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Circular Economy: about growing a food forest & eliminating food waste

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

by TCDF founder & director Rosalie Tieges

Circular economy (often referred to simply as "circularity") is a system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. All 'waste' should become 'food' for another process: either a by-product or recovered resource for another industrial process, or as regenerative resources for nature, eg compost.

This regenerative approach is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, which has a 'take, make, dispose' model of production. TCDF-Eco-Logic is certainly a frontrunner of this system in Thailand. Since the start of TCDF-Eco-Logic 15 years ago, we have been implementing the circular model on Mount Neverrest. Little by little, step by step, stone by stone, thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers and travellers with awareness from all over the world!

We are happy that recently the bigger companies in the world are also seeing the benefits of this system and rapidly catching up making the circular economy model integrated in everyday life.

Huge companies and governments in metropolitan areas can certainly create an impact on a huge scale and with huge effects!

However, small steps by individuals and grassroots organisations in rural areas all help too and at Mount Neverrest we continue our steps towards self reliance on a local level and leading the way through education on circular economy every day!

In the beginning of the year we have received an amazing donation of the WOR. The total profit of their yearly harvest festival in the Dutch agricultural community in Raalte was donated towards expanding and professionalizing Mount Neverrest community farm!

Almost 5000 trees are being planted on the top hill in order to provide enough organic food for the community but also to create local jobs and a steady income for the occupational training program of the Special School for Special need Students of TCDF!

With this donation we can expand our circulatory system drastically and so expand our impact. More trees, more jobs, more organic produce, more educational programs, more local sponsors, more local restaurant visitors, more biogas, more compost, more income, more trees, more sustainable local jobs...and so on.

One of the small things that can make a big impact is our daily Eat & Great garden buffet meals.

All visitors (local people, staff, students, guests, volunteers) who sign up in the morning are served a delicious, nutritious meals fresh from the farm to table.

  • Little to no food waste because the amounts used are pre ordered.

  • Organic, seasonal menu to limit produce waste and eliminate transportation needs for food.

  • Limited use of resources and gas by cooking in big amounts at once

  • Cooked in an open air kitchen to eliminate the need for ventilation systems

  • The little food waste there is is always reused:

  • Fresh leaves go to the horses/ fish/ chicken

  • All other waste is made into either compost or biogas.

No food waste at Mount Neverrest!

Another great thing about these Eat & Great garden buffet meals is that most people choose to sit at our big SCREEN FREE community table. People introduce themselves and share stories.

Single travellers quickly make friends and this results in them teaming up for activities, sharing taxi services and onwards travels again as well! We hope they spread the word during their further travels about Mount Neverrest so we can continue to welcome more Thailand travellers with awareness who during their journey always makes a difference as well.

This again inspires many of our visitors to sign up for volunteering work after returning home and the impact expands…

Every journey starts with one small step
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