Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mission Earthship

I've been struggling lately with how to best describe our "mission" for our earthship. It involves a lot of what can be "preachy" topics, and having formerly been a miss-goody-two-shoes--Chris wants to edit "formerly" from this sentence-- I still find it difficult to soften my delivery so we don't appear to ooze self righteousness.

Building an earthship naturally leads to topics such as frugality vs cheapness; recycling vs wastefulness; want vs. need and thinking about the natural world around us and the limited resources the people of this planet actually have. See? Already I can see readers cringing. Usually a discussion about these topics leads to the eventual statement, "well, I will NOT do without my ________". Until a person starts examining these issues in their lives, with an open and honest mind, it is very difficult not to react defensively. I know. Chris led the way in this thinking and had to very patiently wait for me to catch up. Over the last several years I made a lot of statements with capitalized NOTs in them! It's incredibly difficult to let go of conventional thinking...

For both of us our changes were fairly private until last fall when we started this blog. While we were comfortable with our decisions, we knew that our plans were unusual, certainly for our wider circle of friends and family, but even for the general North American population. Despite the direction we are taking, we are after all, fairly normal people who do wonder occassionally what the chatter is among our friends and family when we are not around! Being fairly appreciative of wit in ourselves and others, we recognize the intensely rich fodder for well intentioned chiding and jokes!

In the end, our desire to share our journey outweighed the lack of privacy. After all we have never let opinion change our decisions. Our journey started with us walking away from two highly paid professional jobs in major North American cities more than a decade ago, and starting a log home business. That alone I think set the stage for more unexpected changes.

But I digress, and my journalism profs would shudder; I've buried the lead! We have several fairly concrete aims for our earthship, all of which will lead to discussions of frugaility, wastefullness, fullfilment and probably many other topics we never expected to face. But for now let's start with the concrete goals:

1) To build ourselves a house that is as sustainable as can fit our needs.

2) To build ourselves a house that is within the financial reach of ANYBODY. We want to prove that a family home does not have to tie somebody to a mortgage. To that end I will be tracking our expenditures and posting them on this blog. I'm sure it will be an eye opener for me, as well!

3) To build ourselves a house that uses as much recycled and re-used material as possible.

4) To build ourselves a house. We want to do as much of the work ourselves. Although Chris is an engineer, and we have some practical experience building houses, we do not consider ourselves terribly more experienced than most people.

5) To include and educate our community-in both the local and more global sense -- in building our home. Part of this is committing to updating the blog regularly. We will talk about our other community plans as things progress!

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