One Step Beyond

Promoting sustainable alternatives for a real modern life !

8 nomads

7 ecovillages

1300 km traveled (mostly by bike, train, bus and hitchhiking!)

17 couches surfed

50 hours of footage

3 common beliefs:

it’s possible to change your lifestyle and get out of the loop of  commonly accepted values

it´s rewarding to do so in terms of quality of life

it´s fun to explore new ways of living and enjoying life!

Welcome to One Step Beyond!  We are an international group formed in 2009 with the goal of increasing the public’s knowledge about how to live more sustainably.  From May 19th until July 20th, we visited 7 ecovillages and 4 urban neighborhoods in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, documenting the innovations happening in them.  Our film and sound crew collected over 50 hours of footage, which they will be editing into a documentary film, whereas the other team members experienced community life by working in the gardens, kitchens and fields, spending a summer that involved less consumption and energy use and more simplicity through everyday contact with nature.

Breaking news: One Step Beyond to be hosted in Norway at the freshly opened Solskinnsfabrikken, The Sunshine Factory“.

Go to the About page to discover who we are and what where our research questions when starting this adventure.

The Blog page will tell you some of the stories we experienced this summer

On the Faces page, you´ll meet the amazing people who showed us their innovative lifestyle.

Go to the Recipes page to see and hear what these people can teach us.

Website in edition.

Image credit: thanks to Gregory Aliberti for use of his mural “Strive for Harmony” in our header.


19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Giuliana  |  May 5, 2009 at 16:41

    Hello!! I’m a young italian author and funny correspondent, starting with a webTv about environment friendly lifestyles. I would love to be part of this, coming there with you guys or simply hosting your videos in my webTv too. Let me know!!

    I’m part of an association in Italy with the same intents of yours, we should cooperate!!! Meanwhile good luck for everything!
    giuliana.ubertini (ET)

  • 2. patricia burtescu  |  May 15, 2009 at 03:16

    this a very good idea you are promoting, i am totally into that, guys! but, there is also a “but”, i believe that you need to arm yourselves with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm to last you in the face of the inertia people tend to have. Because people love the idea of living a healthy life but to 99.9% of them it never gets to the point of becoming true, sadly. But i admire your dedication and the simple fact that you are doing something practical about this worldwide issue!

  • 3. Edgard Dias Batista  |  May 23, 2009 at 20:27


    Hej, here is Edgard from Couch Surfing Stockholm calling! Will be nice to meet you guys here in Stockholm, send me an email. I will be glad in participate and colaborate with your initiative! Be the change!

  • 4. Connie M. Bauer  |  September 13, 2009 at 18:49

    Wonderful!…I hope to build my self-sustaining home in about a year…somewhere…but I love the work you are doing and look forward to seeing the documentary. We must return to the lives of the early peoples…before energy consumption took its toll…the only way left for us…I feel.
    If anyone can recommend a
    great EcoVillage somewhere that would take a mature, hardworking, active, teacher…singer…etc…do tell.
    I’m willing to immigrate if the country will take an over 50 active gal.
    Blissings, Connie

  • 5. msewell  |  September 17, 2009 at 21:57

    Connie, you don’t need to immigrate to find a good home at an ecovillage – there are hundreds here in the U.S. (if that’s where you are). You can find a good database at for intentional communities throughout the world. Good luck finding the place for you, and feel free to ask any questions about the places we visited this summer in Scandinavia –


    • 6. Connie M. Bauer  |  October 31, 2009 at 06:15

      Yes….I have been looking in on Intentional Communities for about 12 years…but it is very difficult to get into there communities. I need money…lots of money. My solution is to buy some land in a beautiful place, and build my yurt with cedar sides…somewhere..and it will cost much less then the
      condos the IC’s build. It just reminds me of the overpriced
      country…in America…need money, money… I am willing to pay about $40-110K, but that is about it! I’ll keep on my journey.
      If you can recommend a great eco village or IC in tell. I am Norsk…and yet would live in Denmark or Sweden also. Or, can you recommend a great eco village or IC in Hawaii?
      Thank for your help..Bula, Mahalo, Connie

  • 7. Inna  |  September 19, 2009 at 19:37

    hello, I am from Simferopol, Ukraine. my family and I ‘ve small piece of land with little house, where our family grows vegatables insted of buying them on the market. many families around are living in the same way. you may come to ukraine, I wiill show show evything around, you will learn how people live there, their way of living.

