Category Archives: Environment

Let’s convert cemeteries into forests

The Bios Urn turns burial into regeneration and a return to life through nature. Bios is a funeral urn made from biodegradable materials: cellulose and natural fibres. Inside it there is a “Pinus” seed which can be replaced by another seed or plant suitable for the location and time of year. To ensure success we recommend you use a germinated plant or bury the urn next to a tree that will grow to remember your loved one.

http://www.urnabios.com/

A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA

“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” – Ron Finley

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

Urban Agriculture Addresses Many Needs

DIY Open Source Village

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/30171620″>Global Village Construction Set – TED Talk</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/opensourceecology”>Open Source Ecology</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

TED Talk on the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), presented by TED Fellow, Marcin Jakubowski, in Long Beach, California, February 28, 2011. Discusses the potential of open source, distributive economics – as embodied in the GVCS civilization starter kit.

peace is every step

An informative documentary on the father of engaged Buddhism, meditative action in the midst the ravages of war.

Ideas mentioned here (sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly) are: Meditation in Action, Deep Looking, Deep Action, Reconciliation, Social Determinants of Health, Social Service, Social Work, Engaged Buddhism. Many of these ideas were being practiced in Mid-20th Century Vietnam, and growing out of the wars there, before we had the words for them.

Strategic Planning

Check out these strategic planning materials. I am posting these particular examples due to their unique, timely, and relevant content:

From Transition US: http://transitionus.org/our-story

Our Story

Our vision is that every community in the United States has engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present.

Mission

Transition US is a resource and catalyst for building resilient communities across the United States that are able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. We will accomplish our mission by inspiring, encouraging, supporting, networking and training individuals and their communities as they consider, adopt, adapt, and implement the Transition approach to community empowerment and change.

The Transition approach is based on four key assumptions:

  1. That life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
  2. That our communities currently lack resilience.
  3. That we have to act collectively, and we have to act now to build community resilience and prepare for life without fossil fuels.
  4. That by unleashing the collective genius of our communities it is possible to design new ways of living that are more nourishing, fulfilling and ecologically sustainable.

Strategic Action Goals

  1. To raise awareness of the need to work together to build resilience in the face of fossil fuel depletion, climate change and economic crises.
  2. To support the emergence and growth of Transition Initiatives and leaders in all regions of the United States.
  3. To mirror the diversity of the United States in Transition Initiatives by supporting Initiatives’ efforts to include all major cultural and demographic segments of their local communities.
  4. To support the continued development and delivery of high quality education, training and consulting in support of the advancement of the Transition Movement in the United States.
  5. To achieve financial sustainability for Transition US and Transition Initiatives in the United States.

History

The Transition movement emerged from the work of Permaculture educator, Rob Hopkins, and his students at the Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland. In early 2005 they created the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan, which was later adopted as policy by the Town Council. It was the first strategic community planning document of its kind, and went beyond the issues of energy supply, to look at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of food, farming, education, economy, health, and much more.

After moving back to the UK to complete his doctorate, Rob decided to take the Peak Oil preparation process beyond the classroom and into the community. He started Transition Towns Totnes in early 2006, and it took off like a rocket. It has since spread virally across the world as groups in other communities quickly copied the model and initiated the Transition process in their own locale.

The Transition Network was established in the UK in late 2006, to support the rapid international growth of the movement. In 2007, increasing high levels of interest in the States led to the launch of Transition US. We were established as a national support network, in partnership with the Transition Network so that we could take on the role of providing co-ordination, support and training to Transition Initiatives as they emerged across the States. The process of “officiating” Transition Initiatives in the States was also handed over to Transition US.

In December 2008, Transition US invited the UK founders of Transition Training, Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks, over to the States to give a series of training courses and talks. All courses were sold out events. One of these was the inaugural 4-day “Train the Trainers” course, in which we selected and trained a team of 21 people who are now facilitating 2-day “Training for Transition” courses around the country.

In January 2008 we received initial funding from Post Carbon Institute supplemented by a donation from a private investor. This has enabled Transition US to become a non-profit, open an office, hire staff, and develop a new website. Ultimately our funds will be used to continue our core function of acting as a catalyst for the Transition Movement here in the States.

