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Engaging an ecovillage and measuring its ecological footprint

Carragher, V. and Peters, M. (2018) Engaging an ecovillage and measuring its ecological footprint. Local Environment, 23 (8). pp. 861-878. ISSN 1354-9839

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2018.1481021


As ecovillages present themselves as models of low-carbon living measuring the Ecological Footprint (EF) of an ecovillage serves both to validate that claim and to examine the component features of how the EF is achieved. This article examines the first measurement of the EF of Ireland’s only ecovillage, situated in the village of Cloughjordan in county Tipperary. The objectives here were to measure the EF of the ecovillage at the household scale and then to use the EF to provide meaningful feedback and reflective learning on human carbon intensity to the ecovillage residents. Various methods were applied in this action research to achieve high levels of engagement and potent communication of what could be learnt from the EF. This article places a particular focus on the necessary adaptation of an original EF method, on how it was implemented in the ecovillage, on the results obtained and on how these were communicated to the residents. The bottom-up component EF method samples consumption data at source and in so doing appoints consumption reflection and responsibility in ways the more remote compound method can not. The strategic combination of this specific quality with co-creation method aims to meaningfully engage and motivate a settlement to reduce its carbon intensity. According to the methodology, the ecovillage residents overshoot the fair earth share by 10% needing 1.1 planets to sustain their lifestyles. It is planned that subsequent to this intervention future measurements will show whether the overshoot has reduced.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:78936


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