This week we opened our doors to two groups of Human Geography and Environmental Sustainability university students from Kings College London, who came to find out more about how we are creating and demonstrating sustainable livelihoods here in the deserts of Almeria. The day began with a discussion of what sustainability means – from economic sustainability that aims to generate income that is both equitable and does not compromise the environment, social sustainability which focuses on wellbeing, to environmental sustainability which commits to using the planets resources with care.
Exploring the infrastructures of Sunseed we led the students around our gardens, demonstrating the importance of organic soil and ‘chop and drop’ methods that help to capture CO2 and water, thus improving soil quality and preventing pollution and erosion. We got down and dirty in our compost piles, explored our parabolic solar cooker, thermal mass stove and hand-built solar panels, and discussed the pro and cons of Sociocratic decision making.
The questions which students asked recalled some of the sacrifices we make living here at Sunseed – limited hot water, intermittent internet and vegan diets. The necessity of these sacrifices were well understood however, and during our closing sharing circle the students reflected on what an inspiration Sunseed is and how important educating visitors on low-impact living is at this critical time in world history.