World Citizens are Greening Our Cities

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One of the disadvantages of living in New Zealand, I have decided, is that our abundance of space shields us from the environmental problems of large populations. Yet if we are to shield ourselves from the effects of global warming, we must take immediate steps towards a cleaner, chemical-reduced, sustainable lifestyle.

I often check out the websites Thrive.com and WakeUpWorld.com for the innovative news I hear about what others are already doing towards sustainable lifestyles. These are people who have a passion. But they also have something even rarer – they have chosen to step outside their comfort zones, act on their ideas and tell their story to the world – one ear at a time.

If you ever find yourself thinking: “I can’t do anything about global warming and the coming world calamities” then open up and watch/read the links I have added below.

Part 1

How 1 MILLION Pounds Of Organic Food Can Be Produced On 3 Acres

Part 2

How 1 MILLION Pounds Of Organic Food Can Be Produced On # Acres

To show you an example of what these urban dwelling eco-warriors are doing, I have embedded a video:

State of the Re:Union – A Food Revolution in Milwaukee

Here waste spaces are turned into green oases in the middle of a major city. The ideas are equally transferrable to your home town or your backyard shared with a neighbour.

Buying the Advertising Dream

The concept of individualism, that has dominated the last half of last century, and still does in the first decades of this century, works insidiously against the potential of what we can do together. By keeping us focused on doing things alone, advertising is able to drive wedges where they should never be. It’s the old message of ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ only the Jones family is struggling to afford things just as much as we are.

Each night we are fed ‘dissatisfaction’.

We learn we do NOT have:

  • A properly shaped body
  • The perfect face
  • The dream car(s), boats, holiday houses, camper vans
  • The correctly labelled clothes
  • The aesthetically decorated large houses
  • The right technological devices or appliances
  • The medications that will prolong our lives
  • The mind-blowing entertainment

The advertising promise, no matter how subtle, is to convince us we are failures for our LACK, and that by buying the advertised goods our lives will be WHOLE again. So we spend our money on trying to fill that deep well of LACK and get ourselves further into debt.

We Cannot Turn Back the Clock …

                         … but we can remember the best of the past

What is wrong with turning off the television (the pipe of propaganda) and:

  • Joining a group (or many groups) and sharing experiences
  • Committing ourselves to a cause
  • Inviting the neighbours to shared meals
  • Pledging the money we save by not buying the newest gadget to support other people in our community
  • Sharing our musical talents by singing or playing together
  • Giving our time and energy to support school education for our children

By joining forces with others we can make magical things happen. Imagine if you and a few mates could get together in your neighbourhood and buy a plastic recycling plant and produce fuel to share? You think it’s not possible? Then watch this video.

Plastic to Oil Fantastic Recycling Machine

This machine is so small it can be set up and operated in villages in Africa–so why not in so-called developed nations?

 

What holds us back?

Is it that we have helped to create, and demanded of our governments, so many rules we’ve ‘ruled’ ourselves into a state of atrophy?

Are we just plain scared of getting to know people in our community?

Regardless of how we got here, what the world needs now is innovators and those who are prepared to get onto the court to make a difference. In other words: World Citizens.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

The Game of More is changing to a Game of Better

Today I found out an answer to one of life’s profound questions: Can we stop the World buckling under the weight of debt? This is a Must View video.

As I launched into becoming a more aware world citizen living a more environmentally friendly life, I kept getting tripped up by the traps of consumerism along the way. You only have to look at what I found out about solar energy to realise that even the most obvious solutions have been grabbed by commerce and turned into an industry weighed down by profit.

So why is profit so important? Why does every step in the production of anything have to include making a profit above and beyond what is necessary to sustain life (comfortably) for the people who put their energy into making the product? Where does that profit go? And why is the World buckling under the weight of debt?

OK I have ideas on that, but changing the system in order to make it happen? Today I found out an answer. Human beings made the economic mess and we can fix it.

Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Is ‘consumerism’, like religion, not to be discussed in polite conversation?

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

George Monbiot in The Guardian  has thrown down a challenge when he states: “It’s the great taboo of our age – and the inability to discuss the pursuit of perpetual growth will prove humanity’s undoing.” Monbiot takes the position that the insatiable demand for growth is reflected in our demand for energy which underpins our ability to grow and make new. Read his thoughtful article here.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/27/if-we-cant-change-economic-system-our-number-is-up

 

Heather Sylvawood’s view on consumerism

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Many of us assume that a constant upward trend towards more and more (consumerism) is inevitable. And it is – under our current economic system.The creation of new and often better technology, research and improvements to the living conditions of most all starts with an organisation/person/corporation assuming large amounts of debt (borrowed money) in the expectation that this debt will be repaid with profit once the product is developed, the house is built, the land becomes productive. It would be simple if only the debt had to be repaid, but unfortunately our economic system expects interest for the use of the money. So the objects/products/houses must all come into being as having more value than they actually represent.

Worse – The current purchasing power of the people for whom the new stuff is being produced is insufficient to buy the new objects/products/houses. So guess what? They go into debt and pledge future income to paying off these items at their already inflated values. Often the people who can least afford the consumer goods are the ones pledging a greater proportion of the weekly income to paying off these inflated products. This leads to a cycle of boom, where lots of bank credit is created, and bust, when our ability to pay interest on the debt reaches crisis point.

How to distribute money more equitably

Another entrenched belief is that the only way to distribute wealth equitably is through taxation. This is not a welcome alternative for those who have grafted themselves onto the rich side of the tree. Besides, taxation is a tool of the current economic system and has proved to be a dismal failure in closing the rich-poor divide. There are however, alternatives.

Last century a homespun economist Clifford Hugh Douglas, whose observations and theories explained this phenomena, said that the problems fundamental to economic depression are those of unequal distribution owing to lack of purchasing power. To solve these difficulties Douglas proposed a system of issuing to every citizen dividends, the amount of which would be determined by an estimate of the nation’s real wealth; the establishment of a just price for all goods would be the result. The theories became the founding doctrine of the Social Credit parties and were adopted by Alberta, Canada.

The perfect channel out of debt

One of the Channel Isles, Guernsey, is reputed to have created its own credit when it was virtually bankrupt and was unable to do even the most minor repairs to its miniscule infrastructure. Instead of taxing its already financially stretched population, it printed its own currency to cover the necessary repairs. The tradespeople on the island were paid in Guernsey currency and that was accepted by Guernsey shopkeepers who suddenly had need to employ others who were paid in Guernsey currency.

According to Wikipedia: “Public services, such as water, wastewater, the two main harbours and the airport are still owned and controlled by the States of Guernsey. The electricity, and postal services have been commercialised by the States and are now operated by companies wholly owned by the States of Guernsey. Gas is supplied by an independent private company.”

Because the Isle no longer required taxation to operate its public services, large numbers of companies, head offices and corporations based their businesses in the 78 sq kilometre island. This brought more affluence to the country without adding one cent in interest as debt to anyone. This of course is a system based on similar accounting principles as the current where the Futures Markets take the whole money-debt thing to extreme lengths by gambling on the future possible returns from a crop that has yet to planted or a technology that has yet to be invented.  In other words, we’re not happy with plain old debt we use today, we have to gamble our future away.

Consumerism has blinded us to an amazing truth

Mankind made the current economic system – so mankind can make a different one.

Our economy is NOT written on tablets of stone. It is merely a tool that no longer serves us, and it forces us into consumerism so we exploit more and more of our planet. We could stop, but we all need a deeper recognition of the consequences of NOT stopping.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author