Posts tagged Sustainability

The Story of Stuff

Yesterday I finally got around to watching “The Story of Stuff.” Even at its totally ADHD-digestible 20 minutes, I hadn’t made it a priority because some part of me kept thinking, “I already know that.” But Annie Leonard’s disarmingly simple presentation hits home the message that our linear, unsustainable relationship with Stuff is coming apart, for better and for worse, and that we have a fundamental opportunity right now to redefine that relationship, close loops, create sustainable cycles, and change the way we do business. If we don’t, the results will cause (and to some extent already are causing) cultural indigestion and crises of gargantuan proportions in the health of human society. Alarmist? It only sounds alarmist to anyone who’s addicted to the functioning of the linear model of Stuff and who, like an ostrich, pretends not to see what comes out the back end.

Click here to watch The Story of Stuff, and please leave a comment with your thoughts and impressions.


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“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”

So that this blog doesn’t fall off the end of the earth, I wanted to rekindle it with a long-time favorite quote from Marianne Williamson that came across my desk again today:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”    – Marianne Williamson

She’ll be speaking in San Francisco tonight, Tuesday, September 22nd, at EcoTuesday (, on the connection between sustainability and spirituality.

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Accelerating Sustainable Communities

Lately I’ve been calling my project an “accelerator for sustainable communities.” And I’m realizing this term “accelerator” applies to so many facets of community building and what I call “writing the new story” of our culture. I liken the concept to that of a technology or business incubator, where new ideas are given enough support (financial, expertise, development assistance) to survive, develop and mature, launch, and hopefully thrive on their own. Applying this to sustainable community building means that community projects (and even whole communities) are afforded the support they need to bear fruit and thrive.
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Green America’s Solutions from the Green Economy

I haven’t written much about the national economic situation, stimulus package, solutions, etc. so I’ll let Alisa Gravitz of Green America (formerly named Co-op America) do it for me for today! Read Green America’s Solutions from the Green Economy.

Green America focuses on increasing investment in clean tech and building local economy. Good things indeed, and an important way to channel money in the right direction. They don’t delve much into the currency-less community-building environment. Community to them seems to mean spend local, and not so much on spending nothing. Localizing economy is a good thing, but more importantly, demonetizing your transactions is a great practice to develop – and get used to – especially as belts everywhere tighten.

Host a potluck. Grow food together. Guess what, now’s the time to start community gardens and gardening with your neighbors and friends. And installing rain barrels. For free. You’ll need food and water before you need a Prius. Trust me.

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Rewriting the program of America’s economy: speculations on the long-term inefficacy of the Obama stimulus plan

There’s no shortage of perspectives on the state of the economy and proposals for the federal stimulus plan. I don’t claim to be an economist, but I’m an American and I have an opinion. And a blog. Watch me go.

I’m not clear whether Facebook is an enhancement or a detriment to my life. I might be causing myself undue stress reading popular analyses of our bad-weather economy. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to give Robert Kuttner’s article on the Obama stimulus plan any further airplay, because it’s conventional economy version 1.0 dressed up as a progressive 2.0 version – or perhaps just 1.4 or 1.5. Anyway, his article is here:

Below is the comment I posted to his article. As with all reader comments on the Internet, they’ll fade into obscurity in about 3.7 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Funding Sustainability: How competition is sinking environmental and social advocacy organizations

I recently did some writing for a client about how non-profit organizations fail to achieve sweeping societal and environmental change because they are structurally embedded in systems that operate very inefficiently, systems that perpetuate the cultural “software” of competition. The title of this blog posting captures two areas where that software fails to produce sustainable outcomes: in funding sustainability efforts, and in what I call fellowship, or organizational collaboration, which I’ll explain below.
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What am I creating, and more about “Sustainable Community”

What I am creating in the world:

I am creating a platform for people to exercise their desire and indeed right to live in supportive community – learning, growing, and creating together. I create this atmosphere first for myself, and by embodying this experience and growing in this wisdom of community, I am able to continually develop my skills to facilitate this process of community building.

Creating communities of sustainability:

The primary organizing principle is sustainability – the ability of each generation to sustain itself and the abundance of the Earth. By engaging citizens of each community around sustainability, a common purpose and language can develop that creates a platform for shared work. This space of community then becomes a temple in which individual and collective spiritual pursuits and self-development work is nourished, becomes central to the group dynamic, and indeed becomes a foundation from which people relate to each other – from a place of peace, compassion – from the standpoint of God awareness. This does not imply a uniform outer form for “shared spirituality,” nor does it imply that all sustainable communities are necessarily spiritual communities. What is intended here is to create spiritual home, a launching point for those who are called toward growth in Unity.

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