Self Reliant Living On Cortes Island

By Roy L Hales

This is Roy Hales with the ECOreport, which you can find on the web at the ecoreport,com I recently visited David Rouseau for what was to have been an interview about adopting renewables the developing world. Only the story changed when I found myself looking at a model of self reliant living on Cortes Island.

Self Reliant Living On Cortes Island

A wind turbine made of scrap parts, whose maximum output can provide enough electricity for David’s house – Roy L Hales photo
A simple hot water system, producing enough hot water for a 5 minute shower – Roy L Hales photo
Biodiesel for David’s vehicles – Roy L Hales photo

David is an architectural consultant, who designs and remodels office buildings, distribution centres and manufacturing facilities around the world. At the time of our interview, he was working on projects in Southern California, Shanghai, Germany and the U.K.

He did not want to name his employer, but says, “My mandate is to make these buildings really nice places to be, so people want to come to work.”

Few possess his accumulation of knowledge and skills. We cannot plant an organic garden and orchards; harvest rainwater for irrigation; install our own fire fighting system; design and install a largely self reliant home heating system that relies on wind and solar energy; build our own wind turbine out of scrap materials; and convert our vehicles to run on biodiesel that we personally distill from waste vegetable oil. Some of these things may be within our grasp, but rarely the totality.

Organic garden – Roy L Hales photo
Some of David’s chickens – Roy L Hales photo
Drying fruit – Roy L Hales photo

Made Out Of Salvaged Materials

I had to ask, “Did it cost a lot to put all these things on his property?

“I spend very little on the things. I make everything out of salvaged material and do most of the work myself,”  he replied.

A distilled version of our tour is on the audio at the top of this page.

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