A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (2016) – Free Full Documentary

A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (2016) – Free Full Documentary


We now face an existential crisis that may
bring human civilisation to an end. This needs a whole of society effort to try and resolve it. Our current system is a planet-killing Ponzi
scheme. It’s a giant casino of absolutely epic proportions. The consumer way very easily debauches. I think we are losing a sense of community
in many ways. We need to learn about these fundamentals of
a deeper connection to one another and to nature. Maybe there’s another option, maybe there’s
another way – way to live which isn’t the way that I have grown up with or become accustomed
to or just fallen into. The story of industrial civilisation tells
us that limitless economic growth, advanced technology, and material affluence are the
pathways to prosperity. But as we reflect on the world today, it is clear that this
is failing both people and planet. We know this in our heads and feel it in our hearts. And yet, it seems we have not found a new
story by which to live. We are the generation in between stories, desperately clinging to
yesterday’s, but uncertain of tomorrow’s. But then again, perhaps the new story is already
with us. Perhaps we just need to live it into existence. I came because I was looking for a way to
simplify my life. I knew that the way that I was living my life wasn’t right and the
things that seemed – that it seemed necessary to strive for weren’t the things that I
really wanted to strive for. And I’ve always felt that. [Beautiful windows.] So I guess
for the last five or six years I’ve sort of been paring back. I just, yeah, I felt
I didn’t want to have debt, I didn’t want to… didn’t want to feel obligated to work
a 40-hour week and not have time to do the things that really mattered to me. So, for the past year or so I’ve been experimenting
with, I guess, living simply, living sustainably, and trying to challenge myself, I guess, to
live in a way that is less ah harmful towards the planet and, ah, less energy intensive.
I guess I feel like this experiment is an opportunity to push myself a little bit further
and challenge not only myself but the modern environmental movement to, yeah, come to understand
what it is to live sustainably. I’m really looking forward to this year,
being part of a team working together to explore, ah, what it really means to live simply and
sustainably, to work towards living within the resources of one planet. How we can just
improve constantly. And I’m really excited about sharing that beyond the group here and
beyond this place as much as we can to inspire and educate others as well. The idea of this project really interested
me because I’d been trying to apply these principles in my own life in quite an individual
way, hadn’t had much support from the wider group of people I was with, so the idea of
coming here to be in a supportive learning environment and to be meeting lots of new
people who are asking similar questions, challenging things in a similar way, that’s what excited
me, that idea of working as part of a larger movement. Ah, I guess my interest in this project was
to join with like-minded people, learn some skills, give my daughter the opportunity of
living, living on a rural property. Being part of a documentary to…to educate and
inspire others to one planet living, sustainable living. Um, so I was interested in this project because
it provided me with the ability to put the theories of natural building and natural food
production into practice on a bigger scale than I’m able to do in cities and without
actually buying any land, because land’s so expensive at the moment. I’ve been studying permaculture for a long
time, but I’m excited to put it into practice. I want to have experiences and I wanna be
able to use my hands, and have knowledge from experience rather than from books. In terms of the existing infrastructure, in
addition to the house there, there’s a small earth ship, a cob round house, some basic
composting facilities, and a moderately sized farm shed, if you like. My mother loved this
place. So much so that my sister and I spread her ashes here, once she passed away. She
is very much the seed for us, in being able to explore sustainable pathways for the property.
It was not long after this that I was introduced to Samuel Alexander’s book Entropia, and
realised that we were truly on the same page, envisaging a simpler way. I shared all this
with the Gunai Kernai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation’s cultural heritage manager
about our small Braiakolung patch, and Wurruk’an was born. With permission to use “Wurruk”,
a local indigenous word for earth and story, fused with “k’an”, a Mayan term for
seed. We are beginning the build of a tiny house.
It’s about 2.7 by 3.6, and about 3 metres high, so it’s got a footprint of about 10
square metres. We’re trying to use as much reclaimed timber and reclaimed iron as possible.
For the last two or three months I’ve been jumping into skips on the side of the road
or jumping into people’s back yards when they tell me that they’re renovating, or
going to the tip shops or salvage yards or finding windows on the side of the road. We’ve
got about 15 people here for the build over the next week and at the end of that build
I’m hoping that we’ve more or less got ourselves a beautiful, unconventional, tiny
house. This is the tiny house that was built by a
group of people in, when was it, it was January, as well, so it took about a week, and then
I had to install some of the ceiling and a few other bits and pieces myself, but it got
finished in a week. So this is the outside of the tiny house. It’s made out of pretty
much nearly all recycled materials, building materials, it’s probably about, I would
say about 95% all recycled building materials. These weather boards are actually skirting
boards that we sanded down and varnished. So I guess that the main feature of the tiny
house is the geodesic window, which our carpenter Nick made. It’s beautiful. He actually made
the frame and I cut all the glass and did the patterns. First time cutting glass and,
what do you know it worked! And then I made a candle-holder for it and everything. This
makes it a really warm and beautiful space to be in and I look forward to many winter
nights with candles. Then we’ve got, like most tiny houses we’ve got a loft for either
storage or a bed. That’s my bed up there. It’s got a really cute little window. You
can fit quite a lot of things into a tiny house and to be honest it’s quite comfortable.
I’ve got my couch, my bed, I’ve got a work station as well. This is my little desk,
where I end up doing designs from, which is a really beautiful place to work. I often
work with the door open, I’ve got a view down into the valley there. I often work with
a kerosene lamp, candles, sometimes a head torch if it’s getting a little bit too dark.
There’s no power in the house and that’s what I like about it. I like to kind of go
back to nature and it really gives you a feeling of the fluctuations of the seasons and the
cycles of nature as well. I prefer to live in a tiny space. I like to nest, and I don’t
think that you miss out on much … much more than living in a conventional house, in a
quite a larger house, and that’s because it makes you minimise, it makes you realise
how much you don’t need, as well. It makes you realise how functional a small space can
be. In our modern society we have the, usually the feeling that bigger is better, and I don’t
necessarily think that that’s the case. I think that smaller is more cosy and more
nourishing. I grew up in quite a conventional way, in
a little family in sort of suburban England, but my family had a really strong connection
to the natural world. We’d often go for walks in the forest and along moors and I
had a deep love of nature from a young age. And when I was a teenager I, through videos
on the internet and through publications, discovered the extent of the ecological and
social crises happening in the world today – the deforestation, the pollution in the
oceans, the toxic dumps, the factory farming. That really hit me very hard and I became
really concerned about how we were living. I had a deep sense that we shouldn’t be
going down that track but at the time I had no idea that there was an alternative. You can’t produce an answer unless you name
the problem accurately. Unless we really understand the circumstances we’re in, we’re not
gonna get the solutions to find the path to it and I’ve seen what I call, after Barbara
Ehrenreich, a lot of bright siding. Aah… It’s all happy-clappy, it’s all good,
we’re all going in the right direction, there’s renewable energy, sunflowers, all
of this. I think, in part, some of that is a personal psychological response of people
wanting to talk about the good news because it allows them to go on. But we have to deal
with this problem as it really is, and it is arresting and it is difficult. And to pretend
otherwise, to pretend it’s going to be light and easy, that it’s going to be business
as usual, that everybody can keep on making profit and we won’t have to change much,
to think like that, actually means that we can’t get to the solution we need. We need
brutal reality in order to solve the problem. Techno-optimism in particular is, is really
insidious, it’s about telling us we don’t actually have to change anything, we can still
have everything we have now. So we don’t have to worry about any of these pesky limits,
we’ll have everything we have now we’ll just do it all in a green sort of way. … I
think we have to have a recognition of the fact that we are facing limits, and some sense
of the relative timeframe for the different limits that we’re facing, because then we
know what we’re trying to prepare for, and we have an appropriate kind of sense of urgency
as to the need to do it. I hope that by the end of the year I’ll
have a deeper grounding in what it means to live simply, and a greater confidence that
this is in fact a way of approaching life that is deeply nourishing. I believe it is
and the experiences I’ve had so far tell me that it’s something that could be applied
to lots of peoples’ lives for great benefit, but I think the explorations of this year
will help give me confidence in communicating that message and sharing it with a wide range
