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November 2012


1. Sustainable Couch in Colombia
2. Sustainable projects in Bogotá
3. Sustainable Couch experiences:
    Surfing Andres and Chantelle's couch in Bogotá


1. Sustainable Couch in Colombia

Massi, the initiator of Sustainable Couch, has been travelling in South America for the last 14 months. During his stay in Bogotá, Colombia, he organised a meeting to present the project and to meet people interested in sustainability. Here a short report: "It was such  a great meeting! The participants (two from Colombia, two from the USA, two from Switzerland, one from Lithuania, one from South Africa) were highlty motivated to learn about Sustainable Couch and to share their ideas. We had a fun and inspiring evening together! This newsletter will be completely dedicated to the projects of the people I met in Bogotá: the hosts of the meeting, Andres and Chantelle; my CS-host and great friend, Lina; the very active members of the Manigua Foundation, Guillerme and Cecilia. Enjoy and spread the word!"

2. Sustainable projects in Bogotá

1) Sustainable tourism: Andes EcoTours by Andres and Chantelle
"Andes EcoTours was founded in response to the growing needs of communities and tourists alike, who together seek to connect in new and meaningful ways that strengthen local economies and work to preserve our natural heritage. Our goal is to bring about a deeper understanding within our international visitors concerning the local people, their customs and their ways of life, as well as to provide economic alternatives that value ecosystems and respect biodiversity. The communities we work with play a central role in all of our tours, allowing tourists to make the move away from being simple observers, to actively experiencing the land with its people.


For example, we are working with local fishermen from the Fúquene lagoon to replace hunting with bird watching - an economic alternative that preserves birdlife. We also partner with a local NGO, Humedales Bogotá, to lead environmental tours through urban wetlands, teaching locals about the value that these rare ecosystems represent. Lastly, we have joined with a group of local leaders in the Chapinero district to support their community-ecoturism project and restoration project of Las Delicias Creek. In the near future, we plan to extend our reach by delivering language training and computer literacy to kids in Chapinero."

2) The "walking kitchen" and the Promedio Foundation by Lina Maria
"My name is Lina Maria and I am an industrial designer. I have worked for a few years in a company, way too many hours per week. So, in 2010 I decided to quit my job and to travel for one year in South America, which was an amazing experience! Last year I came back to Bogotá and I decided I want to live in a more sustainable way. I am actually active in various projects. Together with my friend Raphael I created the "walking kitchen" (La Cocina que camina): we basically cook bread and marmelades at home, only with natural ingredients and without using any kind of conservants. Then we deliver them in an ecological way: by bike or on foot :-) We started a few months ago but it makes a lot of fun and we happy to gain some money in a ecological…and yummy way!


I am also part of the team of the Promedio Foundation. We create new useful objects out of old paper, plastic and metals. For example: wallets, bags, tablecloths, etc. We then sell them, promoting a new culture based on reuse, reduce, recycle! We also realise cultural projects in favour of the environment, pedagogic workshops of cardboard furniture, polypropylene bags and solid waste in schools and companies. With this initiative we want small, middle and big institutions to be socially ecologically responsible, in a practical way and with sustainable results.
It was great hosting Massi for two weeks at my place: we discussed a lot about sustainable lifestyles and he was impressed by the way I am recycling and, even better, upcycling many things!"

3. The Manigua foundation by Cecilia and Guillerme
Fundación Manigua desde la tierra was born in 2008 with a big environmental dream of interdisciplinary points of view. Our members work together to promote responsible, respectful and sustainable activities. We use environmental education and community participation in order to shorten the gap between Colombian population and their natural environment.


These are some of our activities:
Clean agriculture: using old plastic bottles we grow aromatic and nutritious plants
Urban agriculture: Community work is essential for this activity. In this case, we were pleasured  to work together with some artist and we added some colors to a local community neighborhood. We taught them the importance of preserving the grown plants and they were quite happy to continue with this work, because they found it enjoyable and healthy.
Communication: Since we interact with a complex society, it is important to socialize and get in touch mutually.  In order to re-enforce environment care, we made t-shirts with allusive phrases and draws about nature, agriculture and friendly activities.

3. Sustainable Couch experiences

An invitation from Andres and Chantelle to surf their couch in Bogotá:
"We are a fun-loving couple who have recently settled in Bogotá, Colombia to develop a series of projects that will help bring sustainability to the region. We invite you to surf our couch and be a part of what we are working on. Feel free to help us with our urban agricultural projects, community classes and/or participate in one or more community-based ecotourism plans. We would love to hear and learn from your experiences and are willing to share ours with you!"

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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