Re: Environmental values
From: normangauss (
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 23:38:04 -0800 (PST)
There are two interpretations of "caring for the environment".  One is
local, the other is global.

The local view emphasizes caring for the community's environment.  This
means minimizing landscape water use in dry climates, setting up no-smoking
zones, using fragrance-free laundry products, keeping wood smoke down to a
bare minimum, avoiding pesticides and chemical fertilizers, refraining from
polluting the air with power lawn mowers or diesel engines, or unnecessarily
idling your car.

The global view includes recycling, using green building materials,
minimizing pollution of the water table or river, driving fuel-efficient
vehicles, minimizing refuse that is dumped in landfills, etc.  These
practices may have little to do with the immediate environment of the
community, but they are considered good for the earth's environment.

The former can be written into an agreement, because the results of these
practices affects everybody in the community.  The latter is more
politically correct among liberals, and may not be subscribed to by all
cohousing residents, nor does it need to be.  One can drive a gas guzzler
and throw all his/her trash in the garbage bin and still be an acceptable
member of a community.  But smokers or users of Roundup would have a tough
time in our community.

Norm Gauss
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Maggi Rohde" <maggi [at]>
To: "Developing cohousing - collaborative housing communities"
<cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 6:03 PM
Subject: [C-L]_ Environmental values

> Our community is beginning to consider our values surrounding
> environmental concerns.  We had a successful weekend retreat in which
> we made a list of our values, but although "caring for the environment"
> was on the list, we are having trouble nailing down exactly what this
> means.
> I am interested to hear what other communities have done to identify
> common environmental values.
> Thanks!
> -Maggi Rohde
>   Touchstone Cohousing, Ann Arbor, MI
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