Sustainable Living at Agape Community

When human beings live in harmony with the earth, we uphold the sanctity of all life. Because we want to sustain this life into the next generations, we seek to live a wholesome life that sustains itself. This wholesome, holy life on this earth is living into the seasons, a life lived in a circle from birth to the fullness of life, into a death that leads us to a new birth.

Saint Francis HouseIn our attempts to discover a sustainable way of being on this earth, we humans must look to invest ourselves in the fullness of life by giving back to the earth and her creatures more than we take from them. This celebrates and strengthens the sacred circle of all life.

We at Agape seek to write a new chapter of Christian Living in our twenty-first century, one that is radically different from the environmental exploitation of the 20th Century. In loving God as Christians, we reverence the earth that god has created, and we heal ourselves and the damage we have done to our Mother, the earth, by living this healthy, sustainable lifestyle, upholding the sanctity of our God-given lives.

Straw Bale House


Saint Brigid Agape Straw Bale HouseAgape’s Brigid House, a 2,500 square foot straw bale house was completed in 1999.

Current solar panels can produce energy for up to 30 years.

Strawbale buildings boast super insulated walls (R-50), simple construction, low costs, and the conversion of an agricultural byproduct into a valued building material. Properly constructed and maintained, the straw-bale walls stucco exterior and plaster interior remain water proof, fire resistant, and pest free.

People have built homes using straw, grass, or reed throughout history.

Each year, 200 million tons of straw are under utilized or just go to waste in this country alone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that America’s farmers annually harvest enough straw to build about four million, 2,000 square-foot homes each year.  That is enough material for nearly four times the houses currently constructed.

Solar Power

Pollution created by the burning of fossils fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) reacts with other gases in the atmosphere creating a greenhouse effect which traps heat that adds to global warming. We also recognize that nuclear power, oil, gas and coal– fuels that are used to make electricity are non-renewable energies. The small but necessary step of putting up solar panels one building at a time means fewer fossil fuels will be burned.


Grease Powered Car

What Is a Vegetarian Car?

Filling grease car bio-diesel at Agape Community

Students, from St Johns HS Danvers, MA. , filtering waste vegetable oil to use as fuel for the grease car

Grease cars are automobiles with diesel engines which run on oil as well as diesel fuel.  In 1898 German Rudolph Diesel patented his diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Therefore all diesel fuel vehicles can run on vegetable oil. Also, Vegetable oil straight from the grocer’s shelf can be used.  Using vegetable oil over petroleum reduces all car emissions (except nitrous oxide) by 80%.

For the last eleven years, Agape’s VW Jettas’ diesel has run on vegetable oil given to us by a friend who manages a 99 Restaurant. We filter this frialater grease, free of charge, and pour it into the grease tank in the trunk. We start the car on diesel fuel and the vegetable oil is heated in the grease tank.

***Sadly, after many years of service to our community, the grease powered car has recently driven its last. In order to maintain its legacy we have replaced it with a Chevy Volt, an electric car, which we charge with the electricity produced from our solar panels. In this way we continue to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

The Politics of Oils.

As the war in Iraq in 2003 seemed imminent we at Agape saw oil as the source and symbol of a lifestyle of privilege leading resource oil wars.  Non-cooperation with oil could starve the war at its source.

Agape encourages people to start converting their lives to other forms of energy. Eating a vegetarian diet is a good lifestyle practice because the meat industry is a major source of carbon pollution.

Click Here for Article ‘Agape Community Reduces Dependence on Oil with “Grease Car”’

Compost Toilet

A Sight-Built Permaculture Design

Autumn Cutting, Agape Intern, happily changing the compost binsToday 40% of all residential water of drinking quality is consumed by flush toilets. It is an inefficient use of the earth’s resources.This out of sight /out of mind flush toilet system creates the need to build sewer systems in an attempt to re-purify the water once polluted. Even well built and maintained septic tank / leach field systems will fail eventually resulting in a major contamination of our groundwater with nitrites.

The objectives of the Agape compost are:

  • Achieve safe and sanitary treatment of human wastes
  • Conserve drinking water.
  • Function with a minimum of maintenance and energy consumption
  • Operate without unpleasant odors.
  • Be an economically built and integrated part of a variety of house designs
  • Recycle so-called “wastes” as composted fertilizer for our fruit trees
  • Return to nature the nutrients we consume in a form nature is able to handle, rather than turning them into groundwater or surface water pollutants
Click Here for Article “Way to go; Composting toilets offer eco-friendly alternative”