I had the opportunity to spend some time at the eco co-housing community Free and Real! A priceless experience! The idea behind Free & Real, which stands for Freedom of Resources for Everyone Everywhere & Respect, Equality, Awareness and Learning began to take shape back in winter 2008. The vision is to create a self-sufficient eco-community in Evia, which will serve as a school for sustainability and a model that can be replicated throughout the world.
Free and Real is a non-profit organisation and experimental eco co-housing community located in the municipality of Istiaia – Aidipsos, northern Euboea, Greece, about 200 km (120 mi) north-west of Athens. The organisation is primarily a school for self-sufficiency/sustainability, and a research centre for ways of living in harmony with nature.
One of Free and Real’s main areas of research focuses on structures and buildings, aiming to finding the ideal structural shapes and trade-offs between eco-friendly materials and product longevity, creating minimum waste, implementing energy efficiency and bioclimatic integration with the environment, all of the while complying with Greek construction laws. Its research also focuses on farming, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts, which are grown throughout the year on a seasonal basis using the natural farming methods developed by Masanobu Fukuoka.