Category: Feminism

Summer 2011 = Racism and Sexism in the American Classroom at New Paltz.

This is the first book on the list: Still Failing at Fairness, by David Sadker and Karen Zittleman. The follow up to their 1995 edition Failing at Fairness , offers a look at gender in the American education system. Sadker and Zittleman have done quite a bit of research on their own, mostly field observation, but they’re also well versed in the science, writing, and history of the subject. I left feeling like an expert!

The key points?
* Contrary to popular belief, women are still overshadowed in classrooms.
*Minority boys fall even further behind women. Minority women do better than minority boys, but not as well as white women.
*Boys feel they’re targeted for behavior in school.
*Both boys and girls feel pressure to be perfect but in different ways: boys want to be white, rich, smart, athletic. Women want to be white, pretty, dateable, smart (but not too smart) and rich.
*Minority women fare better in self-confidence and self-respect than white women.
*Women trail men in SAT/ACT/GRE testing despite higher grades in school. This points to inequities in the test itself.
*Women are lagging in enrollment in Math and Science despite efforts to recruit.
*Women make about 75 cents on the dollar even with higher education.
*Single-sex classrooms have proved inconclusive in helping bridge the gap.

You can get a new copy on amazon for around $6. Happy reading!



Report in entirety:

Brazilian protesters destroy GM crops
Mar 7, 2008

SAO PAULO (AFP) — Around 300 women rural residents in Brazil burst into a property owned by the US company Monsanto and destroyed a plant nursery and crops containing genetically modified corn, their organization said.

The women were protesting what they saw as environmental damage by the crops.

They trashed the plants within 30 minutes and left before police arrived at the site in the southern state of Sao Paulo, a member of the Landless Workers’ Movement, Igor Foride, told AFP.

The Brazilian government had “caved in to pressure from agrobusinesses” by recently allowing tinkered crops to be grown in the country, he said.

In Brasilia, a protest by another 400 women from an umbrella group, Via Campesina (the Rural Way), was held in front of the Swiss embassy against Syngenta, a Swiss company that is selling genetically modified seeds in Brazil.

The demonstrators called attention to an October 2007 incident in which private guards working for Syngenta killed a protester taking part in an occupation of land owned by the company.

Via Campesina said in a statement that “no scientific studies exist that guarantee that genetically modified crops won’t have negative effects on human health and on nature.”

It added that on Tuesday, another 900 of its members had entered a property owned by the Swedish-Finnish paper giant Stora Enso and ripped out non-modified eucalyptus saplings they claimed were illegally planted.

Not only is this an example of common citizens standing up for what is right, but it is an example of empowered women in a culture that does not condone it, organizing and acting! What a great story.

The concept of GM food is a hotly debated one, but if you’re asking my opinion, nature had it all figured out long before we got here and it just isn’t wise to tell her she’s wrong.

I’ve heard mumblings of the dangers of flouride among my environmentalist friends. To be honest, my gut always told me it was bad, but my head said “My country wouldn’t poison me and my family.” Well, the more I learn the more I worry. Here is a decent 3 part documentary from Chris Bryson of the BBC:

    Solidarity, Not Charity

One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen in the last four years (college), was the sign outside the Common Ground Collective, a non-profit organization in New Orleans that offers legal and financial advice, FEMA guidance, alternative energy assistance, bioremediation, rebuilding and intentional media in the most impoverished areas of New Orleans. The sign read as above: Solidarity, Not Charity.
It’s easy to see why I liked it so much. It was New Orleans residents and non-residents alike working side by side, not out of guilt or pity, but out of strength, cooperation and sincerity.

I had the pleasure of working with some of these amazing people during my last trip down there. While I was staying with another wonderful group called Project Hope, we had some common jobs.

One of my favorite projects, which I worked on at several sites, was alternative bleaching inside flooded homes, in order to combat black mold (which is responsible for the so-called “New Orleans pandemic.”) They use what they call efficient microorganisms, which eat the mold on the studs and frame.

Another great project they are still heading is wetland restoration along the coast. There were and still are millions of gallons of gas, human and animal waste, trash, and abandoned property poisoning the animals and plants native to the Gulf Coast and the Common Ground Collective was one of the first and most successful organizations working on correcting those issues.

The devastation in New Orleans was so vast it is hard to explain. Many of the problems such as hunger, poverty, drug addiction and the housing crisis are still patent. Unfortunately corporations have done everything in their power to soak up the valuable downtown property while people are still struggling to get back to New Orleans and back on their feet. Thankfully, there are projects like the Common Ground Collective who are fighting for the rights of the victims of Katrina and refuse to let the city degrade into endless condos and strip malls. After all, it is the residents of New Orleans that made it the beautiful, and creative place that it was and is.

I am inspired and continually awed by the hard work and selfless determination displayed by these courageous people.

Happy Holidays and please take this moment to remember what this day is really about.

Headed by leaders of AIM (the American Indian Movement) including the famous Russel Means have announced they will back out of treaties signed by thier relatives and the United States. Spokesmen say the US has backed out on their end over and over and the time has come for a free and independent nation on the Lakota land.
Articles here and here.

It surprises me that it hasn’t happened sooner. The US government have destroyed their land, their communities and families, their culture and their livelihood. They have poisoned and sabotaged them, they have bullied and murdered them:

Native Americans have been speaking out for the land since the very beginning. More than their rights, they were concerned for the haphazard and wasteful nature of the Colonists and the rights of the land.
What is interesting to me; Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony spent time with the Haudenosaunee women of upstate New York. Their “radical” and “visionary” ideas of women’s rights and political reform came from the women they witnessed be successful and healthy memeber of their communities. More on this here.
When thinking of feminism and ecological rights, many fail to see the connection, but the founding mothers knew the essential necessity of conservation and balance. They advocated for much more than the vote, they advocated for total reform.

I am proud of the Lakota and AIM for taking this courageous step toward healing themselves, their heritage and their land. I hope you find some peace now.

Copyright 2007 Original Research Document by HurricaneCandice
Abstract: A feminist investigation of the politics of the green movement

How Did Al Gore Get the Nation to Care About Green?

For decades women have lead the way in ecological stuggles. Women have lived in trees, have chained themselves, started organizations, websites and foundations, arguably held up the foundation of the movement. Now one movie comes out that has completely changed the face of the movement, and suddenly people are listening. Why has Al Gore jumpstarted a revolution that should have been started decades ago? Women such as Rachel Carson and Velma Glover have been heeding warning of the dangers of climate change and global warming for years, but suddenly a male voice is worth listening to? How did this happen? Why are their voices so much more worthy? Where does this leave women in the struggle against the clock?
Documented as far back as you want to look, women have been holding down the fort in terms of environmental causes. Women have suffered, struggled and risked their lives in the name of environmental protection. For example, “In 1938, cherry trees needed to be cleared to build the Jefferson Memorial, but a group of women chained themselves to the trees to prevent workers from cutting them down. The women removed the chains only after a promise was given to plant more trees,” (Beal), or the headline of the New York Times on April 23rd 1958: “Miss Carol Hannig, who organized the Rooftop Gardeners, exercises her green thumb on roof of 875 Park Ave New York, NY.” There’s Julia “Butterfly” Hill who lived in a 600 year old redwood for two years in order to keep it from being cut down, (Knapp) and Diane Wilson who was “fasting in solidarity with three Dominican nuns who had been arrested and incarcerated for protesting a nuclear munitions dump site in Colorado,”(Eugenia) and a young girl who goes by Sarah who chained herself to a logging truck to stop clear cutting on Vancouver Island (Dwivedi).
Not only have women put their lives at stake, but they’ve also worked tirelessly in organizations, non-profits, political arenas and laboratories. In 1951 Rachel Carson was the first scientist who “sounded the alarm about environmental dangers. As a scientist Miss Carson knew the value of careful, detached research, but it was her unique, empathetic presentation of the workings of nature in Under the Sea-Wind [and] The Sea Around Us…that gave impetus to the growing environmental awareness in this country and around the world,” (EPA). Inspired by Carson, “Diplomat Inga Thorsson of Sweden suggested to the United Nations in 1968 that a conference be held to consider problems of the environment at the intergovernmental level,”(EPA). In 2006 the United Nations Environment Program announced the most influential women in environmental politics: “Names include UK primatologist Jane Goodall, Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Julia Carabias-Lillo of Mexico, Princess Basma Bint Ali of Jordan, Mei Ng of China, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai of Kenya.” But politics are not the only way to fight. Chelsea Green opened a publishing company for sustainability literature only. There are hundreds of online women run organizations working for the cause: The Women’s Environmental Network, Women’s Environment and Development Network and the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment, just to name a few.
Clearly women are heavily involved in environmental work and have been for a long time. Where were the men, while the women were chaining themselves to bulldozers? Why in the office, of course, contemplating profit margins, free trade agreements and outsourcing; effectively undermining everything their wives and sisters were working for.
Suddenly, after a hundred years of female voices speaking out against environmental injustice, global warming and pollution, Al Gore comes along with blockbuster documentary called An Inconvenient Truth. As Vice President to Clinton, Gore worked on a carbon tax and brought scientists in to speak at a congressional hearing on the topic. He says,
“As a college student I had a professor who was the first scientist to measure CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere, and I felt as if I had a ringside seat on the beginning of a great scientific adventure. I kept in touch with that professor and seven years after I graduated from college I was elected to the US Congress and I helped organize the first hearings on global warming and invited my professor to be a lead off-witness. But I was surprised when my colleagues in Congress did not have the reaction I hoped they would have to those hearings. I thought they would react the way I did to this class that I took, and that didn’t happen,”(Beirne).
This is what inspired him to write the book and make the movie. After it opened at Sundance Film Festival in 2006, a firestorm of media frenzy followed suit. Seemingly over night, the headlines of magazines were dawning the movie’s tag line “The scariest movie you will ever see!” Suddenly, America was listening. There was a flood of old research resurfacing, new research being funded and conducted and everyone was paying attention. What got their attention? Was it Al Gore, the ex-Vice President? Was it Al Gore the politician? Or Al Gore the author of the 1992 book Earth in the Balance? How about Al Gore the man? What if Hillary Clinton had made the same movie? Would the media have been so willing to cover it? Would she have been called the “protector of the planet?” Or perhaps something more like, “hippy, tree-hugger, nut job?”
What was it that made Al Gore so credible? Perhaps it is that he had already built a name and reputation. Maybe the recent tragedies of New Orleans and Sri Lanka had everyone anxious already. Maybe the timing was perfect. Maybe Al Gore offered a leader with realistic explanations for the strange and powerful weather patterns we had witnessed.
Thomas Friedman suggests in the New York Times Magazine cover story “The Power of Green” that it’s about time the green movement got a male physique:
“One thing that always struck me about the term “green” was the degree to which, for so many years, it was defined by its opponents — by the people who wanted to disparage it. And they defined it as “liberal,” “tree-hugging,” “sissy,” “girlie-man,” “unpatriotic,” “vaguely French. Well, I want to rename “green.” I want to rename it geostrategic, geoeconomic, capitalistic and patriotic.” (Friedman 1).
There it is. Al Gore gave a male persona to a feminized topic. Which brings up the question of how it became feminized in the first place and why that makes it invalid?
One of the first to voice the idea of woman as other, aside from Simone De Beauvoir in The Second Sex, was Luce Irigaray, author of The Sex Which is Not One, where Luce illustrates how woman has become the second sex: women are defined by what they are not (men.) This binary sets women up psychologically and socially to never be more than a compliment to men, a side note. This binary positions women not next to men, but under and therefore dominated. Ecofeminists have long used Irigaray’s work as a foundation for earth as woman. Such as Ariel Salleh, who explains “the woman equals nature dichotomy”:
“In Ecofeminism as Politics, I create this Man/Woman=Nature equation to parody the reductive, dualist and positivist mindset that prevails in the West. It summarizes how the dominant eurocentric culture has for centuries seen masculine identity as belonging to the sphere of culture and the feminine as identical with ‘nature’. So men have established institutions, which secure their status over and above ‘natives’, women, children, animals, and the rest of ‘nature’. Knowledges too, from religion to science, are contaminated by this polarized ‘body logic’ and used to conserve masculine superordination. One side of the M/W=N formula is accorded value as a properly human presence (1) and the other is merely objectified as a labor and sexual resource (0). The ongoing difficulties women face, even in our universities, are due to this deep structural attitude which so many individual men unconsciously bear,” (Salleh 1).

Here Salleh explores the essentialist view of the female relationship to nature. It is easy to see how we’ve reached the present. If women are seen as property, as necessary for child bearing only, as an extension of earth, which is here to be used up and consumed, then there is no reason to assume that women’s opinion of the earth or her expressed concern over the earth should be any more relevant than the cries of a cow on it’s way to slaughter. After all, for a woman to speak for the earth is merely for her to speak for herself, which we have seen is irrelevant. It is a given that woman, just like nature, is here to be consumed; to be used up without regard.
Eco feminism has discovered what the rest of the feminist movements have had to discover: All domination is interconnected. Chris Cuomo articulates this phenomenon: “In more precise terms, ecofeminism stresses the depth to which human realities are embedded in ecological realities, and the fact that we are all composed of physical and conceptual connections and relationships,” (Cuomo 1). She says that even for feminist women, it can be hard to envision where the forms of oppression intersect. It can be hard to see how the environment plays a role in our daily lives, because we (in the first world) have moved so far away from it. We may be “natural beings” but we are anything but a part of nature. Instead we dominate it, manipulate it, steal from it and mutilate it. Male dominance over nature, over commerce and capitalism have paved the way (literally and figuratively) for a world in which a woman’s voice on matters of nature or conservation are useless. Rachel Carson may have stood before the Environmental Protection Agency fifty years ago and explained how delicate the balance of the ocean and air are, how we cannot dump poison into the Chesapeake Bay without serious recourse, but it fell on deaf ears; not because they did not care, but because the ocean was not a part of the “big picture.” For the EPA to go to congress and say, we must stop clear cutting, stop oil spills and stop illegal dumping, meant unhappy industry. Unhappy industry meant weak economics. What was and is a part of the “big picture” is a booming consumerist economy. As Friedman said, “it’s about time the green movement got a male physique,” not because men couldn’t understand the seriousness of global warming and environmental degradation, but because the only language that they’ve been taught is one of power and economics. When the flashing sign read “There will be no Wall Street, no SUV, no corn flakes when the glaciers melt,” finally it was clear.
This is where it gets messy. The whole world can watch a documentary on the ice caps melting and think “Wow, that’s sad. Where will the polar bears live?” But as long as the number one concern is big money, big business, globalization and imperialistic endeavor, the earth will continue to suffer and so will we. Here is where the second part of Friedman’s “masculinization of green” comes in. The green movement must become a shift in economic philosophy. It must become a shift in consciousness in the market place. The shift must go from the cheapest, the easiest and the most profitable to the best quality, best made, sustainable and practical. Not only that, but there must be a transition from, the cheapest and easiest, to the closest and most efficient.
Al Gore may have taken the rug out from under the female driven green movement, but he also (perhaps unknowingly) built a platform for them to stand on. By “butching up” the face of the green movement, it stopped being a female endeavor, an emotional, special cause, and became a “serious” issue (a monetary one). But while Gore may have done a service to the earth, he has done a greater disservice to an already marginalized and trivialized woman. Mary Mellor, author of “Women, nature and the social construction of ‘economic man’” investigates this gender disparity: “Economic, rational and scientific man are all manifestations of the dualisms that are central to western society and culture. These dualisms are not merely dichotomous; the economic as against the uneconomic, the rational against the irrational, the scientist as against the untutored layperson, they are also judgmental, with the second half of the pair seen as inferior,” (Mellor 129). While Gore may have brought attention to a much needed cause, sparked research and conversation that Jane Goodall only dreamed of, he also shrugged off a hundred years of serious work on the part of the countless women who devoted their lives to the cause. His documentary did not take the audience through a step-by-step of each victory, each warning sign, and each protest that was founded and fronted by a woman. He did not mention the millions of hours of work and energy that had lead to him standing on screen, speaking facts that women have been shouting for years. He did not choose female scientists, or Inga Thorsson, who lobbied the UN in 1968 to guest speak or quote in his film. There were few if any women seen in the film at all. Al Gore reinforced what men already “knew,” that men had the science, the math, the data that they needed to fully understand the problem. Just as the scientists with the data were men, the men who took the data and started applying the issues to economics were men. Part of this problem is a basic lack of female participation and education in the math and science fields, but more than that, it is a basic duality that women know about the caring and men know about the practice. The news anchors were not interviewing Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson or Wangari Maathai on the authenticity of An Inconvenient Truth, about Global Warming or on real tried and true solutions. No, they were talking to David Rosenberg from Merrill Lynch and NASA climatologist James Hansen. Of course these people have a right to speak, they are knowledgeable and practiced, but they are not working in a movement that has been around since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
So where does this leave women today, on the eve of a total literal meltdown? Are they still fighting the fight? Will they still be participants in the new male arena? The answer that makes the most sense is, of course women will still lead and support the fight, because they’ve always known how and what to do. They’ve always been on the front lines, even when they were mocked. Women have already thought out the solutions to the problem (that being a return to the natural and a return to the practical.) Yes, big change needs to happen on a global scale. It needs to happen in government, economics, industry and policy, but the almost seven billion people on the planet need to do their share too, and women have been teaching that since the beginning of recorded history. Growing food in your yard, walking, making gifts and reusing bottles and cans.
In the fall of 2007, I went to a sustainability training. The audience/participants were predominantly female, women taught many of the classes and spoke on the important issues like clean water, lead paint, gentrification and urban sprawl. Some women had children, and expressed concern for them: they wanted them to have a world to live in and means to do so. Some were older women, who had been in the fight since their youth, but most were mid-twenties, feminist minded, activists. What was their investment? What every woman’s investment is: A general concern for a return to the natural. Maybe it is because “the feminine as identical with ‘nature’” as Ariel Salleh suggests, or maybe it is because women are either bred to be or just generally are social creatures. We network with the people around us, we observe how their world affects them, we notice when environmental factors are doing harm to those we love. Or perhaps it is that the world is smaller than it has ever been. TV, Internet, newspapers and blogs document serious issues all over the world and it has become increasingly difficult to deny them. It has also become increasingly difficult to ignore the interconnectedness of issues. When the news exclaims that the United States bought up every ounce of wood in South America and now the people are starving, it is hard not to acknowledge that we are connected to that. Colleen Mack-Canty writes in “Third-Wave Feminism and the Need to Reweave the Nature/Culture Duality:” “These young women also can be characterized as a self-consciously diverse group. They expand the notion of the intersectionality of sexism with race, class, and heterosexuality to include a wider, potentially unending assortment of embodied positions, attitudes, and locations, as they articulate their theoretical and experiential commonalities and differences (Mack-Canty 160). Her thoughts were on the new faces of America, ones that do not fit into any one mold, but her point is that now, more than ever, people must face the very complex, multi faceted picture of the world in which we live. What we need to keep in mind and integrate into the environmental cause, is this sense of interconnection. Few of us only hold ties to one race, nationality, ideology or culture. We are a mixed bag, particularly in America, and we must use that to our advantage in constructing our methods and theory for a green America. Not only that but women must not be afraid to use their skills, their knowledge, what society has nourished in them, but also what it hasn’t. We need women in science, in economics and business, in math, in media, and in government. We need women to occupy half of every office, every board, every business, every corporation, and every newsroom in order to transcend the dualistic, man/woman-nature sentiment. We need just as many women as men running the show and calling the shots. This is not a new idea. Since the beginning of the suffragist movement women have suggested that an equal representation in political, economic and scientific arenas would change the way society functioned. In the green movement, where women have always done the work, they are still not running the show. The top officials in Greenpeace (John Passancantando), WWF (Carter S Parker), US Fish and Wildlife Service (Dale Hall) and United Nations Environmental Programme (Achim Steiner) are all men. Women do the dirty work, while men make the big decisions. “What is needed,” says Mary Mellor, “is to ‘break the boundaries’ of male-dominated economic structures and the anthropocentric and androcentric divisions they represent,” (Mellor 130). From now, until the end of the earth and human race as we know it, women must continue to find ways to influence decision, get into positions of decision making and gain respect, not only as women, not only as environmental activists, but as both.

