- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(The lines containing the non-spaced: ? ? ? @ ? ? ? below, are there
to allow the main text to be used as a Eudora mailbox. This creates
a Table-of-Contents which lists the writer of each letter
so you can pick which letter to read. The dates may be wrong,
since the above line has had to be added sometimes.

To look at it in Eudora: while still in your browser,
"Save As" a Plain Text file, with a .txt extension,
in whichever folder your Eudora e-mail application has for its other mailboxes.
Then Find "3AcreEco-footprint.txt" and change the extension from .txt to .mbx
_After_ you've done this, open your Eudora.
Note: this method could be useable for other "off-line" e-mail packages,
but not for web-based mail like Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc.)



North American Research Team Reduces Ecological Footprint By 600%


From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 07:29:05 1999
	 from wavetech.net (pm-3-067.dynam.WaveTech.net [206.146.145.68])
	by riptide.wavetech.net (8.9.0/8.9.0) with ESMTP id JAA21570;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 09:03:07 -0600 (CST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 08:57:14 -0600
From: Betsy Barnum 
Message-ID: <36CAD8C9.2968753C@wavetech.net>
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
Subject: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: Bioregional list, Deep Ecology, Positive Futures
Hi, folks--this is a 'mail about Jim Merkel's Global Living Project in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Jim is a former aerospace engineer (I think--anyway he worked on weapons systems) who left that work and moved to BC to live lightly on the land and open a training center for people to learn ecologically sound community living together. Wonderful!
> From:         Brenda Platt[SMTP:bplatt@ilsr.org]
> Sent:         Wednesday, February 17, 1999 3:14 AM
> To:   multiple recipients of
> Subject:      [GRRN] Learning to Live Better
>
> FYI.
> Brenda Platt
>
>
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> Contact:  Project coordinator Jimi Merkel (250)355-2585
>
> NORTH AMERICAN RESEARCH TEAM REDUCES ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT BY 600%
>
>      Emerging on the heels of the failed Biosphere II experiment, The
> Global Living Project (GLP) provides optimistic evidence that fulfilling
> lifestyles are possible with radically reduced consumerism. 

[for a better-formatted version, see below.  D.]

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 07:29:32 1999
	 from 56K-077.MaxTNT1.pdq.net [209.144.226.77-0] by meg.pdq.net; 
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 11:36:42 -0600
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 11:31:14 -0600
From: Nan Hildreth 
Message-Id: <4.0.2.19990217110758.00bc9f00@mail.pdq.net>
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
I cleaned up Betsy's fine post to pass on to my friends.

How can I tell if *my* footprint is below sustainability? I would like to use this for local action. Give myself and folks a certificate. Like AA chips for not drinking for 24 hours. My young upstairs tenant bikes to work, but the pressure for him to drive is enormous. Same story for others in my circle.

Can someone figure it out for me?

Nan


NORTH AMERICAN RESEARCH TEAM REDUCES ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT BY 600%

The Global Living Project (GLP) provides optimistic evidence that fulfilling lifestyles are possible with radically reduced consumerism. Charged with the question, "Is it possible to live equitably and harmoniously within the means of nature?", the 19 member team maintained detailed records of their consumption. The primary research tool used was the ecological footprinting methodology developed by Dr. Mathis Wackernagel and Dr. William Rees at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Ecological footprinting measures the amount of land area we use to support our current lifestyle. If we divide the earths productive surface by the 6 billion human inhabitants, each of us has 5.5 acres. The average Canadian uses 19 acres. Americans use 25 acres. The GLP team reduced their footprint to 3.2 acres each. If humans choose to live equitably among all species, leaving sufficient habitat for the 25 million other species on the planet, we are left with one wise acre each. This is the current challenge of the GLP.

To many, low consumption implies deprivation. Contrary to this assumption, the team found essential links between reduced consumption and high quality of life. To assess their quality of life the team questioned their fulfillment and values around spending and consumption with the help of the best seller "Your Money or Your Life".

