A Logger and a Hippy Walk Into a Room….
It’s unique, from my perspective, that stereotypical characters can come together so easily once the mystery of the other is shed. This is one reason why this island rocks my boat. It is brimming with vast diversity, starting with the flora & fauna to my next door neighbor. And it is in this diversity, where I find the glue the ends up pulling the world around us all together. This is why the story of a timber company coming together with a ecovillage is so excellent! O.U.R. Ecovillage has partnered up with Timberwest and Couverdon out of Nanaimo, BC to form this oh so, excellent community partnership with a common goal of reducing the waste stream and being part of a key initiative at the village, affordable housing. They have generously donated two truck loads full of fallen, “commercially unusable”, fir logs that have been diverted from slash piles on the north side of Lake Cowichan. The trees were either dead standing snags that were cut because of the safety risk they pose to workers in the area, or they were trees already down as a result of wind throw. In either case, the trees were too decayed for commercial milling processes but certainly maintain great structural integrity for building purposes.
For us, it was like winning the lottery. For them, I would imagine, a huge relief that they were able to divert perfectly usable wood… and walk away knowing how much of a huge affect they have within their communities.
Sue, Domenico and Murray arrive here Tuesday morning before the truck came, giving Brandy a chance to walk and talk with them about all the amazing projects O.U.R. Ecovillage is involved in. Most importantly O.U.R. affordable housing project. If anyone has ever been here or has heard Brandy talk about a project, you know how inspiring and exciting it can be. The little imagination factory in everyone’s brains was on overload as she described how these logs would be given a 2nd life, as with many other materials on site, in the building of affordable houses. To demonstrate these materials in action we walked up to Freya’s house, O.U.R. model of affordable housing and first of many to come in the affordable housing cluster. This is Freya’s….I know, beautiful… right!?!?! … it looks like a home that’s been built with love and devotion. Not a box with drywall and paint. This is an affordable home because it’s been built by a community. It is composed of recycled, up-cycled, reused, salvaged materials, that has been given a second chance on life. Just like the logs received from TimberWest and Couverdon. And because of this creative take on materials and their use, it drives down the cost significantly. Creating a beautiful, natural, healthy home that is attainable for everyone. This is what affordable homes should be about and it is with enthusiasm that I got to be part of this awesome tipping point where a timber company went above and beyond and hooked up an Ecovillage. Perspectives altered, if not slightly, significantly by the simple act of look at ‘waste’ and seeing the beauty that can be created.