SustainaFest is a 501(c) (3) Maryland nonprofit organization that began in 2012.  The organization is an innovative collaboration between recognized sustainability leaders, educators, artists, and other visionaries.

Because sustainability is an abstract concept for many, SustainaFest is about simplifying the concept, deconstructing it in a meaningful and relevant way, and giving people of all ages the tools to act and live more sustainably.  The organization uses art and entertainment to bring to life connections to community and shelter, clean air and water, healthy lifestyles, and thriving local economies, to name a few.  SustainaFest aims to inspire by giving people the means to improve their life and those of their community.

What is unique about the organization is that it doesn’t try to reinvent ideas or duplicate efforts. It identifies tools, partners and initiatives developed by leaders outside of SustainaFest – educators, community groups, energy experts, farmers & fishermen, athletes, explorers, conservationists, corporate leaders – and facilitates engagement, education,  and action on a local level to create meaningful results and outcomes.  Together, we bring sustainability to life and give people the tools to build a strong community, stable local economy and healthier environment that is desired by all.

Tiny House Project

The Student Sustainability Lab (Lab) is SustainaFest’s groundbreaking educational program that combines sustainability, diversity, innovation and education. During the summer of 2014, the Lab will feature students from the Annapolis and Baltimore area working with military veterans, sustainability experts, teachers and builders to construct a “Tiny House.” Students will take a journey of exploration and discovery as they work to plan, design and build a 210 sq ft mobile Tiny House, leveraging the best green technology. Working with veterans, teachers, and sustainability experts, students will discuss what is most important to personal and community success and prosperity.

Key objectives include:

  • Providing hands-on learning experiences for students that foster job skills development, community pride and stewardship among students.
  • Increasing student knowledge of sustainable building practices, green infrastructure and sustainable living options.
  • Exploring critical thinking concepts of “home” and the “American Dream” and what they mean to students
  • Using construction tools in a safe and supervised environment to build a Tiny House from the ground up.
  • Being mentored by a diverse group of adults (e.g. veterans, builders, sustainability experts, teachers) through construction, small group discussions, and hands-on activities

The Tiny House Project will engage participants in small groups as they develop basic building skills and learn about sustainability on an environmental, economic, and social scale. 

Minim House - 04

The Student Sustainability Lab will construct the “Minim” model, shown here and located in Washington, DC.