Oct 14, 2007
Swapping: What You've Got for What You Want
If we're living a pretty typical contemporary existence, we've got stuff: lots of it. Of course, we probably also want more stuff. While thinking about the impact of our buying habits, and even reducing our purchases, can be an important part of living a greener life, let's face it: we need things, and, sometimes, we just want things. Living like a monk or nun isn't the goal of a green life; living abundantly while minimizing our impact on the environment is.
So, what if, instead of going out a buying new stuff, we leveraged the value of things we already have? In other words: why not trade what we don't want for things we do? It sounds kind of old fashioned - we all remember learning about bartering systems in school - but trading and swapping is back in style. All you need is an internet connection and things you don't want, and you're in business.
Freecycle is one of the most established swapping sites: it works on a localized model, and people simply offer things up that they want to people who do. Gigiot is a newer site that claims to eliminate some of the challenges of Freecycle. And Switch Planet allows a user to "offset" the price s/he doesn't pay for items received from others by donating to selected charities. We've covered two of these three of these services on the Green Options blog; there are dozens of others that are more specialized by item type or location. Regardless of which service you use, you'll lighten your environmental impact by "recycling" your own items, and "shopping" for quality goods that might otherwise be thrown away.
Your Action for Today:
Start digging around in these services - you might come across a book, a CD or DVD, a piece of furniture, a yard tool, etc., that you can't live without. And when you're looking at the stuff that's accumulated in your basement, attic, garage, study, don't haul it to the trash can or dumpster: if it's in good shape, list it. It may be just the thing another swapper can't live without. As always, record what you find and do in your Green Journal.
Tomorrow: Add some green food to your shopping list.
The GO Team
May 26, 2006
Call for Weekend of Resistance Against the "Green
Scare" June 9 - 11, 2006
by Jeff Free Luers
This June marks my 6th year in prison. From behind
these walls I have strived to remain an active part of
this struggle; from contributing to the dialogue and
discussion of tactics, to furthering the debate on
climate change in the public. Perhaps most importantly
I am proof that prison cannot crush the spirit of
This year has seen an increase in state repression
against activists and radicals alike. It is truly a
scary time. We all know about the "Red Scare" - the
government's attempt to justify repression by labeling
dissidents "communists" back in the 1950's. Today we
see their "Green Scare" attempt to crush resistance by
labeling them "eco-terrorists."
For the last three years, June 11th has been
celebrated as an international day of solidarity with
me, Jeffrey Luers. I have been overjoyed with a sense
of love & pride at the support I have received from
around the world. My deepest and sincerest thanks go
out to all of you.
Right now there are more than a dozen people sitting
in American jails (or on strict bail release) accused
of Earth/Animal Liberation Front actions. Six people
were originally arrested. These arrests were based
almost entirely on the testimony of one police
informant, Jacob Ferguson. Bill Rodgers - accused of
multiple arsons - took his own life in a jail cell.
Unfortunately, several of those arrested are now
cooperating with the state.
These defendants are facing ridiculous charges and a
draconian amount of time.
This June, I ask you to show them the solidarity that
you have shown me. I ask that foremost in your mind be
the thought that the state is trying to break this
struggle with repressive and intimidating arrests and
sentences. I hope you understand that it's not just
those of us in prison being punished with these
sentences; they are designed to be examples to you, to
frighten you into compliance. This June I'm asking you
to demonstrate that you can't be intimidated.
Celebrate your dissent, give it voice. Be loud. Be
visible. If you have the ability, organize a reclaim
the streets party or a critical mass.
If you are going to host a fundraiser or venue event,
I ask that you donate all proceeds to the legal
defense of those recently arrested who maintain
integrity in the face of repression, whether they are
innocent or guilty.
This June, show the world that the voice of truth will
not be silenced by fear.
Contact Friends of Jeff Luers, PO Box 3, Eugene, OR
97440 USA or email email@example.com for
June 9 - 11, 2006, is a Weekend of Resistance Against
the Green Scare. There is no central organizing body
or group to check in with but the Jeff Luers Support
Network can help by providing you with flyers,
graphics, and merchandise such as videos, zines and
stickers about Jeff and allies in the struggle. Begin
planning your event now. Read more about the Green
Scare defendants here. Plan an action that makes sense
for your area: a demonstration, treesit, music
festival, teach-in, stenciling campaign, rally,
protests at an American consulate/embassy overseas or
public forum. Circulate petitions. Contribute to the
legal defense for the defendants. Do what you think is
appropriate. But please remember when planning an
action or event think about how it could affect the
upcoming court cases. Ask yourself: does this help or
hurt the defendants? Does this strengthen the movement
or weaken it in the long-term?
East Coast contact:
Friends of Jeff 'Free' Luersfirstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast contacts:
Free's Defense Network -PO Box 3, Eugene, OR 97440,
San Francisco Jeffrey Luers Support Network-
Brighton Anarchist Black Cross- PO Box 74, Brighton,
East Sussex, BN1 4ZQ, UK, email@example.com
May 26, 2006 8:53am
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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