THEIR FINDINGS

  1. Equity among the earth's 6 billion humans was achieved. The research team achieved a per person ecological footprint of 3.2 acres, well below the 5.5 acres available AND 600% LESS THAN THE AVERAGE NORTH AMERICAN.
  2. Equity among all species was not achieved. The research team would need to further reduce its footprint (3.2 acres) by a factor of 3 to be functioning at a level of interspecies equity (1 acre).
  3. Lowering footprints resulted in increased quality of life. It can be challenging to embrace a radically different lifestyle interdependent with the earth. Although obstacles arose in various aspects of community living, overall, participants agree that quality of life either stayed the same or increased.
With population and consumerism growing exponentially on a finite earth, the conditions for an ecological collapse will play out within our lifetimes if we don't change our lifestyles. With the millenium coming to an end, the GLP team asks urbanites and rural dwellers alike:
"Do we want a peaceful and sustainable planet? If not now, when? If not me, who?"
These are challenges fit for the times in which we live. It is a challenge perhaps born of the wisdom that humans are only a single strand in the web of life.

This spring, the GLP will be touring the Kootenays, Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle via bicycle to share their findings. For more information on upcoming programs contact Jimi Merkel or Erica Sherwood at (250) 355-2585, GR4 C.17 RR#1, Winlaw, B.C., VOG 2JO through email:
Jimi Merkel <jmerkel@netidea.com> or visit their website at:
www.netidea.com/~jmerkel/

A GIFT TO THE FUTURE

 Learning to Live Better  on a Smaller Footprint

       oooO
       (   )
        \ (
         \_)   Oooo
               (   )
                ) /
               (_/

 James Merkel and Erica Sherwood,  Global Living Project
 GR4 C.17  RR#1,  Winlaw B.C.  VOG 2JO
 (250)355-2585  Web site:  www.netidea.com/~jmerkel/



Nan Hildreth  Nan.Hildreth@pdq.net  
Houston Sierra Population/Sustainability Contact

.. recovery for the individual and the whole society lies in relaxing into
genuine feeling, genuine desire, and of course that means doing active
grieving or whatever to release pent up stresses.  Anne Schaef and her
allies teach that sustainable human society is a natural outcome of
everybody doing what they really want to do, as opposed to what they've
become addicted to doing.   -  K Williams 

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 09:55:09 1999
	 from mail.sover.net (usr0a56.wrj.sover.net [209.198.95.56])
	by garnet.sover.net (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id OAA08268;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:55:46 -0500 (EST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:22:29
From: Tom Gray 
Message-Id: <3.0.6.16.19990217142229.311fac12@pop.igc.org>
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: Nan Hildreth , positive-futures@igc.org

At 11:31 AM 2/17/99 -0600, Nan Hildreth wrote:
>I cleaned up Betsy's fine post to pass on to my friends.    
>
>How can I tell if *my* footprint is below sustainability?  I would like to use
>this for local action.  Give myself and folks a certificate.  Like AA chips for
>not drinking for 24 hours.   My young upstairs tenant bikes to work,  but the
>pressure for him to drive is enormous.    Same story for others in my circle. 
>
>Can someone figure it out for me?  
>Nan
I'm interested too. The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--pretty amazing since they apparently believe they have a world-beating statistic that measures all forms of environmental impact with a single yardstick. As a communications professional, I was horrified by this omission.

I'm starting to work on the issue of local enviro indicators with a local sustainability group, and I've been pushing this concept, and am just about to start digging around to see what I can find out. So, anyone who can save me some time or provide some pointers, thanks in advance.

Tom

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:15 1999
	 from 56K-002.MaxTNT1.pdq.net [209.144.226.2-22] by alice.pdq.net; 
         Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:44:47 -0600
Cc: David MacClement 
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:33:29 -0600
From: Nan Hildreth 
Message-Id: <199902172046.MAA20456@igc7.igc.org>
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: positive-futures@igc.org
At 08:22 AM 2/17/99 , Tom wrote:
>The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel
>and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--
We know how roughly. Live near work, or work at home. Have friends you can walk to visit. Walk to visit them instead of driving to the gym. Look at the trees along the way. Carpool for outings. Local food, not grapes from Chile. Grow some of your own. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Some folks here are dedicated to all that. It's time we applauded them for it.
>I'm <snip> just about
>to start digging around to see what I can find out.  
With Houston less educated and organized than your New England, I'll leave it up to you and Dave MacClement to come up with a definition of personal sustainability.
Nan Hildreth  Nan.Hildreth@pdq.net  
Houston Sierra Population/Sustainability Contact

