For hundreds of years, modern civilizations have built homes out of straw bale, an affordable, sustainable, and energy-efficient material that can be used for insulation as well as the structure itself. Now, folks are once again turning to straw bale to construct a shelter at the Oceti Sakowin encampments at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, site of ongoing protests against the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline that would run by the reservation.
Honor the Earth, a non-profit focused on indigenous environments and led by tribe leaders, envisions a straw-bale community center big enough for 80 to 100 people. The all-seasons dwelling would include a kitchen and meeting space for camped out protestors, certainly a boon in harsh weather with temperatures dipping to freezing levels overnight.
Called Makagi Oti—or the Brown Earth Lodge—the community center would first be erected as a temporary space, and then get converted into a permanent structure in the spring. Honor the Earth is currently trying to fundraise $75,000 on its website towards the project—over $54,000 has been raised so far.