photo: Maury Landsman
While I'm not sure that the claims by the owners of Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio olive oil farm that they will be the first farm anywhere to reduce their net carbon emissions to zero, without using offsite carbon offsetting projects, are be entirely true—I'd be surprised that some small farm hasn't tried to do the same thing, just not publicized it as well—the efforts by the owners of this Umbrian farm are pretty interesting: The BBC reports on a number of the efforts undertaken to reduce carbon emissions:
Solar Powered Battery Charging + Electric Vehicles, More
They've installed a solar powered battery charging station consisting of 24 panels which can charge enough batteries for the farm to power itself for three days without sun. Plans are in place to extend this to 10 days in the future.
The prime mode of transport on the property will be electric golf carts and bicycles, which will be also charged from the solar battery center. Miniature tractors will be used, powered by non-food crop biofuels.
Heat used in the olive oil production process will come from waste wood chips collected on the property.
Additionally, the farm has planted 10,000 trees on the property which they are calculating will offset any other carbon emissions generated.
Expensive Initially, Payback in Five Years
Monte Vibiano's chief executive, Lorenzo Fasola Bologna, says that though the initial investment is expensive, hr thinks "that we will start getting our investment back after five years or so. From then on, our fossil fuel bills will disappear."
More at: Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio and BBC News
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