.. recovery for the individual and the whole society lies in relaxing into
genuine feeling, genuine desire, and of course that means doing active
grieving or whatever to release pent up stresses.  Anne Schaef and her
allies teach that sustainable human society is a natural outcome of
everybody doing what they really want to do, as opposed to what they've
become addicted to doing.   -  K Williams 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:23 1999
	 by c47-rizzo.blarg.net with Microsoft Mail
	id <01BE5A7A.4CAD7A60@c47-rizzo.blarg.net>; Wed, 17 Feb 1999 13:34:53 -0800
Cc: David MacClement 
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 13:34:40 -0800
From: Michael J. Coffey 
Message-ID: <01BE5A7A.4CAD7A60@c47-rizzo.blarg.net>
Subject: RE: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: "'Nan Hildreth'" , Positive Futures
But simply doing what you mention (living near work, walk rather than using the gym, buy local produce, etc) doesn't tell you how much productive earth you personally are using...ie, your Eco-Footprint. Sure, doing all of those things will reduce your footprint, but by how much? How can you determine which changes will afford the greatest effect on your impact on the earth? That's the kind of stuff I hoped to find myself, but couldn't. I wanted to be able to spend an afternoon with a calculator and a big checklist or whatever and evaluate what my own personal impact was and what the greatest contributors were to its size.

--Michael J. Coffey--

-----Original Message-----
From:	Nan Hildreth 
Sent:	Wednesday, 17 February, 1999 12:33 PM
To:	positive-futures@igc.org
Cc:	David MacClement
Subject:	Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%

At 08:22 AM 2/17/99 , Tom wrote:
>The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel
>and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--

We know how roughly.   Live near work, or work at home.  Have friends you can
walk to visit.  Walk to visit them instead of driving to the gym.  Look at the
trees along the way.  Carpool for outings.  Local food, not grapes from Chile. 
Grow some of your own.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Some folks here are dedicated
to all that.   It's time we applauded them for it. 

Nan

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:33 1999
	 from wavetech.net (pm-3-075.dynam.WaveTech.net [206.146.145.76])
	by riptide.wavetech.net (8.9.0/8.9.0) with ESMTP id PAA21062
	for ; Wed, 17 Feb 1999 15:55:20 -0600 (CST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 15:49:28 -0600
From: Betsy Barnum 
Message-ID: <36CB3968.11176802@wavetech.net>
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: positive-futures@igc.org
Tom Gray wrote:
> I'm interested too.  The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel
> and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--pretty amazing
> since they apparently believe they have a world-beating statistic that
> measures all forms of environmental impact with a single yardstick.  As a
> communications professional, I was horrified by this omission.
The book does encourage individuals to calculate their ecological footprint, and suggests you must begin by measuring everything. (p. 116) There is a chart on page 69 that you could use, for instance, once you had measured your energy use, to find the footprint for that much of those kinds of energy. But the chart's scale is huge, for large populations, so you'd have to work with that.

It's true, there isn't much help there with *doing* the calculations. The method is mainly designed to be applicable to population groups, I think, such as cities, regions, countries and so on.

To get really reliable figures to use for your own ecological footprint, you would have to do your own research on ecological impacts in your area of the things you use and the things you do (a huge job, obviously, but probably a very good thing to do, or to begin). Rees and Wackernagel have used figures on consumption from the UN, World Bank, Worldwatch, and so on (p.70) so the figures they calculated are, of course, for the "average" or "typical" person in the countries they calculated, based on those aggregate figures.

They state, for example, that rather than undertake the enormous task of calculating the ecological impact of each of the thousands of consumer products people use, they put consumer goods into one figure, obviously a pretty coarse figure that might not be accurate for a given individual's life at all. We all know that there can be huge variation in impact--an item made locally from cotton grown organically and not bleached will have a very different impact from an identical (almost) item made from cotton grown in India with heavy use of chemicals and bleached with chlorine before being shipped 12,000 miles to you.

On page 106 is a box for calculating the ecological footprint of commuting, which even includes the extra food required by a person who bicycles 10 kilometers. The car and bus calculations include things like road space per person, which is divided by the population whether everyone is driving a car on the road or not, since that amount of land is taken up by roads. For the car footprint, you'd have to substitute the mileage your car gets instead of the "average" figure they've used.

Perhaps one way to do it would be to start from what they determined is the "average" American's (or Canadian's) footprint and work backwards from there, subtracting a certain amount for items you buy that were produced locally. There is a certain amount of subjectivity in the method, really--they made a lot of assumptions. But I think the formulas are there, if you can figure out how to use them with your own figures for what you eat, what you buy and what you throw away.

Betsy

--
Betsy Barnum
bbarnum@wavetech.net
http://www.reocities.com/RainForest/1624

**************************************
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force... When we are
listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to
grow within us and come to life...