Structure

structure

Transition US is modeled on the Transition Network, visually represented by the image on the left. It is based on a living cell, a biological system, in keeping with the organic emergence of the Transition movement.

Various scales of initiative emerge organically (black circles in the center) at scales that feel most appropriate to them, guided by the Purpose and Principles of Transition. Regional groups may network together creating “hubs” of Transition Initiatives that work to common purpose.

In the diagram Transition US is represented by the white encircling ring that surrounds the individual initiatives and hubs. It functions like a cell membrane, enshrining the Purpose and Principles common to the wider Transition Movement and acts as a catalyst to keep the circle expanding as the number of initiatives it contains grows.

Transition US facilitates smooth and efficient networking between the various levels of initiatives and hubs, as well as between different interest groups, for example enabling various food, energy or economics groups to communicate, share good practice and organize national events. It also enables networking by geographical area, by culture and by size of project.

The role of Transition US is to continually review and collaboratively refine what Transition means, enabling the maximum amount of networking between Transition Initiatives and external partners and collaborators (represented by the white circles outside the encircling ring). The circles inside the outer ring represent emerging new strands to Transition, for example, Transition Consulting / Transition Local Government / Transition Universities

From La Boca Center for Sustainability:

http://www.labocacenter.org/Planning/StrategicPlan.aspx

See also: http://www.labocacenter.org/Projects/PermacultureDesign/PlanOverview.aspx

Vision – a global perspective:
A world where cultural and biological diversity are sustained and enhanced, communication between individuals and nations is non-violent, pollution is minimal and waste is transformed; where the needs of people are met without compromising future generations or the integrity of ecosystems.

Mission:

Our mission is to develop, demonstrate, and teach sustainable agricultural practices that improve quality of life, local production, and environmental stewardship.

From the Executive Director, Chester Anderson

The basis of a local food system is the capacity to grow crops that store easily and consistently produce from one year to the next. I call these foundational crops. Our challenge at La Boca is to grow foundational crops with minimal imports and costs while concurrently growing the soil. Foundational crops traditionally found in the 4-Corners Region include grass, grains, beans, squash and the animals that convert grass to meat and milk. At La Boca will also grow non-traditional crops to supplement food production and experiment with development of other varieties that could become foundational crops.To rebuild local agricultural systems requires attention to redeveloping and developing traditional technologies, traditional knowledge, modern technologies, and current knowledge. At La Boca, we are developing an integrated, sustainable farm with instructors, tools and curriculum necessary to teach and train farm managers and rebuild that knowledge base that is critical to rebuilding local agriculture. We are also exposing hundreds of children, teachers and community members to sustainable farming as well as creating a model that can be used throughout the world to rebuild local food production.Development of LBCS over the last 5 years has been accomplished on a thread of a budget. When we started we had land, water, some infrastructure and the mission of developing a working, integrated, sustainable farm, to serve as a hub for research and education. We have learned a great deal over the last 5 years and with the staff that we currently have we are poised to start teaching. What is needed is an infusion of capitol. We have the talent and knowledge to spend the capitol wisely and with this infusion we can begin the process of disseminating the knowledge and capacity that is necessary to grow food locally and in large enough quantities to contribute substantially to the regional population – the very foundation of a local food system. As Woody Tasch says in his book Slow Money –

If we want to restore and preserve soil fertility, if we want to preserve and restore small and midsize farms and promote organic agriculture, if we want to diversify and decentralize our food supply and revitalize local communities, if we want to preserve biodiversity , if we want to remediate polluted and depleted aquifers, if we want to promote human health and childhood nutrition – if we want these and many other related benefits, or even if we merely wish to defensively invest a portion of our assets in a food-system safety net, then we are going to have to figure out how to deploy capital appropriately, in new ways, and in meaningful quantities for the long run.

Over the last 5 years I came to understand that I had to get into the thick of farming myself, to get my hands into every aspect in one way or another, to get a feel for how each component of the farm worked. I also had to learn how to do business, how to run a non-profit, manage employees and subcontractors, to stay sane, to not micromanage and to let others try and fail and learn and thus build the depth of knowledge necessary to make La Boca resilient and not dependent on any one person for its success.

