I should write these reviews when the zine is fresh on my mind, but honestly there is too much amazing stuff in this zine that it wouldn't matter if I had read it a hundred times, I still couldn't do it justice in a few short paragraphs. 12 Volt Terrain was (is?) a self-sustainable living project in Tegue, Netherlands. Edward wrote this zine to explain to readers what the project was all about and also share some things he learned through his involvement and pass along some info about living sustainably. The idea of the project was to live completely self-sustained on squatted land, disconnected from "the main supply network for water, electricity, sewer and gas." Obviously, there were times when compromises had to be made, but for the most part they did pretty well with the use of solar power, human-powered transportation, well water, wood stoves, compost toilets, greywater techniques, etc. The biggest problem that arose was the friction that proceeded to exist between the residents which apparently led to Edward leaving. Here's what Edward had to say about that, "Quite a lot of the time our group is stalled by inertia and laziness. No one does the dishes. Somebody martyrs themselves doing them and thinks they can take the rest of the day off. One guy chops wood one day and complains the next day when no one else does. We find it hard to work together. Everyone always has a valid excuse. Everyone is always too busy. I get paralyzed. I have too many things to do, so I retire to my sofa and my cats sit on my head. All of these problems are what seem to happen if you live in a group."
Included in this zine is a discussion on sustainability and it's different meanings to different people along with an overview of the four step energy preservation cycle: refuse, reuse, reclaim, recycle. Edward also includes an outline he wrote for a meeting that was held in order to address some of their domestic dilemmas. I can't emphasize how informative this little zine really is. Not only did it teach me more about sustainability and inspire me to continue advancing toward a more sustainable life, but it also got me thinking about certain issues that might arise in an ecovillage setting that I had never really thought about before. People just can't seem to get along, and even in the most ideal settings there will still be social and domestic problems. That's why it's so important that we work on changing ourselves as well as the world around us. They go hand in hand.
I'm not sure about the cost of this zine, but you can contact Edward here: