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Empowering the future: a journey in biogas education

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Meet your teacher

In her day job as a speech language pathologist, Kathy makes learning accessible and engaging. As a permaculture designer / educator, she shifted from technocratic methods of teaching, and instead empowers people with biogas – across age, culture, gender, and educational levels. Kathy is such a trailblazer – she was even recognized at the World Biogas Summit in March 2023 with the Women in Biogas award, and her Biogas Education Hub was awarded second place in the Educational Campaign of the Year category.

ADBA women in biogas award

Experimenting with HomeBiogas

Based in the beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley, New York, Kathy explains:

“I am passionate about small-scale biogas because I experienced firsthand how producing my own energy and fertilizer with a biogas digester took my homesteading to a whole new level of resilience and self-sufficiency.

Kathy was an early user of the HomeBiogas system, having purchased the original HomeBiogas 1 system through an Indiegogo campaign.  With the old model, Kathy had to put a lot of time into setup and experimented with the optimal placement of her HomeBiogas system in her homestead.  Starting in a greenhouse and later moving it to outside locations, she determined that the digester’s thermal mass had helped to steady the greenhouse’s temperature.  This experience helped her identify criteria for optimal design and siting of biogas systems, which she teaches her biogas students.

Kathy upgraded to the newer HomeBiogas 2 model, and we are proud to hear that she reported several improvements, noting that the assembly was fast and easy and that the HomeBiogas customer service was prompt and helpful.  With the new HomeBiogas system, the HomeBiogas Toilet Kit helped achieve a vision of a pool-side outhouse – a greenhouse-type structure built around the HomeBiogas2, which sits on cinder blocks heated by solar hot air.

What we feed a biodigester is a big determinant in gas production.  Rather than relying solely on her family’s food scraps, Kathy collects food scraps from CSA customers.  She also adds the manures produced by her dog and cat – the biodigestion process breaks down pathogens.  

Sustainable impact

As Kathy discovers best practices at home, she also teaches biogas design and application hands-on in the U.S., Belize, and in Haiti (in the field and in formal educational settings like Universities). She noted that the dry, often inaccessible biogas technical manuals and ways of teaching were a barrier to biogas adoption.  Kathy took action and applied her teaching expertise to develop curricula and training programs that are engaging for diverse learners across age and culture. Then COVID hit, so she took her program online.

Her program, “Succeed with Home-Scale Biogas” will run its 5th cohort in January 2024. In her dedication to supporting Haitian biogas efforts, a French/Haitian-Creole speaking cohort will launch in the near future. Future programs will focus on buying / building stoves, community-based solutions, and sanitation.  Kathy also plans to offer a Biogas Educator Certificate Program – ideal for learners looking to empower their local communities to design whole systems that include biodigesters.

University of Notre Dame, Haiti 2017

Kathy shared that she teaches her students how to compare the pros / cons and pricing of DIY versus various off-the-shelf biogas systems. Many of her students have found that the HomeBiogas system is the best and most cost effective option for their context.  

Small-scale biogas empowers people to generate energy at home, begin transitioning off fossil fuels, and move towards energy resilience and climate adaptation, and produce fertilizer!

Grown with HomeBiogas Bio-Fertilizer!

On Kathy’s Biogas Education Hub website it’s written,

“We are people who are generating our own free energy out of trash, while also helping our climate.  We are doing this at home, in our community centers, on our homesteads, in rural areas and in cities.”

We are honored that through her experimentation and optimization, Kathy has continued to use HomeBiogas.


  

Kathy – Thank you for sticking by HomeBiogas and making the most of our product.  We are proud to have you as our customer and we can’t wait to see what you do next in the field of biogas education!

Ready to learn from Kathy and integrate a HomeBiogas system into your home?
See which of our products is the best fit for you! Check out the HomeBiogas shop here


HomeBiogas 2

Designed for the next generation of green innovation.

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