Sustainable Village began with an inspiration and belief in helping create a more just, sustainable, and regenerative world. This inspiration motivated our business' beginnings in 1966, guided it through all these years, and now defines our future.
We envision an interconnected world of business, government, non-profits, and individuals working together to transcend nationalism, materialism, and all the various ways egocentrism manifests - a global team collaborating to eliminate poverty, create abundance, and prevent desertification, floods, famine, forest fires, and pollution.
Finding, inventing, and promoting products, systems, and strategies that can replace harmful, unsustainable, and pollution-producing practices and technologies.
Because water is the foundation for all life, and because water remains the focus of our business efforts, our impact can directly address water shortages, water pollution, erosion, aridification, desertification, water-caused crop failures, and soil health.
Going as far back as 1970, we have kept our businesses focused on products, systems, and collaborations that prevent the further deterioration of our climate and the planet in general. We pioneered organic gardening (1970), drip irrigation (1975), micro-hydro/wind and 12V off grid throughout the mid-70's and 80's, solar electric systems (1978), compact fluorescent (1985) and LED lighting (1996). Our world has the solutions - the products, systems, and knowledge - we just need global motivation and support.
According to the Global Footprint Network , if everyone in the world had the same consumption patterns as the U.S., we would need more than five planets just to have enough natural resources. However, as the imperatives to consume less escalate, advertising and manipulation techniques that convince people to consume more skyrocket.
Commercials have convinced most that they can only be accepted, respected, and loved if they buy unnecessary and polluting products. We need to see through this illusion and find more meaning, more real happiness in choosing more wisely, buying less, and selecting useful long-lasting products. This is the criteria we use for deciding which products to offer.
Large companies have the infrastructure and skills to scale up, but small companies are much better at experimenting, inventing, and pioneering better economic strategies. We co-create many of our products with our customers, and we try new products and systems, test, adjust, fine-tune, and continuously improve them. This in turn allows us to deliver quality products that solve real problems.
As UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently warned, "We face a five-alarm global fire that requires the full mobilization of all countries. We must go into emergency mode against the climate crisis. We need an avalanche of action." The regenerative strategies, products, and systems we continuously promote and supply help our customers lessen the strain they put on the environment.
We pioneered solar electric - according to the Solar Roots project, our stores Open Circle and Real Goods were the first to retail photovoltaic solar modules back in the 1970's. We still sell solar-powered water and transfer pumps, but a bigger impact on creating more affordable and clean energy comes from more efficient irrigation systems that require a small fraction of the energy. Our gravity irrigation systems, fed from rain barrels, and our agrivoltaic systems don't need any electricity at all.
More than 1.7 billion people worldwide don't have an adequate supply of safe drinking water - and in many places not enough water to grow enough food. Climate change, population growth, and higher temperatures threaten to increasingly make this and other water problems much worse.
But we have solutions!
- The simplest and most efficient irrigation
- Easy ways to convert grass into gardens
- Rainwater collection and use
- Root demand irrigation
- Reusing Greywater
- Growing your own food
- Firescaping the land around your home
- Rooftop, vertical, capillary mat, and agrivoltaic irrigation systems
Instead of selling out and marketing purposeless but profitable products, we want to promote a more Eco-Economic model- a business approach with a larger vision than just making more and more money all the time. We hope to help evolve business systems that reward contributions to the planet, that decrease pollution, save natural resources, and create better living conditions for more people. Sustainability only means keeping things from getting worse. We need to make things better, much better. Like the soil and plants we help people cultivate, we aspire to grow a business environment that nurtures meaningful job creation, offers salaries and benefits competitive with all the polluting and meaningless career choices. Only by greatly expanding these options in fields like regenerative agriculture can we make the changes necessary to reverse harmful trends like desertification, species extinctions, poverty, inequality, climate change, and our increasing environmental challenges.