Ida Beate Løken is no ordinary girl of 19. She goes to senior high school, has a part time job, and lives in a cave near Aurland, in the county of Sogn and Fjordane, Norway.
She decided to quit home life and move into the cave when her boyfriend at the time moved out. Her plans are to live there for a full semester and experience the four seasons in a completely new way. So far she finds the experience of living outdoors very enjoyable and enlightening.
In an interview with the local paper Firda, Ida explained that at first it wasn’t easy to change from urban dweller to cave dweller. “Most people think it’s strange to live completely out in nature, but they don’t think there’s anything wrong with sky-high mass consumerism - that’s what I find strange”, she said.
Ida founded the Young Greens of Norway branch in Sogn og Fjordane, and has been a member of Nature and Youth since was a kid. It was in her 2nd year at the Sogn School of Organic Agriculture and Horticulture, that her growing environmental awareness motivated her to reduce her carbon footprint and consumerist behaviour.
Since living in a cave, Ida has reduced her needs and dependency on the so-called staples and luxuries of life. In fact, she sent half of the things she owns back home after realising she didn’t need or use them.
Now she collects rain water and birch sap, as well as forages wild herbs and greens, even though most of the food she eats is made at the school. She’s also allowed to use the mod cons there, even though she often finds food in the rubbish bins behind supermarkets, wears woollen clothing which seldom needs cleaning, rides her bike to wherever she needs to go, and uses wood for heating.
The best thing about living in a cave? The silence, being close to nature … and feeling free from the demands of society.
Ida’s dream one day is to run a remote farm and live from the land.
Watch the video with English subtitles here.