Gaines Group Architects

Environmentalist, Homesteader, or Prepper – where do you fall?

We design a lot of homes that are healthy, energy-efficient, and durable. Some are for clients that want to reduce their monthly utility bills as much as possible or clients that understand the negative health impacts of modern construction. Some homes are for clients that want to reduce their impact on the environment. Then there are our designs for clients that believe society is coming to an end and they want to be prepared for anything.


There is a preppers festival coming up in New Castle, Virginia this April. I am excited to see who has an exhibit there and learn new things about prepping. I don’t think society is on the verge of collapse, but I do think we should all live as self-sufficient as possible while minimizing our impact on the environment.

StarterKit KPL 619

This conference has caused me to think more about the labels of preppers, homesteaders, and environmentalist. I probably fall more into the Homesteader camp than either prepper or environmentalist.

A homesteader is someone who strives to live holistically with the world around them. They want to know where their food comes from and what has gone into growing it. They typically want homes that are healthy, energy-efficient, and durable. I personally have not gone as far as spinning my own yarn, but my wife has made the girls some clothes and we do save our seeds, store water, and can food for the winter months. We can do more and will probably add a few new strategies in the coming years.


Preppers take things a little further adding self-preservation to the mix (not a bad idea really). This usually includes dried staples, water harvesting, and bunkers / safe rooms. It also includes homes that are healthy, energy-efficient, and durable.


An environmentalist is a person who is concerned with or advocates the protection of the environment. They may or may not be concerned with self-preservation or growing their own food. They do probably want to reduce their impact on the surrounding environment and believe the healthy, energy-efficient, durable buildings are a good strategy in that battle.