Neighborhood Watch, Elizabeth Sawin, Grist Magazine
Elizabeth Sawin has always had neighbors and always had a garden.
The fact that she paid more attention to her garden than to her
lawn and that she sometimes kept bees, chickens, and a compost pile
led to some minor conflicts with her neighbors. This gave Sawin an
idea: Maybe the watchful eyes of neighbors could be used to keep
neighborhoods 'green.' If neighbors can politely encourage each
other to keep their yards up to the neighborhood standard of
acceptable maintenance, why can't neighbors 'support and encourage
each other into happily - even joyfully - making choices that take
the wider world into consideration?' For instance, why not point
out the fact that your neighbor's car gets lousy gas mileage, or
that the food they buy is 'grown on farms that pollute the
Mississippi River?' Ms. Sawin now lives on a farm she co-owns with
21 other families and has found pleasure in making collaborative
choices based on environmental communal concerns.