Well it appears that our “crazy ride” to build an off the grid home and live green is finally starting to slow down…a little! I woke up last week to realize that we had one more wall to throw mud (natural plaster) on, and our DIY home solar system to finish and we would be ready to call the county inspector for final inspection. Kinda hard to believe, right!?

It has been such an adventure over the last 10 years and now that our house is nearly done we are so excited to properly share our story with you in an attempt to inspire you and hopefully protect you from some of the mistakes we made through the process. To jump start all this, our son came up to the “Slade Compound” this past weekend to help us film a bit of our story. We love the way the video turned out and are looking forward to following it up with other posts to share our story, educate on some of the green technology/techniques we have learned, and show you other folks who are doing their part in the green living movement.

Check out the video below, let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to check back for future posts.

Our 10 Year Journey Living Off The Gird

So back to our story of trying to live green and building a lifestyle and home that is sustainable. It all started ten years ago, when Tammy and I decided to put our lifestyle where our mouth was, and begin to live green. We had a very comfortable house in Apple Valley but felt that the neighbors were a bit close and we wanted to test some of the ideas of natural design and a way of life that was more sustainable. I had been teaching principles behind the sustainable development movement for years but it was time to put those ideas into action. Here in the Mojave we have the blessing of lots of cheap, undisturbed land and our first step was to get out and find that special place to build our home. Turns out that I discovered our secluded valley while out on my mountain bike, it is only 10 miles from Apple Valley, away from the hustle and bustle of the 300,000 people and absolutely gorgeous.

After spending time just sitting on the acreage, enjoying it, feeling its beauty and thinking how to leave a minimal ecological footprint while mimicking nature in our home design, we decided to build into the side of the hill and of course use as many sustainable practices as possible.

Our natural design- mimicking nature with a small footprint

In this series we will share our experiences, painful and happy in our quest to: minimizing your ecological footprint; design with nature (Natural/Green/Sustainable Design); maximize the sun’s power (Off-the Grid Technology); use alternative building materials (straw bale, Super Adobe, concrete and steel); wall finishes (natural plaster, stucco, urethane); conserve water; and recycle, reuse, revive as many waste materials as possible.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy “walking our walk” with us and meeting some of the wonderful locals, the “desert rats” that have miraculously come into our lives when we needed them most and become great friends/co-conspirators in building a sustainable community here in the Mojave.

If you want to learn more about us, our adventure living off the grid, and the Sustainable Learning Center check out our about page for a full writing on who we are and our mission to make a more sustainable world.