Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

Good is by far one of my favorite magazines. This year, I resolved to be published in it. It's just January, but I'm happy to say that it's worked. I found an amazing story right in the heart of Los Angeles and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Allison Arieff
Published: 26 January 2011, GOOD

Glamour, excessive consumption, and a daily traffic snarl maybe the streotypical hallmarks of LA living, but that is hardly the kind of life at the Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV).

Unknown to most Angelenos, LAEV has occupied the two early 1900s apartment complexes a block east off Vermont Avenue in Koreatown for almost 15 years. LAEV moved into the scorched neighborhood in the aftermath of the LA riots, working to revive the community. Over the years, its thirty or so residents have eco-retrofitted the decades-old facilities in their units, repainting the walls with low-VOC paints, and refurbishing the floors to more insulating materials. Their once thirsty lawn is now an edible landscape that grows bananas, peaches, cherimoyas, chard, and lettuce, and even conduct permaculture workshops on site (below). Most units also have solar and gray water systems.

"We like experimenting—things like beekeeping, raising chickens—we’re sort of early adopters to see how those work," says long-time resident Joe Linton, an urban activist involved in revitalization of the L.A. River. [read more]

Photos courtesy of Lois Arkin


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