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Low-Impact Living – In Norway!

Today we went on an adventure.  We decided to check out the one and only “Ecovillage” in Norway.

Ecovillages are found all over the world and their numbers are growing as more and more people are becoming concerned with social and environmental issues. But Norway is usually slow on picking up the trends while other Nordic countries are far ahead in this trend.  However once Norway catches on to an idea, watch out, it will grow like lightening!

This Hurdal Ecovillage, next to the peaceful Hurdal Lake, surrounded by low mountains and beautiful rolling hills is only 25 minutes from Oslo’s international airport and only a little over an hour from Oslo center. Peaceful and rural it has a totally different energy from the city.  After almost ten years of intense work to locate a spot, get all the regulatory permits, necessary connections and partners, this ecovillage is on the verge of moving into the actual building phase.

A passionate thirty year old young man, together with his family greets us and gives us the history of the project. He is among the few who have stayed with the project since the beginning.  He brings in a modern and efficient approach, envisioning a community with potential for small businesses to provide culture, fun and potential to the project. A micro-brewery, a bakery, a café, art studios and many other ideas are approved along with the plan for three areas for housing overlooking the lake, with around 50 houses in each area.  The have used an architect company known for its green profile to develop a special type of Nordic house with all natural materials,  designed to use up to  70-80% less energy than contemporary houses!  We are going to keep our eye on this project.

The Global Ecovillage Network gathers information about ecovillages scattered around the world in more than 70 countries.  Some are in urban areas and others in rural and many look like ordinary housing but all are made to leave a low carbon imprint.  Some are off the grid, some with even their own currency, most with organic gardens and many other futuristic approaches to daily living.

This video provides an fascinating, depth-insight into how Ecovillages work, with trends and highlights of the better known ones.  They are becoming more mainstream, attracting ordinary people into a different life stye bringing meaningful living with low-impact on the planet.  This is a definite seed of HOPE that has already spread around the world.

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