By Shea Gunther
Ecovillages are communities of people drawn together by the common goal of living more sustainably. Their commitment and practices vary from ecovillage to ecovillage but all share the bond of not being satisfied with the status quo. Ecovillagers seek to live in harmony with the environment and develop their land with an eye on protecting vital natural systems and on fostering good relations with neighbors, both of the human and animal variety. They farm and garden, pool their buying power to save money, and may share other community resources like cars and tools. Does every house on the block really need to have its own lawn mower?
The modern-day ecovillage has its roots in the communes that first popped up in the '60s and '70s. As the environmental movement was born and matured, more eco-centered communities started forming. In 1991, sustainability experts Robert and Diane Gilman wrote "Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities," a study on ecovillages undertaken on behalf of Gaia Trust that helped lead to the formation, four years later, of the first ecovillage conference that took place in Findhorn, Scotland. That event led to the founding of the Global Ecovillage Network and to countless ecovillages all around the world.
We scoured the web in search of five American ecovillages that have taken root and thrived. Whether you're reading because you're just curious about ecovillages or are looking for a new place to call your eco-home, these five make for a good read. Read More