Shipping container Eco Village for the Philippines – Matt’s big idea

Cinco Camp - Texas

Its a concept I have been toying with for several years and pretty much ironed out most of the issues involved. The big question is how many other people are interested in setting up a container village?

The photo is of a development in Texas and its for photography purposes only the designs I am looking at will be different but just want to get the idea across.

The development would be a mix of foreign and locals with an interest in sustainable living and projects. Doesn’t all have to revolve round what we are doing locally as the idea is to have likeminded people in an environment that encourages green living as well as hopefully throw up some new ideas.

vertical gardeningThings like along the sides of the containers doing vertical gardening to give a food source as well as shade and maximising space.

Aquaponics, permaculture, solar and wind energy and possibly a water mill to produce localised lighting in the community are all ideas I want to bring to the table.

imageDon’t want to live amongst a group of drop out hippies? Guess what neither do I, I am looking at sustainable development because of the fact its self sufficiency offers up a lifestyle that people have forgotten or feel they can no longer afford. When you start looking at what life really costs you and how things like having a car to get a better job that is further away from home that ends up with a debt on the car as well as expensive petrol which nobody ever sits and calculates how much they would save by simply finding a lower paid job nearby. Or in my case the internet. The internet is awash with Internet “people” who simply don’t need the binds of expensive living and having a community that is based on technology as well as having several people of a similar mindset allows methods to role out across the web in different ways. It also allows people to improve their profit margins and in turn the whole project becomes more viable in another direction. In reality I am looking at building something that will not only last but will be mimicked by others. Food costs are rising yet again and although a lot of it is fake most comes down to the fact everything is moving via freight of some kind pushing demand on oil further. What about picking tomatoes from the garden how much energy does that burn? maybe a lettuce from your aquaponics setup?

The whole concept is people helping people not only in producing food because of different levels of gardening experience but also livelihoods.

But stop hold the press! Foreigners can’t own the land in the Philippines! and your right they can’t but I am looking to form up a community on land my wife will be the legal owner of but everyone has 50 year leases with a guaranteed 50 year extension on it. We sub lot a large area and this way you as the “home owner” control your piece of land there will be annual costs involved due to taxes, security and other things but I am looking to make this a long term commitment that encourages people to stay for life.

Shipping Container Homes The Moral Choice

For me the Shipping Container Home is not only likely to become the home of tomorrow but the moral choice of today. There are many reasons behind my thinking although recycling is part of the reasoning more importantly is abandoning consumerism as this isn’t recycling its stopping things being used and wasted in the first place.

Shipping container homes generally are smaller and designed round specific needs to peoples requirements rather than the cluttered lives that many people live. I remember as a child a teacher mentioning that he nailed his loft hatch shut and the reasoning behind that is if something goes up into the loft its very likely you don’t need it and more importantly it will never come down again. Different teacher had similar thoughts about a bag in the fact you might as well have a small bag that is easy to carry as carrying a big bag you carry a lot of things you don’t use. Both thoughts have method in the madness as I look at many homes and I see under utilized space all over the place. But also just as important disregarded items which is why you see things like “send in your old mobile phones for charity” as they know people shove last years phone in drawers never to use again after they got an upgrade. But for me I think why do I need an upgrade? can’t I have a downgrade in my costs? Last years phone is designed for many years of use why would I want to shove it in a drawer just for the sake of getting a new shiny toy?

I think this is part of the consumerism gone mad that has leaked into society that shipping container homes can improve how people see the world for what it is. If there is a TV company out there maybe its a reality show you can work on and take some major consumers away from all the gadgets and give them a more minimalistic lifestyle but monitoring not only the impact it has on productivity and general wellbeing but also financial gain from not wasting money on things they never needed. Although don’t see advertisement companies too keen on this idea.

The discussion came up the other day with a friend of ours heading back to the UK as we live in a similar way where all our possessions can quite literally fit into 2 bags ready to move anywhere in the world. Neither of us are hippy, neither of us are poor in fact when you balance it up we are probably a lot more wealthy than the majority of people as we abandoned everything that was associated with fixing a location or more to do with increasing our burden. We rent rooms when we are working in a location and long term we don’t live in the UK we just work there. Someone’s going to convert my air miles here to do with my carbon footprint I am sure at the same time take into account that my energy consumption in the Philippines is well below consumer UK not only in home wastage but the fact my commuting is heavily reduced.

But getting back on track it was the abandonment of consumer goods that has made huge financial gains for those that choose to remove the iPAD and BMW lifestyle on credit for hanging onto the car for another few years or getting a new unfashionably economical car over ego, or keeping the desktop PC instead of a shiny new iPAD that looks good but offers up nothing worth writing home about. More importantly having money in the bank!

This all fits into Shipping container home lifestyles as the minimalistic approach is what comes as part of the package. As well as the fact you can build yourself and in modular form meaning the only real upfront big investment is the land your sitting the new home on. Everything else can be added as and when it can be afforded or needed. Its the common sense approach to life having what we need rather than what we want, sure its nice to eat lobster and dine out but everyday? having large houses and having to heat/cool them are a wasted expense alongside the fact energy resources are getting more and more expensive yet downsizing you would instantly be saving even if you didn’t go down the shipping container home route.