Perhaps many would agree that the mainstream culture could use some improvements. Some might see it needing just a little spring cleaning while others might see serious problems at the core. At DR you’re more likely to find the latter: people who see the need for fundamental changes in our culture, especially in its relationship to the rest of the natural world.
Of course, there are many ways to effect change in the world: political campaigns or lobbying, direct action protests and rallies, consciousness raising groups, etc. We see the need in our world to work primarily outside the system to define and demonstrate new cultures, sometimes radically different from the mainstream. This is part of the impetus for the intentional communities movement. DR’s primary social change goal is to demonstrate one possibility (certainly not the only possibility) of a sustainable lifestyle and culture. In many ways just living at DR is social change work (see our DR Culture section). We’re mindful of the way we function as a group and organization so we can be an example of positive, intentional social change. We also have to rethink our economy, both internally and as part of the wider culture.
The trick then becomes, “How do we let people know what we’re doing here?” Our mission becomes one of education and outreach, working to change people’s hearts and minds. We do this by a number of means. So far we have work exchange opportunities through which people can come for 2-6 months to live at DR and learn about sustainability and community while working on specific projects. We also hold workshops on topics ranging from straw bale building and earthen plasters to cooking. We hope to expand our workshop program as our infrastructure and human energy allows, someday having DR be a nexus for ecovillage education. While participating in an ecovillage project may be outside the scope of some of our website visitors we have compiled a list of things people can do to live a more ecologically sustainable life, right where they live, right now.
We have also gotten ourselves some press coverage and hope to get more publicity as we grow. We’ve even had a few documentaries/videos made about us, one shown on a national cable network.
We also publish a blog, The March Hare, which is sent out to hundreds of subscribers. This is our chance to share with the world our ups and downs and new discoveries and ideas about sustainable living.