contour along the natural slopes of the plot terrain to catch all
the ground running water from rains, and heavily mulched to
prevent water evaporation and allow the slow permeation of
water into the local water table . A compost bin is built to
compost the garden wastes from crop rotations and other
vegetable wastes coming from the house and the kitchen such
as fruit skins, waste paper and vegetable peels. The organic
compost obtained from the composting toilets in addition to
the compost obtained from a compost bin will be used in
the organic garden [32,37]. Expected yields of fruits and
vegetables using bio-intensive cultivation methods are about
per year, or about 60 metric tons per acre per year,
well above what is obtained from chemical ‘conventional’
methods [37,38]. Additionally, a 75% reduction in irrigation
water use is also expected due to the higher moisture
retention of mulched organic soil, and the additional beneﬁt
that there will be no land, people, water, air or animal
exposure to the risks of toxic pesticide use and contamination,
and its associated pollution of waterways . Considering
that the average meal travels about 1500, 5000 and 6800
miles to arrive at the American, Canadian and Japanese tables,
respectively, and that it takes about 10 calories to produce one
calorie of the food we eat today, the reverse of what was
required just a short 50 years ago [41–45], the soil is the place
where it all comes together – air, water, sunlight – into the
magic of life, and the most signiﬁcant aspect of the project (see
Fig. 7). Only the most profound humbleness can truly
appreciate the unfathomable and awesome symbiosis that
coalesces in all that is alive and aware in the natural world.
The recognition given to this project by the world community
and the distinguished international jury signiﬁes a very welcome
worldwide shift in awareness and critical thinking towards
sustainability. The change to a sustainable way of life is required
everywhere without delay if our species is anything but serious
about its own future in this far corner of the universe. We looked at
the system design from an integral point of view, not just as a
combination of isolated plug-in components. From a systems
perspective, the cycle is closed. Food, water, air and sunlight are
used in a continuous entropic cycle that works in support of human
activities, and vice-versa. There is no waste, and additional inputs
of energy or resources should not be required. A sustainable
system designed in this fashion is therefore autonomous, self-
sufﬁcient, self-regenerating, completely independent of distant
resources and fossil fuels, and in stark contrast with current
A signiﬁcant purpose of this project is to serve as a multi-
disciplinary research platform to obtain rigorous scientiﬁc data
validating the integrated sustainability approach for publication in
worldwide access peer-reviewed journals, to model sustainability,
to spread appropriate engineering knowledge to effectively
combat and stem man-made climate change and global warming,
achieve global security, education and energy independence, and
to establish and develop the science of integral sustainable systems
engineering, design and development.
The author wishes to thank and express his appreciation to the
UNESCO, the Educational, Scientiﬁc and Cultural arm of the United
Nations and Daimler for their visionary work and for making
possible the inter-cultural exchange and dialogue of science and
sustainability worldwide by means of the international Mon-
dialogo Engineering Award competition, and to Prof. David
Pimentel, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell
University for reviewing the manuscript and his many comments
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