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Category Archives: Sustainability

Are Seasteading Communities the Next Wave of Sustainable Living?

Are Seasteading Communities the Next Wave of Sustainable Living?

Wayne Adams and Catherine King, two artists living in Tofino, Canada, couldn’t afford to buy a house of their own. Instead, they took their assets offshore — literally — and created a floating paradise off the coast of Vancouver Island called Freedom Cove. For over 20 years, they’ve been living off-grid on this brightly-colored collection of buildings and rafts.More…

Your Community Could Win Up to £25,000 For Regenerative Projects

Your Community Could Win Up to £25,000 For Regenerative Projects

Is your community working on a project that supports “environmental and social regeneration”? The Lush natural cosmetics company is accepting applicants for its 2017 Lush Spring Prize, which will award up to £200,000 to eco-communities and permaculture projects around the world. According to its website, “For many years, environmental campaigners have focused on the idea of sustainability – thatMore…

ThePOOSH Connects Volunteers With Natural Building Projects

ThePOOSH Connects Volunteers With Natural Building Projects

Lots of intentional communities are connected with the WWOOFing network (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It’s a great way for volunteers to gain experience living and working on an organic farm in exchange for room and board. But have you heard of the POOSH network, which connects people interested in natural and sustainable building projects?More…

Play The Food Forest Card Game and Help Plant 1,000s of Trees

Play The Food Forest Card Game and Help Plant 1,000s of Trees

Last year, permaculture educator Karl Treen released the Food Forest card deck, following a successful fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. Have you played it yet? We have, and it’s available for purchase at the FIC’s online bookstore for $25. The game is a great learning experience for kids and adults alike, allowing players to visualize how plants and animals relateMore…

Taking the Systems View: climate change as a driver of SDG implementation

Taking the Systems View: climate change as a driver of SDG implementation

This is a guest post by Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl, Head of Innovation at Gaia Education, which is based out of Findhorn Ecovillage. Once the doors closed on yet another United Nations climate gathering – this time in Marrakech – Paula Caballero, director of the climate program at the World Resource Institute, summed up a growing insightMore…

Orange Splot LLC Is Creating New Community Housing in Portland

Orange Splot LLC Is Creating New Community Housing in Portland

Portland, Oregon, is known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to alternative housing and co-operative living. From the Tiny House Hotel to the Columbia Ecovillage cohousing community, there are dozens of locations in the city where you can see these innovative projects in action. One housing developer, Orange Splot, LLC, is leading the charge, withMore…

Help Kickstart This Composting Toilet Research Project!

Help Kickstart This Composting Toilet Research Project!

Intentional communities can be the perfect testing ground for new sustainability practices – whether it’s an innovative greywater system or an aquaponics garden. At my community in Portland, we use our own composting toilet system, specifically intended to be safe and smell-free in a busy urban environment. Instead of flushing clean water down the train dozens of times each day, weMore…

Arcosanti Combines Architecture and Ecology in The Arizona Desert

Arcosanti Combines Architecture and Ecology in The Arizona Desert

About 70 miles north of Phoenix, high in the Arizona desert, a blocky, concrete series of buildings rises out of the hillside. It looks like a cross between a futuristic museum and a desert village on Tatooine. But this isn’t your typical example of post-modernism. It’s an experiment in “arcology,” a style of design thatMore…

A New Book Combines Zen and Permaculture to Educate and Inspire

A New Book Combines Zen and Permaculture to Educate and Inspire

Stefan Geyer, a London resident active in the U.K. permaculture community, is releasing a new book called “Zen in the Art of Permaculture Design.” It’s not a guidebook to specific permaculture practices, but a reflective look at the ways permaculture principles can inspire change in our lives and communities. According to the book’s copy, “Permaculture isMore…

The Boat-to-Fork Movement Promotes Local and Sustainable Seafood

The Boat-to-Fork Movement Promotes Local and Sustainable Seafood

Many of us are familiar with the farm-to-table movement: we might shop at our neighborhood farmers market, or even subscribe to a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) model as a way to support local farms. But what about other products, like seafood? Can we find ways to eat fish locally and sustainably? A network called Local CatchMore…

Shared Earth Connects Gardeners With Unused Land In Their Neighborhood

Shared Earth Connects Gardeners With Unused Land In Their Neighborhood

For years, projects like Fallen Fruit and the Urban Farm Collective have been making it easier for people to access the excess produce and gardening space in their neighborhoods. A new project called Shared Earth brings the concept to a wider market, using the latest peer-to-peer technology to connect gardeners with unused lawns and gardensMore…

Are Worms and Crickets the Future of Sustainable Eating?

