Living Sustainably: What Intentional Communities Can Teach Us About Democracy, Simplicity, and Nonviolence

Available at Amazon.com: Living Sustainably

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In light of concerns about food and human health, fraying social ties, economic uncertainty, and rampant consumerism, some people are foregoing a hurried, distracted existence and embracing a mindful way of living. Intentional residential communities across the United States are seeking the freedom to craft their own societies and live out Mohandas K. Gandhi’s vision of democracy based on the values of nonviolence, self-sufficiency, equality, and voluntary simplicity.

Over the course of four years, A. Whitney Sanford visited ecovillages, cohousing communities, and Catholic worker houses and farms where individuals are striving to “be the change they wish to see in the world.” In this book, she reveals the solutions that these communities have devised for sustainable living while highlighting the specific choices and adaptations that they have made to accommodate local context and geography. She examines their methods of reviving and adapting traditional agrarian skills, testing alternate building materials for their homes, and developing local governments that balance group needs and individual autonomy.

Living Sustainably is a teachable testament to the idea that new cultures based on justice and sustainability are attainable in many ways and in countless homes and communities. Sanford’s engaging and insightful work demonstrates that citizens can make a conscious effort to subsist in a more balanced, harmonious world.