Our Ecosystem

Back in 2016 the conventional agriculture was based on a lot of energy and on average a Swiss farmer used 1500 liters of crude oil per hectare a year. On the one hand the oil was used in form of Diesel for the vehicles, machines and other transport but on the other hand also a lot of energy was wasted in the buildings, fertilizers and plant protection. Without crude oil the whole system would have collapsed.

In the generation house, the ecosystem plays a big role and the people living there are mainly self-sufficient which means they grow their own vegetable, herbs, fruits or grains and do not use as much crude oil anymore. In our society today, people developed an understand and caring about the nature, wildlife and other people in the society.

The self-sufficient approach is based on Permaculture, which actually means “permanent agriculture” and it describes the aim of helping to steadily sustain necessities of life in all of the fields of ecological, social and economic ones. It is about the planning, observing and it takes a lot of knowledge, dedicated people and creativity to know how to reduce oil usage in agriculture to go away from the “yield as much possible”-approach to the caring approach.

We thrive for healthy and energy efficient living conditions and therefore permaculture is a system where every plant, animal, water source and other ecosystem is part of e bigger system that help to efficiently provide the necessities of life for the habitat. On the same time the backyard where the system is set up, should keep its soil fertility and diversity of nature and even develop it.

In order for our permaculture to be in tact we use a small land usage in the backyard, we use only local plants and animals. We have multifunctional approaches for example our sheep mows and fertilizes the fields, provides milk, meat and cotton.

The philosophy is rather working with the nature than against it. Our people have an approach of thoughtful observation rather than thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than demanding constantly yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.

Permaculture is based on the three ethical fundamentals:

  • Care for the earth
  • Care for the people
  • Share equally and limit yourself
Werbeanzeigen

Our Cultural Values

Integration 

Everybody is welcome in our community. The more diverse we are in culture, age, nationality and professional occupations, the more we can learn and benefit from each other. We believe that every human being has his or her place on earth, and that everybody profits if this place is found.

Responsible Freedom

Personal freedom is crucial for us as we believe people need personal freedom to develop their personality and find their individuality. However, the responsibility each one of us has towards the community needs always to be accepted.

Equality

Every member of our community has his or her responsibilities but also has a word to say. Every community member is taken equally seriously and can voice his or her thoughts.

Respect 

We appreciate each other and treat each other in a respectful way. Our respect also extends to our natural surroundings. We know that nature is incredible valuable for us and that we need to think about how we can use our natural resources in a way that our children and their children can still live from the same resources in the future.

Our Economic Well-Being

Economic Well-Being 

We try to be as self-sufficient as possible and have therefore own animals, gardens and energy supply. Everything of the own production that is not needed is either sold at marketplaces or exchanged against other products. The people of our house in the working age is maximally working 80% in another workplace and the other 20% are used to help in the own production. So every day of the week somebody else is working for the community to contribute to the whole. But also the children and elderly people have their tasks and help to run the houses business. Furthermore, to finance the infrastructure, a rent is paid by every family and the income from the sold farmproducts are used for the community; to invest in the production, for additional food and basic needs which are used by the whole community, reparations and so one.

unser-heuballen

Our Social Well-Being

 


Organisation

Living in such a large but close community as we do requires not only respect and responsibility towards one another but also a clear structure which facilitates the communication and organisation. Our value “responsible freedom” stands for the balance of our personal freedom and integration in the community. Every community member has certain tasks, he or she has to fulfil. Every member of our community has to sacrifice one day every week to community work, be this parents, grandparents or children. People who have a fulltime job outside the generation house are only allowed to work 4 days a week because one day they have to work in the community. The organisational chart below shows the different fields of work and who has to perform in them.

organisatiional chart.png

organisational chart legend.png

Education

The children go in public schools for their education. However, the community organises workshops and courses which children and also adults have to attend. These courses concern topic which are important for the five areas of the community model such as insights into different cultures and customs, a ecologically sustainable way of living etc. the courses are organised and created by the community members working for the department “Sharing”.

Mutual Support and Crossgenerational Interactions

The caring department is responsible for those community members who are in need of physical care, be this old or young. Children up to five years old stay there during the day when their parents are at work, and old people who might need support for their daily life as well. In our community, it is important that everybody receives the support he or she needs but is empowered to be active in the community in with whatever ability she or he still or already has. Moreover, we want to strengthen the community by providing a platform for different age groups to interact and learn to appreciate one another.

 

Our Footprint

With the footprint it is possible to measure our greenhouse gas emissions in tons per year. We use this tool to measure the ecological progress that has been made from 2016 until now in 2050.

