Because of their isolated nature, islands are ideal communities for sustainable living. The environmental and economic impact of shipping in fossil fuels and other costly imports is vast, both in its use and transportation. Because of this, islands void of natural resources have unique incentive to seek green and sustainable solutions at home. Here is a list of four islands using green solutions to live within their means.
If you frequent the Sierra blogs, you'll know that we're fond of Scottish islands, and Eigg is our new favorite. This small island in the Inner Hebrides is home to under 100 souls, but what it lacks in size and population, it makes up for in sustainable impact. Since 2008, Eigg has relied upon a combination of hydro-electric, solar, and wind power to provide around 95% of all electricity needs for its residents. The island used to rely on dirty diesel generators for its electricity, but is now able to provide reliable 24-hour clean energy for the first time in its history. Eigg Electric, the company that manages the island's power supply, is run by trained residents and is completely separate from the rest of the UK's electrical grid. Eigg was able to achieve this green status after its sustainably minded residents bought the island from their feudal landlord in the late 1990s. After Eigg Electric turned on the lights, the isle won a £300,000 prize from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, who proclaimed, "The Isle of Eigg has exceeded our expectations for what communities can achieve in reducing carbon emissions, and for this they should be congratulated."