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Living slow

The Slow Movement spans a vast range of areas of activity and has now spread globally. In Portugal, the NGO Slow Portugal seeks to promote and implement its ideas. To talk about its activities, ECO123 interviewed its Board President, Raquel Tavares. ECO123: How did the slow movement emerge in Portugal? Raquel Tavares: This took place following the founding of the ‘Slow Portugal’ NGO with the objective of filling a gap that had not been taken up in the national panorama accompanying a rising and deepening international trend. A slow movement style organisation makes every sense to the extent this defends …

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A company with a philosophy of life

Elichristie After almost five decades of dictatorship, Portugal began to avidly absorb international influences as from the mid-1970s. And, like many of the companies holding alternative ideas, Elichristi was launched as an idea towards the end of the 1970s when its founder José da Costa decided to put into practice the ecological ideas he defended. At the beginning of the 1980s, José moved to Lisbon in order to set up the first company producing natural and organic products in Portugal, which, beyond various other experiments, was also the first to launch tofu (also known as soya cheese) onto the national …

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More than just farming

The term organic agriculture frequently gets applied to the production of food without recourse to any synthetic chemical products such as fertilisers and pesticides. At Agrobio, a pioneer in the Portuguese organic agriculture sector, this dimension only plays a small role given that factors such as crop rotation, the bond between man and the earth and appropriately grasping the prevailing ecosystem all prove of equal importance. To this organisation, this holistic approach to farming represents the most sustainable means of producing food exactly because it “provides a bridge between knowledge on the past and the sustainable utilisation of technology,” Board …

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The bill for our lifestyle

The IPCC is the body responsible for assessing climate change. It was set up by the United Nations Environment Organisation and by the World Meteorology Organisation. Its aim is to be an independent scientific body, focusing on analysing climate change and its main environmental and socio-economic implications. Its collaborators, from all over the world, carry out specialist work, but on an voluntary basis, which ensures that there is a wide range of opinions and points of view which are reflected in the conclusions they present.

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Necessity is the mother of invention.

Many companies come into being to fill a need in the market, but there are others that emerge, quite literally, as a matter of health. This is what happened with Próvida, which started as a way of curing anaemia through nutrition. Founded in 1984 by Alcino and Cesaltina Sousa, this company produces and sells natural foodstuffs, and its philosophy is concern with the quality of life. Apart from its 1800 distribution points, Próvida also has a unit for producing fresh items. There you can find more than ten sorts of sugar-free biscuits, different types of wholemeal bread and a range …

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Escola verdes anos

Is education freedom?

It is frequently the case that parents are dissatisfied with the role of the education system in the lives of their children. Some parents resign themselves to the limitations of schools, others join together in protest, but it is rare that parents unite to create a project to set up an alternative model of schooling. This was exactly how the school Casa Verdes Anos (lit: “Green Years Home”) began; it was founded in 2004 by a group of families who were looking for more than the typical model of post-modern education. Located in the garden of the Palácio Marquês da …

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Pedro Gonçalves

From the land to your table

“We are what we eat” – but this raises an important question. There’s no time any more to seek out what is best, and people shop in hypermarkets as a matter of convenience. This is what lay behind Pedro Gonçalves’s business idea, which he called “Mercearia Bio” (the organic grocery). This is a concept based on an online shop, where you can look and order from the comfort of your home, but it also focuses on proximity between producer, distributor and consumer. All of this means that you can be just one click away from having certificated organic produce delivered …

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