[ Deutsche Version ]
Since early 2010 I have been living in a money strike and together with my wonderful wife Nieves and our 2 children in a consumption strike. Our wish is to draw attention to alternatives against wastage and continuous consumption. We would like to create awareness of the connections between our consumer society and the destructions of our environment, injustice and hunger, and of the responsibility we have for our planet and our fellow human beings. Our way of living should encourage people to live the change they would like to see in this world, and to show how to use existing knowledge and resources for a better and common good.
One of our main concerns was always the waste of food. This was the reason for building up a network of food-savers in 2012 and that is why I invested thousands of hours to turn foodsharing into one of the most rapidly growing social movements in the German speaking region, without use of money, as far as possible. Thanks to the unconditional commitment in means of 500.000 hours of voluntary engagement by dozens of head organizers, 350 foodsharing ambassadors and over 12.000 food savers, we were able to gather from 2.000 businesses and 200.000 collections 2,8 million kilos of unsellable food, which were saved and shared!!!
Throughout these five and a half years of money strike I have resigned to accept any remuneration for my activities, talks, tv appearance or my book and did not accept or spend money. Since the beginning of this year we weren’t having an easy time however, since we didn’t find a permanent place to stay and have been taking care of several apartments, have stayed with relatives and were looking for possible places for the eco village Eotopia through our during our lecture tour.
Not being able to find a place in Italy, France and Spain and knowing that this situation meant uncertainty and stress for us as a family, I decided to end the money strike and start using money again where it is necessary, in order to let peace and quiet return to us. Together with the lovely family Hughes, with children the same age as ours, we will start a house project near Stuttgart beginning of next year. Until then we will live near them.
We always wanted to draw attention to the destruction of our planet and point out solutions which can already be practiced today. We would like to continue with this as a family, even if from now I will accept the money being offered to me, we will go on and stand up for change, unconditionally.
I have been thinking for a long time about the decision to stop the money strike.
The crucial fact was first of all the unsuccessful search for a place to stay, and the resultant turbulent months as a family which followed it.
During these months of reflection, I became more and more open and could separate myself from the dogma of refusing money in general and I am grateful for the incentives brought to me from outside, not to condemn money completely. Now I am even more curious to start thinking about money, to perceive how people feel like, how people feel when they handle money every day, and to broaden my horizon after more than five years.
Just like with the food, our money and consumption strike was not only about saving goods, which were unsellable or have lost their value for society, but also to cause a general change in the way of thinking. We cannot change much on our own, but when many people experience this change, something new will come into existence.
When I was still out in the beginning, 3-4 times per week, to steal food from containers of several organic stores (yes, it is indeed stealing) at the beginning, we were eating almost 100% of that would otherwise have been thrown away. Since I have started saving food legally in cooperation with our first cooperation partner Bio Company, an organic store, there wasn’t so much diversity anymore for us as a family, and so we’ve ate only 80-90% saved food. On the one hand, because it was so important for us that the employees should have the right to take home the unsellable products. But mostly because I didn’t only invest my time into gathering our own food supplies, but put all of my power into engaging other people to save food. More and more people could therefore start joining the network of food–savers that I founded with the purpose to save and to share food. By now there are around 1000 collections and about 10.000 kilos of food saved every day, which is more meaningful than the goal of our family being fed only by saved food.
After over five years of money strike, just like I did with the food saving, I’d like to move my focus away from a sustainable lifestyle only inside the family towards making it possible for many people to better use existing resources and to initiate a social change. Find out about yunity, the open source, ad-free multi-sharing and saving platform. We are still looking for competent developers, programmers, designers, translators and others, who want to play a part in the project. Find out more about yunity and our team in our blog, here you can also find information about areas where we still need support.
At this point, we would like to thank all of those, who made the money strike possible and who believe in us! Without the unconditional support, which we were blessed to experience as a family, it wouldn’t have been possible to reach, inspire and wake up millions of people and to show new ways! My deepest gratitude and esteem goes especially to my wife Nieves, who has accompanied me all the years through good and bad times and always encouraged me. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to pull through the money strike in the way I did without without her and her stimulation.
I will go on living for the vision of a world without money, in which all people play their part in the range of their own possibilities and skills, where they help and support each other, and in which money is not important anymore.
I have the feeling, that it is important to report on this step in the most extense, open and honest way. Therefore I am offering all of you to send me your questions by e-mail, I will answer the most interesting matters in a video on my YouTube channel.
Thank you for being there and thank you for your interest!
All the Love, Raphael