Past Projects

2016 Reach N Teach

Reach N Teach with the Earthship is a 12-month project with the aim of training our sessional facilitators to deliver 35 interactive talks and skills-sharing workshops to school children and local communities.

The Earthship will be used as an example of sustainable living and to encourage communities to consider how they can make more sustainable choices.

Initially facilitators will deliver a short talk to each group adapted to their individual needs. Participants will find out how the Earthship came to Scotland, its unique design techniques and what we can learn from the building concept. Key techniques used in the Earthship will also be explored including re-using waste materials such as tyres; passive solar design; thermal mass; three types of renewable energy; autonomous sewage and rainwater systems.

A children’s version of the talk will also be available and includes the story of the Earthship, written by a storyteller, which will be self-published and illustrated as part of the project.

Following on from their talk groups will then be offered a free skills sharing workshop at their school, community meeting place or the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre. Workshops will be tailored to the groups’ individual learning requirements and will teach them skills such as:

  • creative waste – how to make things out of household waste
  • renewable energy – how it works and what can be done at home
  • saving money on bills
  • managing waste

New ideas will be developed as the project progresses using input from participating groups.

If you would like to find out more about Reach N Teach with the Earthship please e-mail us at

People's Postcode Lottery logo

Funded by:  Postcode Community Trust

The Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Reach N Teach received £11,690 from the Trust to help people change their habitats towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

2015 The Life Labyrinth


Young people from Fife are working hard on designing and creating a labyrinth made out of native plants at the front of the Earthship on the lochside. Their commitment to the project has them out in all weathers measuring, digging, and planting. The project will give the community and future generations a thoughtful experience as they journey around the labyrinth and a chance to reflect under a centre piece which the young people will have carved and built with their own hands – if you want to know what it is you’ll have to come and visit! All will be revealed in September at our Harvest Festival when we celebrate all we have created together this year.

Do you know what the difference between a maze and a labyrinth is?

Photo of maze and labyrinth


Funded by:  The Pumphouse Trust and CSV Action Earth

2015 Your Patch Too

Your Patch Too logo

Your Patch Too is a series of family workshops at the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre for local family groups who are given the opportunity to experience the outdoor environs of Kinghorn Loch in a supported and focused way. They will play outdoors, learn new skills using free natural and waste materials as resources,  spend time with their family, and form relationships with members of their community.
Each group comprises a maximum of 12 people, and will participate in an 8 week block of 2 hour workshops per week.
Each session will include sharing snacks, storytelling, nature connection games, and arts and crafts activities.

The first Your Patch project in 2013-2014 was a great success –

It gave parents and children the opportunity to work together on common goals to create items for our new school. It enhanced communication and made a great impact on relationships.

(Julie Anderson, Head teacher at Burntisland Primary School)

Colage for Your Patch Too

David Torrance, MSP, lodged a motion on the Scottish Parliament in January about Your Patch Too:

Sustainable Communities Initiatives Receives Funding

That the Parliament congratulates the Sustainable Communities Initiatives (SCI) in Kinghorn on receiving £9,860 from the Big Lottery’s Communities and Family Fund; notes that SCI is a grassroots organisation promoting social and environmental sustainability in communities; recognises that, over the last 10 years, the charity has initiated a vast number of projects, ranging from teaching community members on sustainable building methods to offering workshops on how to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle; understands that these focus groups and seminars foster the development of new and useful skills, enable participants to explore the surrounding area and strengthen community cohesion; further understands that the grant will be invested in workshops for less advantaged families that will involve storytelling, nature connection games, healthy snacks and arts and crafts sessions using natural materials; welcomes what it considers the dedicated and invaluable work accomplished by SCI in making a vital contribution to creating a sustainable future for following generations, and wishes SCI and its staff great success for their upcoming projects.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, Graeme Dey, Stuart McMillan, Bill Kidd, Liz Smith, Chic Brodie, Roderick Campbell, Colin Beattie, Dennis Robertson, Rob Gibson, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Kevin Stewart, Mike MacKenzie, Sandra White

Funded by:  Big Lottery Communities and Families Fund

Bog Lottery Fund logo

2014 Celebrating 10 years of Earthship Fife

2014 Events

Earthship Fife 10th Birthday event

SCI has been running the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre for over 10 years – having built it over 2 years with over 225 volunteers, lots of fun, hard work and learning. Since that time SCI has introduced 15,900 visitors to the Earthship concept, delivered almost 500 waste and energy workshops, reaching 19,600 people in schools and in the  community, and sold almost 2,000 self-written publications for community use.

