Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

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Hégé
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Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by Hégé » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:35 pm

I want to present you the "Ecosystem Restoration Camps", a project created by the filmmaker John D Liu. If you are interested in Permaculture, you might have heard of his movie "Green Gold".

I have been to his meeting in the Netherlands two weeks ago for the official launch of the project, so I know more about it from what's on the internet.

The idea behind it is to green a desert in Spain with Permaculture. The land is 4 hectares, so he needs people, that's how the idea of creating a camp came to his mind. The people who will work there need to join the Ecosystem Restoration Cooperative and pledge 120 euros per year for 4 years. When you go to the camp, you will have to work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. The rest of the time is spent relaxing, playing music, watching movies, eating food...
One of the goal is to make it very attractive. It shouldn't be too hard on the people. If it works, they will have a model which can be replicated in this region of spain. Then, we have a model to green the whole planet by making a lot of camps everywhere, where young people, adults, elders, refugees, poor people, can work, have fun, and save the planet.

Sound nice, right? I wanted to share this here because it seems like a very frugal and meaningful way to live. If it works, and that the camps are replicated everywhere, you could go in a camp and then go in another one, and another one,...

It is financed by the people, some more rich than others. John said he wanted people to be able to go there without paying anything if they didn't had any means. The food is grown by Permaculturist on the land.

http://www.ecosystemrestorationcamps.org/

Tell me what you think. (and sorry for my bad writing, I speak french, but I'm trying to improve :D)

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by jacob » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:45 pm

My sister spent much of her twenties and early thirties on these kinds of adventures. There are a lot of different projects like this catering to all kinds of interests. It's almost always an exchange between food+board+maybe travel cost+puny stipend+exotic location in exchange for a bit of work (~5-6 hours/day seems pretty standard). You can also teach languages, au pair, work on vineyards, crew on yachts, ...

It's one Wheaton level of a better deal that actually paying someone to build someone else's home. And two Wheaton levels better than going to college for a degree in anthropology.

Here's the caveat though ... the world being as it is ... the problem is (based on anecdotal evidence from a certain relative) ... that most people who are into it are twenty-somethings who posses the ultimate loss-leader combination of "desire to travel", "idealism", and "super-high future discount rate". From an outside/cynical perspective, this seems to be the foundation of the business plan. I really do hate to point this out because most of these ideas/projects are actually worthwhile ... but youthful naivite often pays the price. So many will figure out by age 30-40 that they want something else out of life. And this will leave the far majority in these ventures as early 20 somethings and whatever they're interested in. And that, as far as I'm told, the culture revolves around relationships, high drama, and spontaneous partying---something which appeal seems to decrease significantly after age 25 for most people. I'm not really an expert since I was a total nerd at that time of my life. Probably still is.

So, in my opinion, the thing to be aware of is that for most people, the age gap matters. If you're one of the few where it doesn't matter, go for it! It's supposed to be very healthy to associate with people from all ages. However, it's particularly hard if you're the only person who's a generation removed from pretty much everybody else. Therefore, it's likely that you'd eventually would want at least the option to get out.

FIRE provides such an option.

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:02 pm

I pretty much agree with Jacob. Something I have noticed to be true when participating in local gatherings/activities in this realm is that most everybody is either much younger than me (20s) or somewhat older (past conventional retirement age, but not completely decrepit.) Doesn't bother me too much. I'll happily chat while pricking out seedlings with anybody. However, it does limit the value of such gatherings as a source for meeting peers.

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Hégé
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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by Hégé » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Living for free while "saving the planet" was a bit of an exaggeration. But I think It's a nice opportunity for people who want to see Permaculture design in action. Somebody at the meeting asked what's in it for us. He said seeing the land slowly transform from a desert to nature where water flows again is a beautiful experience.
From what I can see from the member list, most people are around 30 to 50 years old. That doesn't mean they are the ones who are going to go camping, they might send their childrens.

But I see that it's too risky to be a viable strategy if you want to be independent. I'm was only considering going for 1 month at a time actually, just to learn about bigger scale Permaculture work.

It is a very difficult project with a lot a problems and I'm curious to see what solutions they/we are going to find.

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:29 am

Who's going to save the desert from these people?

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by FBeyer » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:08 pm

enigmaT120 wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:29 am
Who's going to save the desert from these people?
Rampant capitalism of course. Duh!

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:42 pm

the lorax

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Re: Ecosystem Restoration Camps: Living for free while "saving" the planet?

Post by JamesR » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:28 am

If you follow the link and look at the pics, you'll notice two things 1) It's definitely got a focus on permaculture training 2) The age range is very diverse, lots of 30+ and up.

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