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There is a large community of people who have been residing in the area for generations, many with local roots that pre-date the United States. Other residents came during the Back to the Land Movement in the 70s and have since stayed, creating a larger community and raising a lot of awareness about how to live with a low impact. About 45 minutes east of the county line, Machias is a small college town on Bad Little Falls that draws a lot of writers, musicians and artists to its state university. And throughout the county, there will be a lot of houses and shopfronts for sale, for cheap.
Downeast is thirsting slightly for some young blood to keep its economy going. But diverse and young pockets of people still flock there. The August blueberry harvest brings a giant community of migrant workers, many of which have decided to settle in the area year-round and open businesses of their own. It intends to offset the connection between poverty and unhealthy eating by planting community gardens all over town. Solar installers and energy companies like Efficiency Maine and ReVision Energy offer complete loans for solar power with no downpayment, so virtually any home or business owner can switch to solar without any strain on their finances.
Some just come in RVs, but others have truly embraced the off-the-grid lifestyle and attempted to live a life that produces little to no waste. The villagers of East Jesus are those people. Russell quit his job in the technology industry, packed all his belongings in a shipping container and moved out to Slab City after spending time at several other sustainable communities on this list.
Russell passed away in but the community still lives on. Every structure or work of art is made from reused materials that many of us might consider trash. Today the community sits on acres and is made up of 90 adults and 15 children who work together to produce tofu, grow seeds and construct hammocks which can be sold in order to provide income for their community.
Twin Oaks runs its own economy, and in return for their labor, residents receive healthcare, housing, food and personal spending money. Twin Oaks is an egalitarian society, meaning that every member has an equal say in how the community uses its resources. There is no organized religion — residents are free to worship whatever — and parents have complete autonomy when it comes to how they raise their children, some children even attend public school in town while others are home schooled or attend Montessori.
The city recycles more than 56 percent of all the waste it generates — an effort that saves nearly , tons of CO2 per year — it was one of the first major cities to ban plastic bags and by , it should run at least 50 percent of its energy off of renewable power. However, there are some tiny-home communities beginning to flourish outside of the city.
One hundred and ninety-six miles outside of Portland, near Bend, the community of Three Rivers is living completely off-the-grid with solar power, no phone lines and no connection to electricity companies. Their goals are to nurture sustainability and permaculture, and to limit their dependence on the timber and energy industries by harvesting their own wood, building their own homes and generating their own power.
Earthaven would eventually like to grow to at least a community of people. Arcosanti is an experimental town not far from Phoenix. It was built back in by more than 7, volunteers. It was deed by architect Paulo Soleri as an alternative to the urban sprawl people feel so compelled to flock to. Arcosanti welcomes nearly 40, visitors each year. Dancing Rabbit is another ecovillage that is still in progress.
Its goal is to grow to a good-sized town with between and 1, people living there and businesses sustaining around a town center. Residents of Dancing Rabbit build their own homes with traditional straw bale and cob techniques and they harvest solar and wind power for energy. All vehicles on site are actually owned cooperatively and have been altered to run off biodiesel. The community has made its internal economy a primary focus — it works on the barter system and has even created its own currency called Exchange Local Money ELM.
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