This is the first of a series focusing on the ccc19 cChallenge experiment taking place in the Findhorn Community.

Each of us 30 people (for 30 days) who is registered for the cChallenge has chosen our own cChange. In many ways we are supported by the culture and eco-village society in which we live.

The Findhorn Community is a place where many of the Drawdown(1) emission reduction practices have been implemented in the last 55 years. Because so many of them have been activated they look like 3rd person objects we can appreciate. But in fact, they are only here because someone started a 1st person initiative and persuaded the 2nd person community to support what started out as an experiment.

So we are curious how, working together, now in 2019, as several groups of people who share a willingness to see how much further we can take the Findhorn Community’s lived experiences of Climate Change and Consciousness prior to the conference of the same name in April 2019.

We have 3 streams of experiments underway – the cChallenge, Zero Waste (a project sponsored by a group of Youth Initiative Program students), and Carbon Conversations, (a weekly kitchen conversation on carbon reduction at one of the barrel houses). The 4th experiment – the Global Ecovillage Network Online Summit will interview 30 world experts on Community and how it relates to Climate Change and consciousness, starting February 1, 2019.

For our currently running 3 experiments, much of what we have been inspired to try is mapped out in the book Drawdown. Because we can control choices from 3 of Drawdown’s categories many of the cChanges are related to Food (e.g.  plant-rich diets (vegan, vegetarian, reduce farm-raised meat), Energy and Materials (esp. plastic-use reduction/elimination).

Here are Drawdown’s key categories and some of the ways we have implemented them in the Findhorn community prior to our cChallenge experiment:

Energy – we have: 3 Wind Turbines; rooftop solar on most of our new buildings; a biomass boiler which heats the centrally located public-use buildings.

Food – the retreat centre serves a plant-rich diet, primarily vegetarian and vegan styles.

We reduce food waste by using as much as possible and recycling much of the rest as compost in our Cullerne Garden, Park Garden, Cluny Garden and as private household composters

We grow food on food-waste.

We teach permaculture and practise it in Cullerne Garden and in our permaculture gardens.

Some private permaculturists create and use biochar.

We have a Living Machine to process, clean and recycle waste water.

Women and Girls – we support a Steiner school in Drumduan, Forres (nearby community); Ecologia supports the education of girls and women in developing countries.

Building and Cities – our eco-village is essentially walkable and bikeable. We have Moray Carshare to reduce car numbers and share vehicle use. We have a number of green roofs and are retrofitting insulation on houses.

Land Use – we have both forest management, reforestation (for indigenous trees like Scotch pines). Hinterland Trust (a NFP) organizes volunteer work parties for forest and land maintenance, including bee hive management. We have several forest-based social enterprises including Trees for Life.

Transport – we have a social enterprise, Moray Carshare to reduce car ownership and share assets. MCS has introduced electric bikes along with expanding the number of electric cars. The local bus service stops outside the entrance to the eco-village.

Materials – every household and enterprise recycles its waste into bio, paper, recyclables, metal, plastic and non-recyclable waste bins, which are emptied on a weekly/monthly cycle by the recycling service offered by Moray Council. Industrial recycling is used where building materials require disposal.

As we move beyond the implementation of the categories listed above, in the weeks ahead, we will continue to report on the progress we are making in both our subjective (I) and intersubjective (We/You) learning spaces. Stay tuned.

(1) Drawdown is the book edited by Paul Hawken detailing the 100 most impactful ways to reduce carbon emissions. Each opportunity is categorized into the sectors listed above and rated as to both its current ranking and the potential for change through reducing carbon emissions by changing mindsets, behaviours/technologies and policies.