home and jungle garden. The harder we worked the luckier we were.
The garden was another case;
We started with a desolate rock strewn terrain devoid of foliage. Using no chemicals we began by composted everything in sight included shredded paper and even sawdust from a local furniture factory, in order to build all organic top soil. This process took us fifteen years before our jungle garden ultimately became self perpetuating.
Now thirty three years later in 2023, having started from seed, we have a real canopy tropical jungle filled with towering fruit trees that also provide heavenly cooling shade.
Our secluded jungle garden provides many of our produce requirements including fruits, spices, herbs, medicinal plants, hot chili peppers. Everything here is biodegradable. Our gray water is recycled to the garden.
We are synchronized and coexist with nature creating a positive impact upon the planet...and it just feels good.
Amazingly this has all been achieved using absolutely no chemical insecticides or poisons in our thirty three years here.
We live peacefully, in parallel with nature.
Tropical birds and butterflies abound freely in our private jungle sanctuary wide-open and unrestricted to the sky.
Our screened in spacious covered patios command stunning views of our garden.
This ecological home and jungle garden is in three parts enclosed behind a tall privacy wall inconspicuously tucked away. Each separate dwelling is equipped with bathrooms and their own separate kitchens.
We fill our indoor Jacuzzi in summer. In less than two hours it naturally cools the water. Cooler outside air is taken in through a low window then sucked up and out a roof top chimney that naturally draws up and out. Just like cooling hot soup by blowing on it.
It is amazingly fresh. The discharged water goes to the garden. The naturally cooled Jacuzzi water is a great place to linger in the warmer times of the year while we even drink our coffee and listen to audio books or music. Even when the outdoor temperature exceeds 40 degrees centigrade or 100 degrees F. we have a simple efficient and very economical way to stay perfectly cool and comfortable.
We have city water piped in and bottled drinking water delivered weekly.
However, we have a solar hot water heater system, which I designed and built from locally obtainable materials that use no electric, gas, pumps or valves for the few cool months of winter.
When I pull the large ball valve to the rooftop water tank it cascades down like Niagara Falls and fills the Jacuzzi in just two minutes.
We clean and then fill the Jacuzzi with fresh water every day recycling the old water to our jungle garden.
Our sanctuary is equipped with places to hang twenty-five hammocks. Even on our rooftop patio covered with flowering vines we can accommodate hammocks in the shade and fanned by nature’s salubrious sea breezes.
Though we have no motorized vehicles we have off-street covered parking that can accommodate vehicles with plenty of space for bicycles.
Outwardly our ecology concept house is relatively unassuming. It is an original design and not copied in any way.
Viewed from the street side our super solar dehydrator, the domed ventilating chimneys and vaulted roof capitalize on heat differentials and have little meaning to those unaware of the functionality of our environmentally friendly home.
Here is a link to a narrated YouTube tour explaining the functioning of our ecologically friendly home. Watching time 2 minutes. Video home tour.
Link to the story of our home with captioned photos where you can venture inside. Photo tour.
Another link: This one is to a YouTube video Jane made of a collage of the seasonal flowers of our garden. Flowers video.
One more YouTube: Street musician at the municipal market food court. Street music video.