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FRONTLINE

Action from the Grass Roots Lorna Howarth repor ts

USA SHARING TOOLS

Notions of waste consume Chuck Templeton, particularly the statistic that kicked off his “distributed tool shed” OhSoWe: there are 60 million drills in the US that are used, on average, for 10 minutes a year (and as with drills, think ladders, airbeds, skis, etc.). OhSoWe is a localised network of 16,000 users engaged in collaborative consumption: sharing tools, goods and services – and the beauty of this model is that it can be replicated online anywhere in the world. The potential for reducing consumption and creating real wealth is endless if we all buy less and share more. It only needs to be coupled with a local e-currency, and we’ll have a 21st-century Local Exchange Trading System that could really help people to adapt and survive in these turbulent economic times. www.ohsowe.com

COSTA RICA MEASURING HAPPINESS

According to The Happy Planet Index: 2012 Report we are still not living on a happy planet. No country has combined success across the three indicators of high life expectancy, high experience of wellbeing, and living within environmental limits. However, for the second time, Costa Rica tops the Happy Planet Index with the second-highest life expectancy in the Americas, wellbeing higher than many richer nations, and a per capita ecological footprint one-third of the USA’s. Norway, in 29th place, is the highest-ranking European nation. The UK ranks 41st and the USA ranks 105th out of 151 countries. If you agree that for things to improve we need new measures of progress, why not sign the Happy Planet Charter? The Charter can be found at www.happyplanetindex.org

UK COMMUNITY FARMING

To overcome the multiple crises facing humanity, we must re-imagine our relationship with the Earth and remember that we are all dependent on a few inches of topsoil and worms. One way to do this is to become a member of a community farm like the one in the Chew Valley near Bristol. The farm is a Community Benefit Society owned by its 400 members, who have a say in how it operates and the opportunity to volunteer and learn the vital skills of growing and farming. Members get 10% discount on the farm’s vegetable boxes, voting rights, free access to the farm and much more. Organic and sustainable, Chew Valley Community Farm’s 22 acres is setting a precedent that experiments in recreating the commons. www.thecommunityfarm.co.uk

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Resurgence & Ecologist

November/December 2012

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