Solheimar, Iceland

Solheimar, Iceland
Solheimar Ecovillage in Iceland

Earthaven Ecovillage

Earthaven Ecovillage
Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram

Yogaville, Satchidananda Ashram
Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The overall emphasis of this trip to the Icelandic Eco-Village of Solheimar is sustainability.
Coming from a notoriously unsustainable land, my transition into a 100% self-reliant (and foreign) lifestyle will be abrupt and challenging. But the opportunity to exist off the grid of mainstream society while maintaining a mutual coexistence with the Earth will ultimately provide me with the most stark and necessary realizations about my own environmental responsibility back home. It will also give me something to compare the capricious consumption and lifestyle of most Americans and/or capitalist countries to. American free enterprise breeds unsustainability and spreads it across the planet. Its economic system began successfully but no economic system can persist forever. We have reached a point of absurdity in our country's history with proof in the many side effects of a self-destructive economy, including the encroaching constriction of social institutions (Government & Power, Banks & Money, Education system & Time) laziness & ill health sweeping the country (Fake food, Fast food, GMOs, Soda, Sedentary lifestyle) and even mindless herd-like symptoms (Television, Wage labor, Alcohol & Cigarettes). The general consensus in the upper western hemisphere seems to consist of playing into a single persistent global drama, which includes dismantling and polluting the natural landscape. The point has come in America's evolution to stretch out a little bit, to break free from the tiny cage we have constructed around the potential of so many marvelous minds.

Sustainability can certainly be found in America and numerous progressive concepts and ideas seem to be permeating our
language and minds, but we still have a long transformation ahead. Although more and more Americans are aware of the steps required to create a sustainable life and society, not all of them act upon those efforts. We are privileged to have access to ample amounts of valuable information about the world we live in and we must act upon such knowledge. For instance, it has been exposed that most bottled waters are the same or worse quality than household tap water, yet billions of dollars are spent on bottled water anyway. Also, it is known that reducing meat consumption by 50% would drastically cut back energy and water usage, but millions of Americans gobble down meat once or twice a day. We know that oil causes worldwide disputes and despair but we guzzle gallons of gasoline in motor vehicles every day. By now it is common sense that money does not lead to happiness and is an unnecessary & arbitrary idea, but everyone still goes along with the greedy, slavish paper chase.
onvenience and consumption are two of USA's most prominent attributes.
"I'll start using solar panels once I drive to and from the city five days a week for six months in order to afford one". "I will start my own garden and shop locally after the sales at Wal-mart end". "Money is evil, but I'll sacrifice half of my existence to obtaining it". Do you see the paradox? Capitalism and Sustainability do not seem compatible.

I envision my trip to Iceland to be a glimpse into the future of sustainability. I feel as if I may foster several worthy ideas for sustainable pathways in my home country, and I will absolutely develop them in an already functioning Eco-village. Iceland and America are two highly different places, but valuable cross-comparisons can and will be made.

The intention of my blog and research are to inform and inspire people living in parts of the world that fall behind in environmental awareness and excel in one-way environmental degradation, to awaken to the ease of a sustainable lifestyle through the participation of community.

Eco-Villagers are strong proponents of the idea that actions speak louder than words. All they must do is show the rest of world that living in tune with the Earth is possible and indeed quite purposeful and fulfilling. I encourage you to open your heart and mind and let these forward-thinking people make an impact on your life so that after waking up from an unsustainable stupor you will never act mindlessly again: because that is what is necessary for a new paradigm.
Letting Go. I honestly have no idea what to expect from my trip, and do not wish to spend too much time or energy in predetermining my experience, but I do have a few things I am anxious to observe in the microcosmic culture of the Eco-Village.

1) Money
I know from experience that moneyless societies can work. The only moneyless economy I have encountered was the gift economy at Alchemy, a beautiful 4-day peace gathering in Lafayette, Georgia in 2009. Greed creates the problems we encounter on Earth today, which is a direct side-effect of money. I am absolutely thrilled to meet people who value each other and collective labor more than bills and coins.

2) Food
Solheimar grows all their own food organically and sustainably in the village. The village hot spring supplies all their vegetables and animals with geothermally heated water, resulting in their production of 18 tons of vegetables a year. Eating locally in Iceland is easier since globally imported goods are highly taxed.

3) Water
Did I mention the village hot spring? Drinking water directly from the ground will be positively life improving. America's outdated water piping system is crumbling underground and exposes us to chlorine, uranium, lead, industrial solvents, rocket fuel, and cancer-causing chemicals.

4) People
I will travel with an anthropological mindset and refrain from practicing judgment of the people or cultural insensitivity. Solheimar began in 1930 as a place for neglected orphans and disabled children to live. About 42 of the 100 villagers have disabilities.

5) Places
From what little I have seen, Iceland appears to offer absolutely stunning landscapes. I am anxious to get some camera lenses over there and share with you what I see.


  1. right fuckin on man.

    people can be too comfortable for their own good. i noticed that. it's 10232 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside and i'm sitting inside an air-conditioned house while pondering the ecological impact of the BP spill- while i myself am contributing to the unsustainable eco-culture that pervades america. but what am i to do? it's a paradox i want to fix but i do not have the resources nor opportunity to live as you will in iceland- so i'll live vicariously through you.

    keep posting your insights man- it's refreshing to hear a self-conscious take on the issue instead of a purely antagonistic standpoint against a general public.

  2. your thoughts seem ten times more coherent than mine on my blog. and for this i am grateful. counting down the days until this dream becomes a reality man.