Sustainable communities

A friend sent through a link this morning to a web page for a sustainable community development in Malawi.

IPI is a non-profit making, non-partisan, non-religious and non-governmental institution formed in 2001 to promote enhanced participation by all Malawians in the processes of political/ economic/ social decisional making at all levels

The idea of sustainable communities and environmentally friendly development is not new. People have been talking about bicycles, recycled building materials and biodigesting sewerage for decades… And in some of the poorest, most challenged places on earth people are finding that these ideas are not only promising, but leap-frog the industrial era pollution, over-consumption and waste. They create a community development that is productive for the residents without existing at the expense of the earth.

The Auroville development in India has taken advantage of opportunites to host volunteers and people travelling to study yoga, teaching, permaculture and earth architecture. It’s a kind of update on the traditional Indian Ashram.

Imagine, in Zambia, also hosts volunteers and runs workshops including aquaponics, cob building and sustainable design.

Intentional Communities is a web site that links and supports sustainable communities being built in the United States. It links to information about the communities themselves as well as providing resources.

People in Australia have been attempting to do similar things for some time, although it isn’t prominent in the media. Even Byron Bay has become gentrified. However, they do exist here. Intentional Communities Australia supplies assitance and support for sustainable development in the great south land. The Sustainable Living Foundation also provides resources and encourages more sustainability.

The CSIRO even have a web site devoted to environmental development called the Sustainable Communities Initiative.

There are six billion people on the planet and limited resources. It is high time we started seriously rethinking the 17th century colonial approach to economics. There is no scope for unlimited growth. There is no need for fabricated conflicts to control dirty energy, if we persist with a desire for resource management and clean energy.

Another friend once told me, during a bout of depression, “Hang in there just to spite the bastards.” If that’s where you’re at, that’s okay. But know that the ideas are getting through and that people are working for change. Even in the poorest countries on earth, change is coming.

And with the weight of popular demand, it will be coming to Australia very soon. More than a quarter of the workforce has “downshifted” to less demanding employment. Sales of solar power systems are growing. More bicycles are being sold than cars. The Permaculture revolution is going absolutely beserk! The Green shift is something really wonderful to meditate upon and visualise… Hope at last.


About Syburi

Witch, bitch, creatrix; hippie, dreamer, gardener. Lover of books, music, rescue animals, piss and vinegar.
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