The new committee of Sustainable Communities

The new committee of Sustainable Communities SA met recently for the first time since the AGM . We welcomed a new member, Tania MacDonald, who brings new skills, ideas and energy to our group. Continuing members are Rosalie Day, Debbie Saegenschnitter and  Monica O’Wheel.

We congratulate the Unley Group on winning another grant from the City of Unley to continue working on food security with their project in growing food locally.

We are planning a members event in October 2015 at The Joinery, the new sustainability hub that is being developed by the Conservation Council SA. Members and other interested people will be invited to attend.

Plastic Free Shopping in Adelaide

written by Brindi Johnstone

PlasticFreeJul_FoodCoopPlastic Free July aims to raise awareness of the amount of single-use disposable plastic in our lives and challenges people to do something about it. Here is a small list of ideas for your plastic free shopping in Adelaide. Always remember to bring your own bags/jars/bottles etc and ask for no plastic.

If you can’t buy it, try making your own (ideas here or trade with someone (Adelaide trade sites listed below)).

Register for Plastic Free July here.

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Tackling inequality – Naomi Klein joins the dots, tackling climate change and inequality at the same time

IdeasGroupHeaderwritten by Anne Bunning

Naomi Klein has a big reputation for her research, writing and speaking about the unethical, immoral and unscrupulous operations of big business, globalisation and capitalism. Her bestselling books No Logo: taking aim at the brand bullies (in 2000) and The Shock Doