The Southern Border of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is a thoroughfare for illegal immigration and drug trafficking. When immigrants cross the US – Mexico Border, they carry and discard plastic water bottles. The pounds of trash scattering the terrain has caused significant environmental concerns. NAAF is working with local communities in developing sustainable methods of clean up and recycling of the many plastic bottles blanketing the desert.
The Peace on Earthbench symbolizes ecological sustainability and global peace. It was built by students and community members repurposed trash and earthen building materials. Plastic bottles are collected and stuffed with clean trash until the bottles become hard like bricks. These bottle bricks are then used to construct the bench, sealing the trash inside the structure. This project is a collaboration between GreaterGood.org, the Native American Advancement Foundation, GuVo Community on the Tohono O’odham Nation, and the Peace on Earthbench Movement (POEM). This Earthbench is built in solidarity with over 50 benches in more than 15 countries around the world. The GuVo Earthbench joins a movement to transform waste into a global community-gathering place (www.earthbench.org). We hope to help build more Earthbenches in neighboring communities as a peaceful respite from the hot summer Sonoran sun.
In the arid conditions of the Sonoran Desert, water is scarce and expensive. NAAF is committed to finding a long-term, renewable water supply for the garden, which will help feed Tohono O’odham families living below the poverty level. Rainwater harvesting tank and irrigation systems provide a local, consistent source of water, a low-labor watering system, and long-term storage for this most essential resource to keep the crops growing at a manageable cost. The ability to harvest water from the spring monsoons and sporadic rans will enable food sustainability by supplying the gardens with the much needed natural resource: water.