Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ethos Appointed Arts & Culture Ambassador for Proposed Sustainable Community in LA

Valhalla California is a new organization taking on the challenge of building a green, sustainable, off-the-grid community in the heart of Los Angeles.  "Off the Grid" homes are not connected to the DWP or Gas Co. Instead, they are completely in harmony with the environment and have the ability to sustain themselves.  Each home recycles water, self heats, and uses solar energy...not to mention the communities ability to sustain a "food forest" and grow their own vegetables.

Sustainable communities have been proven successful in places like Oregon, where nature seems to lend itself to such an existence.  According to Valhalla, this conscious way of life is possible in the center of metropolitan areas, and they aim to prove it.                                                                                                                                                 

Ethos has signed on to create an awareness campaign through street art.  Creating murals and installations around the city is the first order of business to reach a large audience and gain grassroots support for this incredible undertaking.

I sat down with Valhalla's Courtney Carter to get the low down on what this new venture is all about.

Ethos:  How did you become associated with the Valhalla movement?

Carter:  I had been feeling fed up with our way of life. It seems as if we are focused on climbing the corporate ladder, and in doing so, few are happy. We become trapped. Most time is spent generating profit for a business, causing care for personal well-being to fall to the wayside. Five days of the week are spent in relative isolation. Fear of a lack of security binds us to this cycle.  I knew this wasn't the future. I felt compelled to take a road trip to New Mexico for Thanksgiving and ended up in Taos. That was where I first saw the Earthship community: a conscious community had already developed, and so few knew about it!   Ideas began to flow from that point forward.

photos of sample green housing

Ethos:  What is Valhalla's main objective for LA?

Carter:  We want the Los Angeles area to see how feasible and affordable it is to make an environmentally harmonious change. Our entire process will be documented and posted online for free. We plan to empower individuals to come together to create a strong community and healthy future. We all share the same city and planet. It is time to treat it with respect to ensure quality of life for future generations. Los Angeles can act as a model of progressive eco-conscious change and influence a positive transformation for the entire nation.

Ethos:  How much will it cost the average person to build a green Valhalla home?

Carter:  The cost of building materials for a (1) 15 foot Eco-Dome with (4) 8 foot bedrooms typically varies between $13-$15,000. This can be built by 3-5 people in a little over a month. 
The cost of materials for a food forest of 85 square meters is about $600, (including irrigation but excluding plants). Once a food forest is established, it requires minimal management. 
The Eco-Dome is sturdier than conventional housing and capable of withstanding natural disasters. It is designed to produce all utilities upon completion. The result is a self-sustainable structure with minimal bills.  
Costs vary by land quality, as each parcel is different.  There are other forms of regenerative housing that have not yet passed building code in LA County because they utilize alternative materials. An additional aspect of our mission is the eventual opportunity for these models to be approved.

Ethos:  What does it mean to be "off the grid" in Los Angeles?

Carter:  You are self-reliant by living off the grid in Los Angeles. Your home feeds you, produces solar or wind energy, recycles rainwater, and regulates room temperature through thermal mass. You have internet and are connected to the community at large. You have taken the initiative to free yourself of many modern-day stressors to focus your energy on what you find is most important.

Ethos:  How can supporters contribute to the Valhalla dream?

Carter: There are various costs associated with forming an influential awareness campaign to create a conscious change. We depend on donations, sponsorship and support from those who share the same vision. This is a team effort!  We also welcome collaboration and creative contribution from all interested in the movement. Everyone can offer their own unique skill-set to aid in its evolution.

 For more info visit

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful vision and one of the beginning steps in a sizable and growing interest in fixing the earth. Thank you to everyone who is involved!