to the home of the Vehicle for Change, an innovative housing and travel solution for people disabled by environmental illness, and a model for sustainable and non-toxic living.
It's also the vehicle that will carry me to the next stage of my life as an activist writer and artist, including my national radio blog, Letters from Earth, broadcast on Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio.
My name is Aurora Levins Morales. I started designing the Vehicle in 2010, when I became homeless as a result of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which I prefer to call Environmental Illness. Many people have contributed their expertise and imagination to the Vehicle's design. You can read about my journey with this project on my blog.
This blog will now focus on the specific designs, materials, procedures and tools I chose for the Vehicle and why, with ongoing updates on what is and isn't working. The story of my travels will be on my personal and professional home site.
My first post is about how I'm dealing with electromagnetic fields in the Vehicle. I will be following this with detailed reviews of all my major systems: the photovoltaic array that provides my electricity, and my waste disposal, lighting, heating, and water filtration systems. If you have questions about any aspect of the design, construction or operation of the Vehicle, please write and I'll do my best to answer.
I am also working on an eBook with my architect, Johnson Osband, which will collect a lot of information along with diagrams and drawings, and make it possible for others to build their own non-toxic Vehicles for a lot less money than it cost me.
I update the different sections of this site as I find new resources, figure out solutions to design or materials problems, and make choices.
You can explore some of the designs other people came up with as they thought about the problems I was trying to solve. To learn more about the Vehicle, and the questions I must answer to build it, browse through the sections on Universal Design, Materials, Systems, and Interior.
Mobility addresses the actual vehicle that will move my house around, the fuels it will use, and the places I want to go. Finances, provides links to the project spending plan, crowdfunding campaigns, my in-kind donations wish list, information about how and why to become a sponsoring business, and the current financial status of the project.
Finally, questions, comments, ideas, resources? Drop me a line. You can also visit my Pinterest page to see a wealth of resources, people and ideas connected to this project.
Each item in the menu above has a main page as well as a drop down menu of additional topics. Enjoy your explorations.
Picture of the week:
For more photos and drawings visit the new gallery page.
Sponsors and Helpers
Unforgettable Fire, makers of the amazing Kimberly wood stove, are now sponsors of the Vehicle. The Kimberly is an incredibly compact, efficient, and clean burning stove, perfectly designed to heat tiny and not so tiny homes without causing any indoor air pollution. They are giving me a significant discount on my stove and stove pipe.
Pureffect Water Filters has sold me an advance unit of a water filter not generally available until early next year. As a small, family owned business, they're not in a position to discount their units, but getting mine now instead of later makes a huge difference for me, and I'm so impressed by their filters that I've decided to become an affiliate and help make them more widely available.
Thank you, U-Haul of Somerville for providing a construction site and helping unload materials as they arrive. George and Theresa went way above and beyond.
News on Wheels
Northern Marin County
True Grass Farms, near Tomales, California, will be my home base for a while. I am on occupied Coast Miwok land, on a farm that has been in the owner's family since 1867. Guido Frosini has introduced restorative grazing practices, carbon sequestering and many other land stewardship practices, which I will be writing about for my audio blog, Letters from Earth.
From this base I will be visiting many sites in Northern California that have bearing on our environmental crisis, and particularly, on struggles about water. In the meantime, I love visiting the pigs in the mornings and feeding them my food scraps, so they can turn them into fertile soil.
Sacramento River Delta
I left Berkeley on February 1st and spent a week at Park Delta Bay Campground in Isleton, California, along with thousands of Snow Geese. Isleton is in the Pacific Flyway and vast numbers of migrating birds stop there, gleaning leftover corn and rice from harvested fields. Park Delta Bay has been reaching out to tiny house owners to come live here, and hosts open house events for the tiny house community.
Letters from Earth
My audio blog project, Letters from Earth documents my travels through inner and outer landscapes of damage and resilience, linking my body and the planet, disability justice and environmental justice, and the possibilities of true sustainability and full inclusion. A blend of prose poetry commentary and occasional ambient sound, Letters from Earth is broadcast on Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio.
You can listen to the first broadcast below.
Support the Vehicle for Change
Join my Patreon community for as little as $1 a month. Support me to write the book about how I built the Vehicle.
You can still make one time donations here..