There is a small island between Vancouver Island and Vancouver called Lasqueti that is 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. On this island, there is a community living off the grid who enjoys being separate from the mainstream Canadian culture.
Most of the residents live simply. They have very little in the way of industry or economy and because they take almost nothing from the land their carbon footprint is rather small. According to the 2011 census , there are 426 people living there however the communities website says there are actually only around 350 permanent residents which include 70 children.
Lasqueti is “an island of individuals, with poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers, tree planters, designers, professional musicians, published authors, some small scale manufacturers, some commercial agriculture as well as professional consultants in education, engineering, forestry and alternate energy.” – Lasqueti Community blog.
The community is focused on keeping its resources renewable. Many of the residents have solar panels, wind turbines, water mills, and wood burning stoves. Others have decided to live simply without electricity.
That may not sound comfortable to the average person, but few can argue that using up fossil fuels isn’t the way to go. This community is showing us not only that it is possible to live in harmony with nature, but it is the way we are supposed to live.
Although the members of this community live simply they are not simple minded. In fact, they are some of the most educated communities in British Columbia according to the Statistics. They are educated and are able to do things that have been lost to the rest of the world, like building canoes, wooden boats, and ecological structures.
The island also features one cafe and one bar. They have also set up a free storage location where people can use the items there without any monetary exchange. They have truly learned how to share.
The people tend to keep chickens, grow their own food or forage for wild food in the forest. There is no grocery store on the island itself. When it comes to their waste most of the residents use composting toilets. One resident even wrote a book for those who weren’t sure what to do called ‘How to Shyte on Lasqueti’’.
If you are interested in visiting this awesome island and seeing this incredible lifestyle up close and personal you can check out this page here. The page gives you a few different option including wwoofing opportunities where you work on farms in exchanges for housing and food.
Here is some important advice from the residents of Lasqueti:
“However you decide to come, and whatever you are hoping to find here, please keep this in mind: Lasqueti is not some utopian paradise, it is not an “intentional community”, and it is probably not whatever you think it is – it is just a relatively remote island, populated by a small, tight-knit community of quirky, independent-minded people, with its own unique culture and identity.”
“Come with an open mind, a willingness to discover something a little different, and without rigid expectations. Resist the urge to project upon us your vision of what this place “should” be. It is what it is, and we like it this way, warts and all. If you can get with that, you too may find a place here.”
In this short documentary, a journalist goes out to meet some of the interesting residents of Lasqueti and learns more about life than what was originally anticipated.