From circular water management and organic gardening to sustainable energy, compost toilets and ecosystem restoration: in one of the driest regions of Spain, off-grid project Sunseed Desert Technology proves that we can live in harmony with nature – no matter what the circumstances. We decided to go and pay this inspiring bunch a visit!
Over 30 years ago, in the small Andalusian village of Los Molinos de Río Aguas, Harry Hart started a project to combat desertification. Since then, Sunseed Desert Technology has evolved into a vibrant international community where low-tech solutions to live sustainable and regenerative lives are being discovered and shared with the outside world.
“We are a transient community, which means nobody lives here permanently”, Agnieszka Soboń – who’s been living and working amongst the other twenty to thirty ‘Sunseeders’ for the last year and a half – explains. “We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to contribute to the sustainable solutions we’re experimenting with.”
Stop talking, start doing
By reusing water, minimising waste, eating a plant-based diet, growing organically, composting, using home-made natural care products, creating sustainably energy, restoring degraded land and many other things, Sunseed aims to make ecological progress every single day.
“Just getting a bamboo toothbrush is not going to solve climate change. We need to be proactive, mobilise and start creating systemic solutions.”
“It’s our mission to empower the people that spend time at Sunseed”, Agnieszka says. “We want to help them realise that they can do something about the ecological challenges at hand. Because if the world needs one thing, it’s for us to stop waiting around for problems to be solved and start being proactive.”
Saving the water
Apart from finding new ways of regenerating the Earth and organising workshops and courses to share lessons learned, Sunseed is also very much involved in the local water fight. Agnieszka: “Due to intensive and industrial-scale farming, the water from our local aquifer is being taken almost four times faster than it can naturally refill itself.”
“All our efforts to save the environment should start with the water. Because without water, there is no life.”
To put a stop to the overexploitation of natural resources, the eco-community organises a yearly Water Festival that brings like-minded souls together and raises funds for local campaign groups. “We want to show people that caring for the environment can also be fun”, Agnieszka says.
Happy earth, happy people
In fact, the one thing everyone living at Sunseed has in common, is that they don’t think of living sustainably as a matter of sacrifice. On the contrary. Agnieszka: “By taking care of the natural world, you start to feel less guilty and helpless about the challenges out there. Knowing that you’re no longer part of the problem, but in fact are contributing to the solution, is one of the most powerful things there is. I can recommend it to everyone.”
Keen to start acting? Here are 5 fun ways to make a difference.