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 solarwaterpump 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!!
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.
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.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.