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Ecologic center Casita Verde – Ibiza

The place

Imagine a small oasis where ecologic living is stylish and comfortable, on a beautiful Spanish Island. That’s Casita Verde, Ibiza. Homes are made of natural and recycled materials, the toilets are compost, a ingenious grey water systems makes your shower water the plans, there’s food from the garden..

Your shower has a view over the fields. Watch your 1 minute shower water the plants in the garden in front of you.

People come and volunteer. For a small fee you can live, learn and enjoy. Work in the garden, cook, help build. You help out a few hours every day. After that, there’s plenty of time left to finish your online work in the cool bottle house office.

Perks

  • learn about eco living. How to live and enjoy life with a minimal footprint.
  • fun coliving friends. There’s Chris – the big B, el Cubanito – chef and head volunteers, Carlos – maintenance manager, Dorus – Bob the builder, and a changing group of other inspiring individuals. From ecologists, natural builders, permaculture teachers, farm and garden experts, web designers, translators, human resources & public relations specialists, artists, musicians and more.
  • join for a beach or road clean up. The team does them on a weekly basis.

What else

You can go visit! Every sunday Casita Verde is open for visitors. Come by and enjoy a lovely vegetarian lunch. On thursday evenings there is vegetarian paella and dancing night.

Soon there’s another Casita Verde opening. In Granada!

Location

Off the beaten track! GPS Coordinates are: 38.938062, 1.353323 – +34 971 187 353

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The media room/your office in the bottle house

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Your office view from the bottle house at the patio.

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Team members of Casita Verde regularly do beach clean ups. (El Cubanito and Carlos)

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Normally between 5-10 people live at Casita Verde. On sundays there are sometimes up to 100 people visiting and joining for lunch.

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Cheers! Have a tasty aloe vera juice. Casita Verde is famous for them!

 

Join us on an epic rural coworking road trip!

Imagine. A bunch of digital nomads and startup folks on a road trip together through Spain. Working and living in different rural coliving spaces and abandoned villages. And not just indoors, cause we’ll be driving around our own mobile office by KantoorKaravaan.

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And you can join! Either for the whole trip, or one of the stages.

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We’ll be visiting some very special places. (Text by Pandorahub)

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Informal Rural Repopulation Encounter inrevived abandoned village

MASIA CASTELLO, TARRAGONA, NOV 12-13

Masia Castelló is a small village that was abandoned since 20 years ago, when an Association decided to rebuild it and revive it with the support of the local government. Nowadays Castelló is nearly fully rebuilt and the Association is hosting cultural events every weekend year long. During our stay we will gather with other rural activists such as Saül founder at Reviure Solanell, Thomas connector at Ouishare Berlin, Matias founder at Repoblem and Xavi and the team at Masia Castelloand in order to explore the possibility to organize a rural repopulation conference on Spring 2017.


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Coliving with nomads in the Marina Coast

SUN AND CO, JÁVEA, ALICANTE, NOV 16 – 20

This will be the longest stage, stopping in one of our favourite coliving Spaces in Spain in the town of Jávea. We will expend the time with our friends Jon and Edu and their nomad guests, hike to the surroundings, eat typical paella, cook all together, do informal skill sharing sessions, workshops and talks. We also plan to interview an archeologist that will explain us the history of this stunning rural settlement that also the Iberians inhabited.

During November 18th we will work from La Nau, a coworking space in the village nearby (Pedreguer), the office for more than 20 rural coworkers and for a startup incubator supporting local startups. November 18th in Lola Giardino (Nona Bruna) and our founder Diana Moret will facilitate a free Growth Hacking workshop on how to make your business grow without having a budget..


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Experience community living in a 30 year old Eco Tech Village

SUNSEED, LOS MOLINOS DEL RÍO AGUAS, ALMERÍA, Nov 20-24

On the way to Tarifa we will colive during 3 days with the community living in the Eco Tech village of Sunseed, located in the beautiful off-grid ecovillage of Los Molinos del Río Aguas in the mountain range of rural Almería. Sunseed is a hands-on practical centre for low-impact living and environmental education in Andalusia. Their community works and learns together to develop, demonstrate, research and communicatealternative ways of living more sustainably. During our stay in Sunseed we will visit other ecovillages nearby such as El Cortijo de Al Hamman, do discovery hikes is the stunning natural surroundings and volunteer in the needed tasks.  Workshops and talks on theChallenges & Opportunities of Life & Work in remote rural locations around the globe, learning how to simplify our lives and low impact living might also happen place during our stay.


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Coliving in a Spanish epicentre for the Global Ecovillage Network

MOLINO DEL GUADALMESÍ, TARIFA, Nov 24-27

We will finally have the chance to visit Johnny, an holistic human-business masterresponsible for the European Eco Village Network in Spain, in the ecovillage of Molinos located in the midst of the Natural Parks of Alcorconales and Estrecho (12km from Tarifa). The place is a living vergel, built using bio-building techniques and permaculture, water streams flows everywhere and organic food is grown (even avocados naturally grow in Molino’s land!). Johnny is also founder at Startoco and mentor member of the European incubator for sustainable startups based on the dimensions of the Global Ecovillage Network. He will facilitate a workshop on How to make a business 360º sustainable under an holistic perspective, having into account all stakeholders and both the human, environmental and economical sustainability. We will spend 3 inspirational days in a visit mode, learning from the Molino community, volunteering in punctual tasks, discovering other rural alternative settlements nearby, having informal talks and workshops on Visual Thinking, Dynamic Governance, Quantum Computers and The Singularity, Dragon Dreaming or Conscious Economy. We will also make some space for connecting with the digital nomad community in Tarifa, mainly hosted by Johannes (Founder at the Nomad Cruise). We might even have the chance to practice kite surf.


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Supporting local entrepreneurs and fixing rural population since 15 years ago

ALMA NATURA, ARROYOMOLINOS DE LEÓN, HUELVA NOV 27-30

Alma Natura is a source of inspiration for any rural activist. They visionary enough to have been fixing population in rural areas since 15 years ago and to have became the very first B-Corporation in Spain. This social innovation rural hub was founded by a group of family and friends that decided to come back to their home village right after finishing their studies in the city University. A great success history on how to be self-sustainable in a rural area creating a local positive impact. Their main activity is “digitalizing” elderlies in villages and giving support to local entrepreneurs so that they can really make a living in the village. They have now become an strategic partner for big corporations and local governments. During our stay in the village of Arroyomolinos de León we will learn from their approach, explore synergies and potential common initiatives by Alma Natura & Pandorahub, interact with local startups such as Tomates Felices (Happy Tomatoes) and discovering natural and historical settlements around.


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Visiting the rural mecca of the social economy in Extremadura

LA NAVE NODRIZA, VILANUEVA DE LA VERA NOV 30 – DEC 1

On the way back to Barcelona, we will spend 1 night and 1 day with the crew at La Nave Nodriza, a rural coworking multi space near Cáceres. Founded 1 year ago, they restored an abandoned warehouse founded by a crowdfunding campaign. There are coworkers who are artists, developers, T-shirt brands, beauty products. The village seems to have a special attraction for singular international characters involved in agro-ecology, sufism and spirituality from big cities around such as Madrid, Cáceres and Badajoz. La Nave is part of Arrejuntandonos (Getting Together), a local network of initiatives supporting the social economy in Extremadura Region. On the way to Villanueva from Arroyomolinos, we will also visit another project part of Arrejuntandonos, La Fábrika de Toda La Vida (An Usual Factory), a super pioneer rural multi space initiated 6 years ago by a group of young multidisciplinary activists who restored an abandoned factory by self-buidling also funded vía crowdfunding.


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Visiting one of the pioneer rural coworking spaces in Spain

CREARIUM, MONZÓN, HUESCA DEC 1-2

We are very excited to finish the road trip of the Autumn Safari in Monzón, a small town in Huesca. Crearium is an innovative coworking and multidisciplinary space with a clear focus on the maker community and the childhood (they are part of Pekefriendly and Mammaproof. It was founded by an entrepreneur who was born in the village and after travelling around the world, decided to start something meaningful for her hometown. We will spend the last night in this pioneer rural coworking and multi space founded 5 years ago where courses IoT and Arduino, Asian cooking workshops, wine tastery, Crearium Kids, Scratch and Arduino in family, Mini Makers, plastic arts exhibitions happen every month. We are very excited to finish our road trip in one of the very first rural coworking spaces in Spain.

So, you must be extremely excited by now. Already packing your bags?

Find out much more about the trip on the website of Pandorahub. And most important, how to become a part of this amazing journey!

Looking forward to seeing you on the road!

 

Sun and Co – Jávea

The place

Sun and Co feels like a familie home filled with friends and work mates. Things flow naturally. An early bird? Jump out of bed and be the first one to work. Like to lay in till late? No problem either. Work is being done, but play doesn’t get forgotten. Kayaking, surfing, biking, hiking, skateboarding.. you name it and people are up for it. And Jávea is a great spot for all of those activities.

A warm community feeling in a home powered by renewable energy and group spirit.

100% of the energy comes from renewable sources. On top of that, the roof has solar panels to warm up the water. At the end of the year 3% of profits get donated to a good cause.


Perks

  • located in the pittoresk old town of Jávea, with good restaurants around the corner
  • mastermind sessions are a tradition here, co-creation problem solving sessions
  • there are places with wifi at the beach where you can work at the very sunny days
  • hosts Edu and Jon are super helpful and will hook you up with anything you need

What else

The history is of the house is as cool as the architecture of it is, which was the work of owner and architect Edu himself. The house belonged to his grandmother, and it’s where his dad grew up. After a year of renovations, the house is now home to the future generations.

Location

Avenida Príncipe de Asturias 40, Jávea (or Xàbia) – edu@sun-and-co.com or jon@sun-and-co.com

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Various work options around the house

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Very comfortable dorm rooms

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Spontaneous group sessions

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Edu and Jon, superhosts

Where are you a local?

Let’s start asking “where are you a local?” instead of “where are you from?”. It implies overlaying experiences and background, and is much more suitable for the multi-local people of today. Taiye Selasi explains this beautifully in her TED talk.

Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees – Berlin

‘Simple’ solutions can be the most powerful. That’s why I’ve been a big fan of Ecosia for a while already. Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with every search you do. It is such a good feeling to see their tree counter go up while surfing the web!

Videos always explain best.

Cool facts

  • So far 2 Million trees have been planted. This equals 14 times Hyde Park in London or 5.7 times Central Park in New York!
  • Ecosia’s goal is to help end deforestation by planting 1 Billion trees until 2020
  • There are about 2.5 Million monthly active users submitting 720.044 search requests every day
  • Users and Ecosia are currently financing the planting of one tree every 14 seconds together

With Ecosia having such an inspiring story, I was curious to hear more about the team’s story. About the way they work and travel. Jacey Bingler, head of media relations, immediately responded very enthusiastic to my request and was more than willing to share some of their ‘behind the trees’ team stories.

At the office

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Our new office in Kreuzberg/Neukölln

We have been onboarding a few new team members lately. Our new office, a former chocolate factory in Kreuzberg, Berlin, finally offers enough space for our now 12 staff members (among them also freelancers who don’t come to the office every day) and our upcycled furniture. We have a vertical garden instead of wall decorations, plants are hanging from lamps above our kitchen table and we have wooden wine crates as bookshelves (incorporated with more plants). We have a balcony and a nice backyard so planting plans for this summer are already in the making. A rope wall separates the kitchen from the working area.

