The words sustainable community may seem strange to you. However, they are starting to creep into everyday language.
Mindsets are starting change, and people are starting to understand the idea behind sustainable living. Communities that emphasize shared resources and eating organic products are starting to develop.
Sustainable living means a lifestyle change. It is embracing new perceptions and way of life. What are the features of these communities? Do they have benefits? If you have decided that forming such a community is the way to go, how would you go about doing it?
What is a sustainable community?
A sustainable community, in general, refers to one which develops ecological systems. These include forests and wetlands. The hallmark of these groups is that their members share the common goal of caring for the environment. Their belief is that humans, like other animals, survive in healthy ecosystems.
Features of a sustainable community
Green groups have a few outstanding characteristics. Their aim is to increase the social, economic and financial benefit for their populations.
1. Environmental Protection
First of all, a sustainable community stresses environmental protection. Not caring for the environment has serious consequences. Ontario will lose a third of its farmland by 2020 because of city growth. Forested areas and green spaces will decrease as a result of progress. These disappearances cause environmental and financial problems. Protected green spaces address nature’s balance and increase the value of property.
2. Promotes Green Spaces
Furthermore, a sustainable community uses urban refills. Hence, it is cheaper than a city based one. These patches of land, which people reuse for other purposes are significant cost savings. They inject new life into an area, bringing with them transport, residential and commercial activity. These refills represent savings of 20 to 30%.
3. Urban Refills
Furthermore, a sustainable community uses urban refills. Hence, it is cheaper than a city based one. These patches of land, which people reuse for other purposes are significant cost savings. They inject new life into an area, bringing with it transport, residential and business activities. These refills mean savings of 20 to 30%.
4. Creates jobs
Also, a sustainable community boosts the local economy. It creates jobs for people. Without these opportunities, people would have to travel elsewhere to work.
5. Cuts costs and encourages a healthy lifestyle
And then, it is possible to walk or ride anywhere in a sustainable community. Greenways, bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings enable them to walk or ride anywhere within it. Hence, they decrease CO2 emissions, promote health and lower costs.
Another feature of a green community is that it includes everyone. A common complaint from people who live in city areas is the high cost of housing. Most sustainable areas include people of various income levels.
7. Social Interaction
Next, a sustainable community gives chances for social activity. They stress creating new jobs and encourage personal development. New Urbanism is a design movement that supports environmental protection. It creates walkable spaces. A full range of housing and job types are available because of it.
Many new, green groups include business centers. People can walk to them in minutes. Because of the closeness, people form meaningful relationships. The need to own a car also disappears.
Composting toilets are a common feature of green communities, while sewage pipes are typical in urban areas. Laying them takes additional space. Sustainable ones are the opposite; they use compost and small wetlands. Property values rise because of them.
9. Water management
Another feature of green groups is water management. Use is moderate due to their compact nature. Water consumption decreases because of green technology. Specially designed roadways and parking lots let the ground absorb it.
10. Energy efficiency
Finally, a sustainable community is energy-efficient. Typical urban developments need lots of energy to run kitchens, cars, and industries. A green one, where residents walk instead of drive, reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 45%.
Reasons for Starting a Sustainable Community
With a focus on green spaces and environmental preservation, a sustainable community is an attractive housing alternative. Besides being friendly to the environment, it has other draws.
First of all, such a development enables a community to develop independence. People combine their efforts to make it self-sufficient. The group buys land and hold meetings to decide on the best ways to promote environmental consciousness. They learn conflict management because of these experiences.
Another reason for starting a sustainable community is togetherness. People share quality time due to living in shared spaces. Neighbors give each other attention and have a deep relationship with nature.
Furthermore, sustainable communities emphasize optimizing resources. Residents decide the best way to develop them. Usage increases with the number of people.
Besides, a sustainable community stresses the need for strong leadership. Everyone has different ways of running things, so a good leader needs to address all of them in a fair way.
Next, growing and eating organic food saves costs. Residents lower their medical bills because they eat healthy food.
Also, these communities raise environmental awareness. Residents know that others watch the way they use resources. As a result, they learn how to save and reuse them.
Moreover, these groups stress group responsibility. No one owns anything except their clothing, and everyone is responsible for shared property. These can include cars, computers, and tools.
Finally, green communities develop creativity. Residents discover their scientific and artistic skills. Many people develop green tools and sell art to increase the income of the group.
How to Start a Sustainable Community
Sustainable communities vary. If you wish to start one of your own, you need to follow these guidelines.
First of all, ask yourself why you want to start a sustainable community. Consider the time you can give to it. Do you have resources to develop it?
Next, search for a green group in your area. A sustainable community begins with the main group. Inform its organizer that you intend to start a subgroup. Once done, you are ready to post a message that you have formed a new green community. Your message should promote the group.
Finally, organize a meeting. Invite people interested in starting a new community. Present your ideas to them. With all this done, it is ready.
In conclusion, green living is hard work but is rewarding. Your sustainable community will become real because of your effort.
By Michelle L.
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