F.A.Q.

Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.

General

What is an Ecovillage?
What is O.U.R. Ecovillage?
Where is the ecovillage located?

Green Burial

What is green burial?
What is the O.U.R. Commemorative Legacy Project?
Why choose cremation?
Is it legal to scatter cremated remains on private property?
Why is having a place to visit so important?
Doesn’t cremation create a lot of pollution?
What do environmental studies say?
Does the Green Burial Council of Canada consider cremation ‘green’?
Are some crematoriums more environmentally friendly than others?


General


 

What is an Ecovillage?

“Ecovillages are full featured settlements in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future”. (Gilman, 1991,p.37)

The motivation for ecovillages is the choice and commitment to reverse the disintegration of supportive social/cultural structures and the upsurge of destructive environmental practices on our planet. For millennia, people have lived in communities close to nature, with supportive social structures. Many of these ancient communities exist to this day, but are struggling for survival. However, beginning in the 1960s, various intentional communities with spiritual, ecological, and social orientations were formed, allowing people to once more live in communities that are connected to the Earth in a way that helps enable the well-being of all life-forms into the indefinite future.

There are now over 300 Ecovillages within a loosely knit and globally affiliated network around the world. A number of these villages are in Canada, including O.U.R. (One United Resource) Ecovillage.

 

What is O.U.R. Ecovillage?

O.U.R. Ecovillage is a permaculture based intentional community and sustainable education demonstration site. The community consists of people from young children to elders who participate in an intention lifestyle based on O.U.R. Vision, Mission and Agreements. Onsite there is a large zone 6 (untouched natural zones) including sensitive wetlands; a working farm, including a food production garden, an orchard and livestock; infrastructure including the healing sanctuary, Taj I (the woodworking shop), Taj II (a large teaching space), a bed & breakfast, an art studio, some temporary and some permanent housing, and businesses including Natural Building Design & Consulting as well as a Shiatsu Therapist. The entity of the ecovillage includes a co-operative, a non-profit organization and a school that all work together to demonstrate sustainability as a lifestyle.

The primary function of the Ecovillage setting, in our case, is as an educational demonstration site. We desire to guide people in obtain the skills to live in a sustainable and socially responsible manner, in all facets of life including work, play, relaxation, recreation and relationship. Second to education, we have become leaders in the sustainability movement from our research and development projects such as the Ecovillage Zoning we created in 2004, and the Green Burial Project that, in 2011, was started at O.U.R. Ecovillage to bring sustainability and legacy together. Find out how to get involved with O.U.R. Ecovillage >>


 

Where is the ecovillage located?

O.U.R. Ecovillage is a 25 acre ecovillage located atop Baldy Mountain in a small community called Shawnigan Lake, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. We are about half-way in between the two major cities of the island, Victoria and Nanaimo. Contact us. Get Directions.

Green Burial


 

What is green burial?

According to the Green Burial Council of Canada website “[green burial] is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that furthers legitimate ecological aims such as the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.” This can include a wide spectrum of process from natural full body burial, to the scattering of cremated remains cremated using ecologically sensitive methods.


 

What is the O.U.R. Commemorative Legacy Project?

O.U.R. Commemorative Legacy Project is the green burial alternative provided by O.U.R. Ecovillage as part of the land conservation partnership with The Land Conservancy of British Columbia. We offer scattering grounds in O.U.R. woodlands for the cremated remains (ashes) of the departed to provide a final resting place that is and will continue to be protected from development into the indefinite future. Please see the Green Burial Page for more information, photographs of the land and the services we offer.


 

Why choose cremation?

There are many reasons why one would chose to be cremated connected: personal or religions beliefs, traditions, opinions and ideologies. Many people chose cremation because family burial sites are less common in our global society or because they see the need environmentally. Most importantly, the choice to be cremated, like the choice to be buried depends entirely on personal preference and comfort with one or the other end-of-life process.


 

Is it legal to scatter cremated remains on private property?

Yes, it is legal to scatter cremated remains on private property. There are no BC laws preventing the scattering of ashes on private property, as long as permission from the landowner is granted.


 

Why is having a place to visit so important?

All of the senses are incorporated into our memories, which is why we find memories triggered so easily by sounds and smells. Having a place to go that holds the memory of loved ones coming together in ceremony is a natural human need. The conservation scattering grounds at O.U.R. Ecovillage provide a place that will be preserved indefinitely for this purpose, so that generations later, family can experience the legacy left by the departed.


 

Doesn’t cremation create a lot of pollution?

Cremation uses far fewer resources than almost any other disposition option but it certainly has an environmental impact. Cremation burns fossil fuels, and some older cremation facilities can use significantly more energy compared to newer ones. Mercury
is also emitted when a person with dental amalgam fillings is cremated, but effective filtration devices that can fully mitigate mercury pollution are expected to be on the market in 2011. (Source: http://www.greenburialcouncil.org/faqs-fiction/)


 

What do environmental studies say?

Most studies look at cremation in and of itself, as a means of final preparation for disposition, and conclude that it is not green. One of the few more holistic studies was done by Australia’s Centennial Park. It considers how cremation conserves land use, and uses fewer resources than other forms of disposition, but it is also responsible for airborne emissions, including mercury from dental amalgam, and the use of nonrenewable fossil fuels.
(Source: we are working to obtain a copy of the Centennial Park study)


 

Does the Green Burial Council of Canada consider cremation ‘green’?

In the U.S., The Green Burial Council certifies cremation disposition programs that preserve natural habitat.

In regards to Canada, the GBC has recently begun working with the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) to promulgate standards for more eco-friendly cremation and will be encouraging ways of “greening up” the cremation process by making available to consumers options for recycling medical parts, choosing a more fuel-efficient cremation container, and participating in a disposition program that has some positive environmental purpose, such as creating marine habitat or generating
money to facilitate conservation. (Source: www.greenburialcouncil.org/faqs-fiction/)


 

Are some crematoriums more environmentally friendly than others?

Newer, cleaner burning cremation technology outperforms some of the older equipment in energy efficiency and emission filtration, and therefore may be considered greener. In other words, modern crematoriums are better equipped to lower their impact on the environment than their predecessors. This means that exhaust gasses are reignited and that the crematorium does not emmit odor, smoke or noise into the environment around it.

(Sources used: http://www.ecofunerals.co.nz/cremation.html)

Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.