News Source: 
Crosscut
March 19, 2014

In a world of dwindling natural resources and mounting environmental crisis, who is devising ways of living that will work for the long haul? And how can we, as individuals, make a difference?

To answer these questions, Professor Karen Litfin embarked upon a journey to many of the world’s ecovillages – intentional communities at the cutting-edge of sustainable living. From Los Angeles to South India and Denmark to Senegal, she discovered an under-the-radar global movement making positive and radical changes from the ground up.

Part travel adventure, part sneak preview into community living arrangements the world over, "Ecovillages, Lessons for Sustainable Living" by the University of Washington's Karen Litfin is a book that offers hope. Litfin who teaches global environmental politics was on a mission to find inspiration for herself and her students in the face of failed environmental treaties, unchecked carbon buildup, habitat loss and species extinction. She found it in micro-level living experiments.

With guidance from the Global Ecovillage Network, Litfin's journey took her to 14 communities around the globe, three in the United States, several in Germany, and others in Australia, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Senegal and the United Kingdom. “I wanted to study communities in the global north and global south because after all about 80 percent of humanity lives in the not-so-affluent world," Litfin says. "On the other hand those of us in the global north are living the least sustainably, so we really are in desperate need of the models.”