Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community
Karen T. Litfin
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In a world of dwindling natural resources and mounting environmental crisis, who is devising ways of living that will work for the long haul? And how can we, as individuals, make a difference? To answer these fundamental questions, Professor Karen Litfin embarked upon a journey to many of the world’s ecovillagesÑintentional communities at the cutting-edge of sustainable living. From rural to urban, high tech to low tech, spiritual to secular, she discovered an under-the-radar global movement making positive and radical changes from the ground up.
In this inspiring and insightful book, Karen Litfin shares her unique experience of these experiments in sustainable living through four broad windows - ecology, economics, community, and consciousness - or E2C2. Whether we live in an ecovillage or a city, she contends, we must incorporate these four key elements if we wish to harmonize our lives with our home planet.
Not only is another world possible, it is already being born in small pockets the world over. These micro-societies, however, are small and time is short. Fortunately - as Litfin persuasively argues - their successes can be applied to existing social structures, from the local to the global scale, providing sustainable ways of living for generations to come.
You can learn more about Karen's experiences on the Ecovillages website: http://ecovillagebook.org/
beyond hyper-individualism, the individual is also the key, for she or he is constantly asking herself: What is my unique contribution to the whole? In a world of separate individuals, we might be tempted to give up. What can one person do? Yet in a world where everything is hitched to everything else, one person’s gesture can have monumental impact! My global ecovillage journey convinced me that humans everywhere have access to an innate evolutionary intelligence. Tapping into this, our thinking
56-year-old founder, Furuta Isami (known as Isadon), about how Konohana-kin fits into the community’s larger mission. Despite his pink Bugs Bunny T-shirt, I had no trouble taking this lively man seriously. His message was simply too compelling.“Our vision is that human beings will learn to live in harmony with nature,” Isadon said. “Here in Japan, you see people wearing masks when they are sick and putting disinfectants in their toilets to kill the bacteria. The Japanese are a super-hygienic
fertilizer are made from oil and natural gas. Further, the world food economy is highly dependent on cheap oil. A typical US meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to fork. Most importantly, “peak oil” is occurring just as demand for “First World” lifestyles is skyrocketing among the 80 percent humanity living in the global South. Barring a major technological breakthrough, renewables can only meet our needs if we radically downsize . Solar panels provide “clean” energy but require energy and scarce
of the jobs within ecovillages were not at all exotic. They were exactly what you would expect to find anywhere: cooks, housecleaners, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, web designers, beauticians, writers, farmers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and so on. The distinguishing feature of these ecovillage occupations is that, in contrast to their counterparts on the outside, they are pursued with an ecological vision and within the context of a dynamic community. Unlike the distant and anonymous
self-regulating living system, his face lit up. “Oh, yes! We’re like a collection of micro-organisms on this super-organism! But that’s biological, not spiritual.” After a long pause, he added, “I don’t want to say I’m not interested in spiritual things. They might be out there. Places like Damanhur are fine. It’s just not what we’re doing here.” Likewise, Bø Lassoe, Svanholm’s first organic farmer, spoke of feeling “a little allergic to people who become too holy.” When I asked him whether he