Heroes

A village of 70 folks might have the secret to living sustainably.

They don't bite the hand that feeds them. They take care of it.

A village of 70 folks might have the secret to living sustainably.

Igiugig, Alaska. Population: 70.

Yes, 70. Small town, ain't it?

Also known as Igyaraq in the Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Igiugig is a city that is going down an incredible path I hope more cities will follow. You see, Igiugig calls itself a renewable village.


What does that mean? For the residents of Igiugig, it means a number of things:

  • They grow their own food — basil, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, you name it.
  • They have a greenhouse where they grow that food, powered by three turbines.
  • The Kvichak River provides them with water and fish.
  • Some residents have solar collectors and power up their homes this way, so their energy costs are now incredibly cheaper than if they had continued to rely on the expensive diesel they were using before.
  • Besides supporting themselves, they are also able to feed tourists who come and stay in the area's lodgings.
  • They build their own roads.
  • They live by "reduce, reuse, and recycle."

In short: Igiugig relies on locally grown food and local energy sources.

They don't rely on supermarkets, energy companies, or any external entities to survive. They reduce, reuse, and recycle. Their carbon footprint is probably close to nothing.

Seriously, what can't they do?

Well, funny question...

As awesome as they are, the Igiugig residents still face a lot of obstacles that are out of their control.

They're not superhuman, and there are forces much stronger than them affecting the land they live on. Like water pollution, rising temperatures, melting ice, and climate change.

Still, they should be an inspiration for the future. Just take it from Alexandra Salmon, the administrator for the Igiugig Village Council:

"I felt like I had the greatest childhood here in Igiugig. My sisters and I moved, and lived elsewhere, and got an education and thought this is where our kids need to be raised. We want them to have the same, if not greater experience than we had. And that's why we've moved back. We're trying to build a sustainable village, and we have this higher quality of life that we've self-determined."

But it's a VILLAGE of 70 people. How can we translate that to cities with 170,000, 1 million, 3 million people?

While it's impractical to COMPLETELY change the way our cities and towns work in very little time, it's very possible to start implementing some of Igiugig's practices into our daily lives and our immediate neighborhoods.

So, as you watch the video, ask yourself, "Why don't we try to give this a shot?"

Love Igiugig's philosophy? Let your friends know!

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less
via Google and Pexels

A Medford, Oregon sushi restaurant tried to pull a fast one on its employees but it didn't get past the U.S. Department of Labor. The agency has recovered $280,124 in back pay from Misoya Bistro that will be split among 36 employees.

Federal investigators say that for the past two years, the restaurant paid its employees an hourly "tip wage" that was "significantly lower" than what they earned in tips.

"I think employers sometimes may think that because they pay the state minimum wage which is higher than the federal minimum wage, means that they can be involved in tips," Carrie Aguilar, district director for the Wage and Hour Division – Portland office, told NBC5. "That's just not the case. Tips should always go to the employees."

Keep Reading Show less