--Brenda Ueland

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:41 1999
	 from mail.sover.net (usr0a112.wrj.sover.net [209.198.95.112])
	by garnet.sover.net (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id RAA27198;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:40:19 -0500 (EST)
Cc: David MacClement 
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:38:04
From: Tom Gray 
Message-Id: <3.0.6.16.19990217173804.0e7fec20@pop.igc.org>
Subject: RE: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: "Michael J. Coffey" , "Nan Hildreth" , "Positive Futures" 
At 01:34 PM 2/17/99 -0800, Michael J. Coffey wrote:
>But simply doing what you mention (living near work, walk rather than
using the gym, buy local produce, etc) doesn't tell you how much
productive earth you personally are using ... ie, your Eco-Footprint.  Sure,
doing all of those things will reduce your footprint, but by how much?
How can you determine which changes will afford the greatest effect on
your impact on the earth?  That's the kind of stuff I hoped to find
myself, but couldn't.  I wanted to be able to spend an afternoon with a
calculator and a big checklist or whatever and evaluate what my own
personal impact was and what the greatest contributors were to its size.
Exactly.

Tom

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:44 1999
	 from mail.sover.net (usr0a112.wrj.sover.net [209.198.95.112])
	by garnet.sover.net (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id RAA27167;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:40:13 -0500 (EST)
Cc: David MacClement 
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:34:51
From: Tom Gray 
Message-Id: <3.0.6.16.19990217173451.0e7f7fba@pop.igc.org>
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
To: Nan Hildreth , positive-futures@igc.org

>At 08:22 AM 2/17/99 , Tom wrote:
>>The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel
>>and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--
At 02:33 PM 2/17/99 -0600, Nan Hildreth wrote:
>We know how roughly.   Live near work, or work at home.  Have friends you can
>walk to visit.  Walk to visit them instead of driving to the gym.  Look at the
>trees along the way.  Carpool for outings.  Local food, not grapes from Chile. 
>Grow some of your own.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Some folks here are dedicated
>to all that.   It's time we applauded them for it. 
Yeah. Unfortunately, there is an infinite number of things to do, and time is quite finite. I want to know which are the five most important things to work on. I don't think the answers are obvious, and I'm afraid a lot of effort is going into the easiest things instead.
>>I'm <snip> just about to start digging around to see what I can find out.  
>
>With Houston less educated and organized than your New England, I'll leave it
>up to you and Dave MacClement to come up with a definition of personal
>sustainability.
OK. Will report back unless someone here beats me to it.

Tom

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From ???@??? Thu Feb 18 17:24:52 1999
	 from wavetech.net (pm-3-075.dynam.WaveTech.net [206.146.145.76])
	by riptide.wavetech.net (8.9.0/8.9.0) with ESMTP id RAA27321
	for ; Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:13:05 -0600 (CST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:07:14 -0600
From: Betsy Barnum 
Message-ID: <36CB4BA2.4E398255@wavetech.net>
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
To: Positive Futures 
Subject: [Fwd: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%]
This is a reply to my post this morning about the ecological footprint. It is from the deep ecology list, and did not get posted to positive futures directly (I am guessing?) because Bruce is not a member. But I think it is of interest WRT simple living and sustainable futures. I will next forward Jim Merkel's reply. I apologize if these messages have already appeared on positive-futures--it's difficult for me to tell where they came into my inbox from, since I sent the original post to 3 mailing lists at the same time.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 99 10:02:23 -0700
From: Bruce Elkin <belkin@saltspring.com>, 
To: "Betsy Barnum" <bbarnum@wavetech.net>, 
"Bioregional list" <bioregional@csf.colorado.edu>, 
"Deep Ecology" <deep-ecology@igc.org>, 
"Positive Futures" <positive-futures@igc.org>, 
"Can. VS net" <cvsn@UWinnipeg.ca>
Hi Betsy and all you other folks, Yes, the experiment in reducting ecological footprint is quite wonderful. However, I have a couple of concerns about this kind of thing.

It's important to remember that the experiment took place at a wilderness camp over a six week period in the summer. I too have lived extremely simply in this kind of setting when I ran wilderness-based environmental programs in the Canadian Rockies. But I did not see it as a model for others to aspire to. Most human beings now live in cities and will do so for at least our life times. While Merkel's experiment is inspiring and illuminating in some ways, it might also put many people off.

