Sustainable living gives Hungarian families hope for the future | Environment

Laszlo Kemensei lives as sustainably as possible on a small farm in eastern Hungary. He believes that this land is effectively rented from his daughter, so he must do everything he can to preserve it for the future.

Kemensei, 28, his wife, Cynthia, 31, and their almost two-year-old daughter, Boroka, moved to a farm on the outskirts of Ladanibene three years ago. They raise horses, pigs and chickens on her 4.5 hectares (11 acres) of land, part of which they rent out for grazing.

They don’t use pesticides, free range their animals, and try to dig the land as little as possible to preserve rich soil structure and moisture. They grow their own vegetables and slaughter or barter the meat they need, while trading the rest with families who choose a similar lifestyle.

Kemensei says that while complete self-sufficiency seems like an unrealistic goal, they are minimizing their dependence on external resources.

“We did not inherit this land from our fathers, but we borrowed it from our children…so we try to live and farm it sustainably,” he said. says.

Although there are no statistics on the number of families living a similar lifestyle in Hungary, anecdotal evidence suggests that the trend is increasing.

Some people want to lower their cost of living, while others want to break away from a consumption-driven society or live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Kemensei estimates that there are around 1,000 households that are embracing sustainability in some form, either on their own, as part of informal barter arrangements, or as part of more structured ecovillages. I’m guessing.

Now, they don’t live off the grid. They have internet and buy electricity and gas for heating. But their water comes from a well, and they hope to install solar panels and wind turbines when they can afford it, Kemensey said.

Barring emergencies, they can survive on about 250,000 forints ($690) a month. They buy milk, sugar, and other necessities that they cannot grow or produce themselves.

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