Introduction: The sage projects is a place to grow, and connects citizens who are environmentally conscious with the resources they need to implement innovative and timeless sustainable processes. Our mission is to create urban ecovillage communities that are environmentally responsible, low maintenance, and sustainable longterm by using resources in a balanced and efficient way by sharing education, skills, and fresh local organic food from our gardens and CSA. Community spaces will provide workshops and permaculture education. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved.
The Sage Projects philosophy is balance. A healthy balance and high quality of life through sustainability while living in syncronicity with nature instead of working against it and causing pollution. We work together to share methods of sustainable longterm balance. And to have more freedom while helping to create a more healthy planet for the future. TSP helps to empower citizens with the resources they need to implement and share innovative processes in a pay it forward manner to restore the environment, social health, and vitality of communities while residents have more free time to pursue individual goals and dreams.
If you are in a position where you are working full time but not able to save financially, then you may be looking for a change into a more sustainble living. Since prices doubled in the mid 90's and keep going up, it is now rare to find high quality living spaces with low rental costs near large cities. By working together and pooling our skills and resources, we would like to co-create high quality living spaces with a more sustainable cost of living. The Sage Projects is not a commune and is not affiliated with any religious groups. We are an intentional pacifist environmental community where members believe that all citizens should have the same equal rights and where theft and violence against others is not tolerated.
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Property Management: If you are a property manager or owner of rental property and are sustainability minded, we have a very large following of members looking for rentals. Contact us on our contact page for more information.
Green Energy: If you are interested in the green energy field supporting wind and solar power, there is an opportunity for those with a background in sales to work as a consultant for a national company that is growing across the country. Account representatives are needed for training and account management. District managers are also needed who have excellent leadership and team building skills. You should be a people person with some work history in sales. This company has a lucrative compensation plan and the best part is that you can telecommute and have a flexible schedule.
History: One of our members renovated a small apartment building in a downtown area and converted it into a sustainable living building with green design elements. He added composting and small gardens on the property. Later he replaced all the applicances with new low energy consumption appliances, changed all the plumbing fixtures to reduce water use, added some solar systems to reduce the electric bills by half and changed the interior materials to be durable longterm. The residents were happy. They lived in a newly renovated, clean, environmentally friendly property with low utility bills and lower than average rents. The owner intended to manage the property through the rest of his life.
After a few years the owner started to run into sustainability issues due to tax hikes. Like most owners, he had a mortage. He had the rents at an amount to cover all the bills in a not for profit plan with a small amount of income for maintenance costs and repairs. The city added a new tax that they called a "hospital district tax". Then later that year some new condos and apartment buildings were built nearby and other owners renovated their buildings. The property taxes were going to double in the next two years. Because of the huge tax hike, the only option for the owner was to raise rents to market rate or sell. The intention was never to have market rate rents for profit, so he sold the property. The tentants had to move further away from downtown into run down apartments in lower quality neighborhoods to find similar rents. That owner is now waiting to help us with our construction projects as a member.
Land: We have researched for years looking at ways that we can work as a group to raise funds for land and materials. We are not going to start building until we have land that is free of mortgage loans so we can keep costs down. We have a trust account set up that will only be used for the fundraising project and donations. Our projects will have financial transparency. Members will be able to see income, donations, and expenses. Decisions will typically be made by consensus of all members after we discuss options. If the 'help us' tab does not work, the fundraising project has not started yet or we are still searching for options.
Sustainability: Our living expenses will be lower than average because we can help new members learn how to produce high volume organic crops and share them. We will produce our own energy and in some locations, sell surplus power back to power companies. Financially we will be living in small houses that do not have a mortgage. In a worst case scenario, such as a zoning change, our small homes could be moved to another location.
