Was this a headline on a blog or news site? Was it a nasty remark thrown at me from by a cashier in reference to my “Plastic Bags Blow” t-shirt? None of the above…it was a playful thing my husband said to me this past weekend. Admittedly my husband is not the greenest man on the planet but he is making great strides in that direction and mostly because he loves me like crazy and he sees that it is important to me. So now he is quick to send me links about sustainable news and events and tell me what green companies he thinks we should invest in. He also brought home SLS free toothpaste the other day and he bought the kids some wooden toys…showing he is starting to embrace more natural products. And bless him….when he has to sit through yet another documentary about global warming or listen to my latest rant about greedy corporations destroying our planet he doesn’t complain. So why would he say the above to me????
Well it appears I have found his limit. When I told him of my plan to invest a million dollars into starting an eco-village he had to put his foot down. Okay…in actuality the million dollars was hypothetical…it was my answer to ProBlogger’s birthday bash question about what you would do with a million dollars…but when I told my husband of my “plan” he said he was extremely NOT interested in founding or even living in an eco village.
We talked at length about it because this kind of bothered me as I would LOVE to live in an eco village/co-housing community and have been considering going to planning meetings for one such community being started in southern Ohio. But as I dug deeper into why my husband has strong negative feelings about the concept I realized he is imagining a bunch of earth children dancing around a fire, holding hands, praying and singing to the birds. He is thinking that he would have no privacy and no freedom to enjoy anything that might be considered less than green.
So now I am doing my research to “sell” him on it. Basically eco villages are “urban or rural communities of people, who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, and much more.” This definition was taken from The Global Ecovillage Network.
Many times it means a group of people with like values come together and combine resources to buy a plot of land and build earth friendly homes (usually attached), gardens, conservation areas, and a community building where they enjoy meals and activities together. These communities could consist of a half dozen families or a hundred but they share the same desire to live in harmony with people and planet. They build energy efficient homes, use alternative power when they can, share many possessions like cars, garden as a group and even run CSAs and farmer’s markets together. They work together to maintain their homes and land and they really help each other in any way they can.
One of the most well known examples is the Eco Village at Ithaca. You can read a wonderful book about this community and get a real feel for this type of living. I reviewed the book here and I continue to admire what they have accomplished….if I could move there I would…in a heartbeat! Of course IF my husband would agree. :)
I just love the idea of forming a real tribe of people with the same values. It would be like picking your extended family.
So what about you? Would you? Could you? Won’t you be my neighbor?