Mike Stasse is one of my oldest friends (here in Australia) and he is the owner of the “Running on empty Oz“, peak oil discussion group. “Peak oil” refers to the imminent decline of oil production.
Mike and his wife Glenda have moved to beautiful Cooran in Queensland and are getting ready for what they see as the inevitable chaos that will result from the shortage of oil by becoming self-sufficient. Two years ago, my wife and I visited Mike and Glenda on their land as Mike was still building the outside of their self-designed and built home.
We stayed with them for about three days. During our time together we were shown their permaculture garden,
solar electricity system (they sell electricity to the power company when they have excess) and various other ecologically sustainable systems that have installed, such as:
- A simple off the shelf greywater system that uses no power
- A kitchen greasetrap that works with compost and worms, no odours, no maintenance to speak of
- A zero flush toilet that saves thousands of litres water a year
It is a lovely house in a beautiful setting. The picture below was taken from the back window at sunrise, looking out towards Mt. Cooran.
It takes courage and commitment to do what Mike and Glenda are doing. The sort of courage and commitment that I sometimes wish I had, but I will be instituting some of their ideas into our next house we buy later on this year.