We are experiencing an unprecedented population growth, and by 2050 experts believe that we will exceed 10 billion residents on our one and only life-sustaining planet. It is time for Earth’s inhabitants to take action against the many man-made forces of environmental destruction. Of course, food and power production represents two areas most impactful to our collective ecological footprint. If we are to adequately monitor the progress of environmental change while also providing for an ever-increasing global population, alternative production methods are in great demand. Leading the charge of alternative and more sustainable methods of living, ReGen Villages offer a glimmer of hope for a more earth-friendly lifestyle.
By 2017, the first “test community” of ReGen houses and farm plots will be tested in a small suburb outside of Amsterdam. It will be composed of 25 houses, which easily allow residents to live sustainably. Organized around the idea of self-production, the village will, for instance, derive most of its power from various “alternative” sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind. Continuing the community’s focus on self-sustainability, the fertilizer used in the village’s various vertically organized farm plots will come from the various fishponds located within the village itself. This will not only eliminate the cost of procuring fertilizer, but will also lessen the environmental impact of large-scale industrial fertilizer production.
Of course, any community, no matter how sustainable, produces large amounts of waste. Within the ReGen village, there are plans for a widespread composting project, where waste from within the village will be combined with highly efficient farming methods such as aquaponics to yield up to 90% more productive harvests. However strong the village’s composting program is, however, it will not be able to fully utilize all of the community’s waste products. Still, this non-compostable waste is still useful as a means for power production. In combination with the village’s aforementioned alternative power sources, planners aim to use biomass fuel technologies to harness the power within this non-compostable waste matter. I’m excited to see how this idea works out throughout the year!