Aspiring to Live Sustainably at the Ashram
We welcome you to Haidakhandi Universal Ashram built in honor of Haidakhan Babaji and the Divine Mother. We hope you will find and carry away with you the peace and comfort we enjoy here. In respect for the Divine Mother and all sentient and insentient beings, considerable effort is made here to live in harmony with Mother Earth. We try to embrace with a spirit of gratitude, mindfulness, and cooperation the beauty and abundance around us, taking only what is necessary and giving back all that we can.
In addition to being built for maximum climactic efficiency, our inhabited structures are built with primarily natural or recycled materials. We are "off the grid" here, that is, plugged into no external or public power source. This means we collect or generate all our own power.
A photovoltaic (solar) system provides our lights and electricity. Needless-to-say, we take care to run lights and necessary appliances only when in immediate need of them. We turn off, even unplug, what isn't in use. We don't use hair dryers, irons and other heat-producing or unessential electrical devices. Frugality with the solar-generated power is especially important on cloudy days.
Our heat is derived primarily from solar gain and wood-burning stoves and (in the dorm, yurt, and hermitages) and radiant heat floors (in the Temple and Baba's Kutir). We are careful to keep doors closed tightly to preserve temperatures inside. We recommend dressing in layers as the temperature varies dramatically with location and time of day.
The creek just south of the property provides our water, which we must purify for drinking. There are special drinking water taps in each dorm bathroom, as well as in the "Earthship" kitchen.
Vegetarian Meals are prepared on a propane stove. What edibles do not come from our greenhouse or garden are bought, whenever possible, from organic sources and in bulk to minimize the waste of packaging.
We recycle all the waste we can by: 1) Using biodegradable cleaning and personal care products; 2) Recycling glass, metals, plastic, and paper (in bins outside the West door of the kitchen); and 3) Composting food wastes and biodegradable garbage for our garden. Please look for compost guidelines below the kitchen sink, next to the trash. Our sensitive septic system digests nothing but low-impact toilet paper; all else goes in the trash.
In the category of general upkeep, we control the accumulation of messes and the dust so plentiful in this terrain by regularly cleaning the dorm and earthship and we remove shoes before entering all buildings. (For this reason, slip-on shoes are most convenient for general use, and thick socks or a pair of indoor slippers help buffer the the coolness and hardness of the earthen, tile, or concrete floors.) In addition, there is always a variety of other daily tasks and special projects awaiting all attentive and creative karma yogis!
At first, this may seem like a lot to remember, but there are friendly reminders posted here and there, and all quickly becomes second nature in the simple, steady flow of activity. Attention to these details supports the spirit of Babaji's teaching to be alert and conscious in every moment and endeavor. We will happily answer any questions.
We look forward to working with you!