Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Alternative Living – The Rainbow Family…

March 30, 2016
mandyevebarnett


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The Rainbow Family of Living Light (also known as the Rainbow Family) is actually a group of individuals committed to non-violence and egalitarianism, or in other words want everyone to be equal in social status and worth. The group hold Rainbow Gatherings which are peaceful assemblies and events for free speech.

Formed by Barry “Plunker” Adams, known for his book Where Have All the Flower Children Gone and Garrick Beck, son of the the founder of The Living Theater. These young men were inspired by the Vortex I gathering in Oregan in 1970 and the first Woodstock Festival. Their first Rainbow Family Gathering was held in 1972 at Strawberry Lake, Colorado.

Nowadays, the gatherings are held throughout the year either in the United States or in dozens of countries around the world as national or regional events. As the gatherings are non-commercial, attendees participate peacefully for approximately a week. The primary focus is on World Peace and the week is full of prayers, mediation and observation of silence for global peace. In the US the meetings are on 4th July but in other countries they can last a month between new and full moons emphasizing spiritual focus on unity, love and peace.

Common interests for people that attend are New Age spirituality and entheogens, intentional communities and ecology. Attendees use ‘sibling’, ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ to refer to each other. Group meetings are used for decisions and general consensus for groups wanting to attend. Money exchange is frowned upon in favor of bartering. There is no organization or leaders just a common goal for peace and love on Earth.

There have been controversies and claims of The Rainbow Family Gatherings being unfavorable to the areas they attend and to indigenous peoples heritage. Any alternative lifestyle attracts public skepticism or even authority intervention.

“Love is all you need.”

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Alternative Living – Eco-Village…

February 10, 2016
mandyevebarnett


Ecovillages are another type of intentional community. The goal of its inhabitants is to be more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. The usual number of residents is between 50 and 150 individuals, although some are smaller. Networks of ecovillages can increase the number substantially – up to 2,000 individuals in some cases. This networking can include individuals, families, or other small groups that settle on the periphery of the ecovillage and then effectively participate in the ecovillage community.

SiebenSieben Linden Ecovillage

The base belief for all ecovillage residents is to find alternatives to ecologically destructive systems commonly used by the majority of the population, such as electric, water, transport and waste treatment. Their mandate is to break away from wasteful consumerism, natural habitat destruction, urban sprawl, factory farming and reliance on fossil fuels. In addition there is a return to traditional community living, leading to a richer and more fulfilling way of life. With the model being small scale communities the ecological impact is minimal.

The term ecovillage was first mention by Professor George Ramsay when he described the small-scale, car-free, close-in development, which included suburban infill as a “self-sufficient pedestrian solar village” in 1978.

FindhornAn eco-house at Findhorn Ecovillage with a turf roof and solar panels.

 

These villages have developed from the communities characterized by communes in the 1960’s and 1970’s through to the co-housing in the 1980’s onto a more ecological and community themed existence.

The ecovillage movement has expanded globally since the conference in Scotland in 1995 with the formation of the Global Ecovillage Network, which now links hundreds of small groups that previously had no knowledge of each other. Today there are ecovillages in 70 countries on six continents. The mandate is to attract mainstream culture in building sustainable developments, such as Living Villages and The Wintles where eco-houses allow maximum social connection with the added benefit of shared food growing areas and woodland and animal husbandry. Encouragement is given to reduce energy use, create sustainable local businesses, localize farming and create environmentally minded communities.

Tallebudgera Mountain and vegetable garden at the Currumbin Ecovillage in Queensland.

Ecovillage residents respect their environment and grow the bulk of their food organically, use local materials for building, protect biodiversity, maintain growing seasons and protect local water, soil and air quality. Income is typically generated from the retail sales of products and services.

 

Five ecovillage principles from Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability:

  1. They are not government-sponsored projects, but grassroots initiatives.
  2. Their residents value and practice community living.
  3. Their residents are not overly dependent on government, corporate or other centralized sources for water, food, shelter, power and other basic necessities. Rather, they attempt to provide these resources themselves.
  4. Their residents have a strong sense of shared values, often characterized in spiritual terms.
  5. They often serve as research and demonstration sites, offering educational experiences for others.

ecovillage

Would this kind of community appeal to you?

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