To be blunt, we are takers who don’t replenish the nutrients and elements we take out of the Earth. By doing this we are literally draining our planet of the resources it needs to support life on Earth, and eventually, it will not be able to sustain any living thing. We can all take small steps to help the Earth and feel good knowing we are not adding to the problem. Environmental debt is what we owe the Earth and repaying it isn’t as hard as it sounds.

I have never heard of Environmental Debt, what is it?

It is what we owe back to the Earth for what we take out of it. It is about repaying the nutrients and other elements that our planet needs to survive, and for us to live. Reducing the carbon footprint by sourcing local ingredients instead of purchasing from the store, seeking products that give back to the Earth (compostable / biodegradable) and doing your part to reduce, reuse and recycle are amazing things to do. Environmental debt goes a bit deeper … literally by putting nutrients back into the earth and removing toxic elements.

The Gaia hypothesis is based on the principle of balance – what we take out, we must put back, in order for the earth to maintain livable conditions for every plant and animal.

What is the Gaia hypothesis?

Gaia is an ancient belief turned into a modern scientific hypothesis that the Earth is a living organism. The hypothesis states that the Earth, or Gaia, is constantly trying to maintain balance, which in turn allows her to give us optimal physical and chemical conditions in which to survive. All organisms, large and small, interact with each other and the earth and when this interaction is disrupted, it causes an imbalance that Gaia tries to restore.

Imbalances such as pollution and other factors make this difficult and have caused Gaia harm by making it difficult to restore the balance.

Who is PRSI?

Enter Passive Remediation Systems Inc., a local company located in Vernon, BC, owned by David Derbowka, an environmental engineer who wants a better future for our planet.  Founded in 2004, this company is a rising star in environmental circles for its innovative approach to remediation, climate change and solutions for repaying the environmental debt on small and large scales. Specializing in phytoremediation, PRSI is recognized globally as a leader in its industry. PRSI is a complete environmental company providing turnkey environmentally sound remediation solutions that result in the recapture of property value and untapped revenue streams from the previously polluted property.


One way to help repay the debt is by doing things to aid in the creation of healthy soil, such as “planting Bio-Char into the root zone along with the crops (and green manures and other ‘organic fertilizers’). Bio-Char has specific characteristics (i.e.”micropores”) that appear to be quite useful for soils (and Soil Organisms and Nutrient Cycling) that only appear when biomass (i.e. clean, woody plant matter) is pyrolyzed (or gasified).” 

Dave’s Bio-Char bricks have recently travelled to COP25, the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid! 

He has also been discussed in a new book called Burn: Using fire to Cool The Earth by Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper.  You can purchase the book here: – Burn: Using fire to Cool The Earth by Albert Bates and Kathleen Draper 

You can also read more about Bio-Char here:  Bio-Char 101 or in this great blog by Kathleen Draper: Biochar Bright Spots: Biochar Bricks

Poplar Tree Technology

Another way to help repay environmental debt, on a large scale, is to use poplar trees to naturally filter the groundwater and remove toxic elements, instead of using man-made chemicals to purify it. Poplar trees grow very fast, root deep and provide higher waste loading rates than conventional crops. With harvesting only required every 6 to 12 years, there will be less management at the site. The trees also provide natural habitats as well as a visual and odour barrier.

You can learn more about Poplar tree technology here: Poplar Tree Technology

How can I help to repay environmental debt – Bio-char and soil.

Repaying environmental debt is as simple as putting some Bio-char into your garden, to replenish the natural carbon and nutrients we have removed. PRSI also sells organic soil that is an ideal complement to the Bio-Char and will give your plant the exact nutrients they need. Lab results are available and all soil is thoroughly tested for its nutrients. PRSI soil contains over 20% organic material and includes excellent ratios of potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg) and Calcium (Ca). Soil testing reports are available upon request.

By providing solutions for individuals, businesses and communities, David can help you repay environmental debt and you will feel better knowing that you are doing your part to help sustain our planet. Grab some Bio-Char bricks, some organic soil and plant some poplar trees, give the earth back what it needs.

Contact David at PRSI today for environmentally sound remediation solutions!

1218 Otter Lake Cross Road
Armstrong, BC V0E 1B6

Telephone:  +1-250-306-6377
Email: [email protected]