Probably one of the most incredible feelings in the world is the realization of an intention. The non-profit Something Good in the World and Enviragen recently completed Envira Pod, an off-grid, mobile classroom with a zero carbon footprint. Funded by a successful Indiegogo campaign, grants, and a local foundation, the eco-friendly educational trailer is located in its farm-based home north of New York City, as part of Something Good in the World’s Children’s Peaceful Garden, where it exists as a demonstration of available technologies for alternative energies and sustainable practices, in an eco-friendly, completely self-contained, off-grid environment.
Visitors can witness firsthand what a zero-carbon-footprint life can be like in Envira Pod. Completely powered by solar, the Envira Pod also catches its own rainwater from the roof, which is then channeled inside by a gravity-fed system and pumped through a filtration system into the sink. That means that when visitors wash their hands (using only the Dr. Bronner’s soap that was donated for this purpose), they are using purified rainwater, which then goes down the drain and into a gray water filtration system that can feed into the ground and irrigate the garden in a way that is natural, clean, and safe.
The most inspiring thing about being indoors in the Envira Pod mobile educational trailer, is the feeling of causing no harm, and knowing that while humans are all part of the problem, they are also all part of the solution. The floors and walls are made from renewable resources, bamboo and pine, and the indoors is so full of windows and light, that visitors say they feel integrated with the outdoors, not separate from it. Yes, it’s a tiny space (8.5′ X 28′), and there’s a feeling of being close together when students are inside such a learning environment, but it’s only for a little while, and it’s cozy, reminding everyone of a longhouse, only with modern comforts. The students and teachers like to call it “glamping.”
The Envira Pod has a powerful educational message for children, because it’s clear that there is no such thing as throwing anything “away” on earth, so that composting waste only makes sense, as well as not flushing away precious drinking water. What is powerful is the feeling of really trying, at least for a few hours a day, to be mindful of how one lives, and how to step as lightly as possible on the earth, adding to it through intelligent design, arts and sciences.
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