Nestled in the trees, a miniature home sits on wheels like a modern-day gypsy caravan. But this is no camper: it’s a tiny home, fitted with fine West Coast craftsmanship, to scale. Built by Salt Spring Eco Homes, the home is one of a dozen innovative ‘properties’ being showcased this Sunday, July 30th on the biennial Salt Spring Eco Living and Home Tour.
Visitors will discover homeowners with a passion for conservation. See water storage solutions, composting toilets, induction cooktops and clever uses of recycled and unusual building materials. Who knew you could make cabinets out of pressed sunflower hulls?
The featured homes, while whimsical, have both style and substance. See how passive solar design is being used to reduce heating costs, and check out the ingenious use of living rooftops for beauty and insulative function.
The tour, sponsored by Windsor Plywood and Motorize Auto Direct, includes two sites dedicated to innovation in greenhouse agriculture. Looping fertilizer from fish in tanks through a series of pipes, the Gulf Islands Secondary School greenhouse is producing greens for the student cafeteria and a surplus enough to run a summertime salad truck in Ganges. If you thought peaches were a stretch for our coastal climate, prepare to be amazed by the lemons, grapefruits, kumquats and kaffir limes being grown in a highly efficient wood furnace powered greenhouse that recycles compost to produce both fertilizer and heating gas.
The tour is organized by Transition Salt Spring, a local non profit society that acts as a hub for green initiatives on Salt Spring aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a sustainable, resilient island community. In addition to spearheading the installation of a large-scale solar array on the roof of the high school, Transition Salt Spring operates the community allotment gardens on Rainbow Road, installs car stops and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, runs a green business Enterprise Co-operative, and holds educational events from conferences, to films and speakers series. Transition Salt Spring Enterprise Cooperative offers micro-loans to green projects and businesses.
Get tickets online or at Salt Spring Books (Ganges) or Stuff and Nonsense (Fulford). Pick up your map on the Friday prior to Sunday’s tour at SS Books and plan for a day of adventure and learning.