Catalyzing personal empowerment, societal transformation, and environmental sustainability


"We go to sanctuaries to remember the things we hold most dear, the things we cherish and love. And then--the great challenge--we return home seeking to enact this wisdom as best we can in our daily lives."
William Cronon

About Us:
   Mission & Vision
Our Three Branches:
  Counseling & Life Coaching
   EcoIntegrity Center
   Holistic Living Institute
Event Calendar
Registration Forms
Contact Information


ECO Bell Glossary of Terms

Activists' research center
ECO-Bellingham's Activists' Research Center, located at 1515 I Street in Bellingham, supports local activists who are working in the areas of environmental protection, environmental and social justice, participatory democracy, and economic equity by providing a meeting space, Internet access, a browsing library, and other resources.
Alternative & renewable energy
Alternative energy in our model refers to virtually any form of energy that can substitute for fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Renewable energy is the term for environmentally friendly, sustainable energy sources such as wind, hydro-electricity, photovoltaics and tidal power that are replenished continuously by sunlight, gravity and Earth's rotation.
Alternative health practitioner coalition
represents a new model for health care for the twenty-first century. At its core is the spirit of community and a desire to integrate a multitude of wellness and healing modalities from around the world.
Appropriate technologies
Technologies that are sustainable, clean, and renewable.
Bio-global equity
Bio-global equity is simply recognizing that everything in an ecosystem makes a vital contribution to the system and is therefore to be valued and respected. Other terms for this are 'ecological sanity' and 'the sanctity of life.'
Bioregionalism is a grassroots, "bottom up" approach--led by communities themselves--to work at the scale of the ecosystem. Bioregionalists aim to find a balance between the resident community's needs for livelihoods and the potential for natural resources in their bioregions, as defined by ecological, economic, and social criteria. They refer to "homeland" as a geographic space that encompasses their water sources and other key ecological features, food production, forests and wilderness, villages and infrastructure.
A process which brings together organizations and individuals to assist communities in better addressing their quality of life issues and developing long-term solutions to complex and interrelated issues.
Community Hub-Citizens' Think Tank and Action Center
This center has a 3-pronged mission:
  1. To help create a seedbed and platform for a discussion of new ideas and a vehicle to spread progressive political philosophies, social policies, and to further environmental issue advocacy;
  2. To help develop a structure and coordination to support research bodies and think tanks to present new alternatives for public debate, with an impact in advocating policy and informing public opinion.
  3. To build and unite progressive advocacy groups and the progressive movement for things such as the widespread adoption of the Earth Charter.
The condition of having distinct or unlike elements or qualities. In our model, respect for diversity comes through reconnecting peoples' intelligence, emotions, and spirituality to the greatest creator of diversity there is-Nature-and helping them get beneath differences to the underlying unity.
Earth Charter
The Earth Charter, a people's treaty issued by The Earth Charter Commission of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family and the larger living world. It is an expression of hope and a call to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history. The Earth Charter is also known as the People's Declaration of Interdependence.
Eco-education is a process that enables people to intellectually understand their role in natural systems, and then move beyond mere understanding to actually experiencing their connection to the natural world through their many senses. As they become consciously, personally aware of this connection, they become highly motivated to sustain the Web of Life of which they are a part. This motivation, which begins by becoming and remaining healthy themselves, is reflected in lifestyle choices that are more sustainable, more inclusive of diversity, and which contribute to the building of healthy communities.
Eco-justice (respect for diversity)
Treating and honoring the Earth as a living organism.
Economic justice
Economic Justice is a system of relationships where true labor is the most fair and reasonable way to acquire property, and the preservation of fair distribution is protected by the government and connected to our moral values.
Ecosophy (ecosophical self)
Ecosophy is a branch of practically oriented philosophy which has its roots in the ecological movement and philosophical empiricism. The Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss coined the term in 1973, saying that it is a "responsible commitment to the existing life, with focus on the 'quality of life' where human and non-human life on earth have equal value."
Enviro-health issues
Physical and mental health as well as quality of life issues that are a result of industrial pollution and chemical toxins on humans and other species.
Environmental justice
ECO Bell's use of environmental justice includes a bit more than is commonly defined. It's not just the impact that environmental polluters have on the health and well-being of low-income and minority communities. Environmental justice also addresses the way in which exploitive business and government policies and regulations (or lack thereof) adversely affect all species and the very planet itself. Environmental justice puts health, quality of life, and sustainability above profit, greed, and self-serving self-interests.
Environmental justice is built upon the natural systems principles of mutual support and reciprocity. It means fairness more than it means equality. The health of the environment, its safety in not being toxic or otherwise harmful, and its intrinsic value of beauty is to be preserved so it may be enjoyed by all.
"Green" and Recycled Construction Materials
Use of the many manufactured earth-friendly construction systems now available: ICFs (formerly rastra block)--a revolutionary building material made from 85% recycled Styrofoam and 15% cement--and other insulated concrete form systems, structural insulated panels (SIPs) made from ozone-safe polystyrene and oriented strand board, and compressed-straw wall panels which can be used to construct high strength, super-insulated walls or combined with straw bale walls, rammed earth, cob, and other natural building methods. Structural integrity, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and code-compliance will all be addressed as we construct additional buildings on the ECO Bell property.
"Green" waste management
Implementation of numerous methods for conserving resources as well as reusing and recycling wastes (i.e. "reduce, reuse, recycle," grey water recycling, compost toilets, etc.)
Intentional Community based on Natural Systems
ECO Bellingham, an urban intentional community, uses Nature as a model for sustainable and equitable living. Built upon a foundation of applied ecopsychology, permaculture, intentional communities, and bioregionalism, it supports local living economies, environmental and social justice, and a healthy, sustainable community comprised of healthy individuals making a minimal ecological footprint. Our mission is to demonstrate how to increase urban density in a highly sustainable manner, network with the larger community to increase mutual support and reciprocity in support of common values and goals, and live simple, naturally fulfilling and Life-supportive lives using the Natural Systems Thinking Process.
Job creation (sustainable)
Living wage jobs created as a result of replacement industries that do not produce waste or toxins, or increase air and water pollution.
Living wages
The prominent definition of living wages is the assumption that wages paid will support an adequate standard of living including food, housing, health care, transportation, and other needs.
Local currency
Local currency represents value in a given region. It can be exchanged for goods and services, is accepted throughout the trading region, and can usually be used in conjunction with U.S. dollars.
Local living economy
A local living economy provides secure and fulfilling livelihoods for all people, works in harmony with natural systems, supports biological and cultural diversity, and fosters fulfilling and enjoyable community life. They are made up of human-scale enterprises locally owned by people who have a stake in the many impacts associated with the enterprise.
Natural Balance curriculum
This curriculum designed for children integrates music, art, stories, journal-writing, poetry, systems science, creative movement, games, and sensory activities in nature to foster emotional growth, improve social skills, develop cognitive abilities, increase self-esteem, and enhance intuitive qualities of the mind.
Natural consensus
A modification of the formal consensus process that uses Nature as the foundation for the creation of a base of trust and shared commonalities.
Natural Systems Thinking Process
The Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP) is a readily available, accredited, easily learned educational tool-an enabling social technology and psychology that has been researched and developed by Project NatureConnect at the Institute of Global Education (IGE). It helps the thinking of contemporary people safely make genuine sensory connections with authentic Nature and its energizing, rejuvenating properties. It also enables an individual to benefit from the healing and health-sustaining balance of natural system relationship-building powers. Ultimately, it brings individuals into balance within themselves, in their personal and societal relationships, and with the rest of the natural world.
Natural Systems workshops
Workshops which teach the Natural Systems Thinking Process from a variety of different perspectives-including relationships, diversity, natural health, rational spirituality, organic psychology, peace and non-violence, and natural consensus.
NCEP (Naturally Creative Earth Politics)
The vision of the NCEP, a coalition of New Progressives, is to facilitate peace and democracy in a manner that is Earth honoring and in balance with Nature and people's inner nature. The coalition consists of four currently existing constituent groups: the Cultural Creatives, the US Green Party, the Earth Charter Initiative, and Project NatureConnect. These four groups already have a core set of common, shared values which can cohesively develop into an integrated strategy model--a model that can provide a progressive agenda in policy formulation that supports social and environmental justice as well as democratic political reform. Combined, this coalition has the potential to build and deliver the 45% electorate base in the US that Paul Ray calls the New Progressives.
"Neighbornets" are affinity groups of people who live in the same general neighborhood who choose to form closer bonds with one another. In some cases, these people are already acquaintances who wish to deepen their friendship. In other cases, they may come together initially around one common area of interest (for example, gardening), and then decide to broaden their scope of activities (for example, to include service projects, a monthly potluck etc.), and thereby increase their sense of community.
Organic health and healing
A holistic perspective that taps into the healing and sustaining properties and processes of Nature, and doesn't rely on the allopathic model of disease care or pharmaceuticals.
Organic Psychology (ecopsychology)
A therapeutic modality that examines the psychological roots of the environmental crisis and the negative impacts of this crisis on human and social health. Organic psychology presents a way of living and relating that promotes harmony between the individual and the environment, as well as all the other relationships the individual is a part of.
Participatory democracy
Broadly speaking, Participative Democracy subordinates to the citizens of a municipality, state, or country the tools they need to fully control their social and political destiny. In its full flowering, citizens enshrine and amend their constitution, form policy, and shape their laws and priorities. Participative democracy comes in many shapes and forms and may be applied to any level of government. At its best, it ensures that citizens - not lobbies, not big business, not politicians - have the final say when they choose to assert themselves.
Partnership culture
A partnership culture is a trust-based system characterized by equalitarianism organization, flexible hierarchies of actualization (where power is guided by values such as caring and caretaking), by a nature-based spirituality, a low degree of violence built into the system, and gender equality and equity. Partnership cultures are in direct contrast to dominator systems which are fear-based, and are characterized by rigid hierarchies of domination (where power is equated with giving orders that must be obeyed), an ethos of conquest (including the "conquest of nature"), a high degree of institutionalized or built-in violence, male domination, and contempt for "soft" or stereotypically feminine values.
Living in harmony, respect, and as equals in a manner based on cooperation instead of competition.
Permaculture, originally 'Permanent Agriculture', is often viewed as a set of gardening techniques, but it has in fact developed into a whole design philosophy, and for some people a philosophy for life. Its central theme is the creation of human systems that provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainability.
Rational Spirituality
Presents the scientific basis for spirituality and human belonging in the natural universe--based on complex adaptive systems, co-creative evolution, and the Natural Systems Thinking Process.
Regulations and policies
This component of our model works toward ensuring that citizens have meaningful input into the processes that create regulations and policies that effect their lives and livelihood.
Social justice
The four key principles of Social Justice are equity, access, participation and rights. Social justice it is a recognition of the importance of attaining substantive equality for diverse groups of people who have been under-represented in both education and employment. This includes (but is not limited to) Indigenous people, people with disabilities, women in areas of under-representation, people from culturally diverse backgrounds and people from lower socio-economic and rural backgrounds in relation to education. The goal of social justice is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs.
to continue without lessening, to nourish, to allow to flourish.
Sustainable agriculture (see sustain, above)
Sustainable agriculture, which explores the interconnections between farming and other aspects of our environment through a systems approach, integrates three main goals--environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. It employs a number of methods achieve these goals, including a reduced reliance on non-renewable energy sources and a substitution of renewable sources or labor to the extent that is economically feasible.
Sustainable design (see sustain, above)
It is a way of designing responsibly to resolve the complex problems of protecting, nurturing and improving our environment in the context of new land development and construction, redevelopment, renovation and restoration.
Sustainable development (see sustain, above)
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainable government (see sustain, above)
Government practices, policies, regulations and long-term planning that support pollution prevention, sustainable development, and sustainable business practices.
Town Hall forums
Forums that provide community members an opportunity to explore critical issues that impact individuals, the community, and society as a whole.
Wisdom councils
The Wisdom Council is a new, low cost, low risk intervention for establishing democratic governance and the spirit of community-from organizations to bioregions. It adds a symbolic change to the existing structure which facilitates individual awareness, empowerment and consensus decision-making.

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"Remember, your mind is not your own. It is a gift from nature. It is imperative to use it positively, constructively. To do otherwise, to use it for worry, anger or negativity is to abuse the mighty gift."
Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni


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