Published on March 27th, 2010 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg1
Why I live here (instead of doing some of the other cool sustainability stuff I could be doing) (PPB #28)
Ma’ikwe Schaub Ludwig is another resident at Dancing Rabbit who’s written a post for us…
My background is in community living and sustainability education. I’ve been to about 75 different residential intentional communities and have been privileged to be part of a lot of amazing sustainability work. Still, Dancing Rabbit stands out for me, and the things that make DR an outstanding example of cutting edge sustainability work are the same things that drew me here as a member.
First, we deal with the social and cultural aspects of sustainability. This may seem like an odd place to start, but the bottom line is that you can only take sustainability so far with technology and conservation before you have to learn how to cooperate with your neighbors and share. DR was blessed with smart founders, and they set the tone for a socially savvy community to develop. The members who have followed after have kept it up and risen to the challenge of retraining ourselves away from the competitive culture we were almost all raised in. The result is a group who is great at cooperating. With 52 members and residents and only 3 cars between us, this translates into a strong showing undoing America’s worst eco-addiction: car dependency.
Having said all that, the second reason DR rocks is that we are smart about using technology and conservation to significantly reduce our usage of resources, and impact on the planet. We build our houses smart and use solar panels and wind, nobody does a daily commute for work, we find ways to cook that minimize our propane usage, and eat locally as much as possible. The result is (in our unofficial estimates) that we use 10-15% of the resources of your average American (and eat great food to boot.)
Finally, we sing together. What does that have to do with sustainability? Only that staying connected to your fellow humans helps keep you motivated to act on their behalf. We do a lot of stuff like singing, laughing and eating together that help us remember why we are here. DR has a unique culture of care, and it makes sustainability feel authentic, fun and tangible, rather than a drag.
Any contributions you can make to DR help us to model a pathway to a more sustainable world. (And we are just as practical about how we use your money as we are about how we use other resources!) Please consider pitching in.
Image credit: Dancing Rabbit