Exclusive interview: Rob Drexel, Founder Earth Angel Village
Rob Drexel turned a young 60 last year and has had wide life and work experience. He truly enjoy building useful things – from houses, boats and many other projects in his youth with my father, to his adult life where he have built his off-grid home, organic solar greenhouses, renovations, alternative buildings and solar building projects, river cane patios, and more too numerous to list. A true “jack-of-all-trades”, passionate about solving real-life practical needs with functioning, ecological, low cost solutions. His new project Earth Angel Village will be a living & education center with a commitment to intelligent, low-impact, low-cost, sustainable, ecological and comfortable human living. Located in central Portugal. He speask to Blue & Green.
In 140 characters or less – what is Earth Angel Village?
a) Earth Angel Village will be a living template demonstrating how humans can exist comfortably in our ecosystem with little or no footprint.
b) The Earth Angel Village mission is to show and teach how to live creatively in comfort using low-tech, low-impact and sustainable practices.
c) Living well while doing no damage to our ecosystem is the Earth Angel Village commitment to teach and live the change our world needs now.
What was the driver for creating Earth Angel Village – what gap did it fill?
a) EAV was birthed in response to an overwhelming need to transcend the marketing dishonesty sweeping the world with false promises of “green” and “natural”, terms fast approaching meaninglessness. The tools to create comfortable, beautiful and truly sustainable living for humans exist now but are (mostly) low-tech, low-impact solutions are not commercially marketable for big profits, thus little overt, publicized support for these methods. EAV will be a living showcase – a functioning demonstration of how we can solve our energy, food and shelter needs with simple yet comfortable solutions.
b) Even the most jaded consumer now knows that their unrestrained habits have consequences in the natural world. However, we have been brainwashed to believe that the solutions are yet other consumer products. EAV will be a showcase demonstrating that non-damaging, low-impact and sustainable solutions can create a life reconnected with our natural world yet with creature comforts that we all enjoy. All this is possible without expensive, natural-resource draining high-tech gadgetry or complex technology.
c) The last 50 years have seen the widest, most ecologically destructive period in human history. By virtually all accounts, we are consuming the resources of the earth at a mind-boggling, wholly unsustainable rate to support a consumerist lifestyle that neither fits our real needs or makes us happy. Earth Angel Village is a response to a massive need – the need for thousands of such living villages and communities that STOP damaging our environment and live comfortable. sustainable lives re-connected to our neighbors, friends, family and the natural world that nurtured us for millions of years before the “modern” age.
Who does it primarily serve?
Ultimately, Earth Angel Village is meant to serve all of humanity with knowledge and education on how to live a good life with minimal resources. But more specifically, it will serve as a home and an education center for an international group of people wishing to live in harmony with the planet and help and teach others do the same. We intend the initial group at EAV to be about 10, and then over 1-3 years, and depending on the land and facilities we can achieve, 18 to 30 people in the village with seasonal facilities for 30 more (camping, glamping).
What difference does Earth Angel Village want to make?
Again, we want to show, experiment, demonstrate, prove and teach low-impact, sustainable solutions to meet energy, food, shelter, cultural and spiritual needs for a comfortable and fulfilled human existence on this planet.
What are the barriers to making that difference?
The current socioeconomic system requires us to create and build EAV within the current paradigm using established monetary instruments – in other words, we need money. Earth Angel Village must also have a strong outreach program to integrate what will be a distinctly different village into the local Portuguese culture. We are committed to creating a self-sufficient food supply which means the intelligent and effect development of productive gardens and food forests. We also have to learn to work with, and perhaps around the oft-unreasonable constraints of zoning, building and land use. It is helpful that our chosen location – rural central Portugal – is severely economically depressed and local municipalities are both anxious to see development and often flexible if approached diplomatically with new ideas.
Who’s helping you overcome those barriers?
The monetary assistance is going to be asked of our growing community of supporters – both those who have already heard of us and those that will – when we launch our crowdfunding in January 2016. We will ask the greater community of ecologically-minded people do donate – even just a little – to help fund the fist phase of EAV. We are building team member now – we have a Portuguese-speaking central Portugal owner of a yoga retreat assisting us with our land search, an experienced agroecologist/permaculturalist on board to consult in the development of our gardens, and we have quite some energetic virtual world promoters working on our social media reach, mostly via Facebook (but could always use more!).
Is public education for purpose in issues of low-impact, low-cost, sustainable, ecological AND comfortable human living?
If you are seeking to eliminate your negative ecological footprint, then the re-education must be full-spectrum, ie, you must work to raise peoples awareness of the wholly unsustainable (and often unnecessary) expectations that modern consumerist society has created on one side, while simultaneously creating and refining the pragmatic solutions designed to better create comfortable living conditions. It’s a double edge approach where the meeting in the middle is an undamaging yet physically comfortable, fulfilling and happy way of life.
How can people – individuals and organizations – find our more about Earth Angel Village?
As usual in this day and age, via our website www.earthangelvillage.org or on our Earth Angel Village Facebook page (just search Earth Angel Village). Persons with specific questions not answered there or with other information or resources can write to me directly email@example.com
Who should support your fundraising effort and why?
You can support the project here.
Along with the actual village we will create, we want to also create a virtual community that in engaged in Earth Angel Village even if they never get to come there. We want to expose and educate well beyond the bounds of our physical property in central Portugal. We heartily invite anyone who cares a hoot and understands what must change about the way we are living in order to save our species! This village will be a showplace in the virtual world as well – people can live and learn with us from wherever they are in the whole world.
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