Could Eco-villages be the way forward?

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In an era where sustainability and climate change features prominently, the idea of eco-villages seems a laudable idea. I stumbled across an article on eco-villages which I found very intriguing. The underlining idea of these eco-villages renders itself for serious consideration in the present environment where there is a considerable emphasis on the causes and effects of climate change. Eco-villages are the closest to living arrangement based on sustainability models. These eco-villages rely on ‘green’ infrastructural capital, renewable energy, consensus decision making of governance and permaculture (sustainable use of land) and other simplistic principles. Their main aim is to have very minimal impact on the earth. These villages can be found all over the world- Europe, America, Australia, Asia and Africa.
The article drew my attention to some technological innovations used in these villages that can be adopted at national levels to help deal with the degradation or depletion of the earth through human activities. One village (Utsikten Ecovillage) uses a water supply system where used water is recycled. In this eco-village each house hold uses a urine separating toilets which is treated before being released in to the sea thereby preventing contamination (an example of the king of toilet they use is Aquatron toilet.) Another eco-village (Tuggelite) uses wood-pellet furnaces which is relatively cheaper and efficient way of heating home. There are a lot of similar technologies used by these eco-villages that has minimal impact on the environment.
The question here is could these eco-villages hold the key to the future? In fact some of their innovations are already being used on a larger scale in certain cities. Thanks to the Tuggelite Village the city of Karlstad (Sweden) now collects organic waste, compost it and the methane produced is used to power buses and waste collecting truck.
An eco-village plan for in county Durham in UK gained approval in September 2009 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8281384.stm). It is clear some of these environmentally friendly innovations, if developed carefully, could be go a long way in reducing the impact of human activities on the environment.

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