of people. I hope that by the end of the year these practical explorations will give me
greater clarity of my own realities and vision and how I see my life being a beautiful contribution
to these difficult times that we’re in as a species. I want my life to be a gesture
towards a more stable and loving world. I guess I’m expecting this year to be difficult.
I’m expecting to, yeah, again push simple living to its probably more extreme ends and
try and, I mean I know it’s gonna be uncomfortable but I wanna try and find what my limits are
and try and pare it back to something that’s somewhere in between and more comfortable.
And I guess I’ve been doing that by myself for a little while now and I’m hoping to
do that with a bunch of other people that are interested in the same kind of thing and
maybe we can work together and as a community it might be more rewarding or more enjoyable
or even a bit easier. And yeah I mean if you can extend that to community living, I guess
it’ll be easier to extend to much broader society. [Oh ok, no it’s not matching up anymore.]
I spent the last eight years working in an office, as a town planner, in a number of
different roles, doing different things and in the end of those eight years I was actually
partaking in projects that I was very passionate about, but the bulk of my work that was coming
from up above, my bosses, was not something I was proud or really fully passionate about.
So quitting my job and doing a bit of travelling and then applying to be a part of this project
gave me the ability to remove myself from the daily grind, I guess you could say, and
you know I found that once I you know built my salary up over those eight years working
from part time to a full time, senior employee in a local government, I started spending
that money on luxuries, and since I’ve quit my job it’s been nice to just strip all
those things back and try and live more simply with far less. So over the year I’m hoping
that I’ll be able to construct some form of abode on wheels for very little money,
as I don’t have much, using recycled materials as much as I can. I’ve always had sort of minor health issues
and in my mid-30s they’d developed to a point where it was necessary for me to really
do something … to really take responsibility for my health, because I wasn’t finding
the medical profession helpful and I wasn’t finding anything else that was helping me,
and so I started taking responsibility for my health. And as I understood more about
the way my body works, and the importance of the food that I put in it, and that food
is medicine, and the importance of knowing where your food comes from, and connecting
with your food, the more interested I became in soil, and in gardening, which I had never
really… I mean I’d always been a city girl, I never really knew how a strawberry
grew… wouldn’t have recognised half the plants on my plate if I’d seen them in a
garden. So those understandings led me to leave a desk job that I loved but which I
realised wasn’t healthy for me, it wasn’t good for me to sit at a desk for five days
a week all day, every day, it wasn’t good for me mentally, or physically, or spiritually. Ok, so this is the cob cabin. It was built
in a workshop about a year and half before the project started. It’s… the walls are
30cm thick cob, which is sand, clay and straw and water, and the floor is also cob. There’s
not a lot to show in the cob cabin because I didn’t come with a lot of things, so I
haven’t got much in here, which I’m really loving. I gave away or sold most of my things
before I came to Australia for this project, which was a really liberating experience.
So obviously in the process of being here I’ve accumulated things, because that’s
what we do. One thing I’ve done is make a bed from pallets. There were some rocks
left over from the build and some planks lying around so I made some shelves from rocks and
planks. I’ve got a little plastic solar powered light, which doesn’t put out much
light, but that’s so … I don’t have any other form of power in the cabin. I’m
not going to have any heating for winter. The walls being 30cm-thick cob, it’s really
well insulated so it’s really cool in summer and so far it’s been really warm on cold
days, but obviously we’re not in the heart of winter yet so I don’t know how it’s
gonna be. We need a certain level of material possessions
to be satisfied but beyond that point, which is surprisingly low, it’s actually less
about what we have and more about the way we live and the way we treat others and the
way we feel ourselves to be in relationship with the wider world, and lots of beautiful
writers spoke very clearly about how people can find more satisfaction in a less consumptive
way, which at the same time makes us happier in the west and it also reduces the load that
we’re putting on other people around the world who don’t have access to the wealth
that we’re taking from them. So voluntary simplicity for me is a very elegant way to
both increase personal satisfaction and sense of meaning and richness. There’s now a mountain of literature that
is overwhelmingly convincing that not only are there savage limits to growth but we’ve
gone through many of them, in the sense that it is now utterly impossible for all people
to live at anything like the standard of consumption or environmental impact that we have in rich
countries. And yet the mainstream has virtually ignored that case. The economy at the moment,
despite all those brilliant tech-fix things – like the computerisation of everything
– the resource use rates are going up at a fiercer rate. So if technical advance, technical
fix, is going to solve our problems, well I want to know is when’s it going to start? It often seems to me that these debates about
our environment, our future and our, you know, environmental future come down to almost a
blind faith in technology. And I should say that by background I’m a technologist, I
come from applied physics background, so, you know, I like what technology does for
us. But, we have to be really careful about putting so much faith in this factor. Well, essentially all human political systems
exist to extract wealth from the periphery and concentrate it at the centre. It’s just
that some of them do it a lot more effectively or efficiently than others. Capitalism does
it extremely effectively. So it’s a very effective mechanism for sucking wealth towards
the centre. What you do is you create a Ponzi scheme, essentially, you’re sucking everything
in, but you constantly require a larger and larger periphery to suck it into in order
to keep expanding the capacity of the centre. And if you can’t keep expanding, it will
collapse, like any Ponzi scheme, so you have to keep reaching out further and further. I don’t necessarily think it’s certain
that we’re in for collapse or that it’s happening now. I think trying to make such
a call, a certainty call on this is, would be extremely brave. But I just think the evidence
does appear to be assembling and stacking up for… that it’s likely that we may even
be in the early stages of a collapse mode right now. It just makes sense to me to start
to prepare and I suppose that that to me means expect… being more self-reliant. We’re using organic gardening practices.
So we’re not using any pesticides, we’re not using any fungicides, we’re not using
any chemical fertilisers, anything like that. It’s mainly about trying to build soil in
whatever we can, mostly with compost and mostly with manures. Food is more than just fuel for the body,
it’s… it’s your connection to the land. It’s the most, food is the most intimate
connection to the land because you interact with four of the five senses, you know the
taste and the texture and the smell and the sight, so it’s quite an amazing thing…
to be able to enjoy good food, fresh food, seasonal food, real food, food that doesn’t
come out of a can or a package and you mix water with it or… I don’t understand those
types of food. The giant middlemen in the form of huge multinational
corporations and supermarket chains, are not able to treat farmers in a way that respects
the absolute reality and necessity of diversity. These farmers are being pressured to grow
standard-sized apples without a single blemish, they have to fit the machinery – that is
the harvesting machinery, the washing machinery, the supermarket shelf and the packaging. The
end result is we burn tonnes of food every year, the end result is that the very research
and development at university is now concerned about transportability and the looks of products
not the nutritional value. We don’t know now when our food naturally
grows. You know, we get watermelons in June, in Victoria, watermelons don’t grow in June
in Victoria, you know. And I think that that’s really disconnecting. When you wait for something
to grow in your garden, it’s a completely different feeling because you’ve anticipated
it, you’ve cared for it, it not only tastes delicious but you’ve got this kind of connection
with it that makes it taste even more delicious – and the fact that you’ve waited for
it all season… So we get some of our food from the garden,
but during the winter we haven’t had as much coming in from the garden, so get some
vegetables from the Baw Baw Food Hub, so we’ve been getting sacks of potatoes and sacks of
carrots and sacks of onions from them, as well as garlic in bulk and things like butter
and cheese. They also do veggie boxes, with a range of different vegetables from the local
area, so we’ve been getting them as we’ve progressed through the year. Aside from that
we get our dry goods and other food from a variety of different places. So, we’re aiming
to source our food as locally, ethically and organically as possible, so we choose which
supplier we get different items from so that we’re getting it from as close as possible
and grown in the best way possible for the environment. Because to me food consumption is a moral
act. It is also a political act. And it is up to us, the consumer – or I like to call
ourselves the citizens, not just consumer – to do something about it. Because we can’t
all wait for authorities or government to do something about it, we just have to do
things. It has to be from the bottom up. My name’s Hayden and I build super adobe
domes, and I run workshops and I hope to do it full time and as a real job. It’s 3.6m
in diameter because that falls under the 10sq metre floor space that it needs to be classified
as a ‘shed’, so we don’t actually need a permit for it. About 95% of the building
material is earth. We’ve got a really really large pile of earth that we’ve just pulled
from the site here, so hopefully if your soil is the right consistency you get to use a
really really large percentage of soil that’s on your site. So it’s really really local
materials, really really cheap, and yeah really really easy to build with. Yeah, this is our composting toilet setup,
which we built over the course of a few weeks out of a combination of salvaged hardwood,
local cypress, which makes these, and, yeah, just some other materials that we found around
the place, some hessian sacks from down the road. It’s a pretty simple system. There’s
a urinal over on this side here, and a composting toilet on this side. After we’ve finished
using it we put in a cup of sawdust, just here, from the local cypress mill, and that
just helps it to… it balances the carbon and the nitrogen and it helps it to compost
into a fertiliser. So when we’re done with the bin, when it’s
filled up most of the way, we’ll take it out and put it in a holding bay with all our
other bins and they’ll sit for about 300 days, and we’ll check on the compost after
that time. And during that time they’ll just compost away until eventually they’re,
yeah, beautiful fertiliser for the garden. We’ve used permaculture in the gardens,
where we’re trying to maximise diversity and make sure that there’s a lot of different
kinds of plants around. We’re planting herbs and things like that, as well, for integrated
pest management. Permaculture can be defined in many different ways but it basically, it
stands for permanent agriculture first of all, and then permanent culture, ok, so the
way I see it is basically it’s planning and designing for more permanent kind of systems.
Just like nature does, really, it’s mimicking nature. So, it’s utilising design and careful
research and planning to ensure that you’re creating a self-cycling system that’s regenerative
and produces no waste. So permaculture is really a design system
for both sustainable land use and sustainable living. And so it’s addressing both the
production side of the conundrum and the consumption side, and saying why not bring those things
back together? Well we eat food… we grow a garden, why don’t we grow the food in
the garden and integrate that whole…? Rather than the industrial system, which stretches
everything out in these long supply chains. So bring it back together. And through that
a whole lot of design principals emerged, that, you know, small-scale systems actually
made more sense than large scale ones, that you need a diversity rather than a monoculture. And it’s not just sustainable, sustainable
is not nearly good enough…What you need is not sustainable, you need regenerative,
and that’s exactly what permaculture provides you the ability to do. Rather than our extractive
system, where we’ve constantly been sucking resources out all the time, and cannibalising,
catabalising our natural capital, all the time, rather than doing that and leaving ourselves
less and less and less ability to produce and meet our needs in the future, if you institute
a permaculture system, you’re actually rebuilding that natural capital. Sustainability’s a funny one. Yeah, I feel
like it’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Sustaining. Yeah. I don’t know what it is
that you’re trying to sustain anyway, I mean, yeah, when you think about sustainability
it means I guess that you can continue doing what you’re doing ongoing into the future,
indefinitely. But I just don’t really think that there’s that much that we should be
trying to sustain at the moment. We should be looking at solutions that can improve the
land over the long term, and can improve the lives of people. But I don’t think the rampant
inequality and the extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is something
worth sustaining. I think that’s something worth destroying and challenging and replacing. You’re really answering what is a deep human
need, because that’s how we evolved. It’s coming back onto a track that would allow
life to continue evolving, that would allow for real progress. The other path is suicidal,
we are going to soon get to the point where ‘localise or die’ basically, because we
cannot continue extinguishing species, cannot continue creating frustration, fundamentalism,
terror. We cannot continue so blatantly destroying any form of democracy. You know, things are
going to change and I think we’ll see, you know, that people are waking up very, very
rapidly to the benefits of localisation. Ah, this week we’re retrofitting our existing
farm shed to be a kitchen, lounge and craft space. We want a multi-functional large area
that can be converted to different uses with portable bits of furniture, so with the materials
we’re using, we’ve sourced locally milled timber from a local sawmill, and we’re also
using as many recycled materials as possible. So we’ve got a bunch of floorboards and bits
of iron that we’re going to use as cladding for the internal space. We’re also going
to be doing a recycled bottle wall along the front of the building here, to let as much
light in as possible and that’s also going to feature some large glass doors to bring
the outside in and feature that beautiful view we’ve got of the property. There’s so much waste these days, of buildings
that are getting torn down or scraps of wood that are left over from building jobs, that
we can divert those resources from landfill and actually use them in a meaningful way
and be really creative with just making something out of nothing. We’re here at the Wurruk’an kitchen/lounge
room/communal space, which we’ve been living in now for about three or so months. I guess
the theme starts with our recycled timber. These ones up the top and on the side here
are oak floorboards that were left over from a building project and we were able to get
them very cheap. We’ve got some recycled windows that there are a couple of sets around
the room. So over here you can see we’ve used a combination of corrugated iron and
some hardwood fence palings that we were able to get for free from demolition. We also scored
some of this splashback stuff around the sink and the oven, which is heat proof, and that
was left over commercially and we were able to get it for free. These beautiful bench
tops, both these ones and the larger slabs, came from a sawmill, from Jedwood. We were
very luck to get their off-cuts and be able to actually use them with the help of our
professional carpenter to get them to this stage, which is really nice. Up on the roof
we’ve actually had to use some ply wood. We were a bit short on materials to do the
whole thing with reclaimed stuff. And there’s also insulation and framing behind all of
these walls and the ceiling now so that insulation was also you know a bit of a compromise. We
bought that new as well cos that can be pretty hard to find secondhand. It’s been really great to have a wood-fired
stove to cook on. It feels a lot better than cooking on an electric stove as we were before.
Just knowing that the source of energy that we’re using to cook with is a renewable
source is better. At the moment we’ve used some off-cuts from building, which have no
other purpose, and we’ve also sourced some of our firewood from this property and also
from nearby forests in the way that is permitted. So, it’s clear enough now that we need to
transition swiftly away from a fossil fuel energy economy to an economy based on renewable
energy. Not only due to climate change, but also because in coming years or decades fossil
energy production will inevitably peak and decline. But we can’t just green the supply
of our energy, we also need to, I think, significantly reduce energy demand, because there’s no
way that we can run a globalised energy-intensive consumer society purely on renewable energy.
Yes, we need to transition to 100% renewable energy, but that implies significantly reducing
energy demand, and it would be far easier, obviously, to meet 100% renewable energy if
we consumed much less energy. So that should be our goal. But given the close connection
between energy and economy, a society based solely on renewable energy would have reduced
energy supply, and therefore would probably have to go through a phase of economic contraction,
at least in the developed regions of the world. So I think if we were successful in transitioning
to 100% renewable energy we wouldn’t be able to live high-consumption, energy-intensive
lifestyles. We would need to aim for far more humble but sufficient living standards. The silver lining to consuming less is actually
consuming more of what we really want and what we really long for. And that includes,
you know, hand-made, artisan products that, you know, most people treasure much more than
some mass-produced product. It includes more time to breathe and to sing together, to dance
together, to make things together. There’s a whole universe of things out there that
we could do right now without money, but it requires the insight and the courage to connect
to others, and to form groups where we can change the ‘I’ to a ‘we’. You don’t need that much in the way of material
things if you know that your neighbours have got your back, and anytime you get overwhelmed
by things, you can go next door and there’s someone who’s shoulder you can cry on, or
they can come to you, or someone who’s tomatoes you can water, then they’re coming and helping
you fix your bike, or whatever it might be. There are just so many advantages, there are
no disadvantages to building community, and the potential advantages are absolutely massive,
so I think that’s something we really, really need to focus on. I think the benefits of living in a community
reveal themselves to you more and more each day. There’s the strict financial benefit
of being able to share in the costs of making this transition. And also the benefits of
being able to draw on each other’s skills and attributes and knowledges so you don’t
have to do it alone, you don’t have to do it financially alone, skills alone, some of
those things are very intimidating for people trying to make that step. But more than that
it’s about being… doing it together. And what’s possible here is possible not just