2014 was the 10th anniversary of the Earthship and we wanted to utilise the celebratory nature of the Earthship in its tenth year to offer a full year of community building, family learning and alternative education. 2014 was celebrated with a big 10th birthday bash, free childrens’ Earthship tours and Creative Waste workshops, Skills-Sharing Days and Creative Waste competitions; for adults and children and all held at Earthship Fife Visitor Centre. Our final event was our annual Christmas fair – Make Christmas at Earthship Fife – with wreathmaking, rag-rugging, knitting and home made cakes, as well as a storytelling walk around Craigencalt Farm. A wonderful end to a fantastic year!

xmas event collage

Make Christmas at Earthship Fife

 Funded by:  Fife Council, Pump House Trust, Russell Trust, Fife Charities Trust, and Rotary Club of Kinghorn and Burntisland

2013-2014 Your Patch


‘Your Patch’ is a skill-building series of family workshops for disadvantaged groups in Fife. The project gives community groups, including both children and their carers/parents, the opportunity to experience using waste as a resource, learn new skills, spend time with their family, and form relationships with members of their community.

It gave parents and children the opportunity to work together on common goals to create items for our new school. It enhanced communication and made a great impact on relationships.

(Julie Anderson, Head teacher at Burntisland Primary School)

Funded by:  Awards for All

2012-2013 Leap Frog


A project to help equip families facing social, economic and environmental challenges by delivering workshops that provide information, share skills, boost confidence and nurture community cohesion. The model used to work with the groups was a combination of compassionate communication, storytelling, energy related workshops, and arts and crafts.

Gave me a better understanding of other peoples thoughts and emotions.

Helped me think about others’ feelings rather than my own.

(Quotes from participants)

Funded by: Awards for All, Cattanach Trust and Fife Council

2008-2013 Ecovillage


SCI  worked with the Core Residents Group (CRG) and for some of the time, the Bodhi Eco Project to develop a plot of land in Burntisland in Fife known as The Widows Land. The proposal being developed was to build a low impact development with numerous community benefits, such as affordable housing, a visitors bunkhouse, and outdoor education programme, a  community supported agriculture scheme,  woodland walks, a wildlife area and a play area.

This project would have showcased a number of innovative ideas and technologies and used sustainable building methods to create permanent low impact buildings such as Earthships and Straw Bale buildings – types of construction that are possible using recycled materials and sustainable methods. The plans included 12 houses, and the site was to be, as far as possible, off-grid – generating its own power, recycling its own waste, and growing some of its own food.

In September 2013 Fife Council The planning department recommended that the proposal be refused, and at the planning committee meeting the Councillors agreed with his recommendation. In December 2013, SCI made the decision not to re-submit the planning application.

Funded by: Schiellion Trust, Pump House Trust, Investing in Ideas and Bodhi Eco Project


2008-2010 Carbon Busters: Clean Green Kinghorn and Cool Burntisland


A project to raise awareness, support the local community in Kinghorn and Burntisland and teach practical skills to help people make positive lifestyle changes, individually and together with their community to reduce carbon emissions.   Free events and workshops were run for children, youths, families, adults and business people.

Funded by: The Climate Challenge Fund

2008 Green Living on a Budget


SCI offered a range of workshops which introduced environmental issues to people on low incomes, and offered practical advice and solutions for how to tackle them. These included travel & holiday, saving energy at home, reducing waste and food.

A booklet full of advice and tips was also published and distributed free.

Funded by: The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

2004-2007 CWaCS (Creative Waste and Community Solutions)


CWaCS was a partnership project with Waste Aware Fife, set up to enhance the delivery of WAF’s educational programme. SCI provided hands-on activities, such as using waste creatively, and waste games highlighting the 3R’s, in community centres with the service users. 

Funded by: Fife Council, Fife Environment Trust, Waste Aware Fife

2002 Shelter


A project to raise awareness of asylum seekers through storytelling and building a plastic bottle shelter wall.

Funded by: The Scottish Arts Council, Awards for All

2000-2004 Building the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre


To find out more about Earthship Fife please click here

Funded by: Leet Hill Trust, Awards for All, The Shell Better Britain Campaign, Fife Council, Russell Trust, Network 21, Lintel Trust, Forward Scotland, Scottish Power