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. Researchers sometimes refer to reducing fossil fuel energy use to one-quarter as much, as making a "Factor Four" improvement.
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.
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:
- Architecture 2030 design palette -- Architecture 2030 and 2030 Districts
- Donut Economics
- Foundation for Intentional Communities
- Global Ecovillage Network, The Ecovillage Impact Assessment
- Global Ecovillage Network, Solution Library -- The Solution Library already includes major topics of Ecology, Economy, and Integral Design. Guidelines describe how new solutions can be offered to this library.
- Global Ecovillage Network, Ecovillage Design Cards -- available in multiple different languages. GEN’s 32 Ecovillage Principles translate into 32 Ecovillage Design Cards. The cards are divided into five groups – four Areas of Regeneration (culture, economy, ecology and social) arranged around one central path of transformation: integral design. [E]ach Ecovillage Design Card is composed of the Ecovillage Principle, the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and questions of the Ecovillage Impact Assessment (Level 1). [An online] video introduces and presents the SDG Edition of the Ecovillage Design Cards on the Map of Regeneration."
- LivingFuture.org and the Living Building Challenge.
- Pattern Language for a Conservation Economy (also known as Reliable Prosperity)
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)
- FOOD SYSTEMS
- Food production:
- 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
- Organic gardening
- Vermicomposting (Worms)
- Vertical integration, into communities of businesses.
- Waste equals food.
- 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
- Community energy storage
- Energy distribution
- Electricity Microgrids
- District heating
- Virtual Power Plants
- Comprehensive energy efficiency
- Energy Stacking
- Local fuels
- Anaerobic digestion
- Low and net-zero building design practices
- Off-grid appliances, tools, and equipment
- Human powered equipment
- Bicycle powered devices (mechanical and electrical)
- Human powered equipment
- Low/zero energy appliances
- Natural fridges / food cooling
- Solar cooking
- Showers using rainwater harvesting
- Solar water heating
- Composting toilets
- Grey water filtration and use
- Living Machines for wastewater management and treatment
- Rainwater harvesting
- Water use efficiency
- FOOD SYSTEMS
- SHARING NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY RESOURCES (VERSUS SINGLE OWNERSHIP)
- 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?
- WASTE MANAGEMENT
- 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], http://zeri.org/what-is-zeri.html.
- SUSTAINABLE AND RESTORATIVE BUILDNG MATERIALS AND METHODS
- 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.
References[edit | edit source]
- Global Ecovillage Network, What is an Eco-Village [Webpage, retrieved June 2023], https://ecovillage.org/ecovillages/what-is-an-ecovillage/
- Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker published a book in 1998 entitled Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use - A Report to the Club of Rome. https://www.routledge.com/Factor-Four-Doubling-Wealth-Halving-Resource-Use---A-Report-to-the-Club/Weizsacker/p/book/9781853834066 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 https://ernst.weizsaecker.eu/factor-five-has-been-published/ See also: https://ernst.weizsaecker.eu/topics/factor-four-factor-five/
- Joubert, Kosha, and Leila Dregger, 2015, Ecovillage: 1001 ways to heal the planet, Devon, UK: Triarchy Press, preface. ISBN 978-1-909470-75-0. https://ecovillage.org/product/ecovillage-1001-ways-to-heal-the-planet/
- Joubert, Kosha, and Leila Dregger, 2015, Ecovillage: 1001 ways to heal the planet, Devon, UK: Triarchy Press.. ISBN 978-1-909470-75-0. https://ecovillage.org/product/ecovillage-1001-ways-to-heal-the-planet/ -- 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.
- Dunbar, Meghan French, 2015, How Zingerman’s Deli Became a $40 Million Business, https://socapglobal.com/2015/10/how-zingermans-deli-became-a-40-million-business/
- McDonough, William, and Michael Braungart, 2002, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, https://mcdonough.com/cradle-to-cradle/
- 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. https://www.visitstockholm.com/o/hammarby-sjostad/
- Efficiency for Access Coalition, 2023, Building Resilience in Low-Income Communities: The Role of Off-Grid Appliances. Available at: https://sun-connect.org/wpcont/uploads/Building-Resilience-in-Low-Income-Communities-The-Role-of-Off-Grid-Appliances.pdf
- Example from Hammarsby Sjostad near Stockholm, Sweden.