    • 8. msewell  |  October 26, 2009 at 06:06

      Thanks Inna! It is good to know there are communities out there still doing what we are trying to return to.

    • 9. Natalija  |  October 28, 2009 at 08:48

      Hi Inna, it looks very interesting.. Do also young people stay and keep on caring about the land? Cause also in Italy middle age people, especially in the villages, have their own fields (more or less big and organically cultivated), however young people leave and go to the cities …
      Moreover, a part from the fields, these middle age people are not “eco” at all…

  • 10. Vera  |  November 11, 2009 at 00:18

    I’m writing a story on Couchsurfing and how it builds cultural understanding and more. I’m curious what you guys are up to now, a film release date, what countries you visited and how many nationalities came together, etc.

  • 11. Connie M. Bauer  |  November 11, 2009 at 05:32

    Well, my best cultural trip thus far was Quebec City. Stayed with one woman…who took me out about 30 miles outside the city to the farm area for a Quebecois party…with singing in both Francaise and English…Beatles, etc. Then, stayed with another woman, Michele, who had an immaculate home in best part of the city..and I had my own floor! Unfortunately, I lost my passport somewhere at her home and had to scramble at the American embassy to get a temp…but made it back okay…She had a friend
    that showed me around the city!…Bon Chance!…Connie

  • 12. David  |  November 13, 2009 at 18:06

    I am doing exactly the same thing in Latin America right now, traveling and visiting ecovillages and forming a network of friends and knowledge. We are building out own ecovillage in Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala, and the project is called Project Nuevo Mundo ( Our aspirations are to build a global network of ecovillages that would be something of a mix of the couch-surfing and WWOOF networks. I hope we can work together!

  • 13. Connie M. Bauer  |  November 14, 2009 at 06:03

    David…I have not travel to So.America…but have been curious. I would like to dance the Tango in I will look into your project..and maybe go there next Spring.. I’m only working are many Americans right now. Have a great time there…sounds interesting….Namaste, Connie

  • 14. Joakim  |  November 28, 2009 at 16:37

    I saw an article at CouchSurfing about this project and after I had read it through I felt that this is the real thing, this is how it is done. Finding different skills and expertise in different countries and travel together to learn more about sustainable development and all that is related to it. Great work! Looking forward to the film.
    a Swedish ecotechnology student

    • 15. msewell  |  November 30, 2009 at 06:13

      Thanks for the kind words Joakim! We’re looking forward to the finished product, too.

  • 16. Marie  |  March 10, 2010 at 19:03

    Sounds like a great project! Someone could do a imilar proct ere in Mexico.

  • 17. lin zeyang  |  July 29, 2010 at 21:46

    Very cool.
    Here is another project you might be interested in.
    A real sea gypsy community building a boat and plan to travelling the world between eco villages.

  • 18. Beatriz Fernandez  |  November 1, 2011 at 23:21


    I am Beatriz Fernandez from Mexico. Currently I am studying an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at University of Cambridge. I am very pleased to have found this blog as I have set up one at about a challenge that I want to do at my College: making our toilets more efficient. Our facilities are quite old-fashioned and it’s also a budget issue implementing changing at my College. As you all know the amount of water consumed in every flush is really significant, that’s the reason I decided to take this challenge.

    I am really convinced that simple solutions can be put in practice to make more efficient toilets and your blog has inspired me to get hands on the topic.

    By the way, if you are interested in following the development of this project, you’re more than welcome to visit my blog:


  • 19. Julian Skar  |  September 5, 2012 at 09:01

    Hi someone gave me a tip to contact you about renting some space. We are a free group in norway working with dance and multimedia. we are looking for a space the second week in october 2012. WOndered if you might be interested in renting out to us. We will be 3 people in the room. me the composer and two dancers/choreographs.


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