Cloughjordan Ecovillage Experience Weekends

April 20-22, May 25-27 and June 22-24

April 20-22, May 25-27 and June 22-24

A new programme of events has been launched by the educational charity Sustainable Projects Ireland. It will offer a rich opportunity to learn about many aspects of sustainable living.

The weekend courses, hosted at the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan on April 20-22, May 25-27 and June 22-24, will give participants an opportunity to take classes in subjects like green building, renewable energy and organic food growing while experiencing a taste of life in Cloughjordan, Ireland’s leading green community.

The Ecovillage Experience Weekend programme is offered by Ecovillage members who are committed to creating an enriching learning experience for visitors and to making Cloughjordan Ecovillage a leading contributor to education for sustainability.

Designed according to Permaculture principles the Ecovillage is nestled in its own planted woodland and enjoys the produce of a bountiful community farm. A state-of-the-art solar and wood chip heating system supplies heating and hot water while high speed broadband allows residents to work from their own homes. A new Green Enterprise Centre is currently under construction and a range of businesses have been established, including an organic bakery.

You can stay on site in Django’s EcoHostel while you take part in a range of tours, presentations, discussions and hands on learning experiences. Come on your own or come with friends and take away ideas and insights to share with your own community. You will receive a warm welcome in the Ecovillage and from the wider Cloughjordan community.

Dates: 20-22 April; 25-27 May; 22-24 June 2012. Weekends start on Friday at 8pm and end on Sunday at 3pm. Cost: €60 (€40 concessions) for full weekend programme. Hostel accommodation (not included) available from €20 per night (see www.djangoshostel.com). Meals not included. A €10 discount is offered for taking the train. With a new improved timetable and reduced fares participants are encouraged to travel by train to Cloughjordan.

Email learning@thevillage.ie. Tel +353 (0)505-42833. Bookings: www.thevillage.ie

April 20-22 Programme Summary

• Building Sustainable Community

• Tour of the Ecovillage

• Introduction to Green Building

• Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy – Solar Panels

• Fairtrade and Ethical Trade

• Introduction to Cob

• The Fundamentals of Growing Food

• How to Create a More Energy Efficient Home

• Low Cost Building/Building Your Home in Cloughjordan Ecovillage

• Learnings to Take Home to Your Community

April 20-22 Programme Details

• Building Sustainable Community

o This session outlines the history and current plans of the ecovillage, and what makes any community more sustainable

• Tour of the Ecovillage

o An introduction to the weekend and a facilitated walk around the ecovillage highlighting the green homes, the eco design, food systems and the renewable energy system.

• Introduction to Green Building

o Mike Holden offers an overview of Green Building, starting with traditional natural building techniques and then comparing and contrasting with modern high tech options. This introduction will draw upon examples from the ecovillage to investigate what do we mean by green building, what does it actually look like, how do we go about it and how do we decide if we are doing it or not?

• Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy – Solar Panels

o Duncan Martin offers an exploration of the Pros and Cons of generating electricity from different sources of renewable energy, including concepts, principles and practices followed by a Forum to share experiences and questions.

• Fairtrade and Ethical Trade

o Peter Gaynor explores issues of social and environmental justice and sustainability addressed in international trade by Fairtrade and ethical trade initiatives.

• Introduction to Cob

o Eileen Flanagan offers a taste of earth building with cob, which is a mixture of earth, straw, sand and water. It has been used to build houses for centuries in Ireland and is making a comeback as a low-cost, low-impact way to build beautiful and unique structures.

• The Fundamentals of Growing Food

o Bruce Darrell introduces some of the key practical and theoretical aspects of growing your own food organically, including planning a garden, ground preparation, competition, soil life, nutrients, sunlight, water and wind protection.

• How to Create a More Energy Efficient Home

o Sally Starbuck offers an analysis of the full range of measures available to improve the energy efficiency of homes, to suit climate and other conditions in Ireland. Authored by architectural consultant, Bill Scott, the session will help to dispel myths, avoid mistakes and improve comfort and health in the home.

• Low Cost Building/Building Your Home in Cloughjordan Ecovillage

o Dave Flannery leads a session to explain the various options for building your own house in Cloughjordan Ecovillage and will be of interest to those who want to learn more about living in Ireland’s first ecovillage. The session also presents the Ecovillage’s low cost build cooperative led by Dominic Stevens.

• Learnings to Take Home to Your Community

o Reflecting on what we have experienced over the weekend and exploring what could be applied in any locality.