EcoVillages are an alternative form of living, which can also be found in Québec. As the name suggests, it is community-led way of life, living mostly in rural areas and following an ecological existence, independent of centralized sources like water, food and fossil fuels. The basic idea is to live in harmony with the social, ecological, economical and cultural environment. These communities are founded with the same values that Québecers as a whole hold, such as respect, diversity, cooperation, solidarity and sustainability.
Some basic characteristics of their communities are:
- Green production
- Use of local material for construction and housing
- Promote organic, self-sustainable farming
- Sustainable energy supply with alternative, renewable sources of energy
- Provide integrated and long-term ecosystems
- Improve the local biodiversity
- A lifestyle that generates an extremely low (or carbon-neutral) ecological footprint
Today ecovillages exist in 70 countries worldwide. The average population of an ecovillage varies between 50 and 150 inhabitants.
La Cité Écologique is the biggest ecovillage in Québec, located in Ham-Nord, and has been around for over 30 years. This ecovillage provides a number of modern services for their members, including car-pooling, organic meals, education and Yoga classes.
TerraVie is a smaller ecovillage situated in the Laurentians. Its main focus is on eco-friendly construction and an organic and sustainable agriculture.
Thirdly, Cohabitat is an urban ecovillage located in one of the neighbourhoods of Québec City. Its main focus is on the social and economic aspects of sustainable development.
What about visiting one of the ecovillages?
La Cité Écologique offers guided tours, family weekends and B&Bs, so that you can discover their way of life. Of course, it is integrally eco-touristic!