Avani is a truly innovative place, not only because of the community that has grown and developed around it, but because of its approach to work with the materials and the people available. One inspiring innovation born from this approach is the pine needle gassifier which is featured on page 10 of this report, here:
Pine needles are not indigenous to this region of the Himalayas. The forests were once covered with oak trees that were cut down in colonial times and replaced with pine trees that grow faster and spread widely. Anyone who has ever made or bought furniture knows pine wood is cheaper, softer and faster to burn.
Pine trees shed needles at quite a pace, carpeting the green hills with a layer of light brown. The needles are quick to burn, which quickens the spreading of forest frees that plague the region. They also act like a seal over the ground, causing rainwater to run off rather than soak into the earth. Avani invented a way to manage manage the pine needle problem by turning converting the needles into fuel. Read more in the report.
In other news, Kiran and I are busily polishing up our show for an online exhibition, in conversation with several parties about turning it into a book and, ultimately, planning our next trip back to depen the stories we told in the first show.
As always, thanks for reading!