Respect for life in our everyday actions
A way of reconciling ethics, solidarity, work and profit
Damanhur has invested in sustainability since the early 1980s. Even though a centralized service for collecting recyclables didn't exist back then, Damanhurians were already practicing this by recycling everything possible and avoiding the placement of plastics and pollutants in the land.
At that time, we used combustible wastes for experimental boilers and hot water, and the first solar concentrator was made by recuperating an old, unused satellite dish. These early experiments were very useful in years to come as Damanhurians launched into the construction of renewable energy systems and green building.
In 1985 and 1986, the "Olio Caldo" experiment took place. Five people at a time, rotating among all Damanhur citizens, lived for a year in a mountain hut with total self-sufficiency. They ate only what they could organically produce or exchange. They moved by foot or bicycle, dressed in clothes made with fabrics produced on a loom, wore handmade shoes, and produced electricity for a few light bulbs in the house with a pedal generator.
Olio Caldo has since become the name of Damanhur's widespread project dedicated to self-sufficiency in food, housing, and products, in the spirit of naturalness and valuing environmental resources.
Another past project in those same years, "Lavoriamo per la primavera" (literally, "We work for the spring") fostered the creation of many small crafts studios, with the objective of creating production chains that could support each other. The current Damanhurian economic model, which reconciles sustainability, work ethic and profit, is inspired by these same concepts-although the size of Damanhur and number of people using its services have increased significantly over its 40 years in existence.