The idea that our body is a temple, that we only have one and should use it wisely, serves a microcosmic example of the larger truth of our planet.
Yes, we have ONE planet, so why would we do so much damage to it? Ignorance is bliss they say, and so while we use up Earth’s resources, damage it with our litter, create a suffocating amount of pollution, and so on, we indirectly harm the very body we call our temple.
And like our body, harsh treatment of the planet’s resources will eventually wear it out, unless we make big changes. But where to start?
The Netherlands have implemented a simple concept that, like the Amish lifestyle, allows for self-reliance, but also retains high-tech capabilities.
You know the term “it takes a village”? To accomplish self-sustainable living efficiently, it takes a community of family members, friends, and friends of friends to come together for a better world. This was what James Ehrlich, a California-based developer and now CEO of ReGen Villages, had in mind when he came up with the idea for the community pilot project, set to be completed in 2017.
Starting just outside of Amsterdam, plans to share these innovations with Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Norway are also in the works, spreading the empowering possibility that entire villages can, indeed, operate from within.
The off-grid community plan will take advantage of modern technology to create and retain self-reliant necessities and desires, like growing foods and water filtration — the very things most of us rarely give a second thought yet would perish without.
Ehrlich says they want to start off as the “Tesla of Eco Villages,” redefining the way we view the possibilities of living comfortably.
We’re really looking at a global scale. . . . We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there.
The Villages will be “power positive,” meaning they’re able to use their own technology to meet day-to-day needs. And unlike many others living off the grid, these communities will have the same amenities as those who live on the grid, but without restraints.
The Villages have the potential to help many others as well, with the surplus energy generated capable of being fed back to nearby electrical grids.
“We anticipate literally tons of abundant organic food every year—from vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, fish, eggs, chicken, small animal dairy and protein—that can continually grow and yield in the vertical garden systems all year long as supplement to the seasonal gardens and farming adjacent,” Ehrlich explained.
The first 100-home village is on the outskirts of Almere, a mere 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Inside the new neighborhood, the company is also building a scaled-down version with 35 condo units.
Success at the initial area will allow for expansion across all of Europe and into the Middle East. Plans are even underway to expand as far as Sub-Saharan Africa and India in the future.
“We tackle the first two hardest climate areas,” Ehrlich explained. “Then from there we have global scale—rural India, sub-Saharan Africa, where we know that the population is going to increase and also be moving to the middle class. If everybody in India and Africa wants the same kind of suburbs that we’ve been building so far, the planet’s not going to make it.”
Perhaps the initial neighborhood’s success will allow for the ReGen Villages to spread the entire world over, crossing every ocean, and allowing for a better planet altogether.
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