Picture this: Packing up the U-Haul. Saying good-bye to friends in Boulder, CO. Starting down 800 miles of highway and a few dirt roads. My two daughters sitting beside me on the bench seat. We’re heading to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
Many people have asked me why I would change our lives so radically. Here I’ll give you a few good reasons why we changed nearly everything.
Top 5 Reasons My Family Moved to an Ecovillage
- Smaller environmental footprint. At Dancing Rabbit we share many things that most households in the rest of America own separately. I am part of shower and kitchen cooperatives. That means that we share the infrastructure and operating costs of bathroom and food needs. We also have a car sharing co-op where people often share rides with one another and share the costs of fuel and vehicle maintenance. This sharing lowers the environmental footprint of each individual. The other good news? It costs less than owning your own stuff too!
- Living cooperatively. There is something special about relationships in community. Not everyone is your best friend or favorite person, yet we all need to learn to work together and respect our gifts and differences. Without this understanding, community falls apart. I believe this understanding will serve my children well throughout their entire lives.
- Proximity makes it easier. Almost no one commutes to work. Most work is either within the community in the helping, gardening, or building trades or can be done over the internet and phone. Commuting to work is very unusual here. This helps lower environmental impact, while giving more time to play and connect with friends and family.
- Adult role models: My husband and I were impressed with the level of integrity and understanding in the parents we met during our visits to Dancing Rabbit. Growing up with other adults to love and role model for them seems like such a gift to give our girls. We also want our daughters to have close relationships with other children who don’t go ‘home’ at the end of the day and are around for more than just school or playdates.
- Raise more of our own food: My husband and I dream of meeting our own food needs with incredibly nutritious food raised within 20 miles of our home. We hope to cooperatively garden for our fruits and vegetables. We want to raise cows, chickens, and pigs in the grass-farming model popularized by Joel Salatin and Polyface Farm. On that farm raising the animals actually improves soil fertility. There is room here to raise our own food, to learn how to do it with other people, and to share the work and joy of preparing it. All with people who call Dancing Rabbit home.
Kassandra Brown is the mother of two girls age 7 and 4 and also a parenting coach. She offers support, guidance, and encouragement to change through her phone-based coaching services.