The moment you’ve all been waiting for, so get ready to have your mind blown by the wonders of 4Walls!
Over the last few months, we have been explaining the idea behind 4Walls to family, friends, grant committees, college professors, soon to be radio stations, and even the occasional small child. With this practice under our belts, we have not only become more articulate in explaining what it is that 4Walls actually does but also why it is so relevant in today’s world conditions. As 4Walls is in it’s infancy as a nonprofit, all that is needed is merely a push, and it will have the momentum needed to change the lives of those who are most in need.
The CoFounders have broken the structure of 4Walls into four categories:
The Earthship, a structure designed by architect Michael Reynolds, is a radically sustainable home made of recycled materials. The house is designed to catch and filter rain water/snow melt, produce food, treat waste, thermoregulate, and harvest energy. These homes not only provide shelter, they also care for a family’s basic biological needs.
This is a movement for the poorest of the poor, the families who struggle to obtain the basic necessities: food and water. The earthship’s design inherently reduces this daily survival stress and allows families to free themselves to improve their standard of living (i.e. creating industry, sharing education, etc.)
Simply said, these homes have to last.
Made primarily from dirt-packed tires (and seeing as the US produces 300 million waste tires a year, I think we’re covered for awhile), the earthship is designed to be as autonomous as possible. It utilizes its thermal mass construction to naturally regulate indoor temperature, thereby eliminating reliance on public utilities and taking these families off the grid. But the most important aspect of 4Walls is that they teach families HOW to build these homes, so that they, in turn, can teach others. 4Walls truly embodies the old adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
It has to be about the people…
4Walls focuses on developing local leadership so that each community can identify their own individual needs, and therefore, organize to build homes reflective of their local environment. This concept will manifest itself in local systems of accountability, assuring that everyone shows up to work for each other, and that the community holds itself accountable, not 4Walls. But before even the first tire is placed, 4Walls will gain permission from all levels of local government, clearing their legal status, and securing land for construction. Everyone in the community will have a job, providing for both skilled and unskilled labor. In a 4Wall Community, Everyone builds everyone a home.
… and that my friends, is the beauty of 4Walls.