Letting our users plant trees with something as useful as a search engine is what we get up for every day. Our big goal is to have planted 1 Billion trees by the year 2020. So naturally a lot of details at the office are related to trees, wood, forests and planting.

Non-meeting days

We have non-meeting days on which everyone can work from where she or he wants. Be it the office, a café, at home or a foreign country. It is possible to work remotely for a couple of weeks to be able to go on an extended vacation, take part in summer programmes abroad or visit relatives. Those non-meeting days usually are Tuesday and Thursday, but if people want to travel or visit different cities for a prolonged weekend, we are very flexible.

Opening party of the new Ecosia office (by Bernd Brundert)

Opening party of the new Ecosia office (by Bernd Brundert)

Office life

We all go out for lunch together on Mondays. Many of us are vegetarians, so we usually settle for a place with organic, vegetarian or even vegan food, produced from local goods. On Wednesdays we have a team breakfast. Our Happiness Officer Alexis usually buys groceries: fresh bread, spreads and olives from the Turkish market along the canal on Tuesdays. On Fridays we end the week with an “All hands”-session. We sit down and talk about what we learned, achieved or failed at during the week. There are drinks, snacks and sometimes presentations if someone has anything cool to show.

The new office’s location at the canal allows breaks in the sun by the water. We love the vibrancy of Neukölln/Kreuzberg. You can sometimes hear more than seven different languages in one lunch break. At the office we usually speak English, we have colleagues coming from Australia, Canada, England, North America, Poland, Spain, Tunisia and Germany, so English is the best way of communicating.

Work trips and sports

At the moment we are thinking about renting a little house with WiFi on the countryside close to Berlin to work from there for a few days in August. Work during the day and maybe jump into a lake or river in the breaks, we could have BBQs and music sessions in the evenings.

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A team picnic at Tempelhofer Feld.

We often do stuff as a team. Like going to concerts, sustainable film nights or sports events. As soon as it gets a little colder (which hopefully won’t be that soon, we were so happy when summer finally arrived two weeks ago), there will be a little running group after work. A few of us already run at the canal anyway. Doing so after work with colleagues can be even more fun and sometimes just perfect to relax. As we also have a shower at the new office, we are planning to have a yoga session every friday morning to start into the weekend more relaxed. We will take turns instructing.

On the road

Going to Burkina Faso

We would love to go travel to Burkina Faso to meet our partners at the planting site in Aribinda. However there currently is a travel alert for Burkina Faso, so we’re still discussing if and when to go. We’re aiming for October, although we’re not yet sure how many people from the Ecosia team will be joining. Fingers crossed it will work out!

Cattle crossing the desert on Lilengo site before reforestation _ Credit WeForest

Cattle crossing the desert on Lilengo site before reforestation _ Credit WeForest

Cattle grazing beneath trees a few years after reforestation _ Credit Beeldkas and OZG

Cattle grazing beneath trees a few years after reforestation _ Credit Beeldkas and OZG

Travel habits and vacation tax

Many of us come from rather far away countries, so if we want to visit relatives and old friends, flying is often the only option. However we try to avoid flying by taking the train or a bus when possible. The German long distance bus scene has just woken up from a yearlong ban by Deutsche Bahn. Now that certain city connections are allowed to be offered by all kinds of bus companies and not only Germany’s main private train provider, there’s a lot of choice, reasonable prices, frequent fares and most of all, the possibility to pay a little extra and purchase a “carbon neutral” ticket.

Whoever oon the team goes on vacation, he or she must pay “vacation tax”, i.e. bring something small (mostly edible) back from the country he or she went to, for the whole team to try. We had Biscotti from Palermo, Manchego from Madrid and Sugarfrosted Pecans from Houston lately.

The Ecosia team in Berlin, before expanding

Unmissable items in the suitcases of Ecosia team membersOTF-98

  • Himalayan salt
  • Non-BPA Nalgene bottle
  • Walking shoes
  • Notebook+pen
  • Ecosia stickers

Berlin tips from the team

Place to stay

Short-term – the couchsurfing scene is alive and kicking.