I for example, am very interested in how he managed to live and do volunteer work in San Louis Obispo on $5000/month. People on welfare here on my small island get that same amount as a living allowance and can barely make ends meet. My guess is Mr. Merkel was rich in material, social and human capital when he 'retired' and began living on $5000. That is, I suspect his house was paid off, as were his big ticket items like appliances and vehicle. I suspect he had a good education and a wealth of exprience and human contacts/resources he could draw on (a friend who'd lend him his cottage at the lake for a week or two for a cheap vacation.) It is important to remember that most North Americans are not rich in these ways. Poor and working class people usually do not have friends with second homes. (For more on this notion of human and social capital, see Juliet Schor, The Overspent American.)

Back to the wilderness camp. Here is an exciting adventure with a limited therefore easy to embrace time frame. People are gathered around and galvanized by a common purpose. It is summer and the livin' is easy. No one has to go to work to pay rent. It is an ideal setting and situation. I'm not knocking the experiment, don't get me wrong. I think it is great. But, I also think we should put it in context before we hold it out as a model for others.

I've been living simply since I first read Voluntary Simplicity III in the old Co-Evolution Quarterly back in the summer of 1977. (Actually I'd been living simply prior to that, I just didn't have a name for it. I thought I was a poor struggling student.) I also coach people on downshifting and living more simply. Over the years I have seen most (yes, most!) simple livers I know opt back into the mainstream. They just couldn't sustain the simple life over time. Remember all those back to the landers and hippies from the sixties. Most of them are now mortgage-holding, middle class consumers.

Living simply for a time is not difficult. We all did it when we were students at college or university or art school (those of us who could afford those luxuries.) We do it temporarily every time we go camping. Most of my clients follow a pattern of simplify, get frustrated by pent-up demand, complexify, get mad at themselves, then simplify again, etc.

So, my emphasis is on creating a lifestyle that you can sustain over time. A lifestyle that is rich in engagement and meaning and purpose and that can be lived right alongsides the mainstream, not one that has to take place in a wilderness camp.

Finally, telling folks you lived on $5000 a year without showing them how and telling folks you reduced your ecological foot print by 600% without clearly explaining the temporary, out of the ordinary, nature of the experiment can cause a kind of I-could-never-do that! reaction in ordinary simple living aspirants. I have, in fact, had several calls and e-mails from clients who have seen the full report from Merkel on the Global Living Project who were despairing about their own efforts. It took a lot of massaging to get them to see the GLP in perspective.

So, good for Merkel and his team! WE need more of things like this. But, let's be careful not to over-generalize the results, nor to put them out in a way that might make others feel their own efforts are so neglible as to be useless.

What do you think? Let's chat.

Cheers!
Bruce

**************************************************************************
Bruce Elkin/The Earthways Institute 
141 Seaview Rd. Saltspring Island, BC V8K 2V8 
Phone: 250-537 1177  Fax: 250-537-1462
Website: ; Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:14:26 -0600 (CST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:08:35 -0600
From: Betsy Barnum 
Message-ID: <36CB4BF3.9E47EFD4@wavetech.net>
Organization: Great River Earth Institute
To: Positive Futures 
Subject: [Fwd: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%]
Here's Jim Merkel's reply to Bruce Elkin.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 14:52:21 -0800
From: jmerkel@netidea.com (jimi merkel)
To: Bruce Elkin 
"Betsy Barnum" , 
"Bioregional list" , 
"Deep Ecology" , 
"Positive Futures" , 
"Can. VS net" 
Dear friends of many lists -

I thought I'd take a few moments to answer some of Bruce's questions - I feel quite indulgent in doing so - are hundreds of people interested in more detail? I'll try to be brief.

The Global Living Project does not advocate everyone return to the wild - just that those who feel a deep calling to not learn everything from books and videos to have a 6 week body experience in light living. If one wants to clear hurdles - but is stopped without being able to run there is a small chance of success. Similarly our visions and dreams can become more tangible and more possible if lots of the constraints of the urban North American life are left for a spell. Too many rules - many directly opposing sustainable practices. We will have the rest of our lives to make changes - but for 6 weeks we apply the footprinting tool and experiment with the realms of possiblities.

Our program does focus on how to bring what we learned back to our homes - be they rural or urban. Our hope is that people will leave with a body experience that living on radically reduced consumerism can actually be rich and that people will tap their inner resources and creativity and feel empowered to contribute to a sustainable world knowing the fullness of what they are capable of. After three years of this program - I can say I feel very empowered by either the changes people make in their lives - or the happiness they carry into their work. The practical as well as community and relationship skills that are an integral part of the GLP are applicable in any setting. Each year we hope to broaden our base of knowledge to encompass topics that are relevant to the times we live and the people attending the project. Any suggestions are truely welcome!

