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Home Forums General Discussion Define terms please

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    We see a lot of terms bandied about but I wonder if everyone agrees to definitions.

    For example what is an ‘eco friendly community’?and by comparison is every other community eco hostile?

    What must a community do to be classed as eco friendly.


    That must have as many answers as there are people ;)

    I suspect in the broadest of terms that an eco-friendly community would be one that had green/eco/renewable intention purposely built in, it could be the way they generate and use electricity (or not at all), growing their own food (crops, livestock…), it could include a spiritual side (or not), it could be the various green/renewable building methods, it could be very high tech or very low tech or more likely somewhere in between… there are most definitely more things that could be added to this list.



    Quote: “That must have as many answers as there are people”

    Exactly my thoughts. Which makes it very difficult to discuss a concept having so many variations; each one as valid as the next but being quite different rpm each other.

    At one extreme there is the basic subsistence level home that doesn’t use electricity. That pretty much excludes them from participating in these forum discussions and limits them to whoever they can contact directly in a face to face discussion.

    The ultimate off grid high tech community would be the international space station in orbit around the planet. Not only is it off grid but off planet.

    Neither is really a good model for sustainable growth. One because it is so limited by lack of technology to practice sustainable living and agriculture and the other because it is too dependent on resource hungry technology elsewher on the planet.

    Anything in between will be vulnerable to criticism by proponents from either side that are more technical or more subsistence farming than the particular community in question. It could be argued that even using kerosene lanterns is dependent on some version of oil distribution ‘grid’. The purists that argue that solar is the ultimate green technology is ignoring the considerable and sometimes toxic manufacturing process involved in making solar panels. This manufacturing process has to be included and be a part of the ‘grid’ if things like roads and septic systems are also considered part of the detestable grid people are evidently determined to dismantle and get away from. To these people I would ask what alternative they propose which is devoid of technology that relies on some form of grid support.

    Even a solar powered home that uses lights after dark is reliant on a toxic battery. I suspect the wish for an eco friendly community is more wishful thinking than practical reality. And making such a community truly off grid is a near impossibility.


    To me, it’s a community of people with varying skills that are useful to each other, sited on land that is large enough and productive enough to support their nutritional needs as well as provide a surplus for trade with nearby communities. A local energy resource such as falling water would be ideal, to use for a mill (electricity or mechanical power). A long growing season, water for irrigation of crops (as well as people and animals)that doesn’t require electric pumping – gravity fed water is essential. Think Amish, with or without the religion. A community like this is sustainable over any length of time…


    DC power wrote: A local energy resource such as falling water would be ideal, to use for a mill (electricity or mechanical power). A long growing season, water for irrigation of crops (as well as people and animals)that doesn’t require electric pumping


    There is a creek behind where I Live that could possibly be used except it is Salmon habitat. As a result no one is allowed to place power dams or impede the natural water flow in any way. Considering how many peoiple earn a living from salmon fishing I really don’t have any objection to this rule against power dams. As for the water for drinking. Some six or so miles upstream ther is a ranch with a large herd of cattle. These cattle contaminate the stream somewhat with their urine and manure droppings getting washed by rain into the creek. Should the rancher be forced to stop ranching?

    Not likely so what does people downstream of the ranch do? What is fair?

    Answers are anything but clear cut.


    The one thing people have not posted about a truly sustainable living community is that population quantity and quality would have to be strictly enforced. In every environmental community, it is the elephant in the room no one wants to admit is there or talk about. The world is grossly overpopulated by people who have had more than two kids since sustainable long term population at a decent standard of living was reached 100 years ago. Now, it is so far into overshoot as to be impossible to avoid die-off by mid-century, followed by increased self-sustained methane releases to “turnover” and thermageddon ELE, with several million year recovery time.

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