CityTree - Urban Ecology Community in Tel Aviv
Who and Why
We are a group of city dwellers who want to bring the ideals of sustainable living into life - In the city. We are fully aware of the ills of our culture, and our choice is to stop our own contribution to the damage it creates. Instead, we take an active part in the global environmental movement, changing the way we live on this planet, co-creating a new culture which lets life shine and lead the way.
We study and practice sustainability in all aspects of our life. From food preparation and garbage disposal to human relationships and economics, we research together how to do better, test and try, better our lives, spread the word and finally connect between people who also want to live differently. Slowly and constantly a support group is growing.
What Where and When
In 2006 Tami Zori started a website called “CityTree”, and the words “Urban” and “Ecology” were finally put together online in Hebrew. Since then, “The tree” has become a well-known center of activity and a lively community blooming several branches.
Located in the very heart of Tel Aviv, the center of the community consists of 6-8 members sharing a rented apartment, demonstrating sustainable life, and hosting guests and events; open-house, workshops, eco-parties, business meetings and study groups.
We keep sharing thoughts, and promote environmental actions, via our mailing list, now standing on 5,000 subscribers, a couple hundred of them are “friends”.
Friends of the tree contribute either money or time and are active members of the community. Friends can use our apartment as their eco-oasis in the city, come rest, eat something healthy, and get all the support they need to stir their lives in the right direction.
Green Urban Oasis - We accommodate travelers from all over the country and the world on a B&B basis, woofing or couch-surfing, our house is open to friends who needs a place to rest, throw their compost, have something healthy to eat and get an advice. There is more information here.
“The Branch” offers CityTree activities to corporation and public organizations. Companies and city administrations invite us to run green days, workshops and special projects like spreading composters in apartment buildings.
Local trees - Community members outside of Tel Aviv are initiating Citytree activities in their own cities - at the moment there is activity in Haifa and in Jerusalem.
We make a difference one person at a time. Our actions are always small and conversation based. We talk only with those who already know change is needed, those who have the means to make it - If they only knew how.
The strong minority of the world indeed holds all the power to change it. Right now change is overwhelming in its speed and negativity. You might think we are talking about the very top layer of the rich and the famous, but no - anyone who has access to drinking water, food, shelter, electricity, internet, etc., is a very powerful human being - most humans today do not enjoy this power. We reach out to the people who have money and makes a difference, with every purchase they make - and they purchase - many times a day!
CityTree is calling all the powerful people of the earth to change the way they live, change the way they buy, exploit fully the privilege we have been given - to choose.
We have direct conversation with people in Israel, mainly in Tel Aviv. We create a field where they can be exposed and experience the possibilities of a new culture, we help them become the change they are crying for.
* Demonstrational apartment - Located in the heart of the city, on the third floor, is a demonstration of everything people tend to dismiss as “not possible in the city” - we show that everything is possible: composting, water preservation, growing food, preparing our own vegan, yummy and healthy food (including chocolate and icecream : ), self made eco-cleaning and cosmetics, simplicity, community life and sacred economics.
* Knowledge sharing - Everything we practise, we also share, in the form of written word or classes. Our knowledge and on-going research is available freely on our website, facebook pages, blog and newsletters. We also hold workshops that people pay for and that are offered to friends of the tree for a “gift” (giving back what feels good, in money or work).
* Connecting people to knowledge - Knowledge of sustainability means nothing without action. Our experience shows that once met in a workshop, seminar, party, or just in a random visit at our apartment, they are inspired to create a change together, or feel empowered to go and change their work or home environment, feeling that they are not alone. Our place and phone line are open to people in the process of making a change and we support them in any way we can.
* Touching the corporate - Aspiring to bring CityTree to those who are still locked in the corporate lifestyle and to create a new source of income for the community, our “Branch” was founded by Tamir Burstein in 2012. The branch delivers our ideas and practices by packaging them in digestible formats to those who still live the customer-supplier paradigm.
* Special campaigns - Once in a while we run a special campaign. “100 Compostaim” encouraged city dwellers to do their own compost. “Getting out of the Supermarket” encouraged people to re-think the products they buy and where they get them. “Tip from the Tree” is giving people weekly tips for better living, according to eight different subjects throughout the year (“Eight Times for a Change”).
* Seminars - Every few months we hold a central event that connects the community and exposes it to new circles. Such were the “In-Between-Worlds” conference in which we spent two days out in a forest listening to lectures and sharing time, the “EXIT” day, in which we declared the end of money and the end of time as we know them, or the Jared Diamond - Yuval Noah Harari seminar in which we had two great minds meet and give our community an opportunity to have direct conversation with them.
* Community life - Maybe the most central activity at our current stage of evolution is the shared life we practise at the apartment. We conduct weekly sharing circles, share rooms and resources, work together, constantly searching and discovering the links between ecology and community.
Co-Creating a new culture
We are cooperating with “sister” communities and organizations in Israel, such as the wander gatherers, the PRV (Peace Research Village, by Tamera), Tel Aviv Makers, the Heschel Center for environmental learning and leadership, the Israeli Permaculture community, Eco farms and eco-farmers.
We have not received any considerable financial support from any governmental or private fund - all our financial support comes from the resources of our community founders and members. This keeps us completely independent and self reliant. It also keeps our projects small and beautiful : )
Join the creation
We invite anyone who shares our vision to join our activity, either by working with us, or by paying monthly membership fee. Many choose to do both. Please contact us at +972-3-525-4196, firstname.lastname@example.org, or come visit us - open house is every Friday between 10:00 and 13:00, or you can call to arrange a visit.
Waiting to hear from you,
The people of the tree : )