Communities: Through sharing experience, education, experimentation, trial and error, and discovery, a great deal of progress can be made in positive ways while we work toward living in a world that is more sustainable and with less environmental pollution. Daily living does not have to be expensive or cause pollution to the environment. Most of us are, or have been renters. The cost of home maintenance, utilities, land, and taxes is making it more and more difficult to own a home. Some of our friends have been managers of properties or have worked in real estate or finance. We have been comparing notes and sharing experience and information about the cost of living over the years. Most of us have realized that unless you have a higher than average income, and have a two income family, it may not be worth it to be strapped to a 30 year mortgage where most of your payment is going to a bank in the form of interest. If you move within ten years, only a very small amount of your payments have actually gone to lower your loan balance. So after all the money you paid every month for years, your loan balance is almost the same as when you started, so you pretty much starting from scratch. Where did most of the money go? To the bank in the form of income.
Pay it Forward Mentors: By helping share information about off grid living systems, some of us now have no utility bills and grow most of our own vegetables and share surplus crops. It is possible to lower our cost of living while having more free time to enjoy personal interests but it takes education and experimenting, and unless you know people with experience who know what works and what does not and who are willing to educate others and share information it can be very difficult and expensive to figure out what works. When it comes to a sustainable planet, there are better choices out there than what you usually see advertised but you need experienced mentors.
Ecovillages and Carbon Footprint: Many people do not want to live in a way that causes more pollution for the environment. There are alot of people talking about sustainability and some form groups to live together in a mroe sustainable way. We spend our vacation time in remote ecovillages that have a low cost of living, organic gardens, fresh organic eggs, and fresh milk. These places are not close to colleges and major employers so we cannot live there full time. Our intention is to create a few similar places that are close to urban centers while living in a quiet setting in a sustainable way so we can enjoy the same lifestyle while we are not on vacation. This is a large task so a person cannot do it alone. We already have several friends who are very interested.
Unnecessary Pollution: The earth has had life for over 700 million years. From the time man invented the airplane to the time the first nuclear bomb was dropped on a city was only fifty years. Our technological development has gotten way ahead of our social and spiritual development. We have become dangerous to ourselves and others and to the biosphere of the earth. All of this is unnecessary. Its time to work together for the common good. New developments are happening but they take many years to take hold. Fuel cell vehicles, wind farms, and solar systems were developed many years ago but are not yet mainstream.
Can conscious decision-making be a potential remedy to create a more sustainable future? Most of it is just a personal choice but people first need to be informed. Humanity currently has the knowledge to have a restorative model of living in balance with the planet, without doing harm and causing pollution, by utilizing sustainable and mindful development. Our urban ecovillage plan is designed to be a not for profit organization that is self funding to create a lower cost of higher quality living with systems maintained by members and by those who come to learn and volunteer. We are not concerned about how large our network becomes as long as we all work togeher. Our intention is to provide information and let it have the opportunity to grow and pay it forward.
Working: The properties we chose will likely have an existing home at the front of the property. We plan to use that existing house as a coffee house - tea house - deli by day, and a bed and breakfast by night. The coffee house deli will have healthy fresh prepared foods, juices, herb teas, and smoothies made from our gardens. Did you know there are some herbal teas that energize like coffee and taste great while providing a high amount of anti-oxidants? If you want to slow the aging process, have more energy, and look younger, anti -oxidants are key. So is an alkyline ph in your body.
Some of us who garden usually have more crops than we can use, so we trade with friends, and can also suppy the deli. The bed and breakfast will be available for overnight visitors. Visitors who want to support us can use the coffee house/deli/bed and breakfast to help residents earn income. Some of our members are massage therapists, reiki practitioners, pilates instructors, and other healers, so visitors will be able to enjoy those services also.
Experience: Some of our friends are certified builders, licenced teachers, permaculture gardeners, facilitators, and renewable energy experts. We have found some areas around the United States where we can develp an urban ecovillage close to major employers while still living in a quiet country setting. The land taxes are higher when you are closer to an urban center, so we plan to use funds from the CSA, workshops, and a bread and breakfast to help cover that cost. Our utility bills will hopefully be zero and we will also earn income from our wind and solar systems sending energy to the main local grid. Rents are intended to be lower than average and used for expenses in a not for profit plan with financial transparency for members.
Solar Electric: By living in smaller homes, we lower our need for heat and air conditioning which makes it easier to be off grid. When the local fossil fuel power plant runs less, it produces less pollution. We support sustainable technology. With the latest technology we can now use a solar powered air conditioner that works well for a small living space. If the living space gets bigger, a larger system is needed which costs more. For basic electricity it is now fairly simple to have a portable solar generator if you know how to do it.
