Many communities have sustainability as one of their core values. Meaning they encourage ways of living that are low impact or heal and restore rather than destroying the environment. The Global Eco-village Network (GEN) have developed 30 sustainability principles based on years of experimentation and learning from those in the network combined with the latest research on resilience and participatory design. From these principles they have categorised 3 basic principles of sustainability that support the development of community led approaches that will lead to thriving communities on a resilient planet.
These principles can be used by an individual or group that has the intention to develop an intentional community or eco-village.
1. Social/Economic sustainability
A group is sustainable when everyone has a voice, a sense of belonging and a sense of unity where diversity is celebrated. There are systems in place that contribute to the sharing of resources and mutual support is encouraged. In addition, alternatives to the mainstream economy and monetary system may be explored along with entrepreneurship and collaborative ownership of assets
2. Spiritual/Cultural sustainability
There is a strong resilient culture which engages everyone and encourages a sense of belonging. Ritual celebrations with song, dance and creative expressions are a human need that form the background to a healthy happy life.
3. Ecological sustainability
This refers to finding solutions to the access of water, food, shelter and energy which do minimum damage to our natural world and allow the regeneration of increasing biodiversity.
To assess how sustainable an existing group is the following checklist can be downloaded: