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Some small steps we can take…

Consumption

  • Avoid buying newly manufactured things, instead buy second hand or make our own.
  • Avoid large chain stores and supermarkets.
  • Buy things from small and local businesses.
  • Favour worker cooperatives over corporations.
  • Wherever possible buy direct from producers.
  • Support local currencies.
  • Trade or give gifts in preference to using money.

Communities

  • Smile at people and meet their eyes.
  • Give open-minded/hearted time to those people around us.
  • Organise parties and celebrations (eg. a dinner party where everyone brings a homemade dish or a childrens party where each parent organises a game)
  • Organise rotating work parties and skill-sharing events.
  • Vision together the future of our communities and make it happen by a combination of negotiations with local councils and direct action. (If you think that unused roadside could make a good veg garden then get some friends together and just go ahead and do it)

Food And Land

  • Propagate and plant edible perennial plants wherever possible on any available land.
  • Learn how to grow food and save seeds.
  • Set up personal and community food growing.
  • Stick to seasonal, local and organic foods.
  • Eat meat in moderation.
  • Have a go at making bread, preserving food, making cheese, brewing etc..
  • Enjoy cooking and eating good food. Treat our food with reverence.
  • Learn what wild plants grow in our areas and learn how to use them for food and medicine.
  • Protect and encourage biodiversity and wild areas (eg. a small wild patch at the bottom of your garden could be a haven for birds and small animals).
  • Make a pond.

Energy

  • Use wood (biomass) for heating. Install wood burners. Take firewood from the waste stream and plant local or personal firewood supplies. In a climate like Britain’s, short rotation coppice crops such as willow can be fully productive in 3 years and a 30 x 50m area can heat an efficient family house.
  • Heat water with wood and solar energy. (A solar water heater can easily be made from scrap materials in a day or two.)
  • Use renewable electricity. Switch mains connections to suppliers who only deal in renewable energy.
  • Set up and use local or personal energy production systems. Small scale hydroelectric systems in particular offer simply maintained systems with high and reliable returns for the amount of invested energy.
  • Practice basic woodwork, metalwork etc to make and repair basic items and tools.
  • Compost food and human waste to build soil fertility and reduce energy demands of waste disposal.

Lifestyle

  • Withdraw investment from houses. Move to a cheaper home or make our own (most cheaply done without permission).
  • Work less.
  • This will free up time and energy to develop sustainable ways of living as well as removing support from destructive systems.
  • Do not take employment from organisations which are unsustainable or whos actions are not benefiting the world.
  • Maximise our autonomy from state and corporate control structures.
  • Move from urban to rural areas and start working some land.

Consideration

  • Consider what elements of our world and society are of greatest value to us (air, water, food supplies, medicines…?)
  • Consider what elements /service / products we could happily do without (war, this year’s fashion, more DVDs, a bigger car…?)
  • Be aware that the more we have of the latter, the more we threaten the former.
  • Whenever we spend money or play an active role in society, take time to consider the consequences of our actions. (Buying a tank of fuel supports the violent occupation of the middle east, buying cheap clothes supports sweatshops and child labour, buying from transnational corporations funds the extraction of capital from poorer countries and the erosion of human rights)
  • Consider our modern world from the point of view of our ancesters.
  • Count our blessings.
  • Appreciate the beauty and fragility of life, human and otherwise.
  • Make time to appreciate and congratulate ourselves – we are all amazing and powerful beings.
  • Smile, laugh, love and dream. Be present and don’t worry.

Source: Simon Dale, http://www.simondale.net/things.htm