An Eco-Friendly Village




bit (2) landline don’t get me wrong
Celsius try/tried good/better/best
eco- thing (2) find/found/found
zone find out see/saw/seen
free (3) as such overwhelming
switch per capita supposed to
bother found (2) as soon as
expose hopeless feel/felt/felt (2)
enjoy crazy (2) sustainably
bale consume opposed to
alpaca generate supply (2)
proud emission carbon dioxide (CO2)
far (2) prevent switch off
Earth pick (2) comfortable
per (2) compost stink/stank/stunk
way efficient sustainable
logical pesticide grow/grew/grown
option imagine commune
soil gasoline compromise
dirt stay (2) spring (2)
sissy contain old-fashioned
slacker straw (2) strictly (2)
shade leftover around (2)
aim excessive see/saw/seen
insist figure (3) eat/ate/eaten
recycle in a while throw/threw/thrown
vegan insulate throw away
pick up cover (2) consumption
range cover (2) think/thought/thought (2)
stock against abundance
source notice (2) buy/bought/bought
corner ecological counterpart
utopia give away give/gave/given
smell resident administrator
afford carpenter take/took/taken (2)
opt in packaging cost/cost/cost
join compact build/built/built
aware mean (2) fly/flew/flown


Video: An Eco-Friendly Village



I love Berlin — don’t get me wrong.

But sometimes, the city can be a little bit too overwhelming.

There’s a village three hours from here, where people are trying to live at one with nature, as best as they can.

It’s called Sieben Linden. I went to find out just how eco friendly this eco-village is.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

The first thing you do after arriving is park your car outside the village. Sieben Linden is a car-free zone. I’m surprised to see any at all here.

But this is the countryside after all.

I’m just trying to reach one of the villages by phone. But they won’t pick up their landline, and I can’t contact them because they don’t have a mobile phone. They don’t use them here.

And as soon as I go into the village, I’m supposed to switch mine off.

The eco-village has a population of 150. It was founded twenty years ago.

Mikhail Woffer moved here from Hannover.

Mikhail Woffer, Eco-Village Resident: “What bothered me most was the traffic and all the advertising. Plus the feeling of being hopelessly exposed to everything.

Here’s we’re showing how it’s possible to live sustainably in Germany, and have an enjoyable life.

We live comfortably here, but we consume far less energy than people elsewhere.

To save energy, the building’s walls are insulated with bales of straw.

The villagers generate most of their own electricity, which is also used to supply hot water.

And they’re proud of their carbon dioxide emissions, which are far below those in most parts of the world.

Per capita emissions in Sieben Linden are just 2.4 tons per year. Although that’s still too high, if we are to prevent the Earth warming up by two degrees Celsius.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

One of the craziest things about Sieben Linden are these compost toilets. All of them here are compost toilets. And they don’t use water.

One of the things that surprises me is that they don’t stink, because it’s well ventilated. I’m very happy about that!

But the village isn’t only energy efficient: the residents try to grow their own food. They don’t use chemical pesticides. And they mainly work the land the old fashioned way.

Nadine Fischer is a gardener here.

Nadine Fischer, Eco-Village Resident: “It’s more ecological to work without machines, so it’s the logical option. It’s better for the soil, less soil compaction, less gasoline, less dirt and smell.

In the spring and summer, you feel connected to all the growth and development. Connected to life.”

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

I mean imagine: it’s thirty-five degrees in the shade. And I’m almost dying. I’m just filming. You can’t be a sissy.

And the villagers are certainly no slackers, although I do get the feeling that a bit of machinery would make things more efficient.

I can’t see any farm animals here. There are these alpacas. But they are kept strictly as pets.

The daily communal meal contains no meat — because it’s bad for the environment. And because the vegans in the village insisted.

Around seventy percent (70%) of the vegetables eaten by the villagers are also grown by them. And they aim to further increase that figure.

It’s really good!

It’s definitely one of the healthiest meals I’ve had in a while.

And instead of being thrown away, the leftovers are recycled as compost. The villagers who are opposed to excessive consumption are happy having a small range of foods to cover their basic needs.

The avocados and bananas in the village store are luxuries.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Andrea Schubert has nothing against city supermarkets as such.

Andrea Schubert, Eco-Friendly Village Resident: “The range could be smaller. I really notice the abundance of products. And then I have no idea what to buy — or what’s actually in each item.”

The items stocked by the village store are all organically sourced, so they’re more expensive than their supermarket counterparts.

But around the corner is a place where people give things away when they no longer need them, like clothes.

Most residents have jobs in the village itself, as administrators, carpenters or gardeners, which means the money stays in Sieben Linden.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But not everybody could afford to opt in this sustainable lifestyle. Not even people in Germany. Joining the collective cost €12,000. Building and maintaining an eco-village doesn’t come cheap.

So Sieben Linden isn’t an ecotopia: it’s a compromise solution.

Well, people fly, people take the car. People use plastic packaging. The point is being aware of the fact that you can do more.

Just think that people here seem to be happy of what they are doing. And figuring it out as they go. As everybody does, I think.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



Barn. This video was about life in Berlin. True or false?

Tractor. In the village of Sieben Linden, people usually drive to work, stores and visiting friends.

Vegetables. People of the eco-village love to text messages, watch YouTube, use social media and surf the internet. Is this right or wrong?

Cottage. Is the village very old? Is it very large?

House, Home. Mikhail loves city life; it was exciting. He finds village life boring. Is this correct or incorrect?

Walls. Do the villagers use lots of gas, electricity and water?

Floor. They use tractors and chemical fertilizer, pesticides, insecticides and fungicides. Yes or no? Are the people lazy or hardworking?

Roof, Chimney. Do they eat hamburgers, steak, pizza, spaghetti, hot dogs, sausages? Does most of their vegetables come from supermarkets?

Ceiling. Only poor and working class people live in the eco-village. True or false?
Windows. Are there eco-friendly village or eco-villages in your country?

Carpet. My friends and I would like to live in an (eco) village. Yes or no?

Fruit Orchard. What kind of work do (young) people like to do? What kind of food do they like? What places do they like to visit??

What might happen in the future?

Biodegrade, Decompose. What could or should people do?

Comments are closed.