Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gandhi's Legacy

A tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Sixty years ago today, January 30th, Gandhi was assassinated. Yet Gandhi’s teachings of social, political and ecologic non-violence, small scale local economy and production by the masses rather than mass production, are just still relevant.
Now, we see the influence of Gandhi being revived through the rise of interest in ecology, peace and social justice.

Mahatma Gandhi held no office, pursued no career, accumulated no wealth and desired no fame. Yet millions of people in India and around the world are captivated by his life and his achievements. Gandhi inspired so many because he practised what he preached: he lived the change he wanted to see in the world and his message was none other than his life itself. He was an honest seeker of truth, a fearless defender of the weak, and an uncompromising practitioner of nonviolence.

- A template for ecology, peace and social justice.

Illustration: Jane Ray

Illustration: Jane Ray

...So Gandhi designed a new trinity to achieve his vision of a new nonviolent social order for a truly free India.

1. The first part of this trinity was Sarvodaya: Upliftment of All. The Western system of governance is based on the rule of the majority, so-called democracy. This was not good enough for Gandhi. He wanted no division between the majority and the minority. He wanted to serve the interests of each and every one: of all. Democracy is also limited to care for the interests of human beings. Democracy working with capitalism favours the few who have capital. Democracy together with socialism favours the majority, but is still limited to humans. Sarvodaya includes the care of the Earth: of animals, forests, rivers and land as well as all people. For Gandhi, life is sacred and so he advocated reverence for all life, humans as well as other than humans.

2. The second part of the Gandhian trinity is Swaraj: Self Government. Swaraj works to bring about a social transformation through small-scale, decentralised and participatory structures of government on the one hand, and, on the other, Swaraj implies self-transformation, self-discipline and self-restraint on a personal level. “There is enough in the world for everybody’s need, but not enough for anybody’s greed,” said Gandhi. So a moral, ethical, ecological and spiritual foundation in the personal, social and political sphere is necessary to build good governance.

3. The third part of the trinity is Swadeshi: Local Economy. Gandhi opposed mass production and favoured production by the masses. Work for him is as much a spiritual necessity as it is economic. So he insisted on the principle that every member of society should be engaged in manual work. Manufacturing in small workshops and adherence to arts and crafts feeds the body as well as the soul, professed Gandhi. He believed that long-distance transportation of goods, competitive trading and relentless economic growth would destroy the fabric of human communities as well as the integrity of the natural world.

Click to read the full article

by Satish Kumar

China bans plastic bags

Good news from the Mongabay-Newsletter:

China bans plastic bags
January 13, 2008

In effort to stem plastic pollution, China has banned stores from using flimsy plastic bags and is mandating an additional charge if customers opt for a more durable plastic bag. Joining countries such as Ireland, Taiwan, and parts of South Africa, this new measure is aimed at encouraging the use of cloth bags and other reusable containers. Bangladesh has banned plastic shopping bags completely since 2002 when they were found to block drainage systems and cause flooding during monsoon rains. Australia is contemplating the move, as are cities such as London and Boston.

Shops in China started supplying customers with plastic bags around 15 years ago. In recent years, economic development has allowed large, Western-style chain stores to supplant traditional markets and eliminate the need for customers to supply their own bags. Since then, China's plastic bag consumption has rocketed to near three billion bags per day, choking rivers and urban centers with "white pollution". The ban is initiated as major pollution culls are taking place in Beijing in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games, primarily aimed dissipating smog and remodeling rundown neighborhoods.

In the US, more than 100 billion plastic bags are discarded annually. In 2007 San Francisco became the first US city to entirely outlaw the giveaway of plastic bags in supermarkets. New York City is considering legislation that would require large stores to recycle plastic bags.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Amazing video: The Story of Stuff

Dear friends,

this video is amazing:
It summarizes many the shortcomings of our current system in a very clear and friendly way. I highly recommend this material for yourselves, your friends and students!



Sunday, January 27, 2008

12 principles - Living with integrity in 21st century


1. One people

Humanity is one people. There is no ‘them’; there’s only us.

2. One planet

The Earth is our home. When we disrespect it, we endanger all life including our own.

3. Responsibility

Each of us bears a share of responsibility for our communities, and hence for the world as a whole.

4. Making a difference

Each of us can contribute to making the world a safer, happier place to live.


5. Learning

Living requires constant learning, and questioning can help free our minds to learn.

6. Seeing

Being aware means seeing with our hearts as well as our minds.

7. Self-awareness

Self-awareness helps free us from the fear and ignorance that obstruct relationship.

8. Global awareness

To live responsibly we need to understand the global consequences of our actions.


9. Respect

To respect is to acknowledge the sacred in the Earth and in all living things.

10. Simplicity

When we are inwardly rich, outwardly we need very little.

11. Love

When we feel a sense of communion with the universe, we can act from love.

12. Integrity

Inetgrity is the clarity of intention that comes with understanding and love.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Guide to Creating an Environmentally Friendly Office


Office of the 90's

Getting Started

Fine Paper Use: A Good Place to Start

Other Paper Waste

Other Office Products

Meals and Coffee Breaks

Conserving Energy and Water


Using Your Buying Power

Communicating and Motivating

Business as Usual

Where to Get Help

Friday, January 11, 2008

Outcome on Solar System project

Benjamin's project

The aim of the project is to provide other means of generating electricity for the availability of the masses. This was made successfull with the support of ofesolar nigeria limited which is a company dealing with solar system equipment.

The project was launch and exhibited in my community to educate the community with the use and the various advantage in having a solar system in their various home,offices and shop and also we showcase all the equipment and do a self test to see what they are all use for.

The people in the community embrass the project and the people who can afford the cost are switching to solar system as a source for generating electricity. As at now people are calling in to ask and switch to the system. It really made alot of impact. At the end of the project the principal aim was achieved.