my girlfriend and i just had two hour discussion about this type of lifestyle. we both (just like many people) are sick and tired of many things that have to do with the current situation that the world is in. im the type of person that would rather do something about it than complain all of the time, and i think that nothing is going to be getting better with our government or way of life no matter what we do or say. so, this was the direction the conversation took, and i wanted some input from other people to see if something like this would work out ok, or have known anybody in ecovillages, or just additional ideas. keep in mind this is just a rough plan, and different ideas were being thrown around, some good, and some maybe not so good. -why not try to get together a group of like minded people, where everybody would put in an initial equal share into getting this off the ground. for example, say everybody were to throw in a few thousand dollars (or whatever it would seem would be enough to get started out, NO LOANS THOUGH, part of the point is to get away from the slavery situation of debt) and all go in on some nice land in a rural location. then basically build a community from the ground up, with people that have specialized skills (carpenters, organic gardener/farmers, butchers (if we wanted to do meat), doctors (or something sort of equivilent if not a real m.d.), etc……there would be no money changing hands for any reason, though it would be necessary to have some sort of community fund for anything that could be needed (farming tools, any outside medical care, etc…) basically a self supporting community. as far as decisions to be made, it would be a truly democratic situation (everybody gets a vote that counts the same)……as far as leadership goes we couldnt agree on the best way to do that, but my idea was that everybody inside of the community (or tribe as we would like to think of it) would rotate jobs/positions once a month, to make things even. so one month i may be working in a field, the next month i may be building something, etc…. my gf brought up the point that a. she does not have a very "leadership" type personality b. you wouldnt want people to do jobs they would loathe (like a vegan doing a butcher job)….. which are both valid points. so maybe for leadership there could be small groups of people (say 5 councilmembers or whatever) who could be voted in, and could also very easily be voted out if things werent going the way the overall tribe wanted….but no matter what the situation, i think it would be very valuable for people to be "cross trained" so to speak, so that the carpenter could also do two other things, so that everybody would not be dependent on just one or two people in one area, but more everyone would be closer to "jack of all trades"……and for the community to have income we could sell our organic produce at fruit stands by the road, and go to local farmers markets…. we could even have our own system of rules and laws, and ways of dealing with them…..for example say somebody did something that endangered the entire community (like growing a big patch of marijuana on our land) we could sentence them to the worst hardest jobs for a year (cleaning toilets)….thats just an example, and maybe a bad one, but i think you get the idea. of course something more serious like murder would have to get local police involved…..just really try and make the situation as self sufficient as possible, healthy, debt free, and everyone involved and doing their fair share……would something like this really work? i know the amish are like that, and there are successful ecovillages, but im wondering if this vision sounds more like a pipe dream than a real possibility….
Sounds sweet, I’d like to partake in a project like that. It’s definitely not a pipe dream, it’s 100% possible and can’t be that hard. I think your problem is that you’re trying to plan everything out perfectly from the start, that doesn’t work, it takes focus. One step at a time.
Check out “Off the grid” by Les “Survivorman” Stroud. It’s not about a whole village but a single house but it’s still interesting and full of good stuff. Here’s a link: http://www.sprword.com/videos/offthegrid/
I really want to get involved in an eco-village project but I don’t have yet the courage to leave my comfort zone.
Off-topic: Jep, I love you man but may I suggest you use paragraphs when posting? :) All your posts are one huge paragraph and for me at least it’s hard to follow. If you don’t want to, that’s OK too but I can’t guarantee that I will read your posts. :) Cheers.
As a Neo-Tribalist, I am for this. Though I’m interested in what role you think technology will play. I’m of the thought that technology is okay as long as you don’t either commercialize it too much and use local resources to make it.
I stayed in an ecovillage for 4 months and it was an incredible experience. The community revolved around cooperation rather than competition and the primitive lifestyle felt incredibly refreshing to be free from the excess and hurry of mainstream life. We lived in open air buildings and were in direct contact with nature 100% of the time. Living simply and being self sufficient allow people to occupy their time with the things that are actually important in life, life relationships and personal growth, and not spend your life working for the man just to pay the bills and accumulate more stuff.
I have considered this idea quite a bit too. I definitely agree that big governments just don’t move fast enough to meet the needs of more progressive individuals.
If you’ve ever heard of the website called http://www.kickstarter.com , that would be a great platform to use to garner the necessary interest and funding for a project like this.
We should build one with treehouses….. Robinson Crusoe shit
The place I was at had a treehouse! :)
The intentional communities website http://www.ic.org/ is a good source of information about that kind of lifestyle and you can search for communities by location, anywhere in the world. I was surprised to find several of them in my area.
I would be behind this! The only part of my comfort zone that would be hard to break is my glass/contacts situation. Contacts wouldnt be that smart because they require a number of other things and glasses always seem like they are gonna fall off my face when doing anything active and i wouldnt want to depend on them always. Does anyone have insight on this problem? (I know laser eye surgery is sortof a solution but certain things about it worry me)
@grass-ya thanks dude….good stuff
@max-i also wear corrective lenses. i used to do the contacts thing, but just ended up sticking with regular glasses. i dont know, if youre not into the laser eye surgery, and contacts are a problem, there are prescription glasses made for active things like sports and whatnot that wont fall off….or wear the glasses straps…..
@max Have you heard of the Bates method? I started it a few months ago and i’ve improved my eyesight from -5.5 to -4.5 so far.. It takes a lot of dedication and i’ve been going off track quite a lot so haven’t been making the progress i’d like, you should definitely check it out, his book is called ‘Perfect Sight Without Glasses’ which you can download a pdf copy online. Also read Aldous Huxley’s The Art of Seeing.
On topic, i’ve actually been thinking a lot about this, at the moment I’m trying to arrange to volunteer on a project in the himalayas on self-sustainability – building homemade wind turbines and solar panels, growing food, building houses. It’s definitely exciting stuff, read about Simon Dale today in the papers and that sounded amazing.
I would recommend checking out the Big Island of Hawaii for anyone who is interested in communal living off the grid. There are tons of like minded people there and many different communities to choose from. The people I met on the Big Island were a lot like you guys :-) they have the incredible wisdom of turning their dreams and values into their reality.
After experiencing a simpler (and MUCH better in my opinion) way of life, things back at home have been VERY difficult to go back to.
I have heard of people designing cities that are completely self-sufficient and have very little waste and eco-friendly but I do not know how practical they are. I never really looked into them much, but it brings to mind that crappy Pauly Shore movie Bio-dome.