Within Reach: a Couple’s Journey to Find Sustainable Community in the U.S.


Experience and discuss the future of sustainable community with the movie Within Reach, followed by conversation with Associate Producer Raines Cohen, at a near-Metro cohousing community. Warm up after the #ForwardOnClimate 350.org rally at the White House (and maybe park there beforehand and Metro in to avoid downtown traffic/parking challenges) and meet cohousers and cohousing professionals visiting from all over. Sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Cohousing, the regional group providing education about community in the greater DC area.

Raines Cohen is a Cohousing Coach and Cohousing California / East Bay Cohousing regional organizer in Berkeley, California. Raines’ friends Amanda and Ryan set out to make a documentary of a trip seeking sustainable community, visiting 100 Ecovillages, cohousing neighborhoods, co-ops, group houses, and more, all across the country…6500 miles by bicycle! Watch the trailer:

The movie is now available for community screenings, after several years in development. It focuses on ten key communities, including cohousing and spiritual communities, and includes animations about sustainable community.

… one man in the Berkeley Fundraiser Preview Premiere audience stood up and said:
“I fell in love with this country again.”

… Betsy Morris of East Bay Cohousing writes:
“A fabulous and inspiring movie. A new take on the great American road trip.”

… Josh Harper of New Hope Community in Oakland, California said:
“I was so inspired by your film tonight. The world is longing to know the truth you reveal in your journey. May it be seen by many.”

Learn more about the film (and get your own screening kit for your community) at www.WithinReachMovie.com.

Doors open at 6:30PM, film rolls at 7PM, with conversation to follow.

Suggested Donation $15, or $10 for members of Mid-Atlantic Cohousing member groups.

RSVP via the DC cohousing MeetUp to get sent the address and directions:

True Life Community

MTV has its True Life series where its cameras follow happenings of a teen or young adult as they go through some challenge or experience. While we can’t always be sure how much editing plays into the drama of this show, it does give viewers a somewhat true picture of what it is like to walk in that young person’s evolving shoes.

Voice of America (VOA) provides a less dramatic and maybe more reliable look into the lives of a few members of Takoma Village, an established cohousing community in our own backyard of northwest Washington DC. Cohousing wannabes — in our passionate positive outlook — may forget that there are two sides to every coin. Living with others can be a challenge. We can be a challenge when living with others.

Ultimately we have to choose which challenge we’d rather spend our efforts on and which we’d rather live with: isolation or living in community. Which challenge would you rather have?

Imam Zaid on Making Ramadan Green

In this short video Imam Zaid Shakir talks about making our iftars more green during the blessed month of Ramadan. Instead of creating bags of trash from paper plates, disposable napkins, plastic utensils and uneaten food, Imam Zaid encourages us to wash dishes and utensils, use cloth napkins that can be laundered, and compost scraps. How green will your Ramadan be this year?

Imam Zaid Shakir on Green Ramadan from Muslim Life Program on Vimeo.

What Does Cohousing Have to Offer?

It was the last day of the 2011 National Cohousing Conference. Using the World Café Model, conference participants — made up of those who live in cohousing, those who want to live in cohousing, and those who had just heard of the concept — were seated around several tables in groups of 10 or so. One person volunteered the be the facilitator, another the time-keeper, and a third the note-taker. After brainstorming over and coming up with answers to a specific question, we scattered to completely different tables for the next round of brainstorming on a different topic. In this manner we tackled three important questions:

As a world community, as a nation, and in our local communities, we face significant environmental, economic and social challenges.

  1. What does Cohousing have to offer in addressing these challenges?
  2. How can more people benefit from what Cohousing has to offer?
  3. What are we gonna do about it?

Afterward, the answers were synthesized and the entire group reconvened to reflect on what we had learned from each other, and to get ideas on how to share it with others. Craig Freshley of Good Group Decisions tells us what we came up with:

Download/Share/Act: http://www.GoodGroupDecisions.com/NationalCohousingConversation.pdf

Living Lightly on the Earth (and the Wallet) in Community

LILAC is building the UK’s first affordable, ecological cohousing project in Leeds. LILAC (Low Impact Living Affordable Community) is a model for the future of housing development where communities deliver their own housing projects. This project is tackling the challenges of social, ecological and economic sustainability in one swoop: they are combining the benefits of community living with zero carbon housing that is affordable. LILAC is creating a community in which its residents are a mutual help to each other and the world. Watch LILAC Cohousing’s documentary:

Coho U Video Update: It’s a Great Time to Start a Cohousing Community!

Kathryn McCamantJoshua — a founding member of Good Tree Village — attended Developing Cohousing: Soup to Nuts and a Few Lessons Learned at the Cohousing University (CoHo U), a workshop intensive that was a prequel to the 2011 National Cohousing Conference which began today. In this two-part video dispatch, he gets the low down from the “grand dame” of cohousing, Kathryn McCamant, architect and co-author of the newly released cohousing “bible”, Creating Cohousing: Building Sustainable Communities. McCamant encourages wanna-be cohousers to look forward beyond the recession to great opportunities already present — like lower land prices!

Part 1:

Part 2: