ECOVILLAGE at ITHACA
Pioneering a Sustainable Culture
by Liz Walker
In a world filled with stories of environmental devastation and social dysfunction , EcoVillage at Ithaca is a refreshing and hopeful look at a modern-day village that is taking an integrated approach to addressing these problems.
This book tells the story of life at EcoVillage at Ithaca, an internationally recognized example of sustainable development. It transports the reader into the midst of a vibrant community that includes cohousing neighborhoods, small-scale organic farming, land preservation, green building, energy alternatives and hands-on education. By integrating proven social and environmental alternatives into a living model, EcoVillage at Ithaca provides a rare glimpse into one possible - and positive - future for the planet.
EcoVillage at Ithaca delves into the heart of the lived experience at this innovative community. It provides a warm, personal and reflective look at what it is like to create a sustainable culture.
The book tells in-depth stories about an integrated way of life:
At the same time, as one chapter states, "This is not Utopia," and the struggles and conflicts inherent in any community endeavor are not glossed over.
Human scale, accessible and inspiring, the example of EcoVillage at Ithaca will help readers imagine fresh alternatives to "life as usual." It will appeal to all who are hungry to learn about successful working models of a more sustainable approach to living with each other and the Earth.
Liz Walker co-founded and has directed EcoVillage at Ithaca since its inception in1991, and has lived there with her family since the first buildings were completed. She has worked on all aspects of the community's development, and has written and lectured widely on the topic.
Liz Walker’s “EcoVillage at Ithaca” is an achingly beautiful and finely told account of a group of people – part of a larger movement – living as modern pioneers of a sustainable future. Walker and her dozens of companions are ordinary people called to an extraordinary adventure in our hyper-individualistic consumer culture – to trust one another, to cooperate, to work together, to make a “career” of living itself. I hope this book inspires you to be more neighborly at the very least and perhaps to join the growing network of people living lightly and intentionally so that there might be many tomorrows.
- Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life and co-founder of “Conversation Cafes”
The folks at EcoVillage have learned more than a little about creating an Earth-friendly community. Today, an ever-growing number of people are coming to the conclusion that our society is on a collision course with madness; they long for a way of life less alienating and more natural than the prevailing direction of our culture, but do not know where to turn. In EcoVillage at Ithaca, Liz Walker speaks of the struggles as well as the joys of building such a community. I finished this book with a greatly renewed sense of hope and trust in humanity’s ability to live with one another and the Earth.
- John Robbins, author of Diet For a New America and The Food Revolution
Liz Walker’s “EcoVillage at Ithaca” is a great contribution to the sustainability movement. Her personal, engaging account is an invaluable documenting of the process of creating one of the most successful alternative communities: EcoVillage at Ithaca. Liz Walker is honest about the frustrations and conflicts as well as about the joys of this social experiment. The lessons she has learned, and the example of sustainable, supportive living, are vital for anyone contemplating undertaking such a project. Thank you, Liz!
- Starhawk, author of The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Webs of Power, and The Earth Path
Those of us lucky enough to live in Ithaca have seen for ourselves how EcoVillage inspires the larger community of which we are part. Now, with Liz Walker’s good book, everyone can witness the transformative power of this “incubator of a new culture.” Reading “EcoVillage at Ithaca” is like reading a letter from an old friend. It is full of confession, news, advice, hindsight, insight and hope.
- Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment and Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood
I had the good luck to stay at EcoVillage at Ithaca in its early days, and can still remember the heady sense of optimism, community, and verve. This fine book captures all that, and will serve as an invaluable tool for anyone with such subversive thoughts in the back of their own mind.
- Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home: A Long Walk Across America’s Most Hopeful Region: Vermont’s Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondacks
Liz Walker’s fascinating and touching story of EcoVillage at Ithaca shows how two single mothers without financial means initiated and led the building of a model for a sustainable society. In the process, they not only reduced their ecological footprint by 40 percent, but also created community, trust and love among the participants. All future ecovillage projects will stand on the shoulders of their experiences. This is a place into which I would like to reincarnate as a child in a future lifetime. Ecovillagers are the true freedom fighters of our generation.
- Hildur Jackson, ecovillage designer, cofounder of Gaia Trust and the Global Ecovillage Network, and author of Ecovillage Living: Restoring the Earth and Her People