To discover how to live a healthy and ecologically responsible life working in harmony with nature.
To realise, demonstrate and communicate appropriate and low-technology solutions that support a low-impact lifestyle.
Our Commitment is to live with low impact on the environment we live in:
- we operate closed loop systems for all our raw materials such as water and food waste
- we use solar power to generate electricity – the whole village is off-grid for power
- we maintain organic gardens
- we research and manage drylands to protect soil from erosion
- we eat a vegetarian diet
- we build and use energy efficient devices such as solar ovens, thermal mass stoves, solar dryers, a haybox
- we reduce, reuse, repair and recycle as much as we can
In 2016 Sunseed celebrated 30 years of work, play, research, learning and transformation. We’re looking forward to Sunseed’s adaptation and evolution with new challenges and the constant flow of new ideas and energy through our village with each new volunteer. Read more about Sunseed’s history.
Who lives here
Sunseed is a lively international community of volunteer staff and volunteers. The average number of community members is 20 (in the Summer and during courses usually more, and in the winter less). The community consists of a core staff team of 6-8 coordinators who are here all year. They are supported by assistants (and interns) who usually stay between 3-6 months, as well as short and long term volunteers. Each Coordinator is responsible for a Department. Read more about our staff team.
The houses are used by the project for accommodation, offices, workshops. Facilities are determined by the limited resources available and the semi-arid environment. Photovoltaic panels provide electricity, Solar panels are used for water heating, and water for washing is pumped via a ram pump from the from an ancient irrigation channel that flows all the year round in the valley. Drinking water has to be brought by van 12km away from a public fountain in a nearby town.
We aim to live with the least detrimental environmental impact. We garden organically, use solar power for all our electricity and to heat water. We cook in our solar ovens or on a gasifying stove to reduce our gas use. In the colder winter months we use a thermal mass stove to heat our main house and provide hot water.
We have a waste water purification system that separates grease and impurities to allow cleaner water to be delivered back to the gardens. For this reason we have a no chemical policy.
Our food policy reflects the need to consider where food comes from and to consider not only it’s carbon footprint, or the use of chemicals but, also, how it may affect the country of origin’s food sovereignty.
Sunseed Trust Ltd is a registered British Charity. The trustees (or governing body) ensure that the vision of the Trust is carried out. They are ultimately legally responsible for everything the charity does. This includes policies, finances, staffing and assets. The Trustees are responsible for the selection of coordinators and their subsequent reapplication for their post.
The volunteer staff are responsible for the day-to-day running of the project, implementing Sunseed’s mission.
Sunseed as an Educational Project
Our values of using low impact and appropriate methods and technologies make Sunseed an interesting place to be and learn. Volunteers and volunteer staff learn and participate together how to create a smaller environmental footprint. Alongside this there is a journey of ‘invisible learning’. By stepping outside comfort zones and supporting a communal way of life volunteer staff are exposed to and enabled to live a more successful low impact way of life .