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The star of the show, Worms

Black Pine is continuously aiming to improve the way we do things, with the hope that we can better help you and help the environment. In this issue we discuss another system we adopted with the ultimate goal of creating a regenerative practice.
Additionally, we discuss an unorthodox yet multi-beneficial wastewater treatment system that involves worms!

Read on to learn more and feel free to let us know your thoughts!


April 2021

Duncan Sinclair - 027 487 7766
In this Issue:
Carbon Calculator
- Black Pine’s adaptation
- Carbon Calculator Tool
- Our outcome
- Why you should do it too
Natural Wastewater Treatment
General overview with a link to the article on our website

LBC Petal - Energy

Carbon Calculator
Following our last newsletter and review of the Climate Change Commission’s report, this newsletter we’re staying on topic and discussing our carbon footprint. Black Pine has adapted to address our footprint - by measuring our carbon emissions.

This is a venture we started pursuing in 2020, and is a shift that we would like to share.

Measuring your carbon output sounds daunting at first, but once you bypass the grunt work, it only takes a jiff to calculate each month. We use Catalyst NZ’s ACE carbon calculator tool, a free-to-use spreadsheet.   

A theme in the office is following the lunar cycle and aligning dates with the full moon. We post newsletters alongside the full moon, and in this case we measure the office’s carbon with the full moon as well.

This graph shows Black Pine’s carbon usage so far, starting in August of 2020 - when we adopted this system.
Carbon Table

The office is equipped with its own meter, giving us an accurate reading of our monthly electricity usage - which just so happens to be higher in the winter months. 

We produce very little office waste, most of which is recyclable. It consists mainly of coffee cups and any paper goes through the shredder to be fed to the worms (see the next section in the Newsletter for more on this).

Only a few months of petrol usage were measured, as we substituted the petrol vehicle in November with an electrical Nissan Leaf (affectionately the Black Pine Leaf), which we use exclusively for office-related travels.

This graph below clearly illustrates what a difference omitting fuel can make!

Monthly Emission Breakdown

This tool was designed with the theory that "you cannot manage what you cannot measure".
It is a fairly simple system to adopt, and we implore anyone to give it a go. Once you get the hang of it, you get a very visual representation of where you're at. With this foundation you can build it up and find methods to reduce your carbon - be it switching out your light bulbs or adjusting your transport.

For more info on this tool, see here.

To hold ourselves accountable and inspire you, we are including the last month’s carbon reading with every newsletter! 

The month of March is
0.023 tCO2e
LBS Petal - Water

Natural Wastewater Treatment
Worm-based septic tanks use the power of nature to provide a passive, low-energy and reliable method of waste water treatment.

These tanks comprise an engineered ecosystem that mimics the way nature breaks down and decomposes organic matter to a suitable level for irrigation purposes. These ecosystems simulate the forest floor, where worms are provided with a habitat to perform the same tasks they have in nature for thousands of years.

The Living Building Challenge format takes the form of a flower with seven Petals organising a project into performance areas. In our newsletters, the various topics of discussion are identified with the relevant Petal, helping to place it in context.

From Tara, Duncan, Akshaya and Emma
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Black Pine Architects · PO Box 7204 · Whanganui, 4541 · New Zealand

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