Project "Ecovillages for sustainable rural development" is happy to announce that the core project results - three manuals on: eco-settlement practices and environmentally friendly technologies applied in ecovillages; socio-cultural aspects of ecovillage establishment and governance; and green business and entrepreneurship – are available in a project's website for a free download in English, Swedish, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish. Manuals have also been printed and spread in the libraries of the Baltic Sea Region countries as well as other distribution channels. By identifying and documenting many inspirational examples and case studies, the manuals aim at contributing to the further development, application and spreading of the sustainable solutions and innovations tailored in ecovillages and regaining the balance between the ecological, socio-cultural and economic dimensions of sustainable living on a broader society level.
The manual presents a selection of inspiring stories about solutions for ecological living concerning planning, construction, energy solutions, waste and waste water management, composting and recycling, food production, and transport and commuting. These stories are told by the inhabitants of ecovillages around the Baltic Sea region and aim at providing an inspiration to readers already familiar with ecovillages and anyone willing to learn more about a variety of ecological living solutions. The manual also seeks to enable the reader to form a tangible and – hopefully – inspiring view of the Baltic Sea region ecovillages’ variety, particularities and creative innovativeness, on the one hand, and similarities, familiarity and respect for tradition on the other.
The manual is designed as a virtual tour of European ecovillages. Here reader finds a collection of short ‘how we did it’ stories that describe different ecovillage models and the main elements of their design and governance. The stories represent the most interesting and effective best practice to be found in the ecovillage movement in Europe, particularly in the Baltic Sea region. The manual consists of four chapters, each exploring a different stage of the ecovillage life cycle, starting from the establishment stage, when the main characteristics of the ecovillage should be decided, and finishing with the stage when the community becomes stable, has its own traditions and well-functioning governance, and can become a center proliferating knowledge about the ecovillage movement, based on its own experiences.
A handbook focuses on green business and entrepreneurship, offering a practical guide on how ecovillages can create business opportunities that adhere to the principles of truly green thinking. It gives an overview of the different aspects that should be considered by the aspiring ecovillage entrepreneur, and presents examples of successful business stories from various ecovillages around Europe. The book also strives to remedy the reluctance that many ecovillagers feel toward business and demonstrates the ways in which ecovillages are ideally suited to run businesses that are compatible with the well-being of both people and planet, the businesses of the future. Hopefully the handbook, packed with information, checklists and references to other books and green concepts, can accompany every enterprising ecovillager on their path towards successfully creating their own personal green livelihood.