One question I have for myself and others -

Sure most live in cities, the GLP fully supports the eco-cities movement - we hope to blow wind into the sails of folks doing this important work. But i've often wondered if humans will ever really be able to find our place in the web of life while living in a human centered development? Do humans have an inherent need as the ecopsychologists suggest for a deep - real - meaningful connection - daily - being in community with the greater "all my relations"? I wonder if there is any other way? Your thoughts.

Bruce asks how I can live on $5,000 per year. (Bruce said per month by mistake I think). Easy. And my spending has gone down over the years as I set myself up better. Thoreau said to maintain ones self on this earth is a pastime not a hardship if we are willing to live simply and wisely. I had a big mortgage in San Luis Obispo but rented out three of the 4 rooms in my fixer upper, (made some great friendships), took the car off the road that I owned since 1979 (biked, walked, bussed and bummed rides (offered gas money)), planted a garden, bought organic food in bulk and actually had thirteen yard sales getting rid of almost every appliance and piece of furniture. I have not felt a single material want in 10 years that I couldn't realize.

Bruce asks about my background - yes, I am white, a male, have an engineering degree and came from parents who cared. My dad drove truck and left the house at 4 am and returned after dark to support his nine children and wife that he loved dearly. I picked beans as a boy along with my mom and migrant farm workers - it is a fond memory -

I feel my biggest resource I have in living on $5,000 is my moms example of providing healthy food, mended hand - me -downs a positive self esteem and a willingness to work hard. She would say, "get a book out of the library" when dad didn't know how to get the handlebars off the bicycle. Mom was a doer. A miracle woman. Always said she could live in a chicken coup. Her dad died when she was twelve and she helped raise the 7 siblings while grandma worked in a factory. I crawled around the basement sweating pipes with dad - and remember 30 years later enough to install a hot water coil in our wood stove. Our house never had a light bulb burning without a person using it's light. So much gratitude to my parents.

I do feel there are many who enter the world from a real place of hardship - or a family of abuse or a country experiencing famine or hearing bombs drop. Yes - we have so much work to create a world where our lives can improve the situation on earth today. And how often is it that the life of the average north american actually contributes to the destruction. I was born with way more than my fair share of resource and opportunity and only hope that in the years I have left that I develop increasing strenght to not take things just because I can.

In our culture, we have never had more material abundance at any time in history - yes I know the gap between the rich and poor has doubled - a dangerous trend - but I feel it doesn't help to see ourselves as victims - not having a salary as high as so and so. On a global scale - my $5,000 per person makes me amongst the richest 25% of the worlds people( from Charles Gray "Toward a Non-Violent Economics"). Perhaps our culture's largest struggle and my own personal struggle is to say no to things that are so easy to have. For many(not all!) in our culture trying to live a simple life, suffering is optional.

Bruces last comments that the setting of the GLP is ideal - summer time - no one has to work etc. and that we should be careful not to hold it out as a model. This is true. We are careful even in our media release to state that much of what we are learning can be applied to the urban setting and that it is an experiment. Our life during the program is contrived - yes - we form a community for 6 weeks - but for erica and I this is our life - and we love it very much and if anyone feels inspired to have a go at the homesteading life - we say go for it. Just please don't bring your urban life into the mountains else we destroy what we love so dearly.

Bruce asks us to question if we can actually sustain the changes that we make in our lifestlyes. Excellent point. That is why our program is 6 weeks and not 6 days - in hopes of simple living becoming a body experience.
I've heard that if people can sustain a new habit for more than three weeks it has a better chance of stickin. Any other suggestions of how we can inspire changes that actually work for people and our planet for the generations to come - I bet most of us are questing to learn more. Any ideas?

Wishing you all the best in your service and life -

sustainably yours,

jimi and erica wiseacre


A GIFT TO THE FUTURE: 

Learning to Live Better 
        on a Smaller Footprint

      oooO
      (   )
       \ (
        \_)   Oooo
              (   )
               ) /
              (_/

"To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts"  H.D. 
Thoreau

James Merkel and Erica Sherwood
Global Living Project
GR4 C.17  RR#1
Winlaw B.C.  VOG 2JO
(250)355-2585
Web site:  
www.netidea.com/~jmerkel/

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From ???@??? Fri Feb 19 13:24:57 1999
	 from pop.ou.edu (dyn0-85.educ.ou.edu [129.15.102.85])
	by styx.services.ou.edu (8.9.1/8.9.1) with ESMTP id IAA08486
	for ; Thu, 18 Feb 1999 08:53:39 -0600 (CST)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 08:58:12 -0600
From: Diane Fitzsimmons 
Message-ID: <36CC2A84.41A5173D@pop.ou.edu>
Subject: Ecological footprint and personal security
To: positive-futures@igc.org
My ecological footprint is something I've thought about quite a bit in the last year. I thought I was doing very well until I took a test I got somewhere on the web (sorry, I don't remember where) and discovered I have nothing to gloat about.

