Category Archives: Sustainability Examples

Sustainable community development success stories in Hawaii and other states.

YouTube video on Sustainable Communities

l just watched this very comprehensive YouTube video on Sustainable Communities presented by Dr. Kelly Cain to the Saulk County, Wisconsin,  Comprehensive Plan Steering group. It has lots of very valuable data that would benefit our cause as well as all Hawaii County sustainability initiatives.



Natural Building Network

Natural Building Network  is a not-for-profit membership association promoting natural building principles, materials and practitioners worldwide. We support ecological regeneration, social justice, the building of community and economic opportunity, and the recognition of indigenous wisdom as essential in creating healthy, beautiful, and spiritually-uplifting habitation for everyone.


Hobbit house in Wales


I thought you folks might be interested in this website since you are trying to get local and state governments to approve of special land-use projects.  What caught my eye with this website was the following statement:  The “Lammas Project is a voluntary organization that has been working to promote low impact development for the last three years. It was involved in the development of a Low Impact planning policy in Pembrokeshire [Wales], the first county in the UK to introduce one.”

“This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology.”   <>
Hope this is useful in some way.

With Aloha,


Vermont does away with permitting for small solar systems

May 31, 2011 Vermont took one big step toward making solar more affordable last week that many in the state hope will establish it as an example for the rest of the country. The Vermont legislature approved a solar registration program last week that will allow home and business owners who want to <>install small solar arrays producing fewer than 5 kilowatts of power to register their arrays as simply as they would register their cars. The state will then have 10 days to protest the installation. “The goal really in the industry is to make solar more accessible,” said Andrew Savage, director of communications for AllEarth Renewables, a Vermont-based solar company. SunRun recently published a study showing that permitting fees increase the cost of solar installations on an average of $0.50 per watt. The study has been the impetus for some states, <>including Colorado, to make adjustments to the law that governs permitting fees for small-scale solar installations. Vermont already had a free permitting system that didn’t add any expense. “We just want to take the system in Vermont that was already pretty good and make it better,” Savage said. While Vermont’s solar permits were free, they did cause some delay in projects. “As with any business, delay equates to dollars,” Savage said. The new solar registration program will streamline the process and make it easier and faster for home and small business owners who want to go solar. “We just thought it was time we looked comprehensively at some of those barriers,” Savage said. There are not normally any safety or health issues involved with small solar installations, and it doesn’t make sense, Savage said, to require people to go through a lengthy, and in many states costly, permitting and application process to do something that ultimately will contribute to the common good. It especially doesn’t make sense, he said, when it takes almost no review and less than an hour to register a giant sports utility vehicle, weighing thousands of pounds, that will be able to drive down the highway at more than 100 miles per hour. “Of course, we’re hoping the broader impact of this is for other states to look at Vermont as an example of how to effectively decrease the cost of solar,” Savage said.


Bellyacres: A Model of Community Sustainability in Hawaii

Since 1987 Bellyacres has been a nonprofit educational organization exemplifying the definition of sustainability according to the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Plan, “A Hawai‘i that…. Respects the culture, character, beauty and history of our state’s island communities; Strikes a balance between economic, social and community, and environmental priorities; Meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Bellyacres serves as a sustainability demonstration model featuring a community based, community run arts center and many of the world’s best applications of sustainability for small-scale communities. Bellyacres is a sustainability experiment as successful as the famous Earthships Greater World Community (GW) in Taos, New Mexico. Both communities have solar power and rainwater catchment systems and have built low-impact dwellings out of local and recycled materials. Bellyacres’ sustainability goes even further with locally appropriate organic food production, beehives, horses to mow the grass, fertilize and compost with manure, chickens that feed on coconuts and breed the next generation of egg layers; regenerative composting, soil making and planting techniques and SPACE an inspiring self-sustainable community arts center. Bellyacres built over 8,000 sq ft  of multipurpose community facilities  in 2007 using mostly volunteer labor, inexpensive local and recycled materials on a budget of $340,000 all raised locally and all without assistance from taxpayers or any government.


Save the Yurts! One person’s experience in CA


Thank you for sharing, and creating action for change…

I will share this information with my community to reach towards creating possibilities for yurts and other eco-

conscious structures to stand in our community. I had a yurt stand in community as a beloved donation based yoga

studio, serving 1,000s of students and 12s of teachers for 5 years until the City determined based on their

interpretation of code that it did not meet code. Actually, I asked our yoga community to sign a petition in support of

your efforts to “to save your S.P.A.C.E;)” Anyway, the yurt came down a few months ago, and I put myself on a sub-

committee formed by our yoga community efforts, and by the Encinitas Environmental Commission (City Council

directed) towards the reformation of code to include yurts and other.

Then, I bought my ticket to the Big Island. I was invited to attend the World Wide Yurt Makers conference in Puna to

share my yurts story. While in attendance, a newly formed organization, NAYA (North American Yurt Alliance) was

birthed. And, included in their agenda is code reformation to support their industry as well as the higher good for the

world. I share this with you from the space of acknowledging the efforts of all activists and the grid that is being

created on all levels. You are supported:)

I am back in California at the moment, and if you have any insight or advice for me to share with my community in

Encinitas, please know I am open to receive.

peace and love your way, dawn

If you would like more information regarding the yurts journey and Yoga Swami: (click on Save

the Yogic Yurt)


Sustainability Success Stories

Sustainability Success Stories

We have uncovered many inspiring, and useful, stories of people and communities successfully implementing various ideas around sustainable living and permaculture. Many of the posts here will include useful links and other resources. If you have a post to share, please register here and then contact us to request authoring status on our blog.