Eco villages that are (almost) energy self-sufficient

The simple fact of eating an apple can have a bit of an ecological footprint. Look at the label. Maybe, if you are in Spain (sorry guys, I’m Spanish), that apple has traveled all the way from Chile to your hand. Amazing, right? That’s what needs to be done if you want to eat apples throughout the year. Something similar occurs with almost everything we consume. Electricity, clothing, electronic devices…

green revolution

The green revolution during the 60s meant a great increase in the agricultural productivity and a rise in the product availability. But a great deal of energy needs to be spent in the production process. Think about fuel and gas for machinery and transport (such as Chile-Spain), power supply for the factories that make fertilizers, pesticides and preservatives… Even though this agricultural model keeps working today, the ecological price to pay (aquifer pollution, uncontrolled erosion and greenhouse gas emissions) has led many people to rebellion against it. People that make sure their food comes from local producers, sometimes using traditional agriculture, that buy fruit and vegs in season or that grow their own food.

People like those that will inhabit a new development being built outside Amsterdam. ReGen Villages will be a self-sufficient neighborhood where each home will be power positive. That is, it will produce energy even if it’s disconnected from the grid, thanks to solar panels. Also, rain water will be harvested for gardening and farming.

regen villages
ReGen Villages.

With regard to food, each house will have an attached private greenhouse. Organic waste will be composted or fed to flies, which will in turn be fed to fish. Those fish will live in “aquaponic gardens”, systems that will combine fish farming and hydroponic agriculture (fish will fertilize the plants). Livestock will be raised and veg and fruit gardens will use the manure and compost.

regen villages greenhouse
ReGen Villages.

This ambitious project may seem science fiction, but it’s already up and running. The Netherlands and Sweden will be the first countries to have one of these developments. Each village will be home to 100 families in about 20 hectares land. Are you ready to move?

Unfortunately, Spain isn’t on the waitlist for a ReGen Village, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any great initiatives, like this cooperative (sorry, link in Spanish). ¡They only pay about 37 euros for the electricity bill!

I got this news via Business Insider. Read it for more info about the project!

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