The Ecorate System [ecorates]
The aim of the Ecorate system is to enable EYFA and those organizations which share the concern of economical inequalities between countries, to use a fair exchange rate. It is an alternative 'currency' based on the actual cost of living in each country.
The Ecorate system is necessary to create alternative frameworks for our economic relations (paying participation fees, subscription prices...) that break the profit guided and socially careless dynamics. Differences in the prices levels, exchange currency rates, purchasing power... might financially discourage or even impede groups and individuals from some countries from participating in gatherings and seminars or from subscribing to magazines. We should empower ourselves through creating mechanisms to include social concerns in our ways of functioning.
Ecorate system is a fully grassroots and participatory system. The fact that we research to have our own rates rather than using official institutional ones is one of the most important characteristics of the system. We make a survey among activist to collect information about the cost of life in each country [see questionnaire] through looking at the prices of different basic products, which is subsequently used to calculate the Ecorates and the value of the eco for each country.
The system contains two tools:
1. The Eco is an alternative EYFA 'currency'. Its monetary value depends on the country of residence of each person, on the theoretical purchasing power of the person. The value of this international currency takes thus into account people - it has a social dimension.
2. The Ecorate is an indication of what the cost of living in each country is compared to that of Germany (currently used as the reference country). We assume that the cost of living in one country is directly related to the purchasing power of their inhabitants - for example if the cost of living in Germany is four times greater than that of Albania, the purchasing power of an Albanian person will be four times smaller than that of a German person.
Take a look at last years ecorates table:
How can you help?
The ecorates system is based in trust, solidarity and altruistic collaboration. To take part in updating the ecorates, please fill in the online questionnaire.
The online questionnaire is for prices in euros, but if you don't have time to recalculate prices just send us the questionnaire as an attacment with prices in local currecny. If you need help with converting, check out the universal currency converter.
Extra note: The list is made up items that you might not purchase or use in your daily life but you will find these items in most countries taken up in the survey. We know that also within a country the prices of a single item can vary so we ask you to take the average price of the product or item in the country you live in.
Here is an example of the questionnaire.
Please collect the prices of the following items
Which currency are you filling the ecorates form in:
A loaf of bread:
250 grams of margarine:
One kg of potatoes:
One kg of apples:
One kg of rice:
500g of coffee:
A bottle of (the most famous local) beer in a shop:
A cup of black tea in a cafe:
Pizza margarita in a restaurant:
A plain chocolate bar (100g):
A piece of hands soap:
A single bus ticket in town:
A stamp for a letter for Europe:
One (black and white) A4 Photocopy:
A daily newspaper:
Legal minimum wage in your country,
Average monthly rent for a simple room your city/town, including electricity and water costs:
Your average food cost per month:
Your average monthly income:
A train ride of half an hour:
Thanks for helping the ecorates project!
Ecorates was and is being used in several projects by several groups.....
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission, YOUTH in Action Program (2007-2013). This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.