9 March 2011
Abundance EcoVillage in Fairfield, Iowa, USA integrates advanced technology in modern sustainability with ancient principles of Maharishi Vastu (Vedic architecture). The development reflects nature's ability to create with perfect efficiency, without waste and without having a negative impact on the rest of the environment.
In 1998, Lonnie Gamble, a professor in the Sustainable Living Department at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, was first inspired to spearhead the initiative to build a sustainable community. At present about 20 houses have been completed and several sites are still available for building.
In support of the ideal to have no waste, he decided to build the homes no larger than necessary for comfortable family life. The homes are about 80 metres (approximately 900 square feet), which is about one-third the size of conventional new homes in the United States.
However, Abundance EcoVillage is more than a collection of small Vastu homes. All electricity is generated on-site, directly from the sun—as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had encouraged—and in some cases also from wind turbines. Sewage is processed naturally on-site and rainwater is collected to supply drinking water for the houses.
Abundance EcoVillage maintains an extensive library on permaculture and sustainable practices. Internships are offered for students to pursue projects of individual interest and to take part in work-study programmes. In connection with the internship programme, the village plans to start plant nursery and market garden businesses. Interns have expressed great appreciation for their time spent in the village.