Our Every Deliberation, We Must Consider the Impact of Our
on the next Seven Generations"
From the Great Law of the
to the Solviva Website
this website you will find information that proves that it
is possible for us to live in ways that are far better than
the normal modern standards today. Less polluting ... less
wasteful ... less costly ... less risky --- as well as more
secure ... more dependable ... more sustainable ... more conducive
to local and global health, peace and prosperity.
Most people find such a concept difficult to imagine, as it
certainly runs contrary to frequent news about ever escalating
energy consumption and decreasing resources, and rising levels
of harmful substances in our atmosphere and our water.
However, my information is solidly based on more than 20
years of personal experience.
My experience has provided powerful evidence that indicates
that we do indeed, today, have technologies and methods available
that are capable of heating and cooling our buildings, generating
electricity, providing food and transportation, and managing
wastewater and solid wastes, in ways that reduce pollution
and depletion of resources by 80% or more. Furthermore, it
proves that this can be done in ways that reduce the cost
of living, and improve security, health and comfort.
are primarily powered by the energy that radiates from our
sun, and they function in accordance, in compliance, with
the laws of Nature. Therefore I call them Solar-Dynamic and
Bio-Benign. These methods all work in a mutually beneficial
collaboration, in circular loops, with optimum recycling of
every aspect of every process. Thus the waste product of one
process becomes the energy supply or food for another process,
and back again. For instance, the waste products from meat
and dairy production - manure, co2, heat - becomes the feedstock
for the production of vegetables, herbs and flowers, and,
in turn, the waste products from that production - weeds and
excess - become food for the animals.
This is in stark contrast to the prevailing modern agriculture,
where co2, methane and other gasses escape to pollute our
atmosphere, the heat is wasted, and the manure is left to
pollute our drinkingwater and destroy our estuaries and fishing
grounds, and where fertilizer and feed are derived from polluting
processes that result in great harm to our health, our soil,
our water supplies, and our environment.
of solar-dynamic bio-benign processes have been proven around
the world to be highly productive and economical. Compared
to today's prevailing methods, they are simple, and their
success and benefit is self-evident.
It is like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes: any child
question that any caring, intelligent person must ask is:
"If such methods are possible and practical, why are
they not the norm everywhere?"
The answer to this question is perhaps complex, but I believe
the most important reason is simple: money. Money invested
in what Amory Lovins has dubbed "Hard Path" methods
makes huge profits, and some of those profits are used to
lobby politicians to enact regulations that benefit the puveyors
of those Hard Path methods, and also to persuade us, the People,
that we would indeed "freeze and starve in the dark"
if we reduced our reliance on these methods, and access to
the resources that power them.
Thus we, the People, are pawns in a game that we know in our
hearts is not sustainable.
Someone said: "If we are to realize the American Dream,
we must first wake up." To be sure, there are many who
are working with all their might to change the system, but
there are far too many who are chosing to remain ignorant
and uninvolved, thus, by default, helping to perpetuate "Business-as-usual".
In a democracy we are imbued with the power to change what
we know is wrong. We have the responsibility to learn about
issues that concern us all, and then to vote and act in ways
that protect the wellbeing of all, for now and for the coming
The purpose of this website is to help you to learn more about
issues that concern our very survival. I invite you to explore
throughout the various sections of this website, and to consider
the evidence and the possibilites, and then to do what you
feel is right.
Currently, the issue that is most pressing for me, and for
many others, is about wastewater. I therefore recommend that
you first click on Wastewater,
and the various sub-sections therein. This will deepen your
understanding of the serious problems that result from septic
systems that are built in accordance with current regulations.
And you will learn about innovative septic systems that cause
far less pollution and destruction, and are far less costly.
Then you will learn how our government is obstructing the
development and use of these innovative systems. This is indeed
a frightening example of how Bureaucracy and Big Business
can keep us trapped in "Hard Path" methods, and
prevent us from living with sustainable "Soft Path"
If you are one of the many being ordered by your Board of
Health/DEP to upgrade your current septic system, you need
to consider the fact that a septic system upgraded in accordance
with current regulations will in most cases release 4-5 times
more nitrogen into the groundwater (thus polluting drinkingwater
and ponds) than the pre-existing system, for many years to
come. This is a fact that is shocking to most people, but
it is true. Then you will need to consider whether or not
you are willing to submit to such foolish and irresponsible
regulations. Perhaps you will instead do what I did and am
still doing, namely to stand up for the right to do what is
On behalf of coming generations, I urge you to not be discouraged,
and to keep up the Good Work.
Together we CAN do
what needs to be done.
May your every efforts to live more sustainably be rewarded
with joy and success.
