Did DR help NYU cut energy use 30%?

Happy almost-2015! I want to share a cool story about how your support can create powerful ripples of change in the world.

Cecil at DR, 2002: I can see the future village from here!

Cecil at DR, 2002: I can see the future village from here!

Cecil Scheib, one of DR’s founders, was in town recently for the annual Board Meeting. While we were chatting he told me some things that really blew me away. Check this out.

When Cecil and a few friends arrived in Missouri in 1997 they knew nothing about how to build a sustainable town—but they had a vision, and they pursued it passionately.

After ten years at Dancing Rabbit, Cecil took everything he’d learned about sustainable living to the Big Apple.

Then he saved NYU $15 million a year in energy bills!

With Cecil as its first Director of Sustainability, NYU cut its energy use 30% in 5 years. That’s enough to take the capital of Maryland, Annapolis, entirely off the electric grid. He also saved the university almost 100 million gallons of water every year, and started a composting program.

And the university cut its carbon emissions by 30%, avoiding 50,000 metric tons of carbon pollution every year.

Cecil’s now working for the Urban Green Council to improve the sustainability of buildings across New York City, which are responsible for 75% of its carbon pollution. He’s helping NYC implement measures to reduce carbon emissions, lower water consumption, and divert asphalt from landfills.

Like thousands of other people, he’s seen living proof at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage that drastic energy savings and waste reduction can be achieved without reducing quality of life.

Cecil Scheib

Cecil in NY, 2014: Today, New York–tomorrow, the world!

I asked Cecil to tell me exactly how his effectiveness at making change stems from his experience at Dancing Rabbit. Here’s what he told me:

“When I teach about sustainability, I talk about saving NYU $15 million a year in energy bills, and how NYC can cut its carbon use 90% by 2050. But my personal experience at Dancing Rabbit gives my words added credibility.

“What I learned at DR helps me show people in New York how to save energy while living well. My apartment, which is all-electric except for heating, uses 1 kWh/person/day. Like Dancing Rabbit, that’s 90% less than the US average. And I figured out how to do that while building Dancing Rabbit.

“Starting Dancing Rabbit helped define who I am—someone who believes that each of our lives matter. We can choose every day to make the world a better place.

“We don’t have to wait for corporations or government to tell us what to do. We can do it ourselves, starting now. And when people hear that a few friends and I started this up on our own, some of them begin to believe they can do it too.”

Please take a moment to think about how much that’s worth to you, and then become a Supporting Member today. Because the world needs us more than ever, and we need you.


Alyson Ewald

Development Coordinator

P.S. Lest you fear that your gift to Dancing Rabbit will be used to meet the basic needs of ecovillage residents, let me reassure you that your donation goes only towards outreach, research, and teaching others how to live lightly on the earth. Please lend a hand!