In 2005, the Wright-Carter family made a pact to reduce their carbon footprint after learning about global warming and resource decline. Akin, the youngest son, 8 years old at the time, challenged us all to not continue to ’mess up’ his future. As a family, we vowed to do all we could to prepare ourselves and others for an energy descent. We wore coats and hats indoors upon setting the thermostat to 65. We traveled to hold workshops to inform others about this imminent reality that would be front & center of our recent future. In 2006, we established Black Oaks Center as a not for profit to facilitate the mission of equipping youth and families with the skills of sustainability to be lifeboats in times to come. Young and old engaged in collective design charrettes of the 40-acre eco campus in Pembroke Township Il. Envisioning it to be a place where the community can learn these skills.
In 2009, we moved out of our near 3000 square foot deluxe Beverly Chicago Bungalow pictured here into an off grid, 580 square foot Mennonite storage unit we re-purposed to be our home on the eco campus complete with outdoor compost toilets and a wood stove. The motivation? To fall down the rabbit hole into an alternate reality of a low carbon life so we could help others do the same when the impact of a destabilized environment would tailor more and more of our lives. Our hearts and our vision have been bigger than our budget as we work hard to be self-reliant. We are mastering skills of sustainability to support others in doing the same.