IDEAS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON OAHU, HAWAII
I was very touched to read these efforts to provide affordable housing to Hawaiians:
It is also my personal mission to find solutions to provide shelters and food to children that are living on the beach in Hawaii. I have been a resident of Hawaii for 30 years, and I also find myself just a paycheck or two away from homelessness and I have tried hard to analyze why it is so difficult to survive financially in Hawaii. I decided that the main culprits are continuity programs such as utilities, insurance, etc that bill us every month for their services. If we could eliminate or reduce those costs with an off-the-grid lifestyle, then we could save money. Also, I calculated that the average person spends about $8 in food a day (which is about what the government pays in food stamps – $225 a month). An average person will spend $500,000 on food in their lifetime whereas an aquaponics system that costs $3,000 can provide food for a lifetime. I really like your model home that you pictured here:
I would like to see that home put on a 30′x30′ cement foundation and surround it with 4 large aquaponics systems that would provide enough food, fish, clean water, fish food, herbs, native plants for a family of 4. You could use photovoltaics to power a few light bulbs, a reverse osmosis water filter, the water pump, water catchment barrel to collect water, (the aquaponics system uses very little water since it is recycled), and use a solar composting toilet.
In my case, I am currently paying the following utilities for my house:
Electricity – $400 (your model home could use photovoltaics and using a small DC refrigerator, hand dry clothes, use solar water heater for sink and shower)
Water – $50 (collect own water in rain barrels and filter it)
Sewer – $170 (use solar powered toilet, use grey water in a certain plant bed, use bio-safe laundry detergent)
Food – $300 (only eat healthy, organic food from aquaponics system, no more fast food)
Gas (wasted on going to the store or restaurant to get food) – $30
Total – $950 wasted every month – That is the average potential savings for every homeowner.
Plus expensive home owners insurance, fire, hurricane insurance, another $2000+ a year. Health insurance could be $900 a month but I can’t afford it anymore (only for my daughter).
As a volunteer parent, I wrote for grant to purchase the aquaponics system for Kahuku high school shop class. The 100 students are learning how to build aquaponics systems in their backyards. I also would like to build a model home from a used storage container (like your 10×12 model pictured above). We will be building the aquaponics system from as many used materials as possible to bring the cost down. Glenn Martinez of Olomana Gardens came out last week with 5 of his staff to help us install 2 systems in our shop:
We also are building sq. ft. gardens which are very easy to build and inexpensive, worm farms, and small kiddie pools to grow duckweed to feed the fish. Here is the area where we want to put the gardens and aquaponic systems at the high school:
My daughter recently visited the Hawaii Mental Hospital and interviewed their occupational therapists who are using aquaponics to help rehabilitate them:
The CEO of Sunetric has also agreed to help train our students in learning how to set up photovoltaic systems, so we would like to put a small one on that model home one day.
My friend and partner is a filmmaker who is interested in filming our goal to make Hawaiians more sustainable. We are especially interested in showing how aquaponics can be traced to ancient Hawaiians who were the original masters of sustainability with their mastery of lo’i fields and fish ponds.
I am writing another grant to pay for a model home so that our students can build from used materials (old containers) that they can integrate them with aquaponic systems.