This strategic plan outlines the history and background of LBCS, our current status and the components required to continue development and operation of LBCS. We have 2 major areas of focus: education and sustainable farming and under those 2 areas we have the strategic goals of development of staff, instructors, physical and administrative infrastructure and funding. The instructors are our farmers and the core of LBCS. They are integrated in this way to provide real-time, real-life instruction in sustainable agriculture.

Ultimately support sustainability as defined by La Boca: the ability of people to meet their needs without compromising the needs of future generations or planetary ecosystems; leading to sustained or enhanced bio-diversity and minimal and transformed pollution and waste.

Premises:

  • The increasing costs of oil and natural gas will make it prohibitive to continue with the current, global scale of agriculture
  • Regional, intensive agriculture will become more and more critical for our food source and will depend on a larger number of trained, knowledgeable and skilled farm managers
  • We need to be proactive in the training of these farm managers

Goals:

Short Term (1-5 years)
·        Operate seasonal internship program
·        Develop accredited apprenticeship program curriculum
·        Produce a diverse variety of vegetables using innovative sustainable agricultural practices.
·        Develop and execute a successful 20 share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program
·        Breed pigs and expand pork markets
·        Build and develop infrastructure for rotational grazing with cattle, sheep and chickens
·        Facilitate seasonal field trips with Durango Nature Studies, Open Sky, Fort Lewis College and other educational entities.
·        Host a variety of educational workshops including butcher, blacksmith, horse shoeing, timber-framing and gardening.
·        Develop and execute an effective fund-raising plan to carry out all farm operations, wages, and capital improvements (via grants, events, product marketing, membership, donations)  

Intermediate (5-10)

·        Train 10 to 20 apprentices each year on how to manage and operate a sustainable, integrated farm.
·        Increase acreage and production to include fruit such as apples, stone fruit and berries
·        Expand CSA operations to 50-100 shares
·        Obtain financial viability with above projects
 

Long-term (10+ years)

·        Develop, demonstrate and teach others a replicable model of sustainable agriculture, educational and living practices. (i.e. consulting services)
·        To enhance and support a vibrant sustainable local economy
·        Enjoy a life that is community-supported, environmentally sound and economically productive.
·        To last 10+ years without burn out
 

Mushroom Death Suit

by JacobSloan

a la http://www.disinfo.com/2011/07/mushroom-death-suit/

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Someday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow

 

 

What is Gross National Happiness?

The Four Pillars of GNH
• the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development
• the preservation and promotion of cultural values
• the conservation of the natural environment, and
• the establishment of good governance.

Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

About Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

via http://punkrockpermaculture.com/about/

escape mental slavery

…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens.

If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.

Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”  – – Bill Mollison

Hey all you permies in the blogosphere my name is Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) , I’m 25, I live in wonderful Olympia WA, and I’m the lead editor of punk rock permaculture e-zine.

I have a passionate love for permaculture, street art, guerrilla gardening, cooking veggie food, folk punk, harmonica wailin’, and riding bikes with friends.  In the Spring of 09′ before I graduated from Evergreen State College I received my permaculture design certification under the instruction of the lovable Scott Pittman of U.S. Permaculture Institute.  During the spring and summer of 2010 I did a 3 month Advanced Permaculture Design Internship with Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permaculture and Gaia University.  Currently, I’m the US correspondent with Permaculture Magazine and a affiliate producer with Permaculture.tv . Gaia Punk Designs is a full service permaculture design co-op I’m working on with some close friends in Olympia.

In Olympia I also work locally with Terra Commons, Ecocity Olympia, the Cascadia Guerrilla Gardening Brigade, and the Raccoon arts collective on community projects.

My intention for this e-zine is that it will act as link between the personal and communal showcasing examples of all the beneficial work  being done for the earth around the world.  This is a e-zine about a regenerative culture full of resistance and  inspiring creativity.  Anyone is welcome to become a syndicated submitter and add relevant posts, articles, art, stories, and multi media to this blog just email thejulianeffect@gmail.com with the subject:

“Punk Rock Permaculture”