How These Communities Save Energy—and Time for What Matters
In a growing number of modern-day villages known as cohousing, people are seeking a greater connection with the environment and each other.
Every winter near solstice time, residents of EcoVillage Ithaca gather in a darkened room around a spiral of evergreen boughs laid on the floor. A single lit candle sits at the center as musicians play in the background. One by one, children and then adults wind their way to the center, lighting their own candles and setting them down on the way out, creating a vortex of light.
The candlelit tradition is one of several meant to capture the spirit of the season at this central New York development devoted to community and sustainability. The 100 hilltop homes at EcoVillage are super-insulated, mostly solar-powered, and located near three organic farms. With more than 200 people, from toddlers to seniors, living