Buy Nothing Day

Choose: Citizen or Consumer
Citizen or Consumer?

The holiday seasons have a strong connection with families, harvests, and merriment through most of human history. However, today’s holidays have been corrupted – turned into marketing spectacles for the merriment of executive paychecks. Holidays in our growth economy are about increasing consumer spending, buying newer and bigger, getting more and more. They are no longer about family, friends, community, love, life, or happiness.

Take our beloved symbol of the holiday season: Santa. Mr. Claus is played off as a symbol of hope for young children by media. Hope for what? Gifts! Hope for toys! Santa is the unofficial Coca-Cola mascot during the Christmas season, for Christ’s sake! (pun intended)

This holiday season take back the holidays from the greedy corporations! Make Santa a man who gives love and quality family time instead of a new plastic toy! Join those who are choosing this Black Friday to show the world what they truly value: their lives, their families, and their freedom.

Free Your Consumer Shackles, Reclaim Your Citizen Title

Adbusters is “calling for a Ramadan – like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.” Join this year’s Buy Nothing Day Campaign.

Go to the farmer’s market for your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Stay home on Black Friday and play games with your kids, or snuggle up with your loved one by a fire. Save yourself from being one of the yearly victims trampled to death at a Wal-Mart. Buy Nothing! Stop Consumerism in it’s Tracks! Why? Because you are a citizen, not a consumer!! You have the power, now use it well. In a market economy your actions show policy makers what you want. What do you want more of: plastic toys or life?

We’re already over consuming this world out of the ability to support life. We’ve already altered the face of the planet so much that it will never be the same for our children. Do you really think more purchases, greed-oriented business practices, and consumer-driven holidays are the answer? No? then don’t let them be the answer! Boycott Black Friday!

A Steady Stater Dinner

A Great, Sustainable Meal
A Great, Sustainable Meal

I’m approaching another year older (hopefully wiser) and was taken out to a surprise location for dinner by my partner. She did her research and found a great place near us that represents what I envision life in a steady state economy to be like: focused more on the local economy, a greater sense of community, and more time to enjoy living our lives with less of an impact on the environment.

Sutra is a vegetarian restaurant in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, nestled amongst the many former-homes-turned-businesses along 45th street. A beautiful, intimate space awaits up to 35 guests for a dinner seating serving four community-style courses. Seasonal food from Forged and Found Edibles, Full Circle Farm, and other local food suppliers are masterfully combined into delicious meals.

Continue reading “A Steady Stater Dinner”

Local Currency and Bartering

Onion River Exchange: Community Time Bank
Onion River Exchange: Community Time Bank

When times get tough and cash becomes strapped, many turn to bartering – trading services and goods without the pesky dollar getting in the way. Not only does bartering and exchanging time strengthen the community, but it supports the local economy.

Bartering combined with local currencies or time banking can create a synergistic system that benefits businesses, increases value in local services and exchanges, and supports a stronger, more resilient economy. While the economic slump might be forcing more focus on these resources it is their inherit strengths that will keep them a part of the community long after the recession ends.

Continue reading “Local Currency and Bartering”

Earth Demands Steady State Economy

Earth Day
Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! Today is about bringing awareness to others about the negative impacts humans have on our environment. This is the very same environment that gives us air to breath, water to drink and food to eat. This environment sustains human life and, therefore, is just as valuable as human life because of it.

A leading cause in our society to allow destruction of our environment is growth. We will do anything to feed that monkey, even if it costs us our forests, rivers, food-producing soils, and fresh air. So long as the economy is growing, we are okay with this destruction (there are some exceptions). This is one major reason why we must stop our addiction to growth and turn to a steady state economy.

Continue reading “Earth Demands Steady State Economy”

Return to Community Through Local Food

Spring Blooms At UW
Spring Blooms At UW

Spring is in the air! For us Seattleites, spring is not exactly like the season seen in movies or television. Spring in Seattle is like a bipolar transition between seasons: Mother Nature changes her mind frequently and without warning until May or June when the weather finally evens out to the best-kept Seattle secret: 3 to 4 months of glorious sun-filled summer days.

Spring brings with it new growth, beautiful blooms, and the chance to connect with the outdoors again. As all the hermits and season-affective-disorder sufferers creep out of their caves, from the winter rises a chance to renew the bond with community.

A great source of connection in communities is through food. It is over meals that deals are made, laughs are had, and romances flourish. So much of our lives are involved with food, yet it is something many fail to think too much about. We can create and nourish relationships with our planet and our community through food: growing it, buying it and eating it

Continue reading “Return to Community Through Local Food”

Newest Steady Stater

The Newest Steady Stater
The Newest Steady Stater

I couldn’t be happier to write that this weekend my partner and I welcomed our son Liam Thomas into the world! We made it home yesterday from the hospital and are adjusting to our new life together. I will likely be out of the posting arena for a short bit, but fear not! I have a few in-process already on topics including community, steady-stater lifestyle, and sustainable scale. 

Let’s work to make all our children’s future a sustainable, healthy one! I know Liam would appreciate it.