Eco Building off the Grid

Eco Building off the Grid

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Guest Author: Brett Acker – Eco Yucatan Tours.  

Yucatan’s eco building off grid projects explained

The Yucatan of Mexico is a peninsula in the Caribbean Sea, composed greatly of limestone. It is home to the Mayan Culture of Mexico. Our ancestors, the native people of any given land, are the original Eco Builders of their region. Here, Now, in the Yucatan, conscious sustainable eco building projects incorporate the wood from the jungle and the limestone from the earth, combine them with discarded construction material and limestone mortar, and make the most beautiful homes.


Each eco building is unique, and inspired through the artistic eye of the builder. Eco travelers interested in these off grid building practices should take the time to explore best practices for their specific region and accessible sustainable materials.


A true Sustainable off grid homestead has all of the bases covered. Renewable power generation, water accessibility, food production, and waste removal, with as little carbon footprint as possible. In Yucatan, the water is usually the easiest to address, considering the limestone is floating over the fresh water aquifer, making it relatively easy to access, remember you are still digging through limestone! A sustainable eco building method is to access the water by solar pump. The popular forms of renewable energy in Yucatan are wind and solar. There is always sunshine and a good breeze. The soil in the Yucatan is not the most ideal for agriculture on a large scale, but small scale home food production is achievable. Implementing soil remediation and irrigation can be useful in a home garden eco building project. The fastest growing sustainable soil-free food production method today is Aquaponics. It integrates small scale organic fish farming with hydroponic gardening, a soil-less food production method using only water. The water is part of a recirculating system, ensuring little to no waste, and reducing water usage for your eco building project dramatically. Waste removal is addressed through different avenues. Essentially, the gray water from the sinks and showers goes to a tank with a carbon or charcoal filter, then through a series of canals lined with various natural filter plants, into a pond that is used to irrigate the gardens. The black water from toilets is treated similarly, but it first goes into a tank loaded with biological microbes that break it down into gray water. The easiest way to reduce a carbon footprint on a building site off the grid is literally, make the print smaller, less square footage. Instead, build up, consciously, to where the air is clear. Eco building here in the Yucatan uses as little machinery as possible, only when necessary, for as short a time as possible.


Ecotourists that are considering a place to lay some roots in the most sustainable way, should consider Yucatan. There are Eco Tours that explore these communities and developments in Yucatan. They promote conscious tourism and sustainable development. Sustainability is not something humans should aspire to, but should practice it everyday, in all aspects of our life, Waste not, Want not. If we don’t waste, we will always be abundant.


If you are interested in eco tour options while in the Yucatan, or would like to visit the property depicted in the images above please email us at [email protected] to arrange a private guided viewing.

Brett Acker

Brett Acker is a fellow Eco Traveler specializing in Susatinable Developments and Holistic Living. His pursuits have led him to guiding private Ecotours integrating Mayan Culture and Native Flora knowledge and Plant Medicines. He resides in Riviera Maya.

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