Modern lifestyles are increasingly exerting pressure on the environment and on resources, causing large-scale destruction to the planet. But as we buy more cars, create hi-tech work and living spaces, mechanise our lifestyles, wipe out forests and pollute the seas, we are pushing the envelope beyond the scope of the planet.
Eco-villages are a unique way to make our peace with the Earth.
Eco-villages, which make for sustainable living, are a growing alternative to the urban and suburban sprawl that is turning all types of human settlements into mega-cities almost overnight.
Already thriving in many places in the US, Canada and Europe, an eco-village is a community settlement whose green lifestyle is in sync with the surroundings and environment so that resources are used judiciously and the community has a low environmental impact.
Thus, an eco-village that promotes sustainable living would integrate ecological building design, green production, community organic farming methods, alternative and renewable energy sources, community living practices, community-based businesses and family-friendly environments.
According to some estimates, there are around 300 eco-villages promoting sustainable living across the world. But to qualify as a ‘green resident’, one must adopt a value system that is community-based and that centres on co-housing. The key to the success of an eco-village is the spirit of cooperation. They other key tenet, of course, is an overarching emphasis on being environment-friendly.
What is life like in an eco-village?
How different is it from the daily grind as most of us know it? For an eco-village to create sustainable living that is healthy and family-friendly, participatory living is very important. The ‘we’ is always more important than the ‘I’.
Thus, for instance, small crews work together in rotation to cook for the community, clean and run the common facilities. Community recreation and celebrations replace the focus on the self while eating together, gardening and farming together promote community bonds. For a ‘green township’ or eco-village to create sustainable living and be a long-term alternative to modern lifestyles, it must also create a local micro-economy.
Although this post-consumerist and post-modern approach is catching on across the world, the question is: is it a viable alternative to modern living? Don’t take an age to answer. The clock is already ticking…