Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living in Harmony: Inspiring Stories from Ecovillages

The manual “LIVING IN HARMONY: INSPIRING STORIES FROM ECOVILLAGES” is designed as a virtual tour of European ecovillages. Here you will find a collection of short ‘how we did it’ stories that describe different ecovillage models and the main elements of their design and governance. The stories represent the most interesting and effective best practice to be found in the ecovillage movement in Europe, particularly in the Baltic Sea region.

The manual consists of four chapters. Each chapter explores a different stage of the ecovillage life cycle, starting from the establishment stage, when the main characteristics of the ecovillage should be decided, and finishing with the stage when the community becomes stable, has its own traditions and well-functioning governance, and can become a center proliferating knowledge about the ecovillage movement, based on its own experiences.

This life cycle approach helps us to understand the specific problems faced by the ecovillage and gives new founders a sense of perspective, because ecovillages go through different lifecycle stages just as people do. As a baby’s life is different from a teenager’s life, the challenges that a new ecovillage faces are usually markedly different from the challenges being met by older ecovillages.

The ideal ecovillage does not exist. However, thousands of partial successful solutions do exist. Learn from the experience of existing ecovillages and design your own model that is the most suitable for you.

If you are looking for particular solutions, please feel free to treat the chapters of the book as Lego bricks: read the paragraphs covering specific topics you are interested in and select the solutions that best fit your needs and values.

The manual “INSPIRING STORIES FROM ECOVILLAGES: EXPERIENCES WITH ECOLOGICAL TECHNOLOGIES AND PRACTICES” presents a selection of inspiring stories about solutions for ecological living. These stories are told by the inhabitants of ecovillages around the Baltic Sea region. They present solutions to issues concerning planning, construction, energy solutions, waste and waste water management, composting and recycling, food production, and transport and commuting. They provide inspiration to readers already familiar with ecovillages and anyone willing to learn more about a variety of ecological living solutions.

The collection of examples and stories of technologies and practices presented is designed to cover essential themes and aspects relevant to ecologically sustainable ways of living:
  • Planning and design of the ecovillage area
  • Building
  • Energy solutions for households and settlements
  • Waste water management
  • Dry toilets
  • Composting, recycling and ecological consumption
  • Food production
  • Transport and commuting
“Inspiring Stories from Ecovillages: Experiences with Ecological Technologies and Practices” seeks to enable the reader to form a tangible and – hopefully – inspiring view of the Baltic Sea region ecovillages’ variety, particularities and creative innovativeness, on the one hand, and similarities, familiarity and respect for tradition on the other.

The manual is also written in a way that does not presuppose any previous knowledge or firsthand experience of the issues involved. Thus, the manual can also reach out more widely as a source of inspiration to anyone interested in searching for ecological solutions to housing and living issues, wherever they live.

Ecovillage road is a virtual network, which aims to gather valuable knowledge created by the Ecovillage Movement and to make it accessible to a broader public.
We invite you to use this great possibility of Ecovillage road network and gain more knowledge on sustainable living, by visiting and learning from ecovillages of the Baltic Sea Region.
If you are an ecovillage or eco-project and you have valuable ideas, services or products to offer to a broader public, we invite you to use the possibility and join Ecovillage road!