Life in an off-the-grid, self-sustainable, and remote community often means limited or no access to electricity and no ability to go shopping for clothes, tools, and other everyday essentials. The Project TriStar community plan and design creates just such an environment, but this does not mean the community is operating in the Stone Age.
Wherever possible, Project TriStar is utilizing the knowledge gained throughout history in order to provide the most practical and sustainable solutions for the community operations and lifestyle. After all, humanity has gone through the Iron Age, Industrial Age, and Information Age for a reason. Project TriStar understands that moving forward and into a world that is more consciously aware doesn’t mean that everything gained from the past must be shed. The key to moving forward is learning how to balance knowledge with conscious responsibility.
As such, everything needed by the community and for the community boils down to the thoroughness of the community plan, as well as the creativity, ingenuity, and insights of the community members. The Project TriStar community plan has been developed to consider the possibilities and probabilities for the future of the community and that of humanity. This means learning from past history and choosing from the vast knowledge of those who came before us. Examples of this knowledge include: how to live off the land, how to create tools for complex tasks, and how to overcome our addictions to technology.
The ability to make or fabricate everything a community might need for self-sustainability may be one of the most underestimated considerations of community planning. Besides basic resources, the community plan must consider access to or the ability to make tools and the required knowledge base or expertise to use those tools. The Project TriStar community has not only considered these necessities, but has planned accordingly.
Project TriStar understands there will be the periods of time where the community can access the goods and services provided by society outside the community. To Project TriStar, this access is not a substitute for self-sustainability, but rather an opportunity to access and acquire everything necessary to ensure the community reaches 100% self-sustainability.
On a purely practical level, the success of any culture can pretty much be concluded by the tools they have available and their ingenuity in using and adapting those tools to the needs of the community. With tools in hand, the Project TriStar community is planned to manufacture or fabricate everything else that may be necessary to maintain the desired lifestyle, community operations, and to ensure the health and well being of the community members.
For this reason, the Project TriStar community maintains a complete set of tools, as well as the ability to make and modify tools as needed. To accomplish this, the community includes: tools storage, pottery shop, woodworking shop, and a metal shop that is capable of working with sheet metal, tool and die, as well some metallurgy. Basically, the metal shop can fabricate everything from a pair of scissors or kitchen knife to axe heads, washers, fasteners, hinges, and garden tools. As anyone can imagine, there are literally hundreds, if not, thousands of applications where metal may not be necessary, but can be very useful.
Fabrication for the community also includes the manufacture of everyday essentials such as clothes, soap, dishes, etc. For this reason, the Project TriStar community plan includes the acquisition of tolls and equipment for these fabrication processes. Once again, all fabrication processes are all designed to operate without electricity and where electricity may be considered necessary, the ability to generate that electricity through manual methods.
Product fabrication is just one of many community functions where members can contribute their skills, manpower, and ideas for the greatest good. Members are given the opportunity to consider these activities as part of their work assignment schedule and young adults have the opportunity to work in these areas under the apprenticeship program.
As with all activities of the Project TriStar community, the focus is on off-the-grid living. This means minimal use of electricity and instead using human ingenuity combined with manual labor. As such, most fabrication equipment is powered by foot, hand, or bicycle. In most cases, this type of equipment is readily available and the community has defined this equipment as part of the purchase list. Where manual powered fabrication equipment may not be available, Project TriStar has purchased existing equipment that can be retrofitted by community members.
In addition to practicality for an off-the-grid lifestyle, the use of manually operated fabrication equipment also provides a natural and welcome source of exercise in the workplace. Project TriStar has established the Artisan Committee to manage the equipment acquisition and fabrication operations. This committee works closely with the Membership Committee and Education Committee to assist in member skill assessment and scheduling of work assignments. They also work closely with each department to determine the fabrication of consumables and essentials for the entire community.
The Project TriStar initiative includes a lifestyle that is geared towards the elimination of a need or addiction to personal and emotional competition. As such, the fabrication of products for community consumption is done in such a way to promote a sense of congruity rather than individualism. This means that all fabrication decisions are made by the committees and there are no custom orders directly from community members. If a member sees a necessity or has an idea for an item that would benefit some function of the community, they can present their request before the appropriate committee for consideration.