RE: Community & environmentalism
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 17 May 95 17:31 CDT
 Graham Meltzer  asked about links between community and environmentalism.

One place I have seen this link established is in the vision and 
mission statements of many cohousing groups.  This document defines, at 
least in theory, the organizational intent of the group.  I would think 
a perusal of several of these would give some data.

What about design analysis?  Why do people choose to cluster homes? 
usually to save open space is a common reason.  Why save open space?

Another source of data might be to interview cohousing residents and 
ask them if their attitudes towards recycling, composting, resource 
saving, have changed since living in a cohousing group. I was surprised 
to discover that one of my neighbors did not recycle before moving to 
Sharingwood but does now because "everyone else does".   Actually there 
is a subtle eco-police sort of peer pressure here which would be 
interesting to explore and may also be present in other communities as 
well.  When we first started doing community dinners, I remember seeing 
tin foil in the trash can.  About three or four times I scavenged it 
out of the trash, washed it and reused it and I do not recall the last 
time tin foil was found in the trash.  Nothing was ever said (at least 
by me or that I heard) but the re-use of tin foil has become standard 
now.  It didn't use to be, and so that is a change in behavior, I would 
guess from modelling and attitude change?

Rob Sandelin
(A member of the Sharingwood secret eco-police and ferns first radical)
Sharingwood Cohousing

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