Communal living

Relax……..feel at home

Finding like-minded individuals to share your life with can be difficult. But fear not turns out there are probably many more people out there living sustainably than many newbies realise. Eco-villages exist all over the US and Canada, and most are thrilled to have you stay. In fact, more are springing up all the time – a new development in Fairfield called Abundance Ecovillage is under construction now with the goal of 21 single-family homes later this year.

Apart from its sustainable goals, Abundance Village will also seek to make its community a place of harmony with the land, through the use of Sthapatya Veda, the practice of designing building with specific dimensions and placement in relation to their surroundings, so that the structures, by their dimensions and placement, give a feeling of “at home in the universe”. It is an old Hindu practice of designing temples to maximize the positive influences from the cosmos and minimize the negative ones. It is said to improve the health of the inhabitants living in such an environment.

The great thing about the rising number of eco-villages, though, is that if you don’t want to adhere to a specific ideology you don’t have to. The Ecovillage Network of the Americas has at least 80 settlements in the US alone, and 21 in Canada. Just type in your region and find your local eco-communes.

Here are some that caught my eye:

WindSong Langley, Canada

An ethnically diverse, multigenerational co-housing community in Langley, BC (just six km from the town of Fort Langley). WindSong was built in 1996 as the first architecturally designed co-housing community in Canada. There are about 90 members of ages 1-79, who invite others to live and play here. The emphasis is very much on community spirit and companionship to those who are fed up with the modern lifestyle. The eco-village spans six acres of land, with a protected salmon stream covering four acres of the property.

White Hawk Danby, NY

Located on a hillside just south of Ithaca, NY and close to Cornell University and Ithaca College, the site-plan includes 30 family units, a large common house and resource centre, ponds, barns, retreat spaces and more. The population is diverse, ranging from students to copy-editors to naturalists currently only 8 families but they welcome new members warmly. Priorities include: green building, sustainability, permaculture, consensus decision-making and a light footprint on Mother Earth.

Dancing Rabbit Eco-village Rutledge, MO

Dancing Rabbit is not yet a completed eco-village but a work in progress, and this pioneering stage makes things very exciting for its inhabitants. Individual contribution is valued highly here and daily life can be varies from one person to the next an important feature of the diverse community. The eco-village is looking for new members to share their vision of life in an ecological small town and have the pioneering energy to make it happen. They are open to individuals, families, or community groups. Or you could live in the existing community Skyhouse, which is an income-sharing egalitarian community. Visitors are encouraged to come through and learn about eco-villages or community or just see what it might be like.

A full list of Eco-villages belonging to the Global Ecovillage Network can be found (by country) here.

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