Economy and ecology are two spheres that usually do not cooperate. Thanks to the ECO coin the environmental value can be conceived economically. A currency that can be earned by making good and sustainable actions towards nature.

We are talking about an alternative currency that could contribute to solve the current environmental crisis. This project by Next Nature Network was presented at the Border Sessions International Festival in The Hague. Twenty people with different backgrounds gathered to participate to a workshop on the possible introduction of the ECO coin in our culture.

The participants were divided in four groups and were asked to collaborate to envision a scenario in which the ECO coin was integrated in our society. This resulted in four different outcomes.

1. In order to be equally perceived and accepted by people and different communities, this currency – and the idea behind it – should be very simple and easy for everybody to understand. By using a system able to monitor the health state of forests (or any other natural environment) the coin would lose or increase its value, the consequence would be a better visualization and link between the coin and nature itself.

2. The ECO coin concept should start with kids that, thanks to their unpolluted and open minds, can directly link this new system to a positive movement. Being part of this movement would be subject of pride and satisfaction. This currency would be more valuable than regular currencies. People or companies that pollute will pay higher taxes, that will be then converted by governments into ECO coins. These coin will then be handed to people (or companies) who intentionally do a good action towards nature.

3. This ecological system has to be separate from the economic system. They envisioned two different realities, a bad one (the one we are in now) and a good one (the new “eco-system”). In this last ideal system (or world), in order to make it appealing to people, you would find very attractive products and activities only purchasable with ECO coins. It won’t be possible to trade ECO coins with other currencies, and this will grow until a point where the old economy will be useless, obsolete and completely unused.

4. In order to make this currency more valuable than the others it shouldn’t be something that you earn and you can keep in your pocket or spend. This ECO coin will honor the person who receives it, by granting a good education for their children or by giving esteem and popularity to an ancestor. This coin has to be appealing and exciting, promising. It will coexist with the regular economic system and it will consist in a possibility for people to elevate their status or their actual reputation.