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 accelerate the creation of urban ecovillage communities that are environmentally responsible, low maintenance, and sustainable longterm by using resources in a balanced and efficient way and sharing education, skills, and food. Community spaces will provide training workshops and permaculture education. Keep reading to find out how to get involved. And watch some great videos on our facebook page: Urban Ecovillage. Click the link on the upper left of this homepage.
The Sage Projects philosophy is to work toward a reduced environmental footprint and a healthy environment through education and networking. 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 environmental activism and a health conscious lifestyle with other like minded people. It is now rare to find high quality living spaces with low rental costs. By working together and pooling our resources, we can co-create high quality living spaces with a low cost of living.
We have searched for a few years looking at ways to raise funds for land and materials. In the winter of 2015, we are starting a fundraising project. We are not going to start building until we have land that is free of mortgage loans so we can keep costs down. See how you can get involved by clicking on the 'help us' tab on the top of this homepage. If the link does not work, the project has not started yet. If you do not have much free time you can still help just by telling others about it. If you choose to get more involved, you can learn how to help us raise funds. You can also be trained how to earn income for yourself part time or full time. All we ask is that you tell others about our fundraising plan.
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 sustainable and free of 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 us 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 your making six figures 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, you have paid very little off the balance of the loan and have to start all over. Interesting racked they have going there.
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 to find what works. When it comes to a sustainable planet, there are better choices out there than what you usually see advertised but you need mentors.
Communities: 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 have come together to create a low cost of higher quality living in a sustainable way. We spend our vacation time in remote ecovillages that have a low cost of living, organic gardens, and fresh eggs and dairy. But these places are not close to colleges and major employers. Our intention is to create a few similar places that are close to urban centers while living in a quiet country 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 and we already have several friends who are very interested. Co housing and ecovillage living has been done successfully in places we visit but they are not close to urban centers. The Sage Project is not a commune and is not affiliated with any religious group or lifestyle. We are an intentionally community where theft and violence against others will not be tolerated.
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 and wind turbines were developed many years ago but are not yet mainstream.
How much of this unsustainable world do you feel is a result of culture? 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. When people gather in nature, away from cell phones, computers, and television, something magical happens. It is a simple, daily custom to have a moment of leisure with friends who share some common values.
We believe that humanity currently has the knowledge to have a new 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 at our CSA gardens. We are not concerned about how large our network becomes. Our intention is to provide information and let it have the opportunity to grow and pay it forward.
Experience: Some of our friends are builders, gardeners, and renewable energy experts. After visiting ecovillages for many years, we are making an effort to start an urban ecovillage of small low maintenance off grid homes surrounded by organic gardens supporting a CSA. A CSA is a small business that sells freshly picked organic garden produce to the local community. 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 be almost zero because we will support each other in maintaining our own clean energy systems. Our property taxes will be low because the cost is shared between residents while also having lower than average rents. Rents will also be used for maintenance and construction costs so new folks can move in without the burden of trying to build a home. This also provides some protection from unwanted neighbors.
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. With the latest technology we can now use a solar powered air conditioner that works well for a small living space for under $1200. If the living space gets bigger, a larger system is needed which costs more. For basic electricity it is fairly simple to have a portable solar generator. Sometimes the popular culture way of doing things is not the most efficient. And what is advertised on TV is not always the most cost effective. With new technology, some people now prefer to have no electric bill and buy some parts once in a while compared to paying a monthly utility bill of hundreds of dollars from a power plant that pollutes the environment.
Rentals: Searching for rentals? We hope to have some soon and sometimes help local property owners advertise. Join our growing community of supporters at our facebook page by clicking the icon at the upper left of this homepage and view some of the sustainability vidoes. Help us with promotions by clicking on the 'SHARE' botton at the bottom of our inspirational posts on facebook. Land will be owned by a trust, and rentals will usually be managed by offsite professional property managers. Residents can make income by working at the CSA or holding their own workshops in community spaces. To help prevent noise, we will usually not allow noisy pets or a home day care business; however, if the location has a problem with deer trying to jump the fences into the gardens, then a dog or two may be needed to keep them away.
Fundraising and How You Can Help: We are working on a fundraising project for land and materials and searching for other creative ways to fundraise that are efficient. Click on the 'help us' tab at the top of the page for more information.
Respect and Equality: We do not follow any religion and work to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. We follow the Golden Rule: Treat others how you would want to be treated. We have a policy of nonviolence. We have a no tolerance policy for physical and mental abuse. Some of us are experienced facilitators. Yelling in anger is not allowed because it disturbs others when we live in close quarters. To most spiritually minded people and also many atheists, life is sacred. Mindful critical thinking should be used before taking actions that could harm others.
Ecovillages: The Sage Projects is an organization designed to accelerate the development and implementation of urban ecovillages to promote healthy living spaces that are both environmentally responsible, low cost, and sustainable longterm. The Sage Projects are designed to provide training workshops, green building opportunities, CSA gardens, permaculture education, and resource support.
Human Needs: Most people in modern times do not have enough free time to stay healthy which causes more stress. People need time for adequate sleep, and those who live as we do need time to cook at home and maintain organic gardens. Busy professionals end up eating a lot of meals in restaurants where the food may be loaded with salt, sugar, and genetically modified foods. To maintain optimal health and healing, people need clean air, clean water, clean food, and longterm economic stability to reduce stress.
Urban Ecovillages: The reason you dont find urban ecovillages is because most people do not know how to manage rental properties or a CSA. Some of our members have been property managers for many years. You may be thinking that small off grid homes are not allowed in most cities, but we have found a few places where they are allowed.
Solar Air Conditioning: We now have the technology to design homes that produce more energy than they consume, and produce their 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 almost no heating and cooling. With new technologyit is even possible to run air conditioning that is powered by the sun! After studying and searching for years we are finally 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.
Resources: We have learned to reduce the cost of living by working together to pool our experience. We share land, gardens, labor, and technology. Our cost of living will be reduced from our annual expenses by providing educational workshops and making income from surplus crops from our CSA gardens. Land is planned to be held in a trust with common areas shared. Small homes will be rented.
Technology: We have a small portable solar generator that can run our laptop, cell phone, lights, and small appliances. You can find it at The Golden Gate website. 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 methods of gardening that produce twice as much produce faster than usual.
Expenses: 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. By living on a land trust with gardens, we work together to reduce our living expenses which helps us to stay away from funding the owners of companies who are already super wealthy and do not need our money.
"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
EcoHomes: Eco Homes are small sustainably designed homes that artfully blend high and low-tech features throughout in an eco-savvy demonstration of attractive, comfortable and energy-efficient living. An eco home can be beautiful, healthy, and sustainably efficient. Eco Home Designers are artful spaces with chemical senstivity and wholistic sustainability in mind, brilliantly wrapped around an exterior courtyard for an inspiring mix of functional minimalism and expansive space. Each primary living space extends into the outdoor courtyard as the social, physical, and conceptual core of the house.
Natural breezes ventilate the home, and tubes hidden below radiantly heat the floor as needed. Select noble gases inside the windows help mediate the sun's rays. Walls come insulated with high tech insulation with custom designed sun barriers for enhanced comfort, illuminated by LEDs and skylights.
An island rolls, skylights and shade screens adjust. A waterproof bathroom, plant based foam mattresses, handcrafted dishes, hypo allergenic textiles, and high tech fixtures exquisitely balance the sustainably efficient appliances and clean energy systems. Outside raised boxes of organic vegetables and native flora lead to an inviting natural pool heated and circulated by the energy of the sun and cleansed by water plants inspired by evolved riparian zones. A second system of sand, gravel, and plants filter and clean graywater for sublime practicality of conservation. A sprinkling of new digital tech lets you monitor and manage it all remotely from the residents cellphone or computer.
Efficiency and Respect of Resources: In the news, we hear that the federal and state governments lose up to fifty percent of collected tax revenue due to "inefficiencies and careless over-spending". That is very insulting to the taxpayers because that money is gathered from our hard earned income. Imagine how much good could be done with that money if it was not wasted, but used efficiently by people who are mindful.
Working together in this way, people have the space and time for sustainable living while feeling supported, and sharing the resources and skills we need to continue to grow and evolve efficiently long-term. People are upset about situations that we feel we have no control over, like environmental pollution, social situations, and wars. Wherever you go in the world, people are screaming about deception and lies.
People need healthy ways to be an activist. If something does not resonate as true, look further into it. The distortion of the media is like a tangled web that we are in and how do we get out? Many of us know when we are being lied to and do not discount those thoughts or write them off. Corruption needs to be cleared up or it will just continue. The main thing we want is peace and happiness, and what brings peace. We expect a large influx of like minded people as we grow. We are not concerned about growing too much because it will happen with mutual support from each other. And if that mutual support does not happen we will stay small which is ok too.
This information is for those who are interested in taking action to help humanity create and sustain a healthy planet. It is also a knowledge base for those interested in learning how. Imagine living in a sustainably designed residence, contemporary woodland cottage, or rustic cabin retreat with clean energy, organic gardens, clean air, clean water, open outdoor spaces, and large common spaces for workshops, pilates, and art studios that have a low cost of living and also support a healthy sustainable planet!
"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. 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. Its a drag to come back to the city and not be able to live like that all the time. In some locations this 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 and eat fresh organic foods from the gardens. They are off grid and all electricity is produced with clean energy systems. The mineral rich water comes from mountain springs.
Pollution Reduction: Buildings are one of the largest users of energy creating pollution and carbon emissions. Imagine all the homes and buildings running air conditioning, lights, and heating twenty four hours a day, powered by fossil fueled power plants sending toxins into the air and water. Supporting the design and construction of sustainable buildings that utilize clean energy and sustainably sources materials is a key factor for a sustainable future. When most of our buildings are built with sustainability in mind and most vehicles are running on clean energy fuel cells and electric supplied by clean energy, the planet may finally have a chance to be clean and healthy. This will also help people with health problems caused by air pollution such as children with aethsma.
Design and Planning: Our intention is to organize and live in a way that contributes our efforts and energy toward a more healthy planet. We put energy into environmental activism rather than putting into enhancing profits for large organizations owned by very wealthy people who focus on personal profits rather than global sustainability. The Sage Projects was founded on the fact that we can co-create a higher and more satisfying quality of life together working as a group than we can do as individuals by sharing skills and resources. We believe in sharing knowledge and skills and paying it forward.
Testing: We would like to see Urban Ecovillages in different locations with living spaces that include both cohousing and individual spaces, year round organic food production, and common spaces for workshops. Our personal research, design, and developments includes spending time in ecovillages and retreat centers across the country over the years. We have several home and garden designs and have tested food production and clean energy methods to find out what works and what does'nt. It has been a long journey, many hours of work, the personal expenses of travel and buying books and paying for workshops, but the benefits of knowing what works and having skills and know-how is worth the effort. And one benefit is better overall health. For now, we are looking for fundraising methods for the cost of urban land to start the next project. After that is completed, we will be able to produce income from workshops, clean energy production, organic produce, and more.
Angel Investors: We focus most of our work on sharing education and resources. We are building an information base of systems that work well. If you are an Angel Investor who would like to contribute, you are welcome to do that at the right side bar of this page through Dwolla or contact us by email:
thesageprojects@gmail dot com. We have spelled out 'dot' to avoid spam bots.
Efficiency: People talk about the problems of the world, but are sometimes confused about what we can do about it. What seems to be lacking is strategic thinking and a system of sharing knowledge of what really works. 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, rentals, and the loss of jobs overseas; however, working together as a group we believe we can accomplish that opportunity and keep it long-term. We have seen successful examples in remote locations but would like to live in urban areas for employment, educational, and social opportunities.
Environment: 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 so lets work together to create a low cost of higher quality living.