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I’m writing an article about “Community” for the final volume of my company’s Encyclopedia of Sustainability. The volume is called The Future of Sustainability so I have to explain the future of community and how that relates to sustainability. I’m summing up years of reading and pondering and fretting over how these two things relate, and was remembering my brief words about community at the end of Eco Living, published in 2000, several years before I became the creator and editor of the Encyclopedia of Community (Sage 2003).

Here the section at the end of Eco Living (London: Piatkus Books) – yes, it’s written in English, not American, with English spellings!

Afterword: Getting Involved

We can change the world together, by doing things differently ourselves and pushing companies and governments to go about their business in new ways. We can make practical choices that will create stronger families and communities while enabling us to enjoy a world that is indeed threatened but is still resilient and beautiful.

Individual action isn’t everything. We need to support one another. It’s energising to get together with other people to work on a cause you care about, whether it’s getting your university to buy recycled paper or working with your council on a pedestrian scheme. The Resources section which follows will help with further information and contacts.

One mistake made by the politically active is always campaigning against things. They can give an impression of being negative, trying to curtail other people’s freedom – or just keep them from having fun! It’s time to reframe the debate, promoting a vision of a sustainable world and sustainable values. A project to get kids walking and cycling to school, for example, is about improving health, encouraging parents and caregivers to walk with kids and breaking down the isolation created by a car-oriented culture. Here, to start you thinking about your own vision, is a short manifesto for living lightly.

Walk It

My brother Dan was in Delta Force, an