because of us as individuals but because when we get this unique collection of individuals
together we’re capable of so much more than what we would be on our own. So we have to do one of two things: we either
just accept that we have no community at all, we just have a casual neighbourhood and some
nice acquaintances at work and perhaps a couple of people that we drink with at the pub, or
we create community, intentional community. And I think that’s the side that’s always
interested me personally as well as in my research, is How can people create intentional…
How can you consciously do it? I know people subconsciously do it all the time. I mean
it’s our natural position, but can you actually do this, can you set out to create this? And
that always fascinates me. You gonna have to come up with some idea of how you’re
gonna make decisions. Yes, we’re going to have consensus, and yes we’re going to live
lightly on the land, and yes we’re going to support each other and yes we’ll look
after each other’s children and elderly and all of that sort of stuff. But it depends
whether you have any experience with doing that. I think the other thing is that we are
losing so many of those skills from living in community. It’s like, you know, I know
that I have to develop skills in organic gardening if I’m going to become an organic gardener,
I know that, so therefore I also have to develop skills in inter-human, interpersonal relationships
if I’m gonna live in community. Don’t assume you were kind of born with that because
you weren’t. You have to learn how to cooperate, how to put the group above the individual
and that’s very challenging. There’s been a lot of challenges, I’m
not gonna lie. I think although we had to live the first few months without much infrastructure,
without a warm kitchen space, without much of a lounge room or without a whole lot of
running water and we had a composting toilet that was sort of outside, I don’t think
the infrastructure were all that big, I think there seemed to be a sense in solidarity in
all doing it together and that kind of gave me a lot of comfort, knowing that we were
all kind of pulling through and stronger because of it. So I feel like the infrastructure challenges
were a little bit problematic but they weren’t as hard I think as the community challenges
we faced, when there was conflict in the community and our conflict resolution around that weren’t
fully developed so yeah, I think I struggled a lot when things were not going well and
people left and things weren’t fully resolved, or when there was substantial difference in
the direction that people wanted to take in the project, whether people wanted to build
lots of infrastructure or start practicing simple, simpler living. I feel like those
chasms, those sort of divides were challenging for me because I didn’t know where I sat
and didn’t know how to bring the group back together again. I wanted everyone to start
working together again. Obviously starting at a community from scratch
with people who don’t really know each other at all and designing a property and finishing
buildings, houses and bits of infrastructure is very challenging in the context of one-year
project, so, yeah, that social aspect of just getting to know each other and getting decision-making
processes in place has been one of the key challenges. Another major challenge I think
has been the group figuring out how to accommodate a wide range of peoples’ styles of voluntary
simplicity. It can be interpreted to differing degrees and there’s not necessarily any
right or wrong answers, so just figuring out how the group can accommodate the variety
within our personal direction and preferences has also been a challenging component of that
social side of things. One of the humbling learnings I got from being
here was how difficult it is to be in community and how in a way we have to relearn that art
– that we have broken that long tradition of shared ritual and song and mythology and
living in one place and knowing that history. That’s kind of been fragmented for us and
when we now come together in groups it’s much harder to find that common culture to
draw upon in times of discord and in times of confusion. So it’s easy for us to fragment
back into our individual desires and paths and I know that for lots of people, as resources
become more scarce and we have to rely on each other more, there’ll be positives to
that but there’ll also be lots of challenges. So I’m very motivated now to keep practising
and developing those skills of communication and conflict resolution, naming the difficulties,
bringing up the emotional challenges. And also celebrating together, creating, relaxing,
learning how to play and dance in a group and, it’s a real, it’s the art of being
human and the art of being together. We’ve been living in a tent, or we were
living in a tent at the start of the year, and yeah the tent was in a place where it
didn’t get a whole lot of sun and as it began to rain a bit more as we were coming
into winter it didn’t dry out so it started to get mouldy and, yeah, there was a bit of
pressure on us to do something else and we decided that building a small house with recycled
materials would be the simplest way to do that so, yeah, so we did. This beautiful structure behind us is the
house that we built over the course of about three months out of pretty much entirely recycled
materials. We had to make five purchases. We bought some cement for the foundations,
some steel bracing tape, because it was a bit wonky, we bought some screws for the roof,
we bought some… [a tub of wood glue]… a little tub of wood glue for, to make some
window frames…we bought chains to hold the windows open. [hinges] Oh and we bought, there
were six things, we bought some hinges as well. But that’s it; everything else is
recycled materials we got entirely for free. Yeah, we went by dumpsters from demolition
sites, we looked on the website Gumtree and, yeah, we ended up getting, yeah, pretty much
everything we needed to build a whole house just for free. If, yeah, we can demonstrate
that it’s possible to do without three and a half years of training and without tens
of thousands of dollars, to build a house that is gonna be a lot better in terms of
its ecological footprint, then I think that that can kind of disperse that knowledge more
amongst the people that might not have the money to take part in a more conventional
sustainability movement. Yeah, so the total cost was about $420 if you, include, yeah,
the petrol money that went into it. It’s a lot more time consuming doing it for free,
but yeah, it’s definitely worth it. [A lot more rewarding, I think]. Yeah. So while I’ve been at Wurruk’an I’ve
been continuing to work for eight hours a week for book publishing clients and that’s
enabled me to cover the small expenses that we have at Wurruk’an. So we’ve put $30
a week into the kitty, which is, you know, the great benefit of living in a community,
that for $30 a week each we’ve been able to pretty much feed ourselves for the entire
year. And obviously all of us have little extras that we like, that weren’t items
that everybody wanted, and so we’ve bought our own, I don’t know, cheese, or bread.
I think I’m right in saying that we’ve all spent under $100 a week this year for
our basic living costs. [The borrower receives the full amount and
pays it back, plus interest. Either way the interest that it collects on loans is one
of the bank’s principle sources of income. Now Mr Moreton has obtained his loan. He has
increased his bank credit by nearly $2000. But this credit was not transferred to him
from some other account, so where did it come from?] So currently the existing monetary system
essentially has a growth imperative built into its structures, because banks create
money by loaning it into existence as interest-bearing debt, and in order for that debt to be paid
back, plus the interest, that implies an expansion of the monetary system. So it needs growth
for stability. But we also know that growth is the driving force behind our environmental
problems, so if we were to transition to a post-growth economy, as we need to do for
environmental reasons, this would require us to create a different type of monetary
system and banking system, one that wasn’t so dependent on growth. And I think there’s
a huge amount that governments can do to reign in the worst aspects of the current system,
but perhaps a more promising line of opposition, given that governments don’t seem to be
doing much, would be for individuals and households to try to create new forms of economy. Try
to escape the existing monetary system as far as possible. And they could do this through
things like creating local currencies, local exchange networks and engaging in practices
like barter, and gift, and sharing. It would be … it’s obviously so much easier for
a community to deal with the contracting economy if communities and households shared the stuff
that they had. So there was a long process of… what felt
like a long process of learning to communicate with each other and it’s immensely satisfying
now to feel that that process has actually been really successful. And to be living now
in a… with a community of people who when problems arise know how to work through them.
And I think we’ve actually been really successful at making those… at developing those communication
skills, and it’s a nice feeling when, you know, when we have a meeting and someone raises
an issue and you can see the change in… you can see the different way that people
approach it, you can see the different ways that people sort of think about, respond to
issues, especially if, where at the beginning of the year they might have felt a little
bit attacked now they think through the reason for the issue coming up. Yeah I think we’re
all much better at, I think we’re probably all in some way more mature community dwellers. Living in such close quarters with other people
as part of a community, especially on quite a small scale where we all use the same lounge
room and kitchen and there’s you know seven or eight of us in that same space on a daily
basis, it certainly presents a lot of challenges on a personal and a group level, that are
just inherent to human beings and you know families and communities and all types of
human relationships. So it’s certainly been challenging but I know for myself that’s
made me look inward and examine my own personal journey and where I’m at and how my own
psychology is evolving and just you know, if you feel a bit down one day or feel a bit
anxious about how someone else is acting, it’s ended up kind of flipping around and
making me examine how I’m contributing to those sorts of dynamics or social situations
and just, yeah, trying to learn more about myself I guess. So I’m gonna be building my house in less
than a week now. I’ve got fourteen people coming out to learn how to build a tiny house
on wheels, and I’ve been gathering materials for the last couple of months in Melbourne
and around the local area to build a tiny house on wheels out of recycled materials.
You know, we’ve got a few rough plans but being a tiny house it’s quite easy to go
with the flow and being recycled materials we’ve had to adapt to that and it’s gonna
be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, I guess. So there’s a major, major benefit if you
don’t get trapped into working 20, 30, 40 years to pay the mortgage on your two big
McMansions, boy oh boy have you gained a lot of time and freedom from worry to do other
things. And in a sane world we would be able to build a very nice little house for, I reckon,
$10,000 at most, and you can do it for less than that if you like, and that’s a perfectly
adequate house. Now, you’ve saved $400,000 there, by the time you take in the payment
of interest and the loans to the bank and tax on the money. That’s not negligible;
there is a benefit for moving to simpler ways. So we’re three days into the workshop and
it’s going really well. As you can see we’ve got the full timber frame of the walls up
and the group’s working really well together. They’re all learning off each other and
Nick, our carpenter, is doing a really great job, so I feel very lucky to have everyone
working so hard and we’re on schedule. I was really humbled by the good will, the
energy, and all of the contributions brought by everyone who made it possible. It was just
an amazing week of everyone’s energy vibing and making this beautiful house possible,
and, you know, I’ve got a little bit left to do but I’ve basically had people come
and build me a house with really great intentions and we all learnt a whole lot. And it couldn’t
have gone any better. I’d say it was probably the best week of my life without a doubt. There’s a whole history of these sort of
energy descent ideas and permaculture being associated with a move to the country, a move
to rural areas as a place that’s a better place to be more self-reliant. And that still
may be true, but for most people there’s both a necessity and an advantage in looking
at where they live already. And for most Australians that is some sort of detached housing in what
we call suburbia, whether that’s in our capital cities or whether it’s in similar
housing in our regional towns and even villages like the one we live in – that most people
are living in those separate houses on small blocks. And what that template of living makes
possible is it’s possible to incrementally adjust what is happening there and provide
a lot of people’s needs by growing food, by modifying the house to make it more…
ah, less dependent on energy, by harvesting some of the water, and by using some of the
space that exists in our relatively large houses to start doing more in the household
economy. Doing things for ourselves, rather than depending on money. One of the things that’s most exciting about
the intentional communities movement now is that it’s like we have right across the
landscape hundreds of experiments about how to live in a way that confronts and resolves
issues associated with climate change and peak oil, you know, environmental damage on
a global scale. Instead of just having a one-way solution, which just says this is the way
that we have to go forward to resolve this, instead we’ve got all of these little bubbles
of creative responses and you know new ways of living and being together and, building
lives together. Patterns of settlement and patterns of production are popping up all
across the landscape, each offering different pathways, and it’s almost like the… as
more of these emerge we have more opportunities for resilience. Ideally I’d like to see more initiatives
like this, where people with resources and land and spaces, making them available to
allow, you know, passionate and enthusiastic people to live more self-sufficiently and
demonstrate through example that there are other ways of doing things. So there’s so much that we can do right
now, without spending any money, to greatly enrich our lives. And let’s not be fooled
by this idea that we have so much choice in the modern economy and that our lives would
be so limited if we were to choose a different path. We have not even begun to explore the
potential for more diversified, localised ways of doing things. There are reasons for pessimism, because it’s
a big, big task, and we’re in a lot of bother, and we are not very far down the path to the
kind of consciousness that we need. But there are a lot of strong reasons for optimism.
One is, that the vision of an alternative way is, I think, so attractive, it’s what
keeps me going, and it’s so easily done. We could do it in weeks, if we wanted to.
It’s about moving to ways that would liberate all of us. You don’t want to wait until you have absolutely
no choice. So I would say it’s a bit like we’re standing on the edge of a cliff and
we’re going over the edge, like it or not we’re going over the edge. That’s not
up for debate. So what are you going to do? Are you going to stand on the edge of that
cliff and wait for someone to shove you off? Or are you going to put on your parachute
and jump? Because, not that base-jumping is without its risks, but it’s a lot less risky
than going over the edge without a parachute! So let’s not think of it as good guys and
bad guys, and let’s not believe for a minute that the way we’ll change it is by getting
some good guys to go into those large structures. Let’s look systemically at how we can shift
towards smaller structures with more holistic knowledge, underpinnings, and that really
is the localizing path. When you know how to live simply, the sense
of freedom can be just overwhelming. There’s nothing as addictive as freedom, and there’s
nothing as attractive either. So, I think if we find the right way to explain our ideas
to people, and explain the ideas that are fundamentally workable in the first place,
then there is so much that can be achieved, there’s no need to despair. I came to Wurruk’an wanting to explore a
really radical form of voluntary simplicity, because I felt a real sense of urgency around
the various crises that the world is facing at the moment and radical simplicity seems
to me to be the best and most logical response. After the experience this year of living in
community, and despite all of the challenges, I feel really strongly that this is the right
way for me to live. So, yeah, my intention is to return to New Zealand and find or found
a community and in the long term I’m really hoping to live in a community that operates
in a gift economy. That feels like a right and responsible way to live, or thing to work
towards. The person I was at the start of the year
is vastly different to the person I am at the end of the year. As I would hope would
be the case for every other year for the rest of my life. My plans for the future extend
as far as I should probably pick that zucchini over there. Beyond that, not many plans. But
I… I’m imagining that Rachel and I will probably stick around here at Wurruk’an
for a little while. I’m feeling pretty settled here, it’s feeling a lot like home. I think
the number one thing that’s been solidified in my mind this year is that my favourite
things in the world are imagination, creativity, and teamwork. And the combination of those
three things is, yeah, personally the recipe for living in a beautiful way in the future. I love community, I love other people, I love
living and spending time with other people. I don’t know whether or not living in an
intentional community is part of my future. One thing that I knew coming here was that…
living in community is a challenge, it involves effort, and that that effort is worth it. Yeah, it’s been a really transformational
year for me… I didn’t expect to have the opportunity to be constructing my own house
this year, so it’s been very humbling to have the generosity of all the people involved
and the land owner to allow me to do that, because it’s been quite a journey to collect
the materials and go through the process of building over an extended period of time,
so that’s just been fantastic and blown my expectations out of the water. So, once
I’ve finished my house, which will be sometime early in 2016, I plan to relocate it to Melbourne,
hopefully in a back yard somewhere that affords me a location where I can ride my bike and
catch public transport without having to be car reliant. But after moving it to Melbourne
and living there for a little while and enjoying a bit of city life, I don’t really have
a plan. I’m very happy to have that feeling of freedom and liberation for the first time
in my life and I’m going to make the most of that. One thing I get paralysed by is this sense
of having to do it right, somehow not making mistakes. And we’ve made so many mistakes
living here, you know, there are buildings that are leaky, there are disagreements that
never got resolved, there are contradictions in the way we’re living, and compromises
that we had to make. So, from one perspective, we failed, we haven’t transformed the world
or led this perfect example. And from another perspective, those very failings are our gifts,
and they are the offering, and they are the learnings, because we’ve risked and we’ve
been willing to put our values on the line, and we’ve been willing to test these ideas
and try and bring them into, you know, the shared reality. You know, no one holds the
answers, no one has the perfect solution, it’s gonna require a response from everyone
if we’re going to be moving towards a more wholesome and enduring way of life. And, you
know, the challenges, the failings, the mistakes, the triumphs, they’re all part of the story
of change and I just hope that other people can feel that encouragement to make their
own beautiful mistakes along the way to… on the way to integrity.

100 thoughts on “A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (2016) – Free Full Documentary

  1. Thanks for another attempt to start the green Hippies community anew. It had already been done many a time previously and as a professional agronomer from Israel cultivating avocados I shall say that this very lifestyle exemplified in your film can probably sustain just a limited group of potential survivors. Also, where are the solar and other renewable power sources? This experiment though could have been realised in more probable post apocalyptic scenario, with bunch of survivors trying to hold out with whatever means possible when the worse come to worst… But these methods come short of fitting large modern communities to offer a viable, feasible alternative to our post industrial rottening society. Thanks anyway!!!

  2. Wauw… I love the tiny house!  You people got a very beautiful and earnest way of living… Back to nature, being creative with restmaterial, very inspiring!

  3. I always wonder why people have to have the like-minded people to live in a new community. If they are non-egotistical, they can live anywhere, with the spirit of caring and sharing. Fundamentally, the purpose and means are reversed with this kind of project. We can grow food at our backyard. We can live minimally with respect and sustainability with the nature and other people. It's an escape and self-indulging to me having to do it corporately. In many parts of the world, people live without electricity, gas, and clean water supply. They live in that environment not by choice.

  4. It would have been enlightening to know what some of those interpersonal disagreements were. They were obviously substantial.

  5. If they have to contribute 30 dollars/week to the community, it really isn’t off-grid… They would still have to have a normal job, or ways to earn money.

  6. Nothing amazing more than you knowing that you are still just a simply human who is smaller than the nature around you in any direction and giving attention back to the nature by your common sense.

  7. By eating animals keep on supporting the machine – the mass production and slaughter of innocent lives by the millions in the world. Even grown sustainable and in small numbers (as in this video), they are still living breathing beings like all the rest of us. By eating them you disregard the fact that we all share this planet, all kinds of creatures. Making it sustainable for only yourselves because you think humans are the most important is missing the point. The planet is for everyone. Human and non-human animals alike.

  8. The challenge could be this…if we dont replant for future wood, then there wont be wood to use by anyone…the first builder, or the finder of wood to repurpose. If we dont replant, there is no self sustaining…

  9. I have been close to or lived in alternative communities since 1975. They were based on various ideologies such as Liberation Theology, protecting the bush, or protecting a whole mountain. Now we have a cluster of ideologies such as Tiny House, Permaculture, and Simple Living. The groups I was involved with all soon collapsed. I formed the view that it is too hard for people to live like that. But I never lost faith in the aspirations of simple living and have lived a simple life for 40 years. My lifelong inspiration has been Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

  10. I've been living in cabins I've made from reclaimed materials for the last 12 years and living completely offgrid since 2012. I just started a new channel to share some of my projects and music and travel videos I've shot over the years. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmEhatREOnBOClI6ijdXKSw?view_as=subscriber

  11. I'm so happy to see these practices finally spreading albeit slowly, into the mainstream. Thank you for doing this amazing, beautiful project!

  12. After reading many of the comments, it highlights that there is so much ignorance about what it possible. People think they will have to give up technology, but that is not true. As environmentalists, we are still missing a crucial part of education in this area. We need to explain how technology will work in tandem with what we currently consider eco-friendly practices. Please read the book Cradle to Cradle by McDonough and Braungart, where they thoroughly describe how societies must create TWO completely independent material life-cycles, organic and inorganic, with all the manufacturing built to support each cycle completely independently.

