Since our last update, things have been moving on surely and steadily at Runnymede Eco-Village. Our aim to create a sustainable community in the disused woodlands of the ex-Brunel Runnymede Campus continues to take shape with every passing day. After much digging of clay we have put up the structure around our ‘luxury’ composting toilet! The clay is also proving to be a useful resource: we are using it to build with and soon we hope to produce pottery too.
Our very own sustainable solar generated electricity power station is now on-line. We can charge phones, laptops and other equipment without having to make long trips to the town.
While we are making steady improvements to our living conditions, we are living in an environment which is devoid of much of the labor saving technology and infrastructure present in the modern urban dwelling. This means more work for us to do: we have to chop the wood to fuel the fire that boils the water that makes our tea!. But perhaps the greatest challenge of this experience is living in a community of people who are around one another for durations of time that would be uncommon in most parts of society. Though this has its hurdles, it is also proving to be a very rewarding aspect, as we share and learn from each others unique wealth of experience and knowledge and form bonds with one another.
Living together without many of the comforts which can be accessed in mainstream society has made it clear that our survival as a community depends on co-operation. Be it sharing the load of everyday jobs such as the cooking, cleaning, washing up or tending to each other’s physical or emotional needs the village could not function without our mutual support of each other. This feels especially significant against a backdrop of a society where individualism is held up as necessary for progress, and yet one in which people often report feeling isolated and unhappy. The journey continues…