• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

grassroots alt. energy organization

Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello there,

I am currently creating a grassroots sustainable alternative energy community focused on using recycle materials as tools of energy- independence and community empowerment and am really trying to reach out and find people to collaborate with. I am wondering if anybody has any suggestions for how to get things moving further along...

I am extremely passionate about alternative energy, sustainable living, organic/permaculture gardening, creative healthy cooking, and discovering ways to foster sustainable, loving and creative communities.

I was a mechanical engineering student at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, I am now placing energy and passion towards fostering beautiful and harmonious ways of living sustainably, and to share that with the world.

For the past 2 months, I have been an intern at a sustainable intentional living community called windward (www.windward.org) in Washington state. I installed a solar grid-tie unit and they are now selling energy back to the grid; I also worked on setting up a solar water pump unit. As a group in general, we were focusing on creating closed loop food cycles taking into consideration animals such as sheep, goats, and chickens which supply fertilizer, composting, organic food growing, and creating diverse micro-climates as well as sustainable forestry. We were also utilizing home-built aquaponics systems for growing certain crops such as mint, basil, chives using a closed-loop fish hydroponics system as well as a duckponics system which utilizes cycled duck pond water as fertilizer for two large growing units with a rock soil substrate. We also focused on finding more positive ways of relating and understanding our relationship both with the earth and among fellow human beings at the community. (Check out some recent note blog posts here: http://www.windward.org/notes/notes70/index70.htm )

I have also WWOOF'd at an organic farm in Wisconsin

Within the past few weeks, I have been working on putting into reality an organization called Rain Fuel. Rain Fuel is a grassroots community project that focuses on using waste-stream and recycled materials (things that otherwise go to waste every day in urban areas and/or can be sourced cheaply- raw materials, glass, alternators, pvc piping, 55 gallon barrels, chipped/damaged solar cells, waste veggie oil, etc.) as empowering tools to build solar panels, wind turbines, and create biofuel from the ground up at lower costs than commercial solutions. The alternative energy sustainable solutions created by the Rain Fuel community are then deployed within the local community, fostering a vision for energy independence while increasing awareness and knowledge for those who get involved in the building process.

Focus is on inspiring creativity through material re-use, knowledge and skill raising with do-it-yourself construction, and on fostering a close-knit sense of belonging between people and the earth through sustainable solution development.

I've got a website up outlining the idea here: (http:// www.rainfuel.com/). I am currently looking for people that are interested in building community through such grassroots collaborative alternative energy/sustainable solution implementation (also looking for some type of small production space/studio with basic tools to construct homegrown alternative energy projects). I have recently completed some projects such as building robust solar cooking ovens and have invested in solar cells to build photovoltaic panels though I want to get traction on finding a physical space that could implement more of these ideas, find the right people to get involved with, etc.

I am traveling around the west coast and am currently in the Vancouver, BC area searching for individuals/communities that I can settle in with who have similar passions.

Anyways, I really enjoy joining together with people who have similar earth-positive ideas and would love to learn more about what kinds of projects you have going on and see if you are looking for any assistance or if you have any ideas/suggestions in terms of finding people I should get in touch with to get this going further along. Do you feel interested? I am very open and excited to any thoughts!!


Ethan Lofton

Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
hugelkultur forest garden duck trees books chicken food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some thoughts for getting the word out, promoting the site and creating a buzz are:

Record your workshop creations, place teasers up on youtube and the full 'how to' video up on your website, along with step by step instructions.  People love to be shown how to do things - it's a magnet.  You can ask for a donation for viewing the lessons, or put them behind a sign up and require some volunteer/community service support for the viewing.

Cross link with the freecycle blog in your area, with other DIY green sites and with special interest groups.

And finally post peoples I Did It! stories, complete with pictures....

In other words create a virtual community with the site being the hub.

All the best ♥
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Micael Greer has put together an interesting project, with similar goals and scope.

He's a strong believer in dissensus, so I think he might even be grateful if you were to take a sympathetic group of people who had been going with the general flow of things there, and lead them off in a new direction.
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

I wish you were in Kansas, I'd love to be involved!
Ethan Lofton
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you everybody for your suggestions!

I will keep on working on it!
Montana has cold dark nights. Perfect for the heat from incandescent light. Tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic