ecovillage Denmark - Dyssekilde ecovillage økolandsby

Multiple studies report that ecovillages and other intentional communities offer high-quality lifestyles while residents use anywhere from half to a quarter as much fossil fuel energy as their counterparts who are not living in ecovillages.[1] Researchers sometimes refer to reducing fossil fuel energy use to one-quarter as much, as making a "Factor Four" improvement.[2]

Although definitions vary, ecovillages are typically identified as being communities that are aiming to intentionally achieve "ecological, economic, and cultural dimensions of sustainability . . . integrated into a holistic sustainable development model that is adapted to local contexts . . ., consiously designed through locally owned participatory processes.[3]

As more and more communities begin to consider and plan to achieve greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, imminent needs include: learning how to best manage energy use, documenting and cataloging best practices, and sharing successful approaches with many more, and less-intentional communities.

This ongoing open-source research project aims to collect, categorize, and and catalog by multiple criteria, as many practical ideas and case studies as we can identify, about energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in ecovillages and other intentional communities around the world. Information is welcome here about any and all ecovillage and intentional community practices that describe tools and techniques that are succesffully being used to reduce fossil fuel energy use.

Concepts will be peer reviewed and categorized, with as many ideas as practical incorporated into comprehensive design guides, such as:

Preliminary ideas about practices that enable such significantly reduced energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions include:

  • Local (neighborhood, village, or community-scale, distributed food, energy, and water infrastructrures and technologies)
      • Aquaponics
      • Food production:
        • Dehydration
        • High efficiency electric cooking appliances
        • High efficiency solid fuel stoves
        • Passive solar greenhouses
        • Solar cooking
        • Tower gardening
        • Forest gardening; Forest food production
      • High-value resource production and use
      • Soil building and nurturing
        • Biochar
        • Organic gardening
        • Permaculture
        • Vermicomposting (Worms)
      • Vertical integration, into communities of businesses.[5]
      • Waste equals food.[6]
    • ENERGY
      • Cascade of energy and cascade of heat
      • Community Energy systems, or "Energy Community" designs
        • Community energy storage
          • Community pumped hydro storage
          • Community batteries
          • Community thermal energy storage
        • Community Resilience Hubs
        • Community earth-coupled heat pumps
        • Community solar
        • Small hydro generation
      • Energy distribution
        • Electricity Microgrids
        • District heating
      • Virtual Power Plants
      • Comprehensive energy efficiency
      • Energy Stacking
      • Local fuels
        • Anaerobic digestion
        • Biofuels
        • Biogas.[7]
      • Low and net-zero building design practices
      • Off-grid appliances, tools, and equipment[8]
        • Human powered equipment
          • Appliances
          • Bicycle powered devices (mechanical and electrical)
          • Tools
      • Low/zero energy appliances
        • Natural fridges / food cooling
        • Solar cooking
        • Showers using rainwater harvesting
        • Solar water heating
    • WATER
      • Composting toilets
      • Grey water filtration and use
      • Living Machines for wastewater management and treatment
      • Rainwater harvesting
      • Water use efficiency
    • How can determinations be made about which appliances, tools, and equipment are better to share under any kinds of communal ownership models, as compared to those that are best owned and operated by single users or nuclear families?
      • Recycling[9]
      • Zero Waste. The global zero emissions research and initiatives (ZERI) network works on problem-solving that is intended to be transformative, comprehensive, sustainable, and continuously evolving. Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives, What is ZERI? [Web page, retrieved May 2023],
    • Aircrete; Hempcrete
    • Living Buildings Challenge
    • Natural Building practices - cob, hemp lime, straw bale
    • Passive solar building design

PLEASE ADD ANY AND ALL SUGGESTED IDEAS TO THIS LIST FOR CONSIDERATION. To the extent that changes in laws, rules, and regulations could be required before communities implement any particular techniques or practices, please be as specific as possible about what changes might be necessary. If there are examples of such changes being made by governing bodies, please include that information in your descriptions.

Applying the Sustainable Development Goals[edit | edit source]

See below a list of pages part of Category:Ecovillages and their corresponding SDG. Please help us by filling out the missing information on the corresponding page.

Adelaide community action
Appropriate technology villagesSDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
Brazil community action
British Columbia community action
Christie WalkSDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Criticisms of ecovillages
EcoRealitySDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Ecovillage Training Center
EcovillagesSDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Ecovillages & Intentional Communities Energy and Climate Action Research ProjectSDG07 Affordable and clean energy
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG06 Clean water and sanitation
SDG03 Good health and well-being
SDG02 Zero hunger
SDG08 Decent work and economic growth
SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
SDG13 Climate action
SDG15 Life on land
SDG01 No poverty
Ökodörfer und absichtliche Gemeinschaften Energie- und Klimaschutzforschungsprojekt
Proyecto de Investigación de Acción Climática y Energía de Ecoaldeas y Comunidades Intencionales
Ecovillages map
Ecuador community action resources
Israel community action
Japan community action
Los Angeles community action
Maine community action
Missouri community action
Monte Cerro Solar Power Village
New York City community action
Oregon community action
Queensland community action
Resources New Zealand
Sutton community action
Walden Ecovillage
Walden Ecovillage/Ancillary Businesses
Walden Ecovillage/the Community
Walden Ecovillage/the Ecoversity
Walden Ecovillage/the Farm
Walden Ecovillage/the Wellness Resort
Wales community action
World Help Training CenterSDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Global Ecovillage Network, What is an Eco-Village [Webpage, retrieved June 2023],
  2. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker published a book in 1998 entitled Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use - A Report to the Club of Rome. A follow-up book by von Weizsäcker and co-authors, published in 2009, is entitled Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity. See See also:
  3. Joubert, Kosha, and Leila Dregger, 2015, Ecovillage: 1001 ways to heal the planet, Devon, UK: Triarchy Press, preface. ISBN 978-1-909470-75-0.
  4. Joubert, Kosha, and Leila Dregger, 2015, Ecovillage: 1001 ways to heal the planet, Devon, UK: Triarchy Press.. ISBN 978-1-909470-75-0. -- This book includes thirty brief case studies about ecovillages in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. Each highlighted action or practice is listed using the identifiers found in the Solution Library.
  5. Dunbar, Meghan French, 2015, How Zingerman’s Deli Became a $40 Million Business,
  6. McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart, 2002, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,
  7. Case study from Hammarby Sjostad in Sweden. Biogas from their wastewater treatment plant is piped back to the community for the gas-stoves used in households. There may well be better case studies by now.
  8. Efficiency for Access Coalition, 2023, Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities: The Role of Off-Grid Appliances. Available at:
  9. Example from Hammarsby Sjostad near Stockholm, Sweden.

Discussion[View | Edit]

How do we include the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals in the page summary? If I generate a list of the most relevant SDGs, will an administrator enter them into the page summary, or is there some better way for me to incorporate them.

I agree with the observation that we do not want too many levels in bulleted lists. I am thinking about how best to organize the content to avoid that, but I see that as a later step, after first trying to identify all the major project types for consideration.

Eventually, I expect we will want a survey instrument, to ask existing eco-villages to indicate how many of the different project ideas are being implemented, with the idea that we will eventually make case studies of best practices, drawing details from multiple eco-villages in different countries/continents. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TomStanton, 13:16, 30 June 2023

Hi @TomStanton we have a list at Sustainable Development Goals and a categorization of pages and projects by SDGs. We can link to this page or expand information available. I'll begin by adding a page excerpt, let me know your thoughts! —Emilio (talk) 14:38, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

Emelio -- I thought I remembered seeing SDG categories listed in page summaries. Am I mistaken about that? I think we do not want to go down the path of linking from this particular page to the many other ecovillage pages: I'm thinking it will be better to link from "my" page about the research project to another page that lists ecovillages with content on Appropedia already (e.g. Walden eco-village as shown in the table you added).

-- Tom S.

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