Self Sustainable Living

January 01, 2012
by Elise Whitworth

For years now, Lee and I have shared a vision of a 100% self-sustainable eco-conscious community / village. I’ve been meaning to write about it and get a feel for how interested others are in this vision and whether we should go for it.  

Due to a recent conversation, I feel like it’s time to share.

Here are the different parts of the vision, some parts may happen, others may not:

Community and Private Homes 

Some houses would be built co-housing style, sharing heat and reducing construction costs, while other homes would be in a more private area.  The community would be spread out but within easy walking / biking / horseback riding distance.

Eco-Conscious Construction & Individuality 

The buildings and homes would all be built or re-furbished using recycled and eco-friendly materials.  All homes will be unique and expresses the individual or family’s style.  Some of us will build our homes using shipping containers, very cool looking homes!


Live off the Land, With the Seasons

A big organic farm would provide the community with healthy, fresh food. Residents would be encouraged to maintain their own little gardens too.


Self-Sustainable Energy Use

We would use windmills and solar panels to generate electricity and heat for the buildings, but we would also have conventional sources for emergencies.


Shared Values & Bi-lingual

The most important common denominator will be the desire to live closer to nature, be environmentally responsible and healthy.  Many of the residents, hearing or deaf, would be fluent in ASL, but not required.

Community, Event & Retreat Center

A large community center with housing would host regular community events and provide a place for guests and visitors to stay.  There would be a great studio for yoga, rooms wired with tech for classes and workshops, and a large multi-purpose room with a stage.

Unique School, All Around Education

We will have our own unique charter school, little “red school house” style utilizing online curriculum and lessons with just a few administrators, teachers, and learning coaches, all fluent in ASL.
Did you know that if we set up a program using online school curriculum (eg k12.com), the state pays for everything (some states also pay for computer equipment), to support home-schoolers in getting an alternative education.
With academic needs met through the online school, the folk who run the school can focus on offering additional education in “real life” skills; cooking, gardening, hunting (optional, of course!), making clothes, animal husbandry, how to interact with and treat other people, etc.  The possibilities are endless!

Religious Freedom

Freedom to practice whatever religion one wants and to talk about those religions, but any forms of pressure to join a religion would be dis-encouraged.  Groups may use the community center for spiritual practice or build their own little church / spiritual center.