Sustainable Living: Interview with Omega Center for Sustainable Living and Omega Institute

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is a non-profit educational, retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York and houses the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. We had the honor to visit the Omega campus and speak to Chrissa Santoro, the Director of External Communications and talk about the many eco-friendly initiatives and holistic programs that Omega offers.

Sustainable Living: Interview with Omega Center for Sustainable Living and Omega Institute

The interview was held at The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) which was opened in 2009 and was the first building ever to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification—the highest environmental performance standards available.

The OCSL is an environmental education center and hosts a greenhouse and state-of-the art Eco-Machine™, a natural water reclamation facility that has reclaimed 45M gallons of wastewater during the last 10 years since it was opened. The Eco-Machine™ uses plants, bacteria, algae, snails, and fungi to turn Omega’s wastewater into clean water which is then used to restore the aquifer.

The majority of the building is built with reclaimed wood, and a small amount of the wood is sourced from FSC Certified Forests. The building uses geothermal technology for heating and cooling and utilizes 211 solar panels to generate 134.2 kw/day.

The center is designed to generate more electricity than it uses and in the last 10 years it saved a total of 867K pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Omega’s campus has numerous additional eco-friendly initiatives to prevent waste and reduce its environmental impact that range from recycling, composting, conservation of resources, supporting sustainable agriculture and local businesses by offering farm-to-table meals that are locally sourced and mostly organically grown and powering 100% of campus electricity through the purchase of wind and solar power.

Besides the OCSL, Omega provides over 350 educational workshops and events annually that range from: body, mind, and spirit to creative expression, to leadership and work, health and healing, relationships and family, and sustainable living. Omega’s commitment to creating a climate for positive change extends beyond workshops and R&R retreats, through other key initiatives and programs including the Omega Women’s Leadership Center, work with Veterans that offers programs and scholarships for Veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, Yoga Service which brings yoga practice to underserved populations such as prisons, senior homes, and schools with at-risk youth, as well as programs that bring mindfulness practice to educational institutions and healthcare providers.

To learn more about the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies and the Omega Center for Sustainable Living please visit their website: https://www.eomega.org

Omega’s Social Media Channels:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eOmega.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Omega_Institute
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/omega-institute-cp
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/OmegaInstitute/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOmegaInstitute
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/OmegaInstitute/

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The East Coast #Vanlife Tour Road Trip Part 2

Our #Vanlife itinerary from Florida to New York Part 2 brought us from Maryland to Delaware and New Jersey. After spending a couple months in our travel trailer in Florida during the Spring, it was time to get going and living on the road again! Our road trip from Florida to Maine and back included cruising up along the coast to New York and New Jersey where we’ll be taking a work break for a few weeks and spend time with family before moving onwards to the North!

On this road trip we were primarily boondocking (free dry camping), we slept in our van while being parked in different city parking spots and on several small farms and wineries through the Harvest Hosts program.

In Cape May we visited the beautiful Jessie Creek Winery and Inn where we had the honor to speak to the owners and get a private tour of the Inn which was recently restored and lovingly decorated.

The owner Dr. Bruce Morrison told us about the winery and their eco-friendly and sustainable farming practices that help prevent extinction of the Monarch Butterflies and promote native plants, insects and organisms. The winery also donates its profits of three of their award winning wines for the local wetlands conservation.

We had such a great time at Jessie Creek Winery and enjoyed their delicious wines and beautiful views before having a restful and quiet sleep next to their vineyards.

Jessie Creek Winery is a member of the Harvest Hosts Program and we loved staying at this winery and other farms that we visited during our trip. It is always a great and unique experience.

Harvest Hosts is a program offering overnight stays for RVers and self-contained Vanlifers at over 600 participating farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, museums and golf clubs.
For a $79 per year membership fee the hosts allow for an overnight stay on their land at no cost while members are encouraged to drink, eat or shop at the host’s establishment before going to sleep on their property. It’s a win-win situation that provides for unique experiences, learning opportunities and social exchange that make for wonderful memories.
For more info visit the Harvest Hosts website.

We are so excited to be back in our van and living the simple van life and exploring all the beauty that the East Coast has to offer!

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Sustainable Living: Whippoorwill Farms SC – Sustainable Organic Farm

Whippoorwill Farms is a sustainable organic farm located in South Carolina. We had the honor to speak to Farmer Marissa Paykos about her organic and sustainable farm. She shared about her life from starting the farm with her husband James and daughter Ellie, to growing organic vegetables and using sustainable and humane practices to feed and raise pigs, rabbits and free-range chickens.

She talked about her ways to support the community in her area, how she reuses and recycles materials and how the farm is reducing their carbon footprint and waste.

She also shared valuable insight on how she utilizes social media and modern technology for promoting the farm and its products to increase her sales by marketing directly to her customers and selling at the local farmers markets. We learned so much from our talk with Marissa and truly enjoyed our visit with her lovely family and their animals.

Visit their website: whippoorwillfarmssc.com
Whippoorwill Farms SC on Instagram
Whippoorwill Farms SC on Facebook

Read this recent article about Whippoorwill Farms SC

Whippoorwill Farms is a member of the Harvest Hosts Program and we loved staying on the farm for a peaceful night thanks to this program, which is a unique program offering overnight stays for RVers and self-contained Vanlifers at over 600 participating farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, museums and golf clubs.

For a $79 per year membership fee the hosts allow for an overnight stay on their land at no cost while members are encouraged to drink, eat or shop at the host’s establishment before going to sleep on their property. It’s a win-win situation that provides for unique experiences, learning opportunities and social exchange that make for wonderful memories.

For more info visit the Harvest Hosts website.

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The Digital Nomad Lifestyle In A Day

This is a day in the life of a digital nomad – or rather one of the many versions or our days as nomads while working from the road.

We are Eliane and Damian, two outdoor enthusiasts who became digital nomads, live and travel full time in a self-converted cargo van and sometimes we stay in our travel trailer, in a tent, in Airbnbs or Hotel rooms. We travel full time while working remotely and on location and are striving to live eco-friendly as possible and love to share our experience, journey and knowledge with you.

This is how we make a living while working remotely and from different locations:

Eliane is working a few different jobs:
She’s a Registered Nurse and works short assignments as a Travel Nurse in different hospitals throughout the US.
She also works as a Social Media Manager for remoteseo.us
Besides that, she is also a Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Health Coach with a Certification in Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition and has her own business while also working as an independent contractor in Florida, New York and throughout the US.
Her business website: bodono.com

Damian is a Search Engine Optimization Specialist and Web Developer and works as a Consultant and Independent Contractor for various clients from enterprise to small businesses. He has over 18 years hands-on experience with web development and SEO in various verticals from digital marketing manager to social media intelligence analyst, business development, online marketing and web analytics.
His business website: remoteseo.us

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Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Vanlife and Full Time Travel Gear

Our Favorite Dry Camping and Boondocking Gear

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