It was October 1990, and the economic changes were starting to bite. After the Soviet Union cut back oil shipments to Hungary, the government in Budapest dramatically raised the price of gas. In response, taxi drivers and teamsters essentially shut down the country over a three-day period. It was just a taste of what was to come in terms of austerity measures.
The first Ecotopia took place in 1989 in Germany, in a field not far from Cologne in West Germany. Three hundred and fifty people lived in tents for three weeks. They ate organic food. They discussed environmental issues and movement politics. They sang, put on ecoplays, and used a special currency (the ECO) to buy and sell items.