Are Worms and Crickets the Future of Sustainable Eating?

Cultures around the world have been including insects as part of their diets for millennia. But in the U.S. – where raising livestock accounts for a staggering percentage of greenhouse gas emissions – eating insects as a source of protein has been slow to catch on. Could that finally be changing? Cricket Flour Several companiesMore…

“Ecotopia” Art Installation Brings Visions of Permaculture to the London Design Festival

“Ecotopia” Art Installation Brings Visions of Permaculture to the London Design Festival

From Sept. 17-25, 2016, the London Design Festival will feature an art installation inspired by Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 book Ecotopia. In the book, a journalist visits a newly-formed country in the Pacific Northwest that’s built on sustainable permaculture principles. The installation will explore ways that “Utopian thinking” can help us find solutions to our modern-dayMore…

At This Hawaiian Eco-Community, You Can Stay In A Bamboo Hut In A Volcanic Crater

At This Hawaiian Eco-Community, You Can Stay In A Bamboo Hut In A Volcanic Crater

A few weeks ago – as the prospect of spending another winter here in rainy Portland began to dawn on me – I started looking into some travel opportunities in warmer climates. One of my goals as a blogger is to get to visit some of the intentional communities that I write about – andMore…

A Planned City In Australia Will Feature Tesla-Powered Homes

A Planned City In Australia Will Feature Tesla-Powered Homes

Planned communities have had a long and somewhat mixed history. From the Familistere in Guise, France, designed to house factory workers, to the Disney-fied Main Street of Celebration, Florida, they differ from cohousing projects and intentional communities in a major way: they’re generally created from the top-down, by developers and business owners, rather than byMore…

KCET Visits the LA Eco-Village for A Look At Sustainable Urban Living

KCET Visits the LA Eco-Village for A Look At Sustainable Urban Living

When you hear about life in Los Angeles, you probably think about traffic, smog, and sprawling suburbs. But LA has a thriving network of intentional communities, many of which exist just under the radar of activity in neighborhoods like Silverlake, Mar Vista, and Koreatown. I spent several years living in the city and got toMore…

A New Book Takes A Close Look At Plants and Animals In The Human Habitat

A New Book Takes A Close Look At Plants and Animals In The Human Habitat

When Nathanael Johnson began taking his two-year-old daughter on nature walks in Berkeley, CA, he realized that he didn’t know the names of half the trees, bugs, and other creatures she pointed to. Even the most common urban animals – pigeons and squirrels – were a mystery to him. How did they manage to becomeMore…

This TED Talk Shows How Ecovillages Can Bring About Global Change

This TED Talk Shows How Ecovillages Can Bring About Global Change

Last year, Kosha Joubert, President of the Global Ecovillage Network, delivered a powerful talk at TEDxGeneva on the impact of ecovillages around the globe. Joubert lived in South Africa as a child, spent time in Amsterdam as adult, and now lives at the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland. After studying cultural anthropology, she says she feltMore…

A New Movement Is Rethinking Our Relationship With The Earth

A New Movement Is Rethinking Our Relationship With The Earth

Last month, I had the chance to visit the Windward Education and Research Center, an intentional community in rural Washington, for an event called the EcoSex Convergence. Over 5 days, 150 participants explored topics related to environmentalism, spirituality, sexuality, and more. The event’s guests of honor were Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, who combine academicMore…

The Placemaking Movement is Turning Cities into Communities

The Placemaking Movement is Turning Cities into Communities

Over 15 years ago, a group of natural builders organized the first Village Building Convergence in Portland, OR. It’s partly the reason why the city is now dotted with colorful intersections, cob benches, and unconventional living spaces. According to the organizers, “We recognized that modern life and the structure of our cities often don’t createMore…

One of These 7 Finalists Will Be the First “Smart City” in the U.S.