Winter Systems: Those who are educated in green design and earthships know that its possible to design homes with no heating and air condition costs, even in places like Canada or Northern New Mexico. Through design, homes and greenhouse growing domes can use heat from the sun to provide heat and grow food, even during the winter months.
Respect and Equality: We do not follow any religions and work to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. We follow the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would want to be treated.
Solar Air Conditioning to Reduce Pollution: We now have new technology to design homes that produce more energy than they consume, and to produce our own power and water. Rainwater harvesting and photovoltaics gather and store solar energy to make a home for the modern day. By being mindful of heat from the sun, shade, natural ventilation, and cold from the earth, homes can require no heating and cooling from the grid. With new technology it is even possible to run air conditioning that is powered by the sun if you live in small spaces! After studying and searching for years we are able to have low cost solar airconditioning. Compare that to most home in the South of North America that have an average monthly electric bill of three hundred dollars or more for an average size three bedroom home. And when electricity is used from the grid, power plants are pumping smog into the air and polluting the environment. In cities that have have electric from commercial wind towers, we can choose to connect to the grid for clean energy, and then earn income when our own clean energy systems feed surplus energy into the grid.
New Technology: We have a small portable solar generator that can run our laptop, cell phone, lights, and small appliances. The instruction book will be available online if there are enough people who ask for it. We also have a solar air conditioner than can cool a small home during the summer months without paying for an electric bill. We have new methods of organic gardening that produce twice as much food faster than usual. How do we know how? Through trying many different systems and sharing information about what works and what does not.
Servitude and Debt: Struggling to make ends meet? Did you know the CEO of Target has an annual salary over 21 million dollars? The CEO of Walmart has an annual salary over 35 Million dollars. The major shareholders of Walmart are the Walton family and they are all Billionaires. Yet most employees do not have basic healthcare benefits and have to sign up for food stamps which is a drain on american taxpayers. By living on a land trust with gardens, we work together to provide for our needs so that we are not so dependant on buying from others.
"Today, we have access to highly advanced technologies, but our social and economic system has not kept up with our technological capabilities that could easily create a world of abundance, free of servitude and debt."
"We're running into a lot of new problems today because of what we emphasize in this culture. The word 'success' to the average person means earning a lot of money and having a home, two cars, children in college. Success to me is entirely different to what success is to the average person. Success is being a successful human being in terms of pursuing what you believe in. If you believe in making paintings, writing poetry, writing music. If this is what you really want, you're successful to yourself. But to be successful to your culture means to sell yourself short of what you really want." - Jacque Fresco
"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." -Buddha
Ecovillage Vacations: We spend time at ecovillages in a few states across North America in rural areas for our annual vacations because they are very relaxing and fun. Hiking in the mountains in fresh air is a great way to stay in shape. Taking a nap in a hammock, hiking mountain trails, bathing in a waterfall, meeting new like minded friends, sitting around a bonfire at night, getting a massage, sauna, group discussions, eating organic meals from the gardens, and taking showers in an outdoor solar heated shower is alot more fun than sitting in a hotel room or a crowded restaurant. Its a drag to come back to the city and not be able to live like that all the time. In some locations, ecovillage land is many acres of mountain forest adjacent to ancient native american sacred land. They are used as retreats where people come to build up their health, eat fresh organic foods from the gardens, and have new experiences. Most are off grid and all electricity is produced with clean energy systems. The mineral rich water comes from mountain springs. In some countries, ecovillages are very remote, with very little contact with the outside world.
Efficiency: People often talk about the problems of the world, but many do not discuss things we can do as a solution. What seems to be lacking is strategic thinking and a system of sharing knowledge about what works and what does not work. Many of us would like to have an off-grid sustainably designed home and garden, but cannot afford it because of the rising cost of homes, land, construction, rentals, and the loss of jobs overseas; however, working together as a group with members who have professional experience, we believe we can accomplish that opportunity and keep it sustainable long-term. We have seen successful examples in remote locations but would like to live in urban areas for employment, educational, and social opportunities.