Imagine a sustainable and inclusive co-housing community with a shared budget and a focus on improving the world. A network of people working together to take care of one another and help whoever we can. For now, it is only a dream. Together, we can make it a reality.
Our community is a youth led, inclusive, slowly expanding organisation. Most people within the community are a part of a minority and many of us already started fighting for inclusion and acceptance as teenagers. We value the well-being of the planet and all that live on it, within and outside of our community alike. The vast majority of the plans on this website have not been executed just yet.
We hope to start the first location before 2025.
Ecopatris is a community for those that aim to contribute to the world in a positive way. People that see the many problems we face, from poverty to climate change and discrimination, and cannot help but want to make a difference. Humanity has been on this journey of improvement for a long time - but time is running out in many ways. So rather than trying to take one more step in the right direction, we want to create the support necessary to allow those within our community to keep taking steps forward.
It is too late to rely on individuals and families to make enough of a difference to stop the climate crisis. The world's richest 1% cause twice the CO2 emissions that the poorest 50% do.
Individuals cannot do enough to solve the climate crisis. Companies and politicians refuse to act. We need to find a big scale solution.
A nuclear family shares meals, a budget, a lifestyle. With trust, care and good explanations, one person’s knowledge can affect the carbon footprint of their family for multiple generations to come. But we don’t have time for generations to come. We need to change the generations that are currently on the earth.
One family member can make a change for the entire household: just think of Greta Thunberg, who has inspired and helped her parents to do better. Rather than each attempting to make steps individually, we must create a platform for everyone to take steps together. A network of people willing to help each other, can create a platform for solutions to spread rapidly.
It is crucial that we eliminate poverty and divisions in order to enable the fight. We cannot keep on living our lives like we used to. The ecological emergency must be treated with urgency. Relying on families or individuals to take each step by themselves is no longer a viable option. There has to be a massive connected response. Rather than advising each other, let’s actively help each other.
So imagine our solution: a co-housing community. As in a company, we trust experts to put their knowledge to work and help others. Following our inner activists, we do what needs to be done without expecting pay. Just like a family, we share a life and any resources that we may need.
As a start, when searching for buildings to live in, we would prefer lots covered mostly by tiles or old farmland, so that we can turn the area around the building itself into a natural forest. Rather than a wooden, metal or plastic picket fence we could plant saplings, hawthorn and blackthorn over old pieces of wood that are no longer recyclable: this creates a natural barrier against smog from the outside whilst also allowing bees and other good insects to find a home in the wood as it slowly decomposes, rather than searching for a place closer to the home. Within this natural smog barrier, even barren land can usually be fertilised by allowing rescued animals – assuming our experts think they would thrive well in that specific area – to live and walk around freely on the land. Rather than building a garden, we will plant a few trees and such as a start and then let nature take it’s course.
Since shipping costs are often lowered when buying in bulk, it would be more affordable for a bigger group to purchase bamboo toothbrushes and reusable water bottles, for example. Increasing demand by searching for a product with a whole community will very likely up the production of eco-friendly products and pressure companies to change their ways as the community grows bigger. One individual may not easily have an impact, but a spokesperson of an entire organisation will.
An active effort must be made to strengthen the voices of the oppressed in order to fight the status quo.
The idea of our community was sparked by a desire to make the world a better place. We see many issues in the world, the vast majority of which can be explained by a long history of colonization and oppression of minorities. Making a difference can only be done by properly assessing the situation and making a clear stance. We can't improve anything on a big scale while still tolerating oppression on a small scale. It's crucial to be willing to face our own privileges and unconscious biases.
The Ecopatris values basic human decency, respect and fair criticism whenever needed. None of us are flawless, so we must all take responsibility for our mistakes. We tolerate accidents, but never a blatant disregard of other people's well-being. Therefore, we adhere to a couple of important beliefs.
Our main hope is that the Ecopatris will create a starting point for many others to put their initiatives out into the world. We believe that if everyone gets the support and the necessary information they need, real change will happen. Imagine if the children that are currently striking all around the world would be given the opportunity to take matters into their own hands and find ways to truly make a change, whether politicians like it or not. There are lots of truly motivated people out there with inspiring resourcefulness and possibly life-altering solutions. All we need to do is give them the opportunity to put their enthusiasm to work. Which we can only do if we all work together.
Collectively, the community could someday own real estate: buildings for multiple people to live in, land to plant trees and grow food. By combining resources, the community can be made as sustainable as possible. Good ideas can spread rapidly. People with knowledge or talents on certain subjects can put those to use to help others make decisions, rather than everyone fending for themselves. No one person can be expected to figure out everything by themselves – and even with knowledge, changes require time and energy, of which many working people do not have enough. But like one family member might enable the entire family to take a step forward, one community member could improve the entire community.
If the budget is handled properly, it is possible in the Netherlands for just four people over 21 earning nothing more than minimum wage to afford up to a ten-bedroom-house and financially take care of themselves plus two others. This means that, when adding other necessities to the calculation, for every four people earning minimum wage, two people could stay home. They focus on creating a zero-waste, eco-friendly, organic household.
Our ideal goal is to eliminate income differences by sharing finances like a usual household would: although we would make sure that anyone who decides to leave the community gets back the amount of money that they have a right to, for those within the community big financial decisions would be made together. Helping each other would be something we do because the other needs help, not because we expect something in return. All necessities and basics would be provided for for each other out of sheer human decency. Going above and beyond for someone could be considered a gift, meaning that having truly non-necessary things (such as for example wearing a piece of jewellery that clearly someone has spent a serious amount of money or time on) will become a sign of general kindness, friendship or personal abilities. This would then encourage creativity and social connection.
Intersectional activism in Amsterdam.
No one individual can join every single activist organisation and still provide an active input.
There are too many causes and movements to keep track of everything on your own.
For those who want to help everywhere, we have set up the Ecopatris AG (Activism Group or Affinity Group) in Amsterdam. Rather than each choosing one organisation to join, the members of Ecopatris AG will work together to keep track of various actions throughout movements and work together to help the causes we believe in, as a team. In stead of overworking ourselves trying to stay on top of every world issue seperately, we will have members in various organisations informing us of the most important actions and requests that are coming up.
Learn more about Ecopatris AG Amsterdam.
If you would like to join or have any questions, contact Alexis.