Back in 2016 the organization „MyClimate“ offered a tool on their website where individuals could measure their footprint. Usually people back then had Co2 Emissions from 9 tons per annum which is a really high rate. This was due to flying around, eating meat from a mass and overseas production and not domestic production, not energy efficient heating, other unecological means of transport  and of course also because people back then were not sensibilized  about the subject. People were showering and taking bath for longer than 5 minutes which today for us is not imaginable. People today know exactly what it means to waste water and its consequences.

Today we measure our footprint as well and it has decreased significantly. Since we have electric cars as well as electric airplanes with completely new technologies we do not emit any Co2 while commuting and traveling. Furthermore, even though we eat meat, we learnt to raise our own cattle and produce our own meat and milk products which shrinks the ecological impact drastically. Our House is shared with many other people which saves a lot of energy, new heating systems in the house allow us to only heat small parts of it and this heat is then efficiently transported and spread all over the house without wasting a lot of gas. Today in 2050 in the generation house the annual footprint per person is around 3 tons per annum which is a great number however we are still convinced that this number can be further pushed down by inventing new technologies and give planet earth more respect.

Geiss.jpg

Our Technology

 

We rely on alternative energy and beside the developments which were already made in 2016, new ways of using energy were found. On the roof of the generation house are not only solar panels but also wind generators installed.  Furthermore can mobile phone batteries and other electronic devices be loaded by doing fitness, for example on a bike or a stepper, with which the energy is generated. The water for the flush toilet is rain water in order to save the clean water for drinking purposes. Rejected heat is used to heat the house in winter and transformed to energy in summer. So in many ways different ways energy is used and like this there is no dependency on only one energy source.

unsere-muehle


Our Vision

The year 2050 in Switzerland is a special one. For our society to be happy and satisfied, generations need good relationships and exchange. Instead of living isolated all alone like back in the days most of us now live together. In every village in Switzerland generation houses can be found where over hundred people share their lives from all different ages, races, families and genders. The purpose of living together is that each generation can contribute with their best skills and knowledge to a better life for all no matter what age. Elderly people are looking after the children of parents that are working or they are cooking and gardening. Parents work and earn money for themselves however a percentage of the salary flows as a contribution into the financial household of the generation house.

In the generation houses we lay value on being all together and maintain relationships through all generations; regularly preparing and eating lunch together, helping each other out in every situation and caring for each other are all factors to achieve this.

Each one of us has a different day in the week where we work for the generation house either helping out with the gardening, cleaning or looking after the animals.

Our food is mostly self-grown or we get it from the market where we trade in our goods for other goods grown by other generation houses in the region.

All the power our house needs to cook, heat or light the room, comes from renewable energy, which means by wind power stations or water mills. All roofs are equipment with solar panels.

Developments from 2016 to 2050

Family

In 2016 and for a couple of years on, there are many single households, single parent families and lonely elderly people. The reason is, as there is more freedom of choice, young people tend to not binding themselves to another person for the rest of their life, but they prefer to be more independent. The disadvantage of this is, that many people have difficulties in finding a partner and form a family in the way it was usual in earlier days (e.g. two parents, two children). Furthermore, the ones who founded a family tend to separate more easily so that there are many single parent households. What is more, the baby boomers come into the retirement age from 2010-2030. This generation is also more often separated or single. The result is that many people are living alone, what is not only space consuming, but also restricts the social life of these people. So during the years, the need for more social contacts and different living arrangements becomes stronger. As more elderly people feel lonely and useless and at the same time more single parents feel overstrained, there is the logical consequence that these two groups could help each other. That means, more and more elderly people take care of the children, while they and their parents support the elderly people in daily life such as with food shopping and cleaning. But as there is the mobility problem that this groups of people life in other places, the idea of a generation house, as it already exists in several places, evolves. Also younger single people are interested in a closer community, until they found their way.

IMG_7043.JPG

Energy

With the failure of the voting for a nuclear energy exit of Switzerland in 2016, the discussion about the safety of the AKWs and alternatives became more important. This caused the exit of Switzerlands AKWs earlier than planned. In the meantime, many people took action themselves to make their housing and way of life more energy saving. This was made through little changes like the reduction of the toilet flush, waterflow of taps, wall isolations, light sensors (also on streets) and more. The use of geothermal energy, solar power, wind and water power was used more extensively, but not just in big scale but also little scale such as the use of water power of wastewater and so one.

Until 2030 all AKWs of Switzerland are closed down and a new technology comes into place to secure the energy supply; the nuclear fusion. As this technology is so powerful, only one site is needed instead of the former 5.

IMG_7046.JPG

Food

Another need of the people is more natural food without chemicals and with a sustainable growing. But the trust in big companies and supermarkets decreased, so the people are more and more interested in growing own food and to be more self-sufficient. The trend for shared gardens and urban gardening started already before 2016 and evolved further in a bigger scale. Every unused space will be revegetated and the former grey cities turn into more vegetated areas with more life quality.

essen.jpg