We all dream of living off the grid in a self-sustaining community, but how do you go about starting one? It’s a pretty difficult, and expensive task. Many communities do not make it and end up falling apart after only a couple years. If you abide by these steps, you should see success!
People who try to start their own self-sustaining communities often run into problems and become frustrated when they try to do too much at once. Remember the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day? Obviously, you’re not going to be able to set up your eco-village in a month, a year, or even five years. Start small, by starting a community garden with your neighbors. Try to start a co-op, or a neighborhood farmer’s market, if neither of those already exist in your area. Purchase a couple chickens and look into getting a cow share.
Collaborate With Dedicated People
If you are completely dedicated to the idea of starting your own self-sustaining community, make sure that the people that you’re collaborating with are just as dedicated as you are. Starting an eco-village is an extremely difficult and stressful task, but the payoff is very rewarding. This is of course, something that you can’t do all on your own. Work with people whom you have a strong bond with, and trust to work hard and do what needs to be done. This is going to be pretty expensive, so ensure that everyone can contribute financially as well.
Familiarize Yourself With The Law
Even if you’re starting a community with land that you purchased, there are still going to be laws that you’ll want to become familiar with. If you’re trying to start one in your neighborhood, then you need to educate yourself on things such as city ordinances, laws on raising livestock, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Part of learning how to be self reliant, is learning how to utilize resources.
Balance Is Imperative
You know as well as anyone how important balance is both in life, and in practice. One slight tip of the scale can throw everything out of wack. Tasks should be evenly delegated among the other members of your community. If everyone tries to accomplish too much, they will tire themselves out; if you spend too much time arguing over delegation of work, then nothing will get done. It is important for every member of the community to feel as important as everyone else, and to feel loved and accepted. It is also necessary that dissent is not frowned upon. Everyone should feel like they have a voice.
Have A Concrete Plan
Before you start putting together your community, have a concrete plan of what it is that you want to achieve. For example, do you want your food supply to be completely self reliant by the end of the first year, have a well dug by the end of the second year, etc. This will keep you from over exerting yourselves, getting frustrated, and giving up. Hold regular meetings with other members of your community.
Image Source: onegreenplanet.org
Have any advice about starting an eco-village? Share in the comments!