Living in an apparently upside down world these days, it's quite a challenge to see some of the positive movements and events which are evolving in the background. However, in order to keep our mind focused on positive instead of negative news, we need to remember that we are in the midst of a massive global transformation or metamorphosis. Although it seems as though the dark side of human presence in our world is declaring an all out war on the rest of us, there is also much to celebrate, as the world finally wakes up to the immense capacity of human intelligence and creativity, when it is used to restore this still beautiful planet for both ourselves
and future generations to enjoy.
I guess the trick is really to stay tuned into the positive news leaking out every day about new and innovative solutions, and not to get more depressed by the constant negative narrative we see in most newspapers and commercially controlled media channels. Of course, we must stay basically informed about what the dark side of our modern society is planning and doing to control us into the future, but since it’s like watching two distinctively different movie screens simultaneously, we are not obliged to comply with the negative narrative unless we really wish to remain in a depressed mood!
Casita Verde Ibiza
At our main centre here in Ibiza, our life these days is very concentrated on improving and repairing the main infrastructures we have installed over the last twenty five years or so. We’re also planting literally hundreds of vegetables plus more fruit trees in our garden plots, and if we receive sufficient rain over the winter season, we’re hoping to reap a rich harvest, which we can then freeze when mature in our solar powered freezers and use throughout the summer months next year.
With the efforts of just four permanent residents (myself, Puli Aldana from Cuba, (the younger brother of ‘Cubanito’), Nuria Dominguez from Andalucia and Mirko Abruzzese from Italy), plus help from our lovely friend Georgina Milani from Argentina, who is with us every weekend, we have managed to maintain the whole place in impeccable condition throughout the last three months and are well on the way to completing the long list of repair jobs we would like to finish before Christmas.
Our plan is to get the Casita Verde Ibiza into a perfect condition, so we can invite any possible investors, who may be interested to participate in the construction of the very ambitious ‘Ibiza Ecolandia’ project, which is something we believe to be an essential addition to our future Responsible Tourism offer for the island.
At the same time, and together with our Colombian friend Camila Mejia, we are in the process of remaking our Ibiza Fènix website, to include all relative information about the many NGO’s we are operating, plus introduce the idea of the Ibiza Ecolandia project alongside the information brochure designed by Marc Osmo and Agathe Utard earlier this year.
Hopefully, one day soon, we can resume our invitation for local secondary schools to visit the Casita Verde and do a complete tour of the facilities here. We’re also planning to receive special groups of ‘Responsible Tourism’ visitors to participate in a variety of sustainability workshops from the end of February 2021, working together with the Mallorca based company ‘Life Experiences’, which is the same organisation that runs the ‘Clean Wave’ free drinking water programme in the Balearic Islands.
On Sundays at Casita Verde, even though we are closed, we are not totally inactive, as we do sometimes invite certain visitors with special requests to make interviews, or who are planning to set up their own eco centre in the near future. However, we are not planning to re-open any kind of public visiting offer and prefer that anyone interested in connecting with us first calls to see if we are available to show them around or to share information etc.
Casita Verde Granada
Although our smaller sister eco-centre in Granada is also closed to public visits and to
volunteers due to the Covid crisis, this is not to say that there is no activity going on there.
Rey Aldana, the director and his resident French girlfriend Audrey Turquand are constantly busy improving the facilities, so that when they are allowed to have volunteers, the centre will be much more comfortable and efficient than it has been to date.
The recent installation of more solar energy and rainwater collection equipment, plus the imminent installation of a suitable pumping system to raise water from the fresh water well that they have on the property will mean that they have the possibility to be far more resilient in the future, when considering the basic necessities to support life - comfortable accommodation, fresh water, electricity and food.
I also decided to donate my Toyota Rav4 car to the Granada Ecologic association, so that they have two suitable vehicles on-site and are less likely to be stranded up in the mountains if one should be out of service. This vehicle will also be used by myself and Georgina, whenever we are in Casita Verde 2, so that we have our own transport and can tow our 4.7m caravan, which we use as a kind of mobile office and accommodation while visiting the centre, or travelling around the area.
Casita Verde Poland
Our friend Evie Domagala has recently renovated a family property near to the beautiful old city of Wroclaw in Poland and will open her version of the Casita Verde (Zielomy Dom in Polish) some time next year. This is not a large project like Casita Verde Ibiza, but will serve as a local eco-educational centre, offering a variety of workshops and information to the surrounding area.
Evie has already secured a government grant for her project and is following our advice and guidelines as she develops the new centre.
Of course, we’ll be reporting about her evolution on this blog, so hope to have more news to share in the near future!
Despite the restrictions on organised popular cleaning activities this year, the Ibiza Limpia group has been quite active, both on a local scale and with some more ambitious projects we are involved with.
On the 19th of September, our team at Casita Verde managed to clean 8km of local country roads during the World Clean-up Day operation and arrived back at the centre with around 100kg of garbage, while other members of the association participated in various coastal clean-up operations organised by other organisations.
Of course, we continue to maintain all the country roads around Casita Verde in clean condition as part of our commitment to help keep our part of Ibiza tidy.
Together with several other groups, we are also engaged in the ‘Orca Sound Project, run by Jolyon and Posey from London, with the mission to collect all waste plastic from around the coast of Ibiza and turn it into very beautiful and robust plastic boards which can be used for a wide variety of applications.
The original idea was to make the whole stage for the yearly IMS (International Music Summit) from these recycled plastic boards on the 21st and 22nd of May this year, but as this was cancelled due to the Covid confinement restrictions, we were looking for another practical use for the material.
During our last meeting with Vicente Roig, councilor for the environment in Ibiza, he mentioned a great alternative idea for the boards and one which would be sure to succeed in increasing public awareness about the plastic waste littering natural spaces around the island. His idea was to make a special floor covering for at least a pàrt of the entrance for passengers arriving at Ibiza airport, then post several message boards in different languages to alert our visitors about the dangers of plastic pollution in the local environment and how they can help solve the problem.
At the present time, we are gathering plastic waste received by all the local groups working to clean up the beaches and sea areas around our coast and are storing it in a special container located at Ca Na Negreta just next to the main Ibiza - Santa Eulalia road. We are also waiting to have more meetings with the island council in order to push this brilliant idea forward and get something installed before the start of the main tourist season next year (if there is one that is!).
Another project we are still engaged with is the use of the book ‘No More Plastic’, written by Martin Dorey, as an appropriate tool for teaching English in secondary schools. For this reason, we have given a total of 120 copies of this wonderful little book to Toni Ribas, who is an English teacher at the ‘Algarb Instituto’ in San Jordi, as part of a pilot project to see if it is successful in encouraging youngsters to be more aware about the use of throw away plastics in their daily lives.
The Ibiza Limpia Association still has some funds left to buy more books, if the pilot programme works well and we get the green light to introduce the idea in more local secondary schools.
Finally, If you haven’t already seen it, we highly recommend that you watch the wonderful documentary film ‘A life on our planet’ by David Attenborough. Please follow the link below for a free viewing of the movie:
Of course, if you have any questions about alternative lifestyle techniques, or want to know how you can be a more eco-conscious citizen, please get in touch by email, sending your request to email@example.com, or calling our main office on 971 187353 / 608838190 (English and Spanish)
With warm greetings from Casita Verde,
Chris Dews – coordinator