I am taking a semester off of college to be certified in Sustainable Building and Design, which will include a series of classes: \"Natural Design/Build,\" \"Ecological Design in the Built Environment,\" and a series of weekend workshops as well as a self-designed project at the end. I may take a few other classes to supplement my building education as well, such as \"Solar Electric Design and Installation\" and \"Architectural Free-Hand Drawing.\"
Sustainable Building and Design is an essential part of moving towards an environmentally friendly future. It incorporates designing whole communities to be resource sufficient and recycle their waste. It also relates to designing and building individual structures to be as energy efficient, toxin-free, and naturally sourced as possible. As the human population continues to grow, and millions of humans remain homeless or in unhealthy living arrangements, it is necessary to develop safe, low-impact, financially accessible communities. Natural building sources most or all of the materials from the land itself, with minimal external costs, making a naturally built family home cost as little as $1[phone redacted].
Natural building is an immensely fun and fulfilling process that I feel connects me with the earth and incorporates my personality and relationship with the land into the whole process. The materials are clay, sand, straw, and wood, as well as a vast array of recycled materials. I love natural building especially because it\'s immensely creative. Once you get the basics down, you can do anything. There are lots of guidelines, but few rules. Natural buildings arise organically from the landscape, becoming more like sculptures than defined structures. They can take almost any shape or form, and when finished look like they\'ve come out of a storybook or a dream.
After being introduced to the natural building process at a Sustainable Living Skills and Permaculture Design Certification Program at a non-profit educational center called Aprovecho in Oregon, I fell in love. I realized that this was something I could do for the rest of my life. Now I want to take the next step in my education. I am taking time off of college because I feel like it is not furthering my goals and I feel estranged from my desired path. I want to learn the skills to develop a sustainable and earth-centered life for myself, as well as to be able to help people and communities all over the world move towards a sustainable future. Instead of pursuing a environmental path in law, policy, or consulting, I am choosing an on-the-ground, bottom-up, community based method of promoting environmental change. This is why I believe this is a viable and relevant life and career path.
My family is currently going through hardship - my parents are both unemployed and my father is ill with cancer. Because of this, we need all the help we can get in helping to pay for my tuition. My parents are amazingly supportive and want nothing more than for me to realize my dreams, but they cannot afford the tuition at this point. As my birthday (Nov. 26) and the winter holidays are both coming up in the next few months, I ask that instead of giving me a gift for either of these occasions, you donate to this website instead. Anything you could give would be greatly appreciated. I need to pay the remainder of my tuition by December 18th.
Thank you so much for your time and generosity. Please get in contact with me if you have any more questions about sustainable building, my program, or why I\'m interested in this. Please spread the word and pass this along to friends who may be able to help me out. My email address is [email redacted].
Please enjoy the video I have made and posted above. I do not own the pictures - they are just to give you a better idea of what natural building is all about! The song is \"The Nordal Rumba\" by Shooglenifty.
Thanks again and I love you all.
- Margaret Metzler
- Mary and Steve Carroll
- Rachel, Michael, Sara, and Adam
- Bernice and Smith
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