A band of idealists in the mountains of North Carolina is trying to build a low-energy lifestyle. But must we all live like hippies in the woods to make a difference?
By Joel Achenbach
Sunday, November 19, 2006; Page W10
"THE SOLUTION TO THE ENERGY CRISIS turns out to be, in part, mood lighting. You go with one gentle bulb, a 10-watt number that shoos away enough of the darkness to keep everyone at the table identifiable. We're having a delicious, if arguably dim, meal on a pleasant summer evening at a place called Earthaven. It's an "ecovillage." It's in western North Carolina, east of Asheville, in a notch in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We're off the grid, and deep inside one version of the human future.
Susan Lathrop and Kim Rylander, known in the village as Suchi and Kimchi, are hosting me and my guide, Earthaven resident Greg Geis, as I try to figure out how a bunch of suburbanites who've fled mainstream America are able to live in the boondocks half an hour by car from the nearest small town, without electrical lines or water mains or flush toilets or streetlights or microwave ovens or washing machines or home entertainment systems or electric garage door openers or fake-log fireplaces operated by remote control or any of the other things that most people consider essential to survival."
Click here for Earthhaven's website.