Guiding Principles - EGFS

Shared by Emma Goldman Finishing School
Tags: Values



In our household, we practice and support the principles of non-violence in our daily lives, through our personal relationships, through the organizations we support, and through the products we purchase. We also plan to establish a peace and justice center which will work to provide services that help the broader community in which we live, promote practices of non-violence, and aid in communication among other organizations that promote peace. In the meantime, we have created a meeting space in our building, which is available to organizations that have similar values as our community.


We make decisions by consensus.

We are income-sharing. We each work the same number of hours each week, including both outside work (income-generating, volunteering) and inside work (community-related, such as cleaning, cooking, childcare), and contribute any income from that work toward the expenses of the community. In exchange, the community meets each member’s living expenses, and each member receives a discretionary spending allowance.

We have an equal distribution of work, responsibilities and resources.

Societal Change

We believe in simple living. We seek ways to reduce our cost of living and our consumption of material goods in order to tread more lightly on the earth, eliminate things that are excessive, and cultivate lives that are outwardly simple and inwardly rich. By living simply, we will be able to work less. This will give us the time and energy to work toward the things that really matter to us.

Our goals include educating ourselves and others, working to gain full human rights for all people, and working to end environmental exploitation. The peace and justice center will be a vehicle for achieving these goals.

Ecological Sustainability

We keep a vegetarian household.  We grow and purchase organic food.  We recycle and buy recycled products.  We employ environmentally sustainable practices. This includes installing weather stripping and insulation, composting, using bicycles and public transportation, and driving an electric vehicle.   We reduce consumption of material goods in general.

Social, Physical and Spiritual Sustainability

We have a fun, playful and empowered social climate in our household.

We have proactive, anti-burnout measures built into our living systems, including flexibility in work and free time management, skill-sharing and decentralized responsibility, ample vacation time, and a friendly leave-of-absence policy.

We share meals several times a week. We have frequent community celebrations.

We seek to promote optimum physical health. We have a vegetarian/vegan diet. We encourage physical exercise. Using bicycles for transportation and doing household renovation and upkeep contribute to this, as do frequent individual and community recreation excursions.

Health insurance is provided.

We encourage good health habits, and prohibit smoking in the house and the excessive use of alcohol and drugs. We strive to create a climate of caring, respect and support for individual needs and differences, and we value diversity. We have an explicit non-discrimination policy regarding gender, color, race, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation and physical disabilities, and actively encourage diversity in our membership. 

We have realistic expectations of individuals.  We encourage efforts towards personal and spiritual growth.  We have a group commitment to solve interpersonal conflicts, and have a formal conflict-resolution process.