A sustainable living cooperative can be an interesting option for people who aspire towards a completely sustainable lifestyle, but are unable to do this on their own.
For many people who are interested in green living, a completely sustainable lifestyle is the ultimate goal. This means being completely self sufficient. While this may be a goal, it is unachievable for many people. There are many reasons for this with lack of space and skills being two of the most important. Before someone can be completely self sufficient, they need an appropriate place to live and skill set to make this feasible. As this can be difficult for a single person or family to achieve, a sustainable living cooperative can be a viable alternative.
What is a Sustainable Living Cooperative?
A sustainable living cooperative is a group of people who live and work together to lead a completely self sufficient lifestyle. The community can be formed from groups of individuals, families or any mix of people with the single common goal of leading a sustainable lifestyle. A sustainable lifestyle means living without the requirement to use non-renewable energies or materials. A cooperative will work together to build housing, grow food, generate energy and meet any day to day needs, without reducing further the earth's resources.
A sustainable living cooperative is likely to live off the grid and will therefore require land that will allow the production of alternative and sustainable energy sources. This might include energy that is derived from solar or wind power, or even energy sources such as geothermal energy. These are energy sources that are renewable and do not burn traditional fossil fuels.
Benefits of a Cooperative
One of the key benefits of a cooperative is that it allows people to share skills. In the modern world, many traditional skills have been lost and it is rare to find people with the broad knowledge that is required to lead a sustainable life. A group of people, however, will each have their own unique skill and experiences and this means that they can pool their knowledge to the betterment of the group.
Another benefit of a cooperative is that a group of people are more likely to be able to afford the land required for a completely self sufficient lifestyle. In order to generate energy, grow food and build homes for the members of the cooperative, a substantial amount of land in a suitable environment is required. This is likely to be out of the reach of most individuals who are seeking to embark on this lifestyle.
Communities Working Together
While communities and cooperatives work together within their groups, communities can also work together with similarly minded communities and cooperatives from around the world. This includes the sharing of ideas and experiences as well as the trading or bartering of materials or produce. This can be a good way to extend the benefits of sustainable living.
People who are considering joining or setting up a sustainable living cooperative will find that there is a lot of information that is freely available that can support them in their venture. Some interesting sources of information include:
- Community Planet - this website includes a 37 minute video about different aspects of a sustainable community
- GEN - information about eco-villages
- Natural Strategies Group - information about sustainable living
Sustainable Living and Eco-Communities
Here is a list of some sustainable living and eco-community websites. These websites include information on the community as well as contact information: