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In a world of dwindling natural resources and mounting environmental crisis, who is devising ways of living that will work for the long haul? And how can we, as individuals, make a difference? To answer these fundamental questions, Professor Karen Litfin embarked upon a journey to many of the world's ecovillages – intentional communities at the cutting-edge of sustainable living. From rural to urban, high tech to low tech, spiritual to secular, she discovered an under-the-radar global movement making positive and radical changes from the ground up.
In this inspiring and insightful book, Karen Litfin shares her unique experience of these experiments in sustainable living through four broad windows – ecology, economics, community, and consciousness – or E2C2. Whether we live in an ecovillage or a city, she contends, we must incorporate these four key elements if we wish to harmonize our lives with our home planet. Not only is another world possible, it is already being born in small pockets the world over. These micro-societies, however, are small and time is short. Fortunately – as Litfin persuasively argues – their successes can be applied to existing social structures, from the local to the global scale, providing sustainable ways of living for generations to come.
List of Figures vi
1 Living a New Story 1
2 Around the World in Fourteen Ecovillages 15
3 Ecology: Living in the Circle of Life 33
4 Economy: Prospering in the Circle of Life 77
5 Community: Relating in the Circle of Life 111
6 Consciousness: Being in the Circle of Life 149
7 Scaling It Up 187
Karen Litfin is associate professor of political science at the University of Washington.