Trying to encourage people to live more eco-friendly lives is tough… no one wants to do without their mod-cons these days, whether that’s at the cost of the environment or not. That said, there are countless groups out there trying to make the world a better place for one and all, and one of them happens to be ReGen Villages, a real estate development company that’s now looking to build self-sustaining communities all over the world.
The first one is soon to be set up in Almere in the Netherlands come the year 2018, where all resources would be used in a closed loop. For example, household food waste would be composted and then fed to flies, which would then be used to feed fish. These would fertilise aquaponics gardens, which would grow produce for people to eat.
Seasonal gardens are also to be set up that will be fertilised by waste from livestock that have been raised to feed residents. Rainwater would be harvested and filtered so it could be used in gardens and farms, while solar panels on site would be used to power homes.
Building on the first site in the Netherlands is expected to take place at the start of 2017, with construction likely to finish by the end of the summer. The aim is to build the first 25 homes by the end of the year, with each village to house 100 families on around 50 acres. Technology will be brought in so people can monitor energy use, with data sent out via the cloud so villages can learn from one another.
Speaking to Business Insider, founder of ReGen Villages James Ehrlich said: “Regenerative means systems where the output of one system can actually be the input of another … It’s this concept that the way you look at a subdivision is edible, so you walk through the path and there’s berries and fruit trees and nuts and spices and all kinds of things to enjoy … We don’t do lawns, we don’t do golf courses or tennis courts. That’s a good place to grow food, so we’re going to grow food there.”
Akin to this idea is the concept of district heating, where heat from a single resource is used to meet demand among a group of consumers… something that is increasingly in the news in countries all over the world. Leading the way in this regard is Denmark, which has been slowly weaning itself off oil imports since the oil crisis of 1973 that hit the country hard. The majority of the nation’s energy came from oil at the time, but since then investments have been made in energy efficiency, renewables and district heating.
With such networks, heat that would otherwise be wasted is captured and redistributed, with any surplus heat sent back into the network in a bid to reduce waste and carbon emissions, as well as saving money and reducing fuel consumption. It’s ideas like this and like ReGen Villages that we’re likely to see more of as time goes on and the energy crisis deepens… so what can you do to help make a difference as well?
To find out more about district heating systems, contact us here at SAV Systems today.