I saw this interesting article today (click link below) on the benefits of living in an eco-village.
5 lessons from living in an eco-village
Some of the eco-villages I’ve seen, in particular one located at Currumbin Valley in Queensland, look great but come with a hefty price tag for the privilege of living there. I’d definitely describe them as exclusive and “estate” like with some of the prices getting up around the million dollar mark. With those kind of entry prices, it seems a bit contrary to the ethos of “simple living” and more in line with being fashionably “environmentally friendly”. After all, there is the hidden environmental cost of generating that sort of money.
It got me to thinking about what these eco-villages actually are. Aren’t they basically a bunch of like minded people who share some common resources in an environmentally considerate way?
Living on the island at High-Water is basically like living in a small eco-village. Most of my neighbours are environmentally aware and we share stuff. In fact a neighbour dropped by just this weekend and loaned me a gardening book that he thought would interest me. In return, I gave him some silverbeet and flowers from the garden.
Another neighbour often drops off eggs and in return he takes some chillies or whatever else is plentiful in the garden. There is no expectation of a trade, it’s just a sharing, village style of living.
Of course not everyone here is like minded or considerate but the lifestyle of living on a small island generally attracts people who prefer nature over the hustle and bustle of the city or general suburbia.
Unlike some of the eco-villages we don’t have strict regulations imposed on us. We do have regular community meetings at the island’s community building and everyone seems to adopt their own level of implementing environmental principles. One of the local residents has installed a composting toilet, which by the way functions incredibly well, while another neighbour has an advanced secondary water treatment system. Many have solar panels, both on and off grid and in addition to having town water, most have rain water tanks. Due to the large population of fauna, including bandicoots, frogs and native birds, most residents avoid using garden pesticides. And being surrounded by water, we are also constantly reminded about where those chemicals will ultimately end up.
So I figure that any neighbourhood can become its own eco-village, just minus the fashionably official label, regulations and hefty price tag.