Torri Superiore and the ecovillage here are one and the same thing: the ecovillage includes all the resident and non resident members, and we invite all our guests to join in following our principles as well. From the start, the idea of restoring the village was based on using eco friendly principles, and being involved in the GEN Global Ecovillage Network, in the Italian Ecovillage network RIVE and in the permaculture movement has helped our group to develop and realise many of our practical goals in a more sustainable way.
The resident community regularly meets once a week and uses consensus decsions making. The Cultural Association is also trying this method for its meetings. The Ture Nirvane Cooperative Company (mostly formed by women) employs only residents and is based on mutual aid principles both for members and for others. It is part of a regional working group committed to bringing social awareness and responsibility, and has recently published its first social budget (www.responsabilitasociale.coop/index.php/la-piazza).
For restoration work we use local stone, natural lime and natural insulation (cork and coconut fibre panels). All our doors and windows are made with sustainable wood, and we use only eco-friendly paints. Our hot water is produced with solar panels, and we have low-temperature heating systems throughout the village and in many private houses (max 18°C). Our electricity is mostly produced with our photovoltaic solar panes, or supplied by a green company. We have a, outdoor compost toilet, and a small example of natural water treatmen for a private residential unit.
We have a number of organic permaculture gardens and fruit orchards providing fresh produce, with more on the way. We also have some free range chickens that provide us with quality eggs. Home-made products include bread, pasta fresca, olive oil, honey, jams, yogurt and ice cream, local herbs for cooking and tea making. The food we buy is organic and local, or at least national, as much as possible. We use no frozen foods, genetically modified or prepared products (additives, sauces or dressings), and in winter we cook using wood-burning stoves to make pizza and bread.
All our food waste is either used to feed the animals or is composted. We have a separate collection for all our other waste materials and compost and reuse or recycle as much as possible.
Only 5 cars are owned by the 20 residents and we encourage the use of public transport (train and bus) for our guests. We also have two lovely donkeys which we use as working animals around the village and for the gardens.
We still have many big plans for to make the ecovillage better: during the restoration of the cultural centre and private houses we have added more solar panels, including photovoltaic ones for electricity. We are actively looking to increase the amount of food we produce through permaculture methods, and to generate less waste by closing more of our ‘cycles’. Since 2010 we organize the “Living in Transition” workshops on sustainability and eco friendly living, to pass on some of the skills we’ve learnt over these years.