Although thePOOSH.org has only recently launched and been founded as a not-for-profit NGO, its story began in August 2011 when James Self and Maarja Ounaste met Eric Puro, Michael Beck and Loren Heacock in Oregon, USA.
James and Maarja had been living, studying and travelling in their '75 VW Bus through various Latin American countries and were making their way through the West coast of the USA to British Columbia, Canada. The couple contacted Eric Puro via the hospitality website couchsurfing.org and arranged a weekend of adventure in the beautiful Oregon countryside where Eric, Michael and Loren resided in an off-the-grid community called 'Camp Alamo.'
The long and enjoyable weekend passed, and the two groups said their good byes, secure in the knowledge that one day soon they would meet again.
During the last weeks of September 2011, the majority of residents at Camp Alamo moved back into the city for the winter, reflecting on the positive experiences they had shared together during the summer months at camp. Eric, Michael and Loren, however, schemed a strategy that would ensure they would never have to leave the woods again.
Inspired like thousands by the documentary Garbage Warrior, the boys decided to construct a slightly adapted example of an Earthship on the Oregon land. It was during an excited 'Facebook chat' that James, now in Vancouver, Canada, learned of the Earthship self-build and decided to return south to lend a hand.
The Earthship construction was a fantastic period which involved a variety of people, their cultures, skills, inspirations and working ethics. Due to the simple, low-tech nature of sustainable building techniques that were being implemented, it was evident that almost everyone who visited the site was able to assist with its development.
Eric listed the self-build project on a number of hospitality, network and community websites but found that the Earthship was not being exposed to its correct audience. This idea was shared by James and soon, the concept of a single web platform to connect sustainable self-builders with a network of volunteers was born!
Twelve months later, thePOOSH.org is the product of a team of six who have dedicated countless hours to developing the interactive community. Eric, James, Maarja, Michael, Leah and Loren met through a hospitality website, they have volunteered at numerous sustainable self-build projects across Europe and believe firmly that thePOOSH.org will play a significant part to the way construction is viewed and developed in years to come.
Be Constructive, Build The Movement!