NOTE: What is written below is seriously outdated. Much has changed in the past 10 years. Update is on our to-do list.
Contact us: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Our objective is to live a reasonable life where our home is an extension of nature; where the systems incorporate bio-mimicry for both function and beauty. All systems work with nature to create a space that is safe and provide for our needs sustainably without compromising the needs of future generations to enjoy the same level of comfort. Our home will exhibit a practical example of sustainability both locally and globally showcasing luxurious simplicity. We plan on sharing this with others through our actions and education programs to challenge our culture’s desire for a consumer economy. Our home achieves these objectives by incorporating sustainability and research with grid tied solar PV, solar thermal heating, rain water harvesting from a living roof, compost toilet, grey water re-use, passive solar design, and all within North America’s first code approved seismically engineered load bearing insulated cob residence. Check out our media section for videos and articles on our home and life.
Vision – “Less life stuff … more life STYLE!”
Our vision for Eco-Sense is multi-layered. It includes family, community, and the environment. Ultimately all are interconnected in living a “reasonable life”. And to us a “reasonable life” relies on living respectfully within nature and avoids the “bigger, better, faster, more” mindset that defines overdeveloped countries like our own.
For family, we want our children to learn the tools and skills to develop a more biocentric view of self where they understand their role in nature, and feel included not isolated. We want our children to have their sense of self-origin from their place on earth and in community; not their stuff on earth.
For community, we see ourselves as active members whether it is the neighbourhood, the natural building community, or our friends.
Our vision for the environment is to live sustainably and share what we have learned with others to help inspire positive change. We believe the energy for change comes from focusing on exciting possibilities and not on the problems. Solutions can be found through creating new visions where individual contentment, social justice, community/family values, and our life-supporting environment are all seen as one cohesive concept.
Ann and Gord Baird
BIO Ann and Gord Baird walk the talk of sustainable living in their multigenerational family home. Eco-Sense, as they call their home, is the “World’s Greenest Modern House” as rated on the greenest building program ever created… globally. Features of their home include solar PV with grid tie, solar thermal hot water, energy and water conservation, compost toilets, rainwater harvesting, grey-water re-use, living roof, earthen floors, natural finishes, and food gardens all integrated into their exceptionally beautiful and affordable example of earthen architecture. Less Life Stuff, More Life Style!
Gord was raised the youngest of five children, where he spent many hours playing in a semi-rural area of Victoria. As a teenager he was introduced to canoeing and kayaking and became hooked on exploring his spectacular West coast surroundings. Originally drawn to a business degree, Gord corrected his course and instead graduated Simon Fraser University with a Bachelors degree in experimental psychology. Rather than continue with a Masters degree Gord fell into the family auto body repair business. It was here that he practiced valuing and balancing ethics and the environment with profit.
When his first marriage ended, he took on the challenge of being a single dad only to discover that the status quo tended to play down the importance of the family in lieu of generating wealth. Seeking more time with his children, he sold his shares in the family business and began management consulting. Once again Gord discovered that “a reasonable life” was not fully achievable. Instead he gained an increased awareness of our culture’s insatiable selfishness and manufactured sense of need. This pushed him to the next level.
In search for a women who didn’t have to wear makeup, could carry her own kayak and clean her own fish, Gord met Ann. Finally he found someone who could complete his picture of “a reasonable life”. Within six months Ann and Gord were married and a year later they purchased the Eco-Sense property.
Today Gord uses his hands creatively in building everything from homes, gardens, and jewellery. He maintains that his greatest challenge is to live and lead by example, to teach his children that it is OK to step away from a culture marketing self-importance and consumerism.
Ann grew up in Port Moody and completed her BSc in Biology at Simon Fraser University in 1990. As a child she always had a passion for nature and felt most comfortable outside. Ann worked in her field of study for five years primarily performing research with living systems including parasitic insects, forestry, microbiology, and respiratory medicine.
With the help of her first husband, two successful computer businesses were started. During this eight-year period Ann became a competent financial manger. Her amiable divorce led her to escape the city. She moved to a boat access only property on tiny Wise Island and built an off-the-grid home. It was here where she learned first hand about resource use, composting toilets, grey water reuse, electrical, plumbing and carpentry.
During this time Ann developed a passion for sustainable living and became increasingly concerned with how our “civilized society” treated the earth and each other. She eventually re-entered the workforce as the financial manager for the Salt Spring Island organic food co-op where she developed a strong social conscience and learned about the importance of local food.
In the spring of 2005 Ann and Gord were married on the beach at Wise Island. Ann became step mom to two incredible nature-loving children. Ann’s interests include ecology, sustainable living, ranting, and exploring natural areas by kayak.