Something that has always intrigued me, is how people live in community. The fact that human beings can adapt to harmoniously coexist.
Now, we know that that’s not the case all the time, and that there are places, religions and groups that don’t necessarily get along great.
But one that really amazes me, are the sustainable communities. Are you surprised that I’m going back to sustainability? I didn’t think so…
Now, what is a sustainable community? Well, a sustainable community addresses multiple human needs, and not just one by excluding all of the others. A place where people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can feel welcome and even more important, safe. Where every group can have a seat at the decision-making table.
According to the nation institute of sustainable communities “A sustainable community manages its human, natural, and financial capital to meet current needs while ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations.”
Keep reading to discover the hottest ones of the moment.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage:
The Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage started in 1997 with a purchase of 280 acres of land in northeastern Missouri. Since then, it has grown into a group of neighbors that are dedicated to building a place where people respect the environment (obviously)and that work to make their community a better place. At this community, they grow a lot of their own food, and like to often prepare big meals together. Becoming a family, the homes built at Dancing Rabbit must follow sustainability guidelines, these can go from house design or the building materials to the techniques used. When it comes to moving around the community, the go to ride experience is by ride sharing cars that are powered by biodiesel.
Sawyer Hill EcoVillage:
The Sawyer Hill EcoVillage located in Berlin is a merged community of two large “cohousing” groups: Camelot Cohousing and Mosaic Commons. Sawyer Hill is actually set on 65 acres of land near Worcester, Mass., and comes with shared facilities that are owned by residents such as the dining hall, workshops, workout facilities, and play space for kids. Out of the 65 acres, 25 have been set aside in a conservation easement where there are trails throughout the land.
Lastly, we have EcoVillage at Ithaca:
EcoVillage at Ithaca is actually one of the oldest “eco-villages” in the U.S. It started around 1992 right after its founding residents purchased 175 acres of land in Ithaca, N.Y. Well, this made it possible for two 30-home cohousing units and a third in the planning stages. Residents have built organic CSA vegetable and berry farms and community gardens, and set they set aside 55 acres of land in a conservation easement. (Yes, this a recurrent subject, we ARE talking about sustainable communities). They organize weekly community dinners and share in the maintenance work that is required for their common spaces.
There are more of these communities rising, as the times we are living in are taking the world on a more self-preservation way of thinking and life-style. Not only they are an interesting take on the meaning of community, but is also a way to remind ourselves of what really is important, and how taking care of what we have is so urgent, because there’s no TIME to waste when there’s still more acres to put aside in a conservation easement.