One hour of work, 10 years of energy

BTR volunteers standing behind the fruits of their labor - a biogas balloon for a family in Pa Deng Village. (Photo courtesy of Between The Roots)
BTR volunteers standing behind the fruits of their labor - a biogas balloon for a family in Pa Deng Village. (Photo courtesy of Between The Roots)

A group of volunteers are working to make a difference

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This story was written by Thanakorn (Gunn) Vajirakachorn about the work of his youth organisation, Between The Roots.

Koson Saengthong, village chief of Pa Deng Village in Phetchaburi, was delighted by a visit by Between The Roots volunteers this past November.

“One hour of your work today just provided ten years worth of renewable energy for this household!” Mr Koson said.

Between The Roots (BTR) is a youth organisation founded by Thanakorn (Gunn) Vajirakachorn which aims to promote sustainability through advocacy and education by spreading awareness regarding environmentally-conscious ways of living such as the use of renewable energy.

A group of 26 volunteers from BTR went to Phetchaburi for their first ever community outreach trip which spanned two days and followed a period of fundraising. BTR raised around 12,000 baht during school festivals and events to fund educational material and lunches for children at the Naresuan Ban Huasook Border Patrol Police School, as well as a biogas balloon for a Pa Deng villager.

The group’s first activity was providing educational material (which BTR produced over the course of about two months) to rural Thai children at the school. BTR had lots of fun and the kids were very enthusiastic in the lessons. In fact, by the end of the two-hour session with the children, they kept holding onto the members of BTR and would not let them leave, so BTR promised to return someday to hang out with the children again.

This activity was followed by a ten-minute truck ride to the Pa Deng villager’s house to install the biogas balloon. A biogas balloon is a source of renewable energy where agricultural waste is added into a pipe and undergoes a series of biological processes inside the balloon. The product is biogas which is a substitute for LPG gas used for cooking, and any waste product can be used as a fertiliser. Hence biogas balloons are a zero waste system.

The team worked tirelessly to dig, assemble and install the biogas balloon, and succeeded in providing an environmentally-conscious energy source to rural villagers, with the help of Mr Koson. The installation of just one biogas balloon reduces greenhouse gas emissions from organic waste, reduces the costs of buying LPG gas and boosts agriculture by providing fertiliser.

Although the four-hour trip into a national park area with no phone signal posed some challenges, the group adapted and still had an enriching experience, while accomplishing all their goals in assisting the community.

BTR will continue to promote sustainability through advocacy and education, and assist society in any way they can.

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  • advocacy: the giving of public support to an idea, a course of action or a belief - การสนับสนุน
  • conscious: aware - ที่ตระหนักได้
  • delighted: very happy or satisfied about something - ยินดีมาก,สุขใจ
  • emissions: gases going into the air - การปล่อยก๊าซเสียสู่ท้องฟ้า
  • enrich: to improve the quality of something, often by adding something to it - ทำให้ดีขึ้น, ทำให้มีคุณค่ามากขึ้น
  • enthusiastic: very interested in something or excited about it - อย่างสนใจ กระตือรือร้น
  • fertiliser: a natural or chemical substance which is spread on the land or given to plants, to make plants grow well - ปุ๋ย
  • fundraising: actions taken by a company or organisation to get money so they can operate -
  • greenhouse gas (noun): any of the gases that are thought to cause the greenhouse effect, especially carbon dioxide - แก๊ซที่ทำให้เกิดภาวะเรือนกระจก
  • renewable energy (noun): forms of energy for generating electricity that will not run out such as solar or wind power - พลังงานหมุนเวียน หรือพลังงานใช้ไม่หมด [ได้แก่ พลังงานแสงอาทิตย์ เราสามารถเปลี่ยนพลังงานแสงอาทิตย์มาเป็นพลังงานไฟฟ้าโดยอาศัยเซลล์แสงอาทิตย์ (Solar cell) พลังงานน้ำ เราสามารถแปรรูปพลังงานศักย์จากน้ำเพื่อนำมาเป็นพลังงานกล เช่น ใช้แรงของน้ำหมุนกังหันผลิตไฟฟ้า พลังงานลม โดยการใช้กังหันลมหมุนเครื่องจักรกลต่างๆ เครื่องสูบน้ำ เครื่องบดธัญพืช เป็นต้น พลังงานจากมวล ชีวภาพ เช่น มูลสัตว์และก๊าซชีวภาพ พลังงานจากการเผาไม้ กระดาษ ฟืน แกลบ กากชานอ้อย และ ที่เรียกว่า พลังงานใช้ไม่หมดก็เพราะสามารถหามาทดแทนได้ เช่น ปลูกป่าเอาไม้มาทำฟืน หรือปล่อยน้ำจากเขื่อนมาปั่นไฟ หรือแสงอาทิตย์ที่ได้รับจากดวงอาทิตย์อย่างไม่มีวันหมดสิ้น ดังนี้เป็นต้น [ปิโตรเลี่ยม]]
  • sustainability (noun): can continue doing activity for a long time - ย่างยั่งยืน
  • volunteer (noun): someone who is not paid for the work that they do; someone who does something willingly without being required to - อาสาสมัคร
  • waste (noun): the useless part that is thrown away after something is used - ขยะ, ของเสีย, ที่ไม่มีประโยชน์, การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์, การหมดเปลือง
  • youth: young people considered as a group - เยาวชน, คนวัยหนุ่มสาว
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