Residents cooking dinner
Twin Oaks residents cooking Sunday dinner. (Photo: Courtesy of Twin Oaks Community)

Many people drive by themselves to work, eat food that was shipped from far away, and live in a home with only their immediate family.

But at the Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia, about 100 members live and work together. They share almost everything – work, income, expenses, meals, and vehicles. They even share some clothes.

Dawling: “The fact that we share our resources, I think, helps reduce energy use and reduce the production of stuff.”

That’s resident Pam Dawling, who grows produce at Twin Oak’s farm.

Dawling: “By providing our own food, we don’t have to buy food that’s been trucked a long way and that’s been over-packaged.”

And because the kitchen, dining hall, and living rooms at Twin Oaks are communal, there’s less space to light and heat.

This lifestyle is not right for everyone. But Dawling says sharing does not have to be all or nothing.

Dawling: “More people could do more in the way of carpooling, and sharing tools and equipment so that not everybody has to have a lawn mower or whatever it is.”

And she suggests people work with friends to grow and preserve food. Because sharing can be a step toward caring – for your neighbors and the climate.

Reporting credit: Daisy Simmons/ChavoBart Digital Media.