Sustainability


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

Posted on August 22, 2016 by

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 to… Read More


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

Posted on August 8, 2016 by

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 become… Read More


This TED Talk Shows How Ecovillages Can Bring About Global Change

Posted on August 4, 2016 by

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 felt… Read More


A New Movement Is Rethinking Our Relationship With The Earth

Posted on July 18, 2016 by

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 academic… Read More


The Placemaking Movement is Turning Cities into Communities

Posted on July 8, 2016 by

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 create… Read More


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

Posted on June 23, 2016 by

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 narrowed… Read More


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

Posted on June 13, 2016 by

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”… Read More


Do You Know Your Watershed?

Posted on June 10, 2016 by

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 of… Read More


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

Posted on June 7, 2016 by

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 supporting… Read More


SimpleREV Brings Minimalism and Intentional Living to the Twin Cities

Posted on May 19, 2016 by

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 experience… Read More


Midwest Sustainable Communities Conference July 2-4 at Dancing Rabbit

Posted on May 12, 2016 by
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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 July… Read More


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

Posted on April 28, 2016 by

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 a… Read More


Lightning in A Bottle Shares 2016 Theme and Activities

Posted on April 4, 2016 by

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,… Read More


A Permaculture Card Game Is Raising Funds on Kickstarter

Posted on March 28, 2016 by

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 gardening… Read More


Free Online Permaculture Class Starts May 2!

Posted on March 25, 2016 by

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’s… Read More


Life in an urban eco-village

Posted on March 23, 2016 by

Hi, I’m Saul, the new Social Media Manager here at FIC. I’m excited to join the team from my home at Foster Village, an urban eco-community in Southeast Portland, OR! If you have any feedback or suggestions for a future blog post, you can reach me via e-mail or on Twitter. Living in an urban… Read More


Best Friends Build Tiny House Village

Posted on May 26, 2015 by

Best Friends Build Tiny House Village Living in the same town was not enough for four couples who have been best friends for 20 years. They decided to double down on their relationship and buy a little bit of land “in the middle of nowhere” on the Llano River in the Hill Country of Texas.… Read More


Support the Global Ecovillage Network Summit

Posted on May 12, 2015 by

Support the Global Ecovillage Network Summit From July 6-10th, hundreds of activists will gather at the Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland for the GEN+20 Summit. They will celebrate 20 years of uniting people around ecological solutions, and plan the next steps to spreading sustainability around the globe in these important times. “Since it’s founding in 1995,… Read More


A Resilient Society

Posted on May 5, 2015 by

A Resilient Society Resilience is the ability to absorb shocks and continue to function. In this short video series the Post Carbon Institute explores the questions around how our world has gotten to where it is, and what a world can look like functioning within it’s limits. The Law of Diminishing Returns The Great Burning… Read More


Permaculture Resources at Your Fingertips

Posted on April 27, 2015 by

Self described as a big crowd of permaculture goofballs, Permies.com is chock full of forums, links to resources, videos, and helpful information about smart ecosystem design! Check out Permies.com for a trove of permaculture resources at your fingertips.


Nautilus Shaped Wind Turbine

Posted on April 25, 2015 by

The Archimedes is a unique new design in alternative energy. It is a nautilus shaped wind turbine, in that it’s blades are shaped like a Nautilus shell. This design allows it to point directly into the wind to capture the most amount of energy, while remarkably producing very little sound.          … Read More


Watch Visions of Utopia – Now Digital or DVD!

Posted on April 6, 2015 by

Community Bookstore New! Visions Of Utopia Video, Parts One & Two Now in Digital, to Rent or Buy  by Erica, Community Bookstore Manager Visions Of Utopia Video, Parts One & Two Experiments In Sustainable Culture Now in both Digital and DVD Formats Take a community journey from your favorite couch! This Two-Part Video is an excellent… Read More


Family Grows 3 Tons of Food on 1/10th Acre

Posted on April 4, 2015 by
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Family Grows 3 Tons of Food! The Dervaes family turned a “regular city home” into a thriving garden ecosystem that provides more than enough food for their family, and plenty to supply a local food stand. “Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Urban Homestead project is a family… Read More


Improve Your Soil – Bury Yard Waste

Posted on April 1, 2015 by

What can you do to repair or improve your soil? Hugelkultur is a technique that works by burying logs, sticks, and yard waste, which then decomposes into fertile, aerated, moist soil. You can then plant directly on the Hugelkultur pile, waiting 6-12 months first if preferred to encourage more breakdown of the yard waste first,… Read More


How to Thrive on 10%

Posted on March 13, 2015 by

How to Thrive on 10% It is often taken for granted that the United States consumes and wastes 5 times more than the rest of the planet. At the same time it is well known and highly advised that dramatic reductions in carbon pollution is needed to address climate change. We also know that having… Read More


UN Report says Organic Farming is Key

Posted on March 3, 2015 by

UN Report says Organic Farming is Key In a new report, with the dramatic title, ‘Wake up Before it’s too Late’, “the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.” Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org Recommendations of the report include… Read More


New Beehive Design does not disturb Bees to Harvest Honey!

Posted on February 22, 2015 by

For those who harvest honey, “the worst part of being a beekeeper is pulling out the honey-laden frames from the box and tearing them up to get the honey. The bees hate it and so do I. That’s why this new hive design, called Flow, is so cool.” Check out this New Beehive Design does… Read More


Smart Water Pipes that Harvest Power

Posted on February 11, 2015 by

New smart infrastructure! The innovative city of Portland has unveiled plans for new smart water pipes that harvest power. They will generate electricity for streetlights, and in addition are equipped with sensors to monitor pressure, flow, and safety. Alerts will be triggered in real time if for example unsafe chemicals or bacteria are detected in… Read More

Filed Under: Sustainability

Beautiful Tiny Home costs couple $22,000

Posted on February 1, 2015 by

How much space do you really need? This brave couple decided to radically change their approach to housing, to create something beautiful, elegant, functional, and affordable. “Andrew and Gabriella Morrison spent decades in the rat race, with their lives revolving around their finances and paying off a huge mortgage. They were sick of this lifestyle,… Read More


Free Permaculture eBooks

Posted on July 25, 2013 by

Permaculture is all about one part of a system trying to help another, so this is our attempt to help replicate that, by sharing permaculture knowledge as freely and as widely as we can. In this section you’ll find a selection of completely free eBook downloads on permaculture and wider environmental topics, including the fantastic… Read More