Cyprus Mail

Living off-grid on a self-built, island homestead

In this video, we meet Shadow, a Canadian who went ahead and built an incredible floating island in British Columbia using salvaged and reclaimed materials. His ‘island’ comprises a two-storey floating home, a floating chicken coop, floating gardens – even a floating compost shed!

Having been living on the water for 17 years and working hard to protect the Widgeon Slough area in BC, Canada, Shadow gathers wood from the river to use as firewood, grows some of his own fresh food in barrel gardens, and collects fresh water from a nearby spring. He filters his greywater on a floating raft with plant and husk filtration layers, and composts his food and human waste to ensure nothing goes overboard. Each part of the island he created floats independently, with its own off-grid solar panel to provide electricity. This way, if the island breaks apart during a storm, the power system won’t be damaged.

In terms of transportation, Shadow uses a skiff to collect wood from the river and to get around his island. For longer journeys into town, he uses his kayak to get to the road, and from there, rides a bicycle to pick up supplies. He also has friends and family who help him with obtaining needed items.

The main threats to the area, according to the homesteader are poachers, pollution, film crews and the local government spraying pesticides to control invasive species and opening up the area as a park. The government has apparently been trying to evict him for years, we learn, but he feels his presence is needed to keep people accountable for the harm they’re inflicting on the delicate ecosystem.

View the original video here.

Good Living is the Cyprus Mail’s portal of curated content from across the internet, showcasing local and global ideas, cultural highlights, and scientific and technological developments to inspire a sustainable life.

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