The recent economic crisis in Greece was the perfect gut-check that inspired some folks to live minimally. Relocating to Mount Telethrion in Aghios, on the island of Evia, Free and Real (Freedom of Resources for Everyone, Respect, Equality, Awareness and Learning) eco-community is the first of its kind. The non-profit, non-government organization is a model of sustainability, teaching people to be self-sufficient at a time when both money and opportunities are drying up for the Mediterranean country.
By building geodesic domes, yurts and gardens, this community of 20 hopes to spread the ideal model for sustainability and healthy living. Vistors can join in soap making, baking bread, and cultivating mushrooms, learning and sharing survival skills outside of urban Greece.
Apostolos Sianos, one of the founders of Free and Real was previously an Athens-based website designer. In 2007, three of his friends packed up and headed to the island of Evia and the slopes of Mount Telaithrion, where Apostolos had inherited some land to launch their free economy community. From construction to maintenance to everyday tasks, the tight-knit group partakes in all roles to keep the commune’s infrastructure in check.
Outside of the commune itself, the members of Free and Real organize events, festivals, seminars and practical workshops to grow the movement for a sustainable, cleanly motivated and solution-driven future. The group at Telaithrion also keep in touch with eco-communities abroad and with similar projects in Greece. As momentum continues to build up for a more self-sustainable future in Greece, it’s people like Apostolos who planted the seeds for change.