Green Tour: Rhizome Collective

Green Tour: Rhizome Collective

Janel Laban
Jul 25, 2008

(Hello again to Amber, one of the bloggers trying out for a spot on the Re-Nest editorial team. Her recent post on aDIY Irrigation System is here - please enjoy the tour she has put together for us today. Comments are welcome!)

Welcome to the Rhizome Collective in Austin, TX. This isn't your usual house tour; and really, it's more of an out-of-the house tour. Austin is home to plenty of green builders and homeowners making sustainable choices, but we like to think this place starts off with a bang. Because at the Rhizome Collective, the point is to reach complete urban sustainability. This is "green home" to the extreme, and the people who live here make daily--even hourly--choices to live a completely green lifestyle.

This cooperative has a plot inside the city limits very close to downtown which actually used to be a parking lot. The non-profit organization has rehabilitated the land and turned it into an urban oasis, complete with grey water recycling, vermicomposting, constructed wetlands...and that's just the beginning. The members are virtually self-sustaining: they farm (on a biofuel tractor), support microlivestock, and teach the community how to do the same through a program called RUST: Radical Urban Sustainability Training.

The style: It's a cooperative; the style is whatever is the most sustainable choice happens to be! Let's call it rustic/eclectic/vintage.

Inspiration: The Earth! Or, better yet: Earth, fire, wind, water....

Biggest Challenge: Working toward a more equal society: "We are working to build the world we want to live in. In our worldview, the dominant values of competition, greed and exploitation would be replaced with cooperation, autonomy and egalitarianism."

Proudest DIY: since everything is DIY, it's hard to pick a top contender...

Thanks to the Rhizome Collective!


Photos: Scott Kellogg and the Rhizome Collective

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