To contact Anna Edey or to purchase the SOLVIVA
book or designs:
Solviva, Trailblazer Press:
RFD 1 Box 582, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Tel: (508) 693-3341, Fax: (508) 693-2228
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The purpose of
the Solviva work is
to Learn the Art of Living in Harmony with Life on Earth.
Thus, the purpose of the
Solviva work is to develop designs and methods capable of providing
for our basic needs (heating, cooling, electricity, food, transportation,
and management of wastewater and solid waste)
in ways that reduce pollution and depletion of resources by
80% or more,
that are sustainable for 7 x 7 generations and beyond,
and that improve security and justice, the economy and the quality
in urban and rural locations anywhere on Earth.
The Solviva work has been manifested since 1977 at the Solviva
home and farm on the island of Martha's Vineyard, off the coast
of Massachusetts. It got its start when Anna Edey discovered
that there are better ways to manage wastewater than to let
it leach into the groundwater and our drinking water, the way
standard septic systems do. Specifically, she discovered that
urine is a great fertilizer for plants. Thus, various Solviva
wastewater filter system designs evolved, resulting in 80-90%
reduction of nitrogen release into the groundwater (as confirmed
by certified labs), great savings, and happy trees, shrubs and
flowers. Yes! Urine Power! You're in charge! You're in control!
And - with a slight Swedish accent: Peace-on Earth!
In 1980 Anna designed and built the Solviva Solargreen Home
with the following goals:
1) to maximize the use of solar power in order to minimize use
of any other energy source,
2) to manage wastewater without releasing nitrogen or toxins
into the groundwater, and
3) to produce an abundance of vegetables inside all through
Furthermore, the goal was that the house must be beautiful,
convenient and low cost to build and operate, and that the solar
must not cause overheating in the summer. As you can read in
Solviva book, in the chapter called "A Visit to Solviva",
the results exceeded highest hopes. The news spread fast about
the year-round sweet, juicy tomatoes dangling from the ceiling
on 30-foot vines, and the warmth and comfort inside even on
a blustery cold winter day (without a fire in the wood stove).
Inspired by the success of the Solviva home, Anna designed
and built the 3000 square foot Solviva Solar Greenhouse in 1983,
with the goal of producing high yields of high quality organic
food year-round, with no backup heat and no cooling fans. The
heating would be primarily solar, with additional heat provided
by little resident heaters: chickens and rabbits. Again, the
Solviva designs exceeded the highest hopes, and the news spread
far and wide. People came from as far away as Europe and Japan
to see and to learn.
In 1995, Anna embarked upon the difficult and frustrating work
of attepting to get governmental approval for the Solviva Biocarbon
Wastewater Filter Systems. This struggle is still ongoing, and
will perhaps develop into a class action lawsuit against Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection. DEP regulations currently
require people to install highly polluting and expensive septic
and sewage systems. New regulations need to be enacted that
encourage, instead of discourage, the use of far less polluting
In 1998, Anna and Trailblazer Press published
the book Solviva, with the intriguing subtitle: "How to
Grow $500,000 on One Acre - and Peace on Earth". Some of
the chapters and photographs from this book can be seen on this
People ask: What is the meaning
of the name "Solviva"?
In October 1979, on my way to visit Findhorn,
an intentional community in northern Scotland, I was sitting
in deep meditation 7 miles above the Atlantic Ocean, in a jet
plane flying from Boston to London, when suddenly a voice, loud
and clear, proclaimed: "SOLVIVA!"
I looked around to see who had uttered this lovely-sounding
word, but saw only passengers who were snoozing, reading or
talking quietly to each other.
The voice had come from
from on high?
where? This was the first of three times in my life that I have
heard a distinct voice.
I recalled that "Solviva" is the Swedish name for
the flower Cowslip, and it dawned on me that the name means
"Sun Life". Ah
I had already come to
believe that in order for us humans to be able continue to sustain
our lives here on Earth we must learn to use the daily incoming
power of the Sun, instead of living entirely off the capital
of the stored fossil solar power: oil, gas and coal, or the
hideously dangerous and expensive nuclear power. Thus, the previous
year, I had started to devote my life to finding and developing
ways to live as much as possible with solar power, for heating
my home and producing electricity. Upon hearing the commanding
voice say "SOLVIVA!"
I knew that this would be the name of my work.
I also soon found out that in the Swedish Flower Language, the
flower SOLVIVA means: "Hoppas! Det skall till slut bli
som vi onskar", which means: "Hope! It will
finally become as we wish". How very appropriate.
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How to contact Anna Edey, Solviva, Trailblazer
RFD 1 Box 582, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Tel: (508) 693-3341, Fax: (508) 693-2228