Long-term – Find an apartment through WG-Gesucht. Also there are Facebook groups where people offer homes for rent.

Places to work

  • This is a pretty solid list of larger open spaces.
  • Via ShareDesk you can find cool workplaces as well.
  • And of course at the new Ecosia office in Schinkestraße 9!

Must go place

Tempelhofer Feld. It is really great there. Used to be an airport and the airfield is now a giant public park with little gardens, the possibility to run, skate and bike on the runways etc. There are festivals, open air cinema and concerts.

Technical stuff

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Which search words plant most trees

This is a good question, but hard to tell, since revenue per click varies from region to region and ad to ad. We haven’t had the bandwidth to look into that yet and also want to treat this topic with great care as we believe in our users’ right to maintain their privacy.

How many trees Google could plant if they had the same policy as Ecosia

Wikipedia names Google’s net income for 2014 at 14.444 Billion US dollars. So if this is their surplus income and they donated at least 80% of that just like we do, they’d be able to donate 963 Billion US dollars a month. This equals about 874 Billion Euros according to current currency rates. Planting a tree in Burkina Faso costs 28 Cents at the moment. So if Google donates 80% of their surplus income every month just like us, they’d be able to plant 244.720.000.000 trees every month. That is nearly 250 million trees every 30 days.

Which online tools do you guys use to enlarge your impact?

We don’t really use any every day office life tools that actually enlarge our impact. We like using Buffer and Mailchimp for our daily business, but we’ve recently discovered BGood and really like their idea of encouraging people to do good every day, because it totally fits our efforts to enable people to support the environment with an everyday tool.

Who to interview next

  • Team Treehouse, namely how they pull off the 32-work week in practice (work-life balance as a catalyst for team creativity/achievement)
  • We are really fond of the guys at Fairphone, they’re working on such a cool idea. They are a fellow BCorporation. What I would like to know is: what do they think about having all European BCorps meet for a two day event somewhere in Amsterdam or Berlin?
  • The guys at Hoffice
  • Forest500.org . We just recently endorsed them and they do exactly what you were asking about Google: show the world how the “big players” could quickly reverse the tide of deforestation if they just went ‘green’.
  • Tim Schumacher, our business angle, suggested his colleagues from AdBlock Plus.
  • Our partner BGood. Their whole business model is based on trusting their users. We’d love to know if that’s ever given them any trouble and how they feel about trust in general.

Add Ecosia to your browser as well and start planting trees today!

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Ecomama – Amsterdam

The place

Ecomama is most likely one of the coolest ho(s)tels I know. Being environmental friendly is at their very core.

Owner Anika Jacobs packed her parents storage with secondhand furniture long before she opened the hotel and works pretty much 24/7 to make sure the hotel looks at its eco best.

With a water saving system, green roof and cradle-to-cradle building materials, eco-consciousness can be found even in the details.

Used materials, from bricks to suitcases to corkscrews, are given a second, even better life, in the unique design furniture.

There is a big and cozy communal area with kitchen and table for dining and working. You can stay at one of the spacious private rooms but there are also dorms rooms. For women, even a bright pink girls only dorm.

Perks

  • Sleep under sheets of organic cotton on a mattress that is made of only natural, sustainable materials
  • Centrally located in the Jewish quarter, a stone throw away from Waterlooplein
  • They have a teepee to relax in!
  • Proper waste recycling
  • Eco supermarket Ekoplaza is around the corner
  • The staff knows all about the eco friendly hotspots in town

What else

At the entrance of Ecomama there is Filter, a very cool coffee place with organic coffee, tea and lovely sweets. Also a mini shops inside. Great place for a espresso and wifi.

Where

Valkenburgerstraat 124, 1011 NA Amsterdam – hello@ecomamahotel.com – +3120 770 9529

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