Once upon a time, the people of Britain abdicated their responsibility and their authority to a series of governance organisations ranging from kings and their peers to governments and local councils, in an effort to build a better society. For a while it worked, as roads got built, a national health service evolved, unemployed people were supported and the weaker members of society were protected.
It all seemed to be going very well until the operating authorities started to run out of cash. At the same time in a galaxy far away, a small Ecoisland community decided to take its destiny back into its own hands. There was no text book for this and no manual but in some ways this made things easier and more exciting and, what's more, nobody could tell them it couldn't be done. To fuel their vision of a sustainable community they needed to act as one.
They started acting like a co-operative where goods and services, businesses and individuals, local parish councils and the communities they served could all work together towards a common goal. They gained the support of the local paper (who could reach 92% of their population) and they set about galvanizing support for their plans from the far ends of the earth.
Green organizations all over the world started to sign up to the vision and even the big corporations who had been the enemy in times gone by suddenly saw the wisdom of their initiative and started to help. More and more companies came on board until eventually all the businesses on the Island had gone green and began to attract new green business.
With a focus on the green economy and the power of the green pound, the community started to repair itself. Seeing some big challenges on the horizon, they identified the need to become more sustainable in terms of their energy, food, water and transportation. They enlisted the help of some very bright people and managed to start reducing their carbon footprint and their dependence on fossil fuels.
They took every bit of assistance on offer but found that instead of resistance they found organisations willing to help, in many cases offering their services free. They launched a community discount card that they could all carry – that allowed green businesses to reward customers.
The investment money flowed, the people gained confidence as they saw things happening. They were able to apply pressure to some of the big organizations that previously had held them to ransom. The phone company put fibre in, the grid managers helped connections for the renewable energies, the renewable energy companies installed the necessary technologies and the people started to share their ideas via the community website endearingly referred to as the Hub.
The people started buying electric bikes and cars, they started to buy less and what they did buy they bought from other Ecoislanders, helping to keep the green pound on the Island and create green jobs.
The ferry companies encouraged the tourist attractions to join forces and offer more eco-holidays. With superb beaches, walks, cycleways and a brilliant bus system they became known as the eco-tourism destination for Europe. The new tourism strategy focused on the Ecoisland message and the opening of their Eco-Centre marked the start of a new surge of interest in the renewable technologies and sustainable lifestyle and drew people from far and wide.
They sorted their food supply out – using a local distribution hub for food they grew on the Island – they grew more, threw away less and got as much out of their waste as they could. They started converting their waste to energy and in the end sent nothing to landfill. They even started to clear up some of the old landfill sites that had gone bad.
They took the council, community, businesses along with them and their Community TV channel ecotv.me took over as the voice of the community, giving air to their views and guiding the community interest company by clearly identifying local needs. The community poll enabled agreement by consensus and empowered community initiatives that addressed these needs.
The group running the community interest company really listened to the communities' voice and acted entirely in the interests of the community.
This is a vision, which we do not believe is just a dream. We are at the start of something big in which ecoisland can make a real difference to all of our lives.