Works Cited

EPA Women’s History in Environment

Berger, Meyer “Miss Carol Hannig, who organized the Rooftop Gardeners, exercises her green thumb on roof of 875 Park Ave New York, NY” New York Times April 23, 1958; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2004)

Beal, Debra.Cherry Trees Donated: 1912: A Weekly History Series. ews/Cherry.Trees.Donated.1912-1289003.shtml

Knapp, Don. “After 2 Years Tree Sitting Woman Descends, Claiming Victory.” Dec. 18 1999,

Cuomo, Chris “On Ecofeminist Philosophy” Ethics & the Environment 7.2 (2002)p .1-11

Friedman, Thomas L. “The Power of Green” New York Times Magazine April 2007 en=77253fdf8f321a95&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Eugenia Guerra, Maria.: “Meet environmentalist Diane Wilson, A Prophet Without Honor in Her Own Land” Loredo News 2002

Macgregor, Sherilyn “From Care to Citizenship: Calling Ecofeminism Back to Politics” Ethics & Environment 9.1 pp.56-84 Indiana University Press 2004

Mack-Canty, Colleen “Third Wave Feminism and the Need to Reweave the Nature/Culture Duality” NWSA Journal 16.3 pp.154-179 2004

Mellor, Mary. “Women, nature and the social construction of ‘economic man’” Ecological Economics 20 University of Newcastle Press1997 p 129-140

Miller, Stuart, E. “Women’s work.” The Environmental Magazine, Jan/Feb97,
Vol. 8, Issue 1

Salleh, Ariel interview:

UNEP: United Nations Environmental Programme: ticleID=5212&l=en

Beirne, Mark. “Al Gore Interview: An Inconvenient Truth.” December 16, 2005.

Works Referenced


Chelsea Green Publishing:

Committee on Women, Population and the Environment:

Dwivedi, O.P. Sustainable Development in Canada Broadview Press 2001

Green Belt Movement Kenya Nobel Peace Prize

Irigaray,Luce The Sex Which is Not One Trans. by Catherine Porter. Cornell University Press 1985

Somma, Mark and Sue Tolleson-Rinehart. “Tracking the Elusive Green Women: Sex, Environmentalism, and Feminism in the United States and Europe” Political Research Quarterly. Vol. 50, No. 1, March 1997, pp. 153-169

Salleh, Ariel. Ecofeminism As Politics: Nature, Marx and the Postmodern Zed
Books 1997

Women’s Environmental Network:

Women’s Environment and Development Network:

Are you sick and tired of tampons that are full of chemicals like bleach and amonia?
Are you sick of TSS symptoms?
Are you sick of them leaking?
Do you despise getting your period?
Well have I got a product for you!
Introducing, The Diva Cup!

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t know if it’s right for you.
Well, let me tell you some of the perks:
~Wash with soap and water
~Comfortable and flexible
~No more clogged toilets
~No waste for the trash

I was anxious about it too, but I swear, after the first time I was sold. Suddenly I went from hating my period to thinking it was a natural part of me. I swear by it and so do many of my friends. If you still aren’t sold, check out my earlier post on Jade and Pearl.

Northampton just might be on to something. Five years ago a group of folks, who call themselves The Pedal People started offering “human powered delivery and hauling service.”
Today they are doing better than ever. They aim to cut pollution by delivering groceries, picking up recycling, trash and compost as well as human powered yard care.
They are commited to educating and working personally within the community as well. I had the pleasure of meeting them at the RUST training in Albany, but that’s a post for another day.
They also offer bicycle training, open discussions about their work and a food ordering collective.
P.S. I love their mission statement:

“The Co-op uses bicycles and bicycle trailers to transport things, and is committed to using human power despite the culture of dependence on motorized vehicles. We hope that our use of relatively simple tools in sound business practice will debunk the prevailing belief that more technology is needed to solve problems.

We believe that social change is possible, and we share inspiration and education with people wanting to choose more sustainable lifestyles. We aim to make a living in a fair, noble way, exploiting no one.

We believe in the idea of low-income living as a counter to the work-consume-spend lifestyle common in America today. We also believe that by spending less time making a living, we can have more time to contribute to the community and live life at a human pace rather than a motorized pace.”

I stole this from one of the most insightful and aware bloggers I can think of: Dandelion Salad.
Dennis Kucinich made an appearance in Boston with one of his biggest supporters Ani Difranco. Dennis has been rocking interviews and appearances all over the country since his move to Impeach hit the Congress floor two weeks ago. He’s the only candidate with a true universal health care plan and REAL steps toward national and international Sustainability support. ❤ You Dennis!!!

The first thing that needs to be done is the simplest. We need to stop saying “I” and start saying “we.” If every single person started shifting their conciousness to that mentality, then the major controversy would be over with and we could start working on the solutions. This does not mean that we need to stray away from our “capitalist ideals;” to the contrary!
The truth is, everyone thinks that shifting the economy to business and industry that is green means we lose profit. This is a complete fallacy. To provide a better product(healthy and sustainable), made with better materials(organic, natural),through workers who get paid a liveable wage ($10 or more), means the whole country wins.
This idea can be transferred to politics as well. During a normal debate, the candidates shy away from issues such as social security, health care and sustainability because the solutions COST MONEY. Duh! But the solutions, such as in the case of global warming, also make money.
The real solutions to these problems, involve moving the middle-class back into America, creating jobs such as industry of natural and sustainable products, recycling and reuse of already produced materials, and construction and retrofitting of existing buildings to fit the need for better energy use.
It may seem a bit daunting to look at these problems on a large scale, but really the answers are astoundingly simple and accessible for everyone. If we want the human race to exist in a hundred years, then these problems need to be addressed and we can address them in really progressive and beneficial ways.

Food: less than 200 miles is a reasonable distance in which to grow and sustain our food. Better yet, grow a few yourself. If you neighbor grows potatoes and you grow tomatoes, you will both have plenty extra to share. It’s better for you, more delicious and better for the enviroment. All you need is a bucket and some dirt.
Find a farmers market or a co-op. Your town doesn’t have one? Start one!

Transportation: Public access to every single destination in the country is an absolute necessity.
Shelter: reuse reuse reuse: All the materials we could ever need have already been harvested. We need to recycle building materials, not dump
Shopping: Demand that the products you buy come from a good place, as mentioned above:liveable wage, made in US with recycled or sustainable materials.
The most recent statistics show that even the richest in the country have reduced their consumption of goods dramatically over the last 5 years. Everyone knows we don’t need all that crap.
Disposal: ANYTHING reusable goes on craigslist,the local farmers market, the local found materials shed, or the local distribution center. All biodegradable materials go in compost, not the dump. Compost means it goes back in the ground where it belongs.
Water: The most important factor essential to life. It’s pretty simple, don’t waste it. Don’t flush if you don’t have to, don’t shower longer than you have to, don’t leave shit running.
Find people who are interested, and work on a living machine or similar water remediation project.

These are just the beginning. There are hundreds of other ways to engage with eco-friendly living, engage with your community and most importantly, IMPROVE YOUR STANDARD OF LIVING.
If you care about this stuff, which you must if you’ve gotten this far, tell a friend and start small.