ECO HABITAT ONE
Not for profit ~ Educational ~ Community Building
An educational model for sustainable and ecological building, permaculture,
animal rescue and community building
Pioneering a not for profit initiative in Illinois, to lead the way in effective solutions
for our climate change crisis, and to inspire others by sharing our best practices and experiences via an open source platform.
An innovative model adapted to our climate: cold, wet, snow, windy. Preparing for climate change, for the extremes in weather, which will also include heat, and severe storms. Let’s not wait until those conditions arrive, and we are in the middle of it scrambling for solutions, without adequate proof and experiences of what will work best for us
here in Illinois.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead
Let’s prepare and explore:
• sustainable eco building techniques, non toxic for ourselves and our environment
• different cultivating techniques (small scale organic farming)
• different ways of harvesting energy (wind/solar).
• harmonious ways to live with our animals (rescued animals and animals for therapy)
Let’s create a unique small scale symbiotic habitat for exploration, measuring and gathering experiences of what will work well in Illinois.
Our habitat will consist of a shared space (an educational center, where visitors come from all around the world to learn) and a couple of private residences (for the groundskeepers/caretakers). It will be a small scale endeavor. Examples of such successful set ups can be found in Denmark, which we visited to educate ourselves.
❦ Bio construction and natural building, renewable energy sources
Our houses will be constructed anti-seismic, fire proof, flood-proof, with lasting materials provided by our majestic planet, (water, sand, clay and straw bale), blending old and new innovative technologies, creating solutions which will work best for our climate zone.
We will use different building materials and different construction models: earth bags, clay & straw, domes, circular buildings, reciprocal roofs, green roofs… We will also use recycled and sustainable based materials. The amounts of current construction waste is appalling. Recycling and up-cycling are key.
We will explore ways to gather the light and energy of our nature and astral forces. We will find the most efficient ways to supply our needs for electricity and more: solar power, wind power and biomass. We will use a combination of the following: rocket mass heaters, thermal mass heater, radiant floors, rain water cisterns, green roofs, composting ways, building with recyclable materials, and more.
❦ Organic farming
A small scale farming system with great growing practices and appropriate technology, which will supply food year round for the inhabitants (a couple of families) and a surplus to be shared with the community. All proceeds will be used to re-invest in the eco habitat.
Permaculture, micro nutrients, aquaponics, hydroponics… rain gardens, water catching systems and drainage, regenerative agriculture.
❦ Animal rescue
We are planning to rescue a few animals from their cruel environments (cats, dogs, horses). They will be trained, and properly cared after for their specific situation. They will be an integral part of animal therapy.
Also, we are aware that one of the biggest causes of climate change is the consumption of meat. We also want to put an end to unnecessary cruelty towards animals since we can eat amazing alternative organic healthy products that we can grow in our own eco habitat.
❦ Involving the community & education
People will come help us build, grow food, take care of the animals, and learn about sustainable ways.
Volunteers for the bio construction:
Workshops by national and international experts, paid for by sponsors and donations, free for participants who want to get hands-on experience.
Volunteers to help us build via programs like Workaway.
Middle school, high school, vocational schools & college students:
This eco habitat will also become a platform for students of middle schools, high schools, vocational schools and colleges to participate in free education about sustainable ways of living, and empowering our community building skills.
Architectural students – providing invaluable hands-on experience for them – collaboration with Universities – for credit.
Veterinarian students: will assist us taking care of our animals for credit
Permaculture students: will assist us in growing our food
Our eco habitat will be an educational and instructional center, a model for community involvement and collaboration/working together.
❦ Open Source Website
Our website will be an open source platform, documenting all our best practices and experiences, videos, 3 D models, plans…
❦ Restorative and regenerative
Let’s not just respect and live in harmony with our earth, let’s also be restorative to the earth and our environment and join a worldwide movement. The problems we face do not stop at our borders, and we all need to contribute with unique solutions. Everything we do now affects the entire world.
Like poet and agrarian philosopher Wendell Berry suggests:
“There is no big solution, only many small ones, and
we must rebuild from the ground up.” — Wendell Berry