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October 2012


1. Eco-nomadism
2. Free Box in Lima
3. Sustainable Couch experiences: surfing David's couch in Australia

TRAVEL2CHANGE - How can you use travel for good? Please share your idea until Oct 31 for a chance to get funding for your trip:

1. Eco-nomadism

In the last newsletters we introduced the ideas of Sustainable Surfing & Volunteering, of Sustainable Travelling and of Sustainable Communities. One of the members of Sustainable Couch, Pieter, has developed its own original concept: ECO-NOMADISM. We are happy he wrote a detailed article for us to explain its origin, the actual situation and the future plans.

Eco-nomadism - a report by Pieter
It's been almost a year now since I started travelling. Before that I worked in an organic store with nice co-workers, I had a lovely girlfriend and I lived in a beautiful house with some friends. I had everything to be happy, yet it didn't feel right for me. I can't really tell why, but I just HAD to travel. So I did. I left everything that I had behind to discover a little bit of a world unknown to me. My original plans where to travel for six months and then go back to work but it didn't really turn out the way I planned everything and I'm really happy about that. First I was a tourist, then I became a traveller and now I'm becoming a nomad. What the difference is?
For a tourist the destination of their travels is important. For a traveller the road towards their destination becomes equally important and enjoyable. Finally, for a nomad the road becomes the destination and so it becomes one, it becomes their home. The road is becoming my home and I absolutely love every step I take on it. That's why I recently started the eco-nomad project, "eco" standing for "ecological". Themes like ecology and sustainability are always close to my heart and I had the feeling that it would be a good idea to consciously fuse these themes with the nomadic lifestyle I have now. For me eco-nomadism means to travel from place to place with the intention of reducing your own ecological footprint as well as those of others. It's certainly in line with the goals of Sustainable Couch, but viewed from a different perspective. Let me explain a bit more in depth what this project is about.


A challenging situation
One of the biggest challenges we have in Western society is the lack of time and energy to put into ecological projects. This is mainly because we live a sedentary, expensive lifestyle in which we have to work full time so we can pay off all of our costs (housing, heating, electricity, food, etc.). With a full time job you put most of your time and energy in this job and thus are unable to do much more after working hours. Sadly enough most full time jobs are, at the moment, unecological, which means we, as a society are putting most of our time and energy in unecological work. Basically, by doing this, we are destroying nature, others and eventually ourselves. Our work nowadays is mostly based on economical performance, not on ecological. performance. It is one of the main causes of our socio-ecological destructive behavior. This could be solved if we could all switch to ecological, green jobs. Sadly enough this isn't an option, because these don't yet exist at a large enough scale. We can not make a shift, because there isn't anything to shift to. Quitting our job isn't an option either because we have all our costs to pay!
We are in a challenging situation where we are destroying our precious planet Earth, yet are unable to invest time and energy to reverse this situation. We are in dire need of green, ecological work. We can no longer wait for politicians and the business world to change their priorities and switch from an economical to an ecological perspective. Chances are it will be way too late when they do.
Yet I believe there is a creative option we can turn to. We can reduce this shortage in time and energy by introducing eco-nomads. Eco-nomads are people who consciously choose to not work full time and dedicate their life to ecological projects. By not having a full time job, you have the time and energy to do so. The main challenge with this lifestyle is having a reduced income to even having no income at all. You have to be thrifty and creative. This is where the sedentary, full time working people come in the picture, because they have the possibility to offer accommodation and even other stuff if needed. They become an eco-host. If there are enough people like this who can offer an accommodation, the eco-nomad can fall back on these eco-hosts and effectively invest a lot of time and energy in ecological projects without having to work a full time job to pay for all his or her costs. By fusing these two different lifestyles together you create a situation with numerous advantages. A diversity in lifestyles to save nature's diversity.

Experiences so far
To go more into the practicality of it all, I'll give a few examples of how I experienced eco-nomadism so far and what good practices I ended up with:
When I travel I never take the plane and never drive a car myself (even if I would like to I can't,because I don't have a license). I mainly use public transport, go on foot or hitch hike to get to my destination.
Continue reading the entire text.

2. Free Box in Lima

The group in Lima, Perú, organised its 3rd Free Box evening, since the creation in May. This way, more and more people are becoming aware of this possibility to exchange things for free while having fun. We congratulate the organizers! 
We are very happy because other members of Sustainable Couch plan to create their own Free Box in São Luis, Brazil and in Caracas, Venezuela. Let's spread the world and let's do it!


3. Sustainable Couch experiences

An invitation from Daniel to surf his couch in Australia:
"I am a 31 yo male with  2 and 3 year old daughters 3 days a kids are more than welcome. I have 293 acres 45 min from Hobart, a vibrant city with a well established market garden and green market industry. I am looking for helpers and permanent resident to help build a 'as self sustainable as possible' lifestyle. I have pigs and the organic garden. am building shelters for ducks and chickens and have to finish the fencing for goats and sheep. i also have posts up for my main house and am also building a shed for guests which i will line out and also have a teepee with a mountain view. I am open to all ideas, suggestions and forms of help as this is a dynamic project of just doing, with minimal planning.

I have plans to manage my existing forests and sell chopped fire wood and plans for market stalls. so between the residents we shall very closely be able to live here without getting 'real jobs'. But of course contributions of some descriptions make the whole project move faster. There is a lot of natural building products to utilise on the property s well as a spring fed dam."

If you would like to promote your project, your local event or invite people to surf your sustainable couch, please send an email to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Take action, start now!

Sustainable Couch Team
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