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:

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Sustainable Living: Jessie Creek Winery

We had the honor to visit the beautiful Jessie Creek Winery and Inn in Cape May during our travel through New Jersey. The owner Dr. Bruce Morrison talked to us about the wineries mission and their award winning wines. He also informed us about their sustainable ground keeping practices and how the winery plants native plants to invite native organisms and insects and promote a healthy environment for the Monarch Butterflies.

Jessie Creek Winery was awarded by the Cape May Chamber of Commerce for their aid and contribution to the The Wetlands Institute for wetlands conservation projects throughout the county.

The owners gave us a tour of their beautiful Inn at Jessie Creek that the couple lovingly restored. The Inn is listed on Airbnb and can be rented also for special events. Jessie Creek Winery is a great place for any events including weddings and birthdays.


Please visit the Jessie Creek Winery website for more info and visit their Facebook page.

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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:
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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Sustainable Living: Millwood Flower Farm – Local Ocala, Florida (Interview)

On our travel through Florida we visited Millwood Flower Farm, a sustainable and organic flower farm. We had the honor to speak to one of the owners Seth Lyons who invited us for an interview on the farm to talk about sustainable agriculture, no-dig farming and organic flower farming. Millwood Flower Farm is located in Reddick, Florida and sells its flower bouquets at the Farmers Market in Ocala and directly to customers who order their flower arrangements on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis for their office or home.

Visit Millwood Flower Farm online at:

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