Translated with the help of Lucie Battaglia. Thank you Lucie!
“Ecovillages are living models of sustainability and examples of how action can be taken immediately.” – GEN (Global Ecovillage Network)
People everywhere have a growing desire to know what lies behind the products they buy, behind the company who made them, and behind the brand image. Who worked to create the products and to make them? Where and how were the products manufactured? What are the company’s values and way of life? We often hear “Vote with your dollar”, a motto for changing the course of things, and this solution appears to be the most efficient. It has a direct impact on consumerist practices, which are, as we know, currently unsustainable in the long term.
By purchasing Respecterre, you are encouraging a group of approximately 100 people who made a responsible lifestyle choice by creating an ecovillage for the good of the environment. All partners who own the company and most employees who work there are members of this ecovillage, “La Cité Écologique”, and advocate for a green lifestyle. This means that all income generated by Respecterre helps contribute to this way of life.
Here are the values and ecological practices that are followed daily by members of “La Cite Ecologique” :
“We are people who have built their own school to give a better education to children and teach them the importance of respecting the earth.”
We provide primary and secondary education right in our ecovillage, in collaboration with the Bois-Francs Board of Education. We complement regular curriculum topics with subjects like protection of the environment, arts, sports, agriculture, and business apprenticeships. We also have an organic daycare service for the members of the ecovillage, which combines outdoor activities and formal learning.
In its 30 years of existence, the Pavillon Cité Écologique has welcomed more than fifty children and teenagers enjoyed an alternative education that brought them more than just academic education.
“We are people who have built their houses and created their jobs from walking distance to the school because they know that commuting from home to school or work is the most important part of one’s carbon footprint.”
In “La Cite Ecologique”, all homes, the school, the daycare and all businesses are located within a one-kilometer radius. This means that all daily commuting between these places can easily be done by walking or cycling, thus avoiding the need for cars or other public transport, which, although less polluting than the automobile, remains a waste of energy and a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Everyday commuting is the most important part of the environmental footprint of an individual.
3. Organic agriculture
“We are people who make their own compost to use it for organic agriculture, who make group purchases for organic food, who are mainly vegetarian and who make their own bread, yogurt, mayonnaise and several other food products.”
Our organic farming began in 1984, in the early days of the ecovillage “La Cite Ecologique”, to provide fresh organic vegetables to residents. This initiative also led to better management of organic waste, that can be composted and used as organic fertilizer. All food other than the vegetables grown locally are bought through group purchases. Organic meals are served for lunch six times a week. All of the meals and food purchased are mostly vegetarian. What does this mean? We avoid all red meat (beef, pork, etc.). Sometimes we include chicken or turkey (in moderation). Also, at the beginning, a homemade bakery was established. The bread is always whole wheat, 8 grains, sourdough or spelt. Several other condiments and foods are homemade: yogurt, mustard, salad dressings, mayonnaise, pesto, vegepâté (vegan spread made from nuts or sunflower seeds).
4. Mutual support
“We are people who share and support each other to create a more just and fair society.”
For ecological, economic and equality purposes, the inhabitants of the ecovillage share cars, homes, food, tools of all kinds (mower, tractor, toolbox), services, and expertise, but above all feelings, values, smiles, joy, and love.
Ecovillages, a Global Movement
“An ecovillage is an intentional or traditional community using local participatory processes to holistically integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of sustainability in order to regenerate social and natural environments.” — GEN
The are up to 2,000 ecovillages worldwide.
Some have existed for more than 50 years:
The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) is a growing network of sustainable communities and initiatives that bridge different cultures, countries, and continents. GEN serves as umbrella organization for ecovillages, transition town initiatives, intentional communities, and ecologically-minded individuals worldwide.
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Written by Ugo Dutil :
I grew up in the ecovillage Cite Ecologique. I like this way of life that values human relationships, sustainable development and personal growth. I’ve been working with Respecterre since 2013. Minimalism, #slowfashion and moving towards sustainability, especially in textiles, fascinate me.