The Little Village That Could

Eco-village Directory

Solar panels, the bakery, farms, shops and gardens. These are some of the many places people see when walking around Cloughjordan and the eco-village community. I experienced the sense of community when I stayed in Cloughjordan. This town is home to the only eco-village in Ireland and has a population of 200 people. Everyone in the community lives the same lifestyle. They all do what they can to conserve energy and water, reduce waste and make an effort to make Ireland a better place to live. People that live in the eco-village are mostly from Ireland, but some are from other countries. The hostel chef, Johanna, is from Austria and chose the Cloughjordan eco-village as her home and community. The eco-village opens its arms to anyone and everyone that enters their village, whether they are just visiting or looking to live there permanently. Johanna has lived in the eco-village for a few years and thoroughly enjoys it. I asked her what her favorite part about living in the village was and she said “the people treat everyone as family and I love how I can always have fresh food from the farms and gardens to prepare meals.” She also expressed how good she feels when conserving energy and waste by using solar panels and compost bins. I remember her always telling us to put the food not eaten on our plates into the compost bin so we would not throw our food into the garbage! I could tell she was genuinely happy where she was living and enjoyed giving back to the community by cooking in the eco-village bakery and providing most of our meals in the hostel for us without complaining since there were 20 of us! Although the eco-village has a different way of living, I enjoyed learning more about the sense of community and will definitely appreciate my community at home in the U.S. more than I usually do. Most importantly, I have learned that no matter where people are from in Ireland, everyone belongs to a community and the way the eco-village sees it, every community is a family.

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