A small town in Saskatchewan is building an eco-village and securing its future with a plan that started with green home designs and $1, unserviced lots on the edge of town.
“About 10 years ago, the town of Craik, Saskatchewan was facing a problem common to so many rural centres on the prairie,” Green Energy Futures reports. “The town was slowly dying. People were moving away to bigger cities and other provinces, and each census confirmed it.”
The Craik Sustainable Living Project responded by arranging to sell the unserviced lots to people who were willing to stay in the community and build something new. “We had to make a commitment to live, and build environmentally friendly,” said Brent Kreuger, who came to Craik from Saskatoon. “But beyond the local committee approving your plan to be environmentally friendly,” Dodge and Kinney write, “there were no rulebooks, no prescriptions, and no architectural guidelines.”
The result is “more of a chaotic experiment in people finding ways to go green based on their own instincts, research, and experimentation. There are homes made out of straw bales, insulated concrete forms (ICF), sea cans buried underground, and everything in between,” they note. “There is a mix of off-grid and on-grid homes, and small wind turbines dot the community landscape. It’s a delightful hodgepodge of green solutions when it comes to electricity, heating, water, sewage, and building form.”