When questioned about how long a yurt lasts, a Mongolian yurt maker once told me "one hundred years". If this is true, this century-old Mongolian ger likely had very little left of its original parts. Pieces were fixed, added or changed. The canvas of a traditional yurt doesn't always have a long lifespan. We've had to replace some after more than 10 years in the Yukon, and less than 3 in Arizona. Weather can take its toll. Until we find the absolute dream canvas, we will continue to offer 30% off replacement canvas.
Here is a photo of Denison inside his Montana yurt, Groovy Yurt #3, which he purchased back in 2006. The canvas has been replaced once, and the structure endured a snow collapse. For a period of time, a section of the wall was even substituted with a piece of fencing. Despite these challenges, the yurt remains happy, healthy, and most importantly, standing!
Additionally, we've just delivered a few spare parts to a lovely customer, Holly Jean, located in New Mexico. She became the third owner of her yurt, acquiring it without covers and felts (which she later purchased from Groovy Yurts). The complete history of this yurt remains unknown, except for the fact that it travelled to Colorado in 2016. The toono could benefit from a little more tender love and care, but ultimately is in good condition, and the remaining structure is in perfect condition. This worldly Mongolian yurt is ready for its transition into a new life. This makes us VERY happy.
In today’s society, we talk a lot about redundancy and the "right to repair". A big chunk of our dilemmas comes from the human race's unquenchable thirst for stuff, and even more stuff! For some reason we're so avid, that we prefer to throw away rather than fix; constantly in a race to always have the latest and greatest. Luckily, society has begun to open its eyes to the massive amount of waste being created, and now is creating more initiatives to promote recycling and up-cycling. If we were to only judge Groovy Yurts by its clients, we'd say there's hope! Over 50% of our customers acquire a yurt to downsize. These people are interested in the concept of simple living, which uses fewer resources and fosters a deeper connection with nature and their loved ones. We're truly grateful to those people who’ve made (or are about to make) such a decision.
"Sustainable" Yurt Tip: Be confident in the fact that you can always repair your yurt. The construction is simple enough that wood parts can be repaired or changed. Felts can be added or removed, horse hair ropes can be swapped for other fibres, and the canvas can be mended or replaced. Over the years, most of our yurts have remained true to their original dimensions, guaranteeing that new parts will seamlessly harmonize with older gers.
It's worth mentioning that we have a supply of spare parts (as well as discounted stock) readily available, and we are confident that individuals with basic skills can either create or locate simple alternatives. The pandemic has reinforced the importance of seeking such solutions in times of resource shortages. It has also shown that Mongolian yurts will simply return to the ground if not being used throughout its almost unlimited lifetime. No redundancy in 3000 years!
Author: Yves Ballenegger, Owner & Founder of Groovy Yurts