One of These 7 Finalists Will Be the First “Smart City” in the U.S.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced its “Smart City Challenge,” a contest that will award one mid-sized city with $50 million in funding to improve its transportation networks. The USDOT hopes the selected city will become a role model for implementing safer, more energy-efficient technology. Out of 78 entries, the USDOT has narrowedMore…

This Biologist Wants To Set Aside Half of The Earth To Protect Biodiversity

This Biologist Wants To Set Aside Half of The Earth To Protect Biodiversity

Edward O. Wilson’s new book, Half-Earth, offers a timely proposal for the conservation movement: dedicate half of the planet’s surface to nature, and we’ll be able to hold off the worst losses of biodiversity. If half or more wild spaces can be protected from destruction, “more than 80 percent of the species would be stabilized”More…

Do You Know Your Watershed?

Do You Know Your Watershed?

Last month, I took part in Oregon State University’s online permaculture class, taught by Andrew Millison. While permaculture design certificates can cost upwards of $750, this class was free, open to the public, and available to access from anywhere. It was pretty inspiring to see people from all over the world engaging in the discussions – some ofMore…

The “Moved to Act” Climate Leadership Intensive Comes to Dancing Rabbit

The “Moved to Act” Climate Leadership Intensive Comes to Dancing Rabbit

This August, the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Rutledge, MO, will host “Moved to Act,” a climate leadership intensive offered by Aaron Murphy and other instructors. The event takes place from August 12-18, 2016, and is open to a limited number of participants. According to the organizers, “Moved to Act is an immersive training for supportingMore…

SimpleREV Brings Minimalism and Intentional Living to the Twin Cities

SimpleREV Brings Minimalism and Intentional Living to the Twin Cities

In October 2014, I attended the first annual SimpleREV conference in Minneapolis, MN. For two days, around 50 or so attendees shared stories about downsizing, living life with less “stuff,” building tiny houses, and more. For some, it was the first time they’d been around other people pursuing a less consumer-driven lifestyle, and the experienceMore…

Midwest Sustainable Communities Conference July 2-4 at Dancing Rabbit

Midwest Sustainable Communities Conference July 2-4 at Dancing Rabbit

UPDATE from the organizers: “This year’s conference has unfortunately been cancelled. We are postponing until 2017 to have more prep time and invite even more speakers and guests. Stay tuned!” **** Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage has announced the dates and workshop lineup for the Midwest Sustainable Communities Conference, which will take place in Rutledge, MO, from JulyMore…

NextGEN Hosts The Youth Ecovillage Summit in Quebec June 9-12

NextGEN Hosts The Youth Ecovillage Summit in Quebec June 9-12

NextGEN North America has opened registration for the third annual Youth Ecovillage Summit, which will take place in Quebec, Canada from June 9-12, 2016. The event will be hosted at La Cite Ecologique, an ecovillage two hours away from Montreal and Quebec City. According to NextGEN: “Over 30 years ago, La Cité Ecologique began as aMore…

Lightning in A Bottle Shares 2016 Theme and Activities

Lightning in A Bottle Shares 2016 Theme and Activities

Lightning in a Bottle, the annual arts, music, and yoga festival in Southern California, announced its 2016 theme and workshop leaders. According to Grateful Web, “The Village’s 2016 theme, Tree of Life, will focus on re-integrating humanity into right relationship with our ecosystem…. The Village will give attendees a unique opportunity to learn by doing,More…

A Permaculture Card Game Is Raising Funds on Kickstarter

A Permaculture Card Game Is Raising Funds on Kickstarter

Food Forest, a card game designed to teach kids about permaculture, is raising funds on Kickstarter. As of this writing, it’s two-thirds of the way toward its $10,000 goal and has around 10 days left to go. The game is developed and designed by Karl Treen, who came up with the idea while teaching gardeningMore…

Free Online Permaculture Class Starts May 2!

Free Online Permaculture Class Starts May 2!

Interested in learning more about permaculture but don’t have any hands-on experience? Have friends or family who want to know what it is you do on your eco-village or urban farm? Oregon State University is offering a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) called Intro to Permaculture, running from May 2 through May 27. It’sMore…

We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network