Hardcore DIY Sustainability

Thanks to Abe Connally for pointing me to Vela Creations, a site that, among other things, tells the story of Abe and his wife Josie’s four-year experiment in building a sustainable life in the West Texas desert:

We’ve got a bunch of chickens, a garden and the desert for food (goats coming soon). We have a rock and adobe house – still in progress – for shelter. Rain water catchment for water. Wind and solar for power. Composting and recycling for waste.

We try to integrate each system with as many others as possible – killing two birds with one stone can save a lot of time and resources. The roof catches our water, the waste water goes to the garden, the garden gives us food, the wind gives us electricity, and the electricity goes to make this website.

When we first moved out here, we knew relatively little about sustainable living, other than we both craved a simpler and cheaper lifestyle than is now the norm. We’ve made some mistakes and are constantly learning new things, but one thing’s for sure… WE LOVE THIS LIFE. Every day, we get up, have coffee with the early morning, do chores, then get on with whatever project we have going… there’s often a choice. We go to bed tired, but very happy and peaceful.

While I must admit that I’m generally pretty happy with my urban existence, I do get the urge to chuck it all and live a simpler life. Most of us probably consider that a fantasy, so it’s very cool to see people living that dream. Additionally, Abe and Josie’s website is chock-full of plans and designs for windmills, composting systems, and growing food. In fact, I’d suggest that this site provides a nice model of open-source appropriate technology… yes?

Thanks for sharing, Abe! It’s good to know that the spirit of self-reliance (green self-reliance at that) isn’t dead. You guys are inspiring!

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