Sustainable Infrastructure

Learn the fundamentals of homestead and farm scale energy, waste management and natural building systems. This class will provide the technical know-how so you can more effectively manage your space for better resilience and long term sustainability.


Managing land ecologically is a resource-intense activity which requires finding a balance between consumption, ecological impact, and financial solvency. This course will provide practical answers on balancing these often complex and sometimes competing needs. Sustainable Infrastructure centers student understanding on the fundamentals of farm and ranch scale energy systems, material choices, and waste management. We will explore how to design, maintain and manage energy systems, integrate cyclic waste management strategies, and evaluate and find low-impact materials for landed projects.

Students will gain tools and strategies for designing and managing the inputs and waste streams for their specific locations and situations.


Through presentations, exercises, and activities, students will learn to: 

  • Evaluate the needs and yields of a property
  • Loop waste streams back into feedstocks
  • Incorporate recyclable products
  • Minimize the use of non-reusable materials

By the end of the course, students will know how to: 

  •  Identify appropriate renewable energy systems for their specific situations
  • Manage waste streams as a resource
  • Design infrastructure with reduced waste and more significant reuse potential


Here’s What You’ll
Be Learning 

  • Session 0: Approaching Sustainability. We all impact the world around us. Pre-Class students will be asked to reflect on their current ecological impact and to consider their goals and values related to these impacts. We will use tools such as ecological footprint and carbon calculators.
  • Session 1: Material Evaluation and Building Design. How to evaluate the ecological impact of the building and design materials, including passive house design, natural building, and green building. How to design efficiently and  decrease waste. We will evaluate our buildings and systems through the lens of life cycle analysis (LCA), embodied energy, embodied carbon, and ecological footprint.
  • Session 2: Site Analysis and Energy Audit.  Deep dive into the three most common alternative energy systems: solar, wind, and micro hydro. Students will learn how to conduct an energy audit and evaluate a site for potential energy generation, including performing cost-benefit analyses for alternative power generation. Class will include how to set up both on- and off-grid electric systems.
  • Session 3: Alternative Energy Systems and How They Work. Going beyond solar, wind, and hydro we will look a wide range of lesser know technologies and how to adapt them to home and community scale projects. Understanding the basics of pumping water, generating electricity, heating, cooling and cooking using, mechanical motion, pressurized air, methane digesters, biochar, and other off-grid technologies
    • Session 4: Plumbing and Wiring. Moving from theory to practice session 4 will be a hands on class focused on basic plumbing and electrical. Students will learn the basic skills through the  construction of simple plumbing/electrical projects.
    • Session 5: Animal and Human Waste. Safe management and use of manure, urines, carcasses, and biosolids. Students will learn techniques for managing biological waste and how to safely cycle nutrients back onto the landscape. Together we will take a closer look at compost, vermiculture (composting with worms), bio-digesters, hot pack beds, and manure spreading under the overall theme of systems design
    • Session 6Heating and Cooling on a Household and Community Scale Students will learn passive and active strategies for heating and cooling.  How to evaluate a site and determine which systems are appropriate and how to link systems for efficiency and redundancy. Focus on solid waste management.
    • Class Resources: Each session will include a curated online resources component for those wanting to go deeper into each topic. This will include videos, articles and research papers. Along with the topics covered there will be resources section for information not covered explicitly in class such as: Road/trail installation and management, fencing and gates, solid waste management and site safety


All are welcome. There are no prerequisites to this course

Sustainable Infrastructure is a required course for the Regenerative Land Management diploma.



  • Location: Virtual
  • Dates: May 16th to June 20th, 2024  (6 weeks)
  • Timing: Thursday 6:00-7:00 pm PST
  • Helpful Tool: Time Zone Converter
  • Taught by Charles Williams, Program Director and lead teacher for Earth Activist Training
  • Each week has 1 hour of live and 1 hour of recorded instruction.
  • All live sessions are recorded and closed captioned.
  • Post class access to resources, documentation and recorded class content for one year.


  • We are dedicated to making our courses as accessible as possible by offering:
  • Earlybird tuition: $280!
  • Full certificate tuition: $300-$400
  • Four part payment plans: $95 at registration with 3 monthly payments of $85
  • Alumni tuition: $100 to retake this course
  • Diversity scholarships available: See below
  • Group Discounts: See below
  • All amounts are in US dollars
  • See below for details


  • Group discounts and Diversity Scholarships available? Yes!
  • Keep reading below


  • Contact:


Charles Williams, Lead Instructor

Charles Williams is Earth Activist Training’s Program Director and lead teacher. A long-time permaculture educator and certified permaculture designer, Charles comes to Earth Activist Training through a love of the wild, faith that healthy communities can solve complex problems, and a belief that working with one’s hands is sacred work.

Over the past two decades he has stewarded many pieces of land throughout the United States, including Diana’s Grove in Missouri, Farm & Wilderness summer camp in Vermont, and Starhawk’s Golden Rabbit Ranch in California. His approach simultaneously promotes the preservation of wild spaces and conservation of the domestic.

His deep respect for and relationship with the divine in nature informs all he does, integrating spiritual practices with land management. Charles also understands the need for healthy community and knows that skilled human implementation is an essential part of any design. In these challenging times, he finds hope for the future through the interlocking, symbiotic relationship of spirit, community, and action.

As an accomplished tinkerer Charles brings a wide range of practical and somewhat obscure hand skills. He has installed complex systems such as solar electric arrays, gray water filters, and veggie oil diesel conversions. He has implemented simple systems such as emergency water filtration, humanure composting toilets, and rotational grazing plans. He is talented in wilderness tracking, solo canoeing, gathering and tending wild edibles, starting fire by hand, and mapping. He loves to work with his hands, whether he is tanning hides or repairing a generator, and this love is reflected when he teaches EAT’s hands-on segments.

Charles believes that no problems are unsolvable as long as we work together to develop and implement our plan effectively and honor the holy in our work.



May 01 2024


8:00 am - 6:00 pm


2091 Route 130
Harrison City, PA 15636

Phone Number

(412) 600-5783

Donate to PINA