August 15, 2018

Virtual Communities of Mutual Support




Any time a person wishes to stand in opposition to mainstream ideas, it is essential to also have a community for mutual support. So it is with those opting out of mainstream consumerism through voluntary simplicity.

How many North Americans have quit consumerism? It is hard to say, but one study found that only 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for living a "healthy lifestyle", and I imagine that living simply and living a healthy lifestyle are somewhat related.

Suffice it to say, the percentage of citizens that consider themselves as engaging in voluntary simplicity is tiny (but growing). That makes mutual support even more important.

Such support takes many forms. Like hugs, for example. But the form I would like to highlight are virtual communities of mutual support (not that there is anything wrong with hugs). 

Blogs are one example, and one that has been very important for me and Linda. In our quest to offer support through the Not Buying Anything blog, we have found support, and we appreciate being able to both give and receive help here.

Another virtual community of mutual support that I have been involved in is Reddit. There are a seemingly infinite number of different kinds of groups to be found there, but my favourite is r/simpleliving.

I participated in this community a few years ago when it was still in its infancy, and I was starting this blog. The two went together well at that moment in my writing, and my practice of simplicity, and I still check in from time to time.

When I initially became involved, the group had 309 subscribers (or members), and the moderator that originally started the group had just quit. I took it over, and helped moderate the small group of consumer resisters that wished to help each other out while celebrating the joys of the simple life. 

After a while, the numbers began to grow.

Since I took over as moderator in 2010, the number of subscribers has grown from 309 to over 126,000 simple souls celebrating their shared passion for authentic living outside mainstream consumerism. What a pleasure it has been to see this group grow over the years.

There is strength in numbers, and in being organized, and in being a strong support for each other. After I stepped aside as moderator after a few years, a group of excellent people took over and continued to improve the community to the point where it is today.

For some good discussion, practical ideas, and a supportive community, I recommend you check it out at: 


https://www.reddit.com/r/simpleliving/


If we are going to get the Simple Living Revolution fully out of the box, we are going to have to stick together and help each other out in any way we can.

Virtual communities of mutual support are one way to make that happen. 

Thank you for your participation in building Not Buying Anything into one such community. We are coming up to 2 million page views! That is a lot of support, and it gives me hope.





August 13, 2018

Thank You Bees

Bees working kabocha squash flowers in my early morning sun-drenched garden.
Bees have not been doing well over the past few years (along with many other insects and pollinators). Declines in wild pollinators may be a result of habitat loss and degradation, while decline in managed bees is linked to disease (introduced parasites and pathogens). Pesticides are also a problem.

We should all thank bees for the enormous ecological services they provide (they are also amazing creatures in their own right, regardless of what they can do for us). 

There are many, many important foods and crops that bees help pollinate. Winter  squash are one such food. Others include blueberries, almonds, chocolate and coffee. 

Thankfully, every morning I go out to my garden I hear the busy buzz of bees as they pollinate freshly opened buttercup/kabocha and butternut squash flowers. It is a happy sound that makes my stomach growl.

Bees are perfect for the job of flitting from flower to flower, and if they disappear it will impact our food sources significantly. Now might be a good time to learn how to hand pollinate garden vegetables. 

Gardeners in some parts of the world that have low bee numbers are finding that they need to pollinate plants like squash by hand. 

If we continue to lose bees, we risk losing many of the foods we eat. Or we will need to hand pollinate every flower by hand ourselves. 

Watch for the up and coming career of the future: Pollinator Technician. Steady hand, keen eyesight and attention to detail needed. Work starts at sunrise. Helps if you are really small and can fly. And work for free.

Thank you bees.



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