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Energy travel guides: The rural world

Upon receiving some inspiration from an article about living in rural China, their culture and how different it is compared to the Western world as we know it, we’ve decided to look at how the developing world consumes energy; in comparison to the busy metropolis we know as London, Manchester or Edinburgh we’ll turn our blog into an Energy Travel Guide and look at the 4 corners of the world and how they save energy.

So we’ll start with the Shandong Province where the main industry is focused around farming.

We’ve discovered that their housing is completely different, the population live in courtyard style houses packed into the centre of town. Looking luxurious and dreamlike on the outside, however not all contain the obvious luxuries of living in the big city.

There’s no central heating and instead of a toilet there’s a water pipe in the courtyard; sounds more medieval then tranquil. However, they do have power, as many houses have televisions, internet and washing machines, and the main mode of transport involves motorcycles and scooters.

Here’s a bit about how they’re saving energy, whilst living with little luxuries:

  • Farming as the main income

With agriculture being the main industry amongst rural China, where most tasks are completed by hand, no energy is consumed (only psychical) this keeps the air fresher, reducing pollution. You can’t get a more organic and natural profession than farming, making a change from the large city offices, makes you wonder why so many travellers flock towards that part of the world annually.

  • Younger people work in the larger cities

With the main form of transport being motorcycles or public transit to larger cities, making the village air cleaner, presenting a luxurious, environmentally friendly atmosphere. Each village in rural China is unique, not all are well developed, some try to resemble cities and focus solely on farming. But imagine having that flexibility to travel towards the big city during the week and spending those evenings and weekend in the peaceful and organic environment of a country village. City banker by day, rice farmer by night.

  • Keeping to a traditional  way of life

What keeps a lot of these villagers going is the traditional way of life. Without central heating, air conditioning or the more conventional energy sources they’re able to make do with the homemade produce, all their food is homegrown, everything is decided upon by the villagers, from supermarket brands to transport.

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