“It all started with a search for these objects or systems on the internet, but we quickly realized that there was everything and anything in terms of low-tech”, tells AFP the 39-year-old adventurer, returned to the Breton port of Concarneau (Finistère) at the end of June.
“We left for this world tour with the idea of going to see what was being done, to test the devices and to document them”, continues the navigator, who left in February 2016 from Concarneau aboard a catamaran. of 14 meters transformed into a floating laboratory.
Partly autonomous, thanks to a solar watermaker, a wind turbine made of recycled materials or hydroponic plant cultures, the sailboat has however evolved as and when stops and experiences are shared.
The hens that provided the crew with eggs at the start of the expedition have thus been replaced by a breeding of crickets, fed largely on black soldier fly larvae used to decompose organic waste and produce a substrate to fertilize the crops (salads, celery, mint, basil, etc.) carried on board.
“We brown the crickets in a little oil with garlic, pepper and salt and it’s very good”, assures the captain of the “Nomade des mers”, while operating a pedal used to operate a drill, but also a grinding wheel, a current generator – made from a car window motor – or a sewing machine.
After 25 stopovers around the world, 53 “low-tech” objects, techniques, systems, practices or know-how, useful, accessible and sustainable, are presented on the participatory platform lowtechlab.org.
– desert fridge –
Cooking pot to passively prolong cooking, desert fridge operating without electricity, bio charcoal made from carbonized agricultural waste, but also mushroom cultivation kit or even solar shower: the “low-tech” are presented in the form tutorials with the mention of the level of difficulty and the time and cost necessary for their manufacture.
“In people’s minds, the future is high-tech: even I grew up with this idea. But for a few years with the disappearance of biodiversity and global warming, we say to ourselves that there is a another possible way”, considers the engineer at the origin of the association “low-tech lab” which multiplies the initiatives to make known and develop these “low” technologies.
In April, it launched a call for applications, supported by the Brittany region and the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), aimed at supporting 20 private or public structures in their transition to “low tech”. Among the winners, several town halls, a youth hostel, a hotel or a company specializing in the transformation of synthetic ropes.
“There are technological holes in what we do. We use a lot of synthetic ropes and often there are no recycling solutions”, notes Nicolas Charamet, technical manager of the company Ino-Rope.
“To cut the ropes, we use very energy-intensive hot irons, but I am convinced that there are other solutions”, he underlines, during a visit to the “low-tech” festival organized until to Sunday on the occasion of the return to the Finistère city of the “Nomad of the seas”.
“It’s crazy how interest in all these initiatives has grown in six years,” notes Corentin de Chatelperron, whose next challenge will be to test a series of low-tech for four months in the Mexican desert of Baja California.