Ecovillages: A model life?
Laura Sevier, Mike Henderson & Nritijuna Naidu
3rd June, 2008
More people are turning to eco communities as a viable alternative to urban life. Laura Sevier reports
Are you nature-starved, lonely, and fed up with the materialism, stress, waste and pollution of modern urban life? If so, rest assured that the craving to live a greener life in a community, more connected to each other – and to the Earth – is entirely natural. It has a primal appeal.
We are becoming an urban species. In 1800, only three per cent of the world’s population lived in cities; these days it’s more than 50 per cent. And yet this is not necessarily how we are meant to live.
‘We humans evolved in small hunter-gatherer bands,’ says Richard Heinberg in his foreword to Diane Leafe Christian’s Finding Community, ‘thus roughly 99 per cent of our history as a species has been spent in groups of 15 to 50 individuals where each knew all the others, and where resources were shared in a ‘gift economy’. Even in recent centuries, the vast majority of people lived in villages or small towns. Little in our evolutionary past has prepared us for anonymous life in mass urban centres, suburbs and exurbs. Therefore the goal of living in an intentional community with friends of like mind carries a deep and perennial psychic resonance.’
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