One issue has been on my mind lately, and I'm curious as to how others have dealt with it. As a way of living more simply and cheaply, we live in an older, lower-middle class neighborhood that includes apartments, duplexes and small starter/downsizing homes. It is bounded by two major thoroughfares and has a lot of traffic through it. The population is a mix of college students, families and senior citizens. It is not considered a "good" neighborhood (my 12-year-old daughter says her school friends acted as if "we lived in the ghetto" when she told them our address. I'm not sure there's a true ghetto anywhere in our state, at least not how I imagine them.)

Anyway, security has been on my mind lately. I've never let my children have freedom to roam the neighborhood because of the number of strangers who travel through our area. I've always been careful to keep windows and doors locked at night, which means air conditioning on in the summer (talk about ecological "big"foot!). I think my family thought I was being too paranoid -- until our neighbor was raped in her home on Christmas Eve. Her assailant cut her phone wires, broke into her utility porch and then broke into her house at 3:30 a.m. None of us heard or saw anything -- very frightening to think such a crime can go on and we are oblivious.

My first reaction was .. Of course, we didn't move and are instead re-doubling our efforts to keep close contacts with neighbors, trying to foster community, etc.

Anyway, a lot of us who choose to live more simply do so by living in lower-income neighborhoods and work on building community. I was curious on others' thoughts on personal security in such instances. I have always despised car alarms and home security systems as more gazingus pins, and, as I mentioned above, secure houses mean air-conditioned houses -- issues that relate to ecological impact.

FWIW, Diane F.


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From ???@??? Fri Feb 19 16:21:19 1999
	 from kc-ent-13.itol.com (kc-ent-13.itol.com [209.83.59.22])
	by admin.itol.com (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id XAA31453
	for ; Wed, 17 Feb 1999 23:15:07 -0600
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 23:15:07 -0600
From: Jill Taylor Bussiere 
Message-Id: <199902180515.XAA31453@admin.itol.com>
Subject: ecofootprints
To: positive-futures@igc.org
I was in a Quaker study group in Raleigh, NC in the 1970's, and we read a book about simple living - can't remember the title. In it was a section where you figured out how many energy slaves you used - it had a list of different things - car, airplane trips, dryers, all sorts of things - and then an energy slave value for each. I looked in Amazon - but don't see anything on that topic that is that old. I put a search out in my brain, and asked my husband as well - maybe we will come up with it! I remember it as a good lesson, though - because we took occasional airplane trips home, we came up with more energy slaves, even though we had few appliances, etc. than others who led a "more consumptive" (I don't mean tuberculosis) life style.

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From ???@??? Fri Feb 19 16:21:21 1999
	 from mail.sover.net (usr0a85.wrj.sover.net [209.198.95.85])
	by garnet.sover.net (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id XAA22576;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 23:10:16 -0500 (EST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:31:10
From: Tom Gray 
Message-Id: <3.0.6.16.19990217213110.1bb78c66@pop.igc.org>
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%]
To: Betsy Barnum , Positive Futures 
At 05:07 PM 2/17/99 -0600, Betsy Barnum wrote:
>This is a reply to my post this morning about the ecological footprint.
>It is from the deep ecology list, and did not get posted to positive
>futures directly (I am guessing?) because Bruce is not a member. But I
>think it is of interest WRT simple living and sustainable futures. I
>will next forward Jim Merkel's reply. I apologize if these messages have
>already appeared on positive-futures--it's difficult for me to tell
>where they came into my inbox from, since I sent the original post to 3
>mailing lists at the same time.
For future reference, feel free to repost here messages of this type. My policy as list manager is to NOT repost them, because I think folks should post to lists they subscribe to instead of burdening list managers with a ton of extra work, and for that reason I discourage multi-list discussions. So, you need not worry about duplication, unless the message comes from someone on this list. But I have nothing against a volunteer from this list forwarding messages that she feels would be of interest to its readers.

Tom


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From ???@??? Fri Feb 19 16:21:28 1999
	 from mail.sover.net (usr0a85.wrj.sover.net [209.198.95.85])
	by garnet.sover.net (8.9.3/8.9.3) with SMTP id XAA22529;
	Wed, 17 Feb 1999 23:10:07 -0500 (EST)
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:21:21
From: Tom Gray 
Message-Id: <3.0.6.16.19990217212121.0e7fc8f2@pop.igc.org>
To: Betsy Barnum , Positive Futures
Subject: Re: reducing eco-footprint 600%

>Tom Gray wrote:
>> I'm interested too.  The main weakness of the book these guys (Wackernagel
>> and Rees) wrote is that it does NOT tell how to do this--pretty amazing
>> since they apparently believe they have a world-beating statistic that
>> measures all forms of environmental impact with a single yardstick.  As a
>> communications professional, I was horrified by this omission.
At 03:49 PM 2/17/99 -0600, Betsy Barnum wrote:
>The book does encourage individuals to calculate their ecological footprint, and
>suggests you must begin by measuring everything. (p. 116) There is a chart on page
>69 that you could use, for instance, once you had measured your energy use, to
>find the footprint for that much of those kinds of energy. But the chart's scale
>is huge, for large populations, so you'd have to work with that.
Yes, but that's my point. Why suggest that people do these calculations without providing some decent tools? That's leaving the job less than half done.
>It's true, there isn't much help there with *doing* the calculations. The method
>is mainly designed to be applicable to population groups, I think, such as
>cities,regions, countries and so on.
The method purports to be a system for converting environmental impacts of all types into a single measurement. There is no inherent reason why it should not work equally well on a micro level, except that it's a hassle measuring everything and figuring out how to do the calculations. QED.
>To get really reliable figures to use for your own ecological footprint, you would
>have to do your own research on ecological impacts in your area of the things you
>use and the things you do (a huge job, obviously, but probably a very good thing
>to do, or to begin). Rees and Wackernagel have used figures on consumption from
>the UN, World Bank, Worldwatch, and so on (p.70) so the figures they calculated
>are, of course, for the "average" or "typical" person in the countries they
>calculated, based on those aggregate figures.
I'm not too impressed by a table that tells folks to go to FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization, a UN group) data, among other sources. Yes, it's a great idea for each of us to take a few years and become environmental experts, but it also leads to massive reinvention of the wheel. After all, everyone could invent their own idea of the Ecological Footprint too . . .
>They state, for example, that rather than undertake the enormous task of
>calculating the ecological impact of each of the thousands of consumer products
>people use, they put consumer goods into one figure, obviously a pretty coarse
>figure that might not be accurate for a given individual's life at all. We all
>know that there can be huge variation in impact--an item made locally from cotton
>grown organically and not bleached will have a very different impact from an
>identical (almost) item made from cotton grown in India with heavy use of
>chemicals and bleached with chlorine before being shipped 12,000 miles to you.
Sure. There are ways to deal with this too, giving ranges or samples of typical types of items that a person might purchase. Even if the numbers were not exact, they would probably give orders-of-magnitude ideas about the impact of various activities. The box on p. 119, for example, gives a single figure for the impact of reading a daily newspaper.
>On page 106 is a box for calculating the ecological footprint of commuting, which
>even includes the extra food required by a person who bicycles 10 kilometers. The
>car and bus calculations include things like road space per person, which is
>divided by the population whether everyone is driving a car on the road or not,
>since that amount of land is taken up by roads. For the car footprint, you'd have 
>to substitute the mileage your car gets instead of the "average" figure they've used.
>
>Perhaps one way to do it would be to start from what they determined is the
>"average" American's (or Canadian's) footprint and work backwards from there,
>subtracting a certain amount for items you buy that were produced locally. There
>is a certain amount of subjectivity in the method, really--they made a lot of
>assumptions. But I think the formulas are there, if you can figure out how to use
>them with your own figures for what you eat, what you buy and what you throw away.
This is certainly one approach. First, though, I'm going to look around on the Web and elsewhere to see if anyone has already gotten around to doing this. I'd like to see people's time and energy going into working out ways to reduce their impact, rather than carrying on individual master's-thesis research projects.

Don't get me wrong. I think Wackernagel and Rees have done the world a real service by coming up with this concept, and I also appreciate your taking the time to look through the book and point out some possible approaches. But until it is translated by someone into numbers that the average person can apply to their own lifestyle, its effectiveness is very limited.

Tom


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