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The green heart of Ibiza
Interview with Chris Dews, founder of the ecological center Casita Verde

(by Pablo Burgués) 

Hello, my name is Chris Dews and I am the founder and director of the ecological center Casita Verde, coordinator of the Corazón Verde movement and president of 13 other NGOs.

Who was Chris Dews before arriving in Ibiza? I was born in 1953 in Yorkshire (England) and before arriving to this island I spent thirteen years traveling the world as a radio and communications officer of the British merchant marine.

When did you come to Ibiza for the first time and why did you stay? In 1985, to recover the rent I had paid in my country the previous year, I was obliged to be out of England for 10 months. The night before I left my country, I found a cheap flight to Ibiza and I came. I quickly fell in love with the island and felt the need to help preserve this natural gem for future generations.

In 1989 you created Amigos de la Tierra association. Would not it have been more profitable and funnier to have opened a disco? I have nothing against nightclubs but I was never interested in open one or increasing the consumption of alcohol or harmful drugs. I was particularly concerned about problems with garbage and environmental damage caused by uncontrolled tourism. Amigos de la Tierra was a group of people who met to clean the beaches and forests of the island and tried to encourage the local population to take care of their natural heritage.

In 1993 you created Casita Verde, which is defined as: “An Experiential Learning Center for Sustainable Living”. Can you explain this in a way that a small town country man like me can understand? Casita Verde is an ecological center near San José where we experiment with other models of living: we produce renewable energy, healthy food, build with recycled materials, supply us with drinking water from the environment and reuse it for our crops and we manage our waste, showing that another lifestyle is possible and does not cost a lot of money! We want the island of Ibiza to become a showcase of good practices, as an example of sustainable tourism destination.

Every day the planet is more and more fucked by the action of man. Do we have to be a crazy hippie to think that we can still save it? To be a positive presence on the planet and not a parasite, we must adopt a new set of rules such as not making more new plastics, finding more ecological ways to produce our food, not poison our land and our water with chemicals, not use the oceans as a dumping ground ... If we can achieve all this in the next five years I think we can save this unique planet and then I will resume my faith in Homo Sapiens.  

How is all this financed? Casita Verde works mainly through donations from partners and associations such as Fundación por el Futuro in Madrid. I also make regular donations of my own savings.

What are Los Domingos de La Casita? Sundays are our open days, anyone can come to enjoy a vegan lunch and healthy juices made with local products. We also do a free guided tour to show our facilities.

 

The chef of La Casita Verde is called Roberto Vegano ... I imagine that here eating a bacon sandwich is not easy, right? The vegan diet is the best option for both people and the planet. Here we offer delicious dishes made without any element from animals (except for the honey that contains our famous Aloe Vera juice).  

Tell me about the role of volunteers in the organization. During the last 20 years more than 1000 volunteers have passed through La Casita Verde. They are very important for us because they contribute significantly to achieving the objectives of sustainable development in our society. Volunteers can be here between one and three weeks and during that time they receive eco-skill training, fulfilling five work hours a day, six days a week. Anyone who wants to can become one of them in exchange for a minimum donation to cover the costs of the staying (accommodation, food, etc).

Imagine being given one of those huge billboards that tourists see right after leaving the airport. What would you put in it?

 

'Love me I'm famous'

Ibiza welcomes responsible tourists

Thank you. We wish you a pleasant visit!

www.ibiza-fenix.com

 

 

If you liked this post don't hesitate to share it, it's free and you'll make me tremendously happy ;) 

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