    Yes, of course we will still use plastics and still travel in airplanes and go to the moon, but we will be choosing much more carefully how we make these things. For example, we will design and make things out of materials that best match our desire for the end product; so, if you want to create something that will last virtually forever, (e.g. books) then you would make it out of plastics. You will not use a plastic on single-use items. That is NUTS! The Cradle to Cradle book itself is indeed made of a resin and it is beautiful. It's pages will never tear or decay and it is waterproof and softly pliable. But if you want to make something that is temporary (e.g. sneakers), then you would make it using materials that are compostable. So when you toss your shoes in the "trash", they will turn right back into soil. Our manufacturing life-cycles will change. They must. This book is a must-read!

  13. Recommended read: Cradle to Cradle by McDonough and Braungart. And be sure to get the "paperback". it is made of a resin and is an amazing real-life sample of what they describe is possible in the book. https://www.amazon.com/Cradle-Remaking-Way-Make-Things/dp/0865475873/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1543624632&sr=8-1

  14. I would have liked to see the actual disagreements and other failings. It would have made you each more relatable as individuals, and I think learning from others' mistakes is one of the best ways to learn well. But you never really show those mistakes or disagreements. Otherwise, nice video.

  15. A biodigester would work well in your community, will provide cooking methane gas and heating, could even produce electricity and even fuel

  16. Just finished watching the documentary , and I find it great and I loved it ! All the people who contributed this experience were all nice specially the little girl and the dog in the documentary were really cute !❤

  17. please educate … why is wood burning better than electric if solar is an option please? wood is not really renewable?

  18. So a whole year of living together and not one argument, not one disagreement, not one conflicting view, discussion about whether or not things are being done right, not one clash of egos, not one extra marital liaison resulting in conflict, not one person expressing any kind of discontent. This isn't reality. 

    You talked a very good talk but you haven't at any time factored in the fact that these are human beings and at some point human beings, no matter the goal, will clash, disagree, cheat, slight each other etc. Not very realistic as a long term vision. 

    No mention of the essential word, family. You can't just create family from nothing, it's something that has to grow, as in original hunter gatherer tribes. that's why they worked…bonded together by blood. I applaud all your efforts and hard work, but by the 43 min, when the idealistic rise up and work music kicked in, I'd had enough. 

    Having lived on a commune for three years (not anymore) I've seen the best (rarely) of what can be done, and the absolute worst (often). People, me included start of optimistically but eventually revert to a smaller version of the bigger society they are trying to escape from. 

    The idea of tiny houses, permalinks culture, composting our waste, working together are all great Idas and when they work, are the ideal for mankind, but try translating this to a global level and you are living in a dream. This was tried and failed miserably with the back to the land movement of the late 1960's and early 1970's, and before that in other parts of the world. 

    I didn't really see a lot of renewable energy being harvested either. All that sunshine and wind…where are the solar panels. One girl is using kerosene lamps and candles…that isn't renewable, sustainable nor regenerative energy. It's fossil fuels on a small scale. Power tools?! 

    What is the future projection for this experiment? I'm not knocking what you are doing, but I have lived it and tried to make it work and it destroyed my spirit and my belief in my fellow man. I don't have the answers, but this just seems naive. Good luck.

  19. I'm just curious to see what the actual practices regarding old age, death, and population maintenance (importing, in-group breeding, or a mixture, and in what proportions?) would be.

  20. Nice but disappointed to see they have not embraced vegetarianism as a way of life, which is not only ethical, but much more sustainable than eating meat.

  21. After reading so many naysayers' idiotic comments, I got to say that you people are YOUR OWN WORSE ENEMIES. Why are governments doing what they are to keep you imprisoned in your own, tiny brains that think "oh poor me"? Because you allow it. Not everyone does, and you fools attack those people that had what you lack: COURAGE to try to change the way things are. I haven't never been a coward in my 72 years of life. I do have my little piece of heaven in just 1/3 acre (about 1349 meters) and I do grow food and all my fruits, in the middle of a town of lawns, where bees were almost extinct until I showed up. And I was one of those people that idiots like to attack, while whining about their miserable lives and doing zero to try to change things. My favorite quote of Pogo (a newspaper cartoon of decades ago, who was way more intelligent than most people posting here): "We have met the enemy and it is us." (Not me, just you naysayers.) Change only happens if you demand it, not if sit around typing about your miserable lives.

  22. I retired on a five acre food forest in the New Mexico mountains. I am using New Mexico native American edible plants. I tease my family that they will be sustainable on an Apache diet. Or a brother bear diet.

  23. I live in the middle of a small city in central Florida. I have been living "a simpler life" for the past seven years. Becoming less and less dependent on government and "stuff". At 59 years of age I have decided to stay where I am and incorporate many of these lessons into my life.

  24. Power tools come in handy on a sustainable property. Where is the energy-efficiency? Do they have solar? Wind? Water?

  25. For the city planner, he says that quitting the grind of his job and traveling allowed him to move into his new lifestyle. Good sir, I think you are mistaken. It appears to me that your very well paying job is what allowed you to travel after you quit your job and then transition into your new lifestyle.

  26. I've watched so many tiny house vids, and this one may be the first time I've actually liked everything about a tiny house dweller. Beehive Girl (sorry, I don't know your name), you are my inspiration. You are edgy, creative, lack the annoying smugness of most tiny house 'hipster chicks' and you seem to know what you're doing and don't seem to mind getting in and getting your hands dirty, plus your house is to absolutely die for! SO great you've used reclaimed materials and brought them back to a charming, Harry Potteresque new life, so they don't have to sit in some scrap yard rotting away. I usually don't care for tiny house communities, but maybe in Australia they've got the right vibe – so real and down to earth – to make it work long-term. Now you make me want to move to that place and build my own little cottagette! All the best – you're doing life right! Also, I was inspired to see a total absence of angry men in this video. The male sex in general looks far happier!

  27. These are my kind of people in many ways. But I find their opinions and the way they present them dogmatic, much in the same ways the society they are renouncing are dogmatic. To me, it's obvious that any globally united road to a healthy planet will be through a pragmatic and multifaceted approach. Big agro, big pharma and all the bigs won't go away, but will be able to move toward a more ecological thinking. They will have to, because they depend on the masses, us, and we are collectively gaining steam in our green steps.

    These kinds of projects, organic farming, all kinds of alternative thinking and applications and development of techniques and lifestyles is contributing to new knowledge which can modify current practices. I think the people that are not yet on board just dig in when they are confronted with negative language. Sometimes debate is ok, but I believe the best way to recruit is by joyous example.

  28. FYI K'an does not mean seed in maya. It's another term for serpent or the Serpent god KulKulKan. Probably should have used google a bit better

  29. Wow! Wonderful video and please I don't mean to be disrespectful but where do I find one of those girls with that bee hive hair do. But a for real beehive hairdo! I'm glad people are making experiments however I'm making one too it's called life, having to do what I can do man! I would like to be able to meet a nice girl or nice people to disappear off into the Earth with. But it's for real and I'm doing it with or without anyone. I am even thinking about documenting it on YouTube which I am diabolically opposed 2 most modern Technologies but right now YouTube has been my source of entertainment and actually my entertainment is always educational.

  30. I like the idea of smaller regenerative communities, but I can't help but think of the hunger games. There will always be that elite percentage that dont give a flying f*. So the rest of us will be living 3rd world style.

  31. Interesting ideas… many challenges to overcome, but I guess that is what the video is exploring. I don’t believe that it is possible to divorce oneself from technology completely, and I think that the it will be part of any solution that is eventually established. I also think that any solution has to take things like manufacturing and industrial processes into account as well. They exist and aren’t going away… Also, last point: burning things, unless it is methane which should be burned, is introducing carbon into the atmosphere – so consideration will have to be given to that too… Anyway, thought provoking which I guess is the aim. 👍🏻

  32. Really interested in living a permaculture lifestyle, fully functional rammed earth home, grow my own vegetables year round, raise and rear farm animals for meat, dairy and eggs. I currently live in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, so am looking at starting of with a few raised garden beds made from pallet wood in my backyard. We already have a feijoa tree as well as a banana plant. We also purchased x2 passionfruit seedlings, x2 avocado saplings, and a pomegranate plant. I have a large section to eventually extend my garden, so I'm very excited to be able to create a more sustainable way of providing food for my family and others. This is a class A documentary, very informative…

  33. Omgosh. I love your way of life and the tiny house window is absolutely beautiful. I've been working on my backyard again after a back injury about 18 mos. ago and I felt trapped and depressed, but since I'm feeling better I've been out enjoyed the Sun and Wind. I live in So. Texas and we have the Ocean breeze and it feels so good to be outside. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Part of the problem is population. There isn’t a lot of space nor resources for 6 billion+ to live close to nature while also providing a decent life for everyone without taxing the environment. It’s not what we do but how many of us are doing the same thing.

  35. Thank you for a truly inspiring video, I have been trying to balance the need to earn money versus my true wish to live without it, I have found the more I earn, the more I spend and I wish I'd watched this movie before I just bought a new electric car. I think it is really hard when you have children (I have 5), to survive and be abundant in a world that wants cash for everything, I can't just bike everywhere as my job requires me to be 20 minutes away from where I live, I want to disconnect from this completely destructive type of living but I feel like I am getting further away from my dreams with every dollar I earn. This movie has inspired me to reassess my spending, to follow through my dream to be 80% self sufficient with food, to have a plan to get out of this cycle of working for money that actually brings no joy. I already do a lot of simple living, e.g. compost, gardens, buy second hand, frugality (other than the car), but I need to be doing so much more and I am really keen to live tiny but it is a matter of convincing the rest of the family that is a good idea : )

  36. WOW! Completely blown away! Great job @HappenFilms putting this doc together! We really resonate with this message of communities beating their own drum instead of waiting for the lead of the government to do something. We're more powerful together. Even if we all contribute in a small way, it will be better than nothing. Each part is an important piece of the whole. – Brian + Erin

  37. If people would stop looking around and start looking up for comfort and guidance . Jesus is the only way!

  38. This looks great when you live in a mostly green area, but what if you're stuck in a desert or a snow-bound, hurricane or tornado-prone area with not as much natural resources?

  39. Romans 8:19 (WNT) For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation of the sons of God.

  40. The end of the world????? When when it will come ? To end it all. My neighbour on a hand of land has a 3 story house with 8 air conditioners, hell of electrical lamps everywhere even on the common fence she poured tons of mortar there and paved every inch. They have no clue, they don't give a shit about our world, nothing can change them.

  41. And how are they paying for this actually? Live simply… or privilege to live without working much? I have no idea what this has to do with sustainability for actual real people?

  42. Our problem as humans lies within ourselves, the solution is not going back to old ways of life nor ignores that technology has been an asset to our societies. In reality, we created systems that focuses on few individuals to control the rest .

  43. This is what the corporate world wants us to be doing the banks want us in debt the companies want us to work for slave wages to keep us comsuming and buying things we don't need they the corporate world would cosider what this people in this video are doing living in a social life manner a communist or socialist living and in reality this is probably the most satisfying style of communal living because it brings people together in a manner that it wants you to propel foward towards saving and sustaining the environment the goal is to heal and save our only home planet mother earth 🌎
    Depending on where you're at I encourage anyone to grow yourself a selfsuficient garden permaculture is the way to go for sustainability plant trees fruit trees vegetables have your own chickens and pigs even ducks to help fertilize the gardens
    I my self I hope to start my own permaculture farm in central America by the end of this year of 2019

  44. Why did you not include the local indigenous mob. They live simply. It is their normal way of life but maybe we think we can do better?

  45. I do and I don't like this as a solution. I like it because it explores "integration" instead of segregation. Which is how we've come to exploit the planet's resources, in the first place. From dividing ourselves off from nature, and living completely man-made existences. However the integration is with industrialism and capitalism, for this example to work. As this is how resoruces were gathered – through the excesses of industrialism and capitalism, trickling down. It's great they're not going into landfill and being wasted, but it may not be a sustainable (or realistic) model, if there is a significant collapse.

  46. America is the worst offender as the right says there's NO such thing as man made climate change & the left says tech will save us and you just need to buy "green". Thus we aren't told to decrease our consumption only change it and we're NEVER asked to consume LESS

  47. It sucks that white people show up and commit genocide, then their grandkids start creating artificial forms of communal life intouch with the earth like the cultures they/we have beem trying to destroy. Clueless hippies

  48. Thanks, saw this when it was new.
    Glad to have been able to watch it again.
    22:00 Good point. If tech' is going to fix our problems, when is that going to start?

  49. You consider recruiting the Amish people who live without electricity or modern day machinery. I am sure they could be a tremendous help.

  50. The Truth is NEVER easy to swallow. It is much easier to bury our heads in the sand. Bravo for this message! Thank You so much!

  51. Wow, I don't understand the point of raising animals just to kill them. You can obviously eat what the animals were eating. It's all about your taste buds. Your taste buds are more important than the animal's life.

  52. Im having a new thought……watched a few of your videos and it seems easy to regreen deserts so why haven't we……we r scared of deserts and move to cities to get jobs and cars and debt to consume……cities consume….. government and 1% make money from consuming…..so r deserts "designed" to scare us into moving into cities for work…..

  53. I'm glad they talked about how hard it is to form "community" and that we have mostly lost those skills. That really is the hardest past. You need to spell out expectations ahead of time before accepting people into the community. If anyone is interested in forming an intentional community on North Vancouver Island, BC…. contact me by replying to this comment….

  54. This video showed up in my YouTube “Recommendations Feed”. I see it was made 3 yrs. ago. It would be super interesting for a follow up video to be posted now, 3 yrs. later, to show whether this community still exists and whether those structures held up to the weather. The only real test of the homestead’s success is whether or not it has sustained itself and grown into a healthy and positive community. Otherwise it was just a bunch of random, transient people playing at homesteading, no different than the transient hippie communies of the 1970’s.

  55. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB4JzvGQ6IM&t=83s
    PIGS FACE POINT!! Check out this video I made about the weird and wonderful people that live this way! The Simpler Way!

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