Hilde Maingay and Earle Barnhart were founding members of the New Alchemy Institute, a research and educational organization that operated in Hatchville, MA between 1971 and 1991 with the following mission:
Among our major tasks is the creation of ecologically derived human support systems: renewable energy, agriculture, aquaculture, housing and landscapes. The strategies we research emphasize a minimal reliance on fossil fuels and operate on a scale accessible to individuals, families, and small groups. It is our belief that ecological and social transformations must take place at the lowest functional levels of society if humankind is to direct its course towards a greener, saner world.
Earle and Hilde now operate their own organic landscaping business on Cape Cod and run a small non-profit, The Green Center, Inc., dedicated to the same principles that guided New Alchemy. They offer their own household as an example of how people on Cape Cod can live healthier and more productive lives with less impact on the environment by recycling everything we tend to think of as “waste.” The current debate over Cape Cod’s wastewater issues and the contamination of local ponds and estuaries compelled them to share their knowledge about eco-toilet technology with the wider public through an initiative to fund an eco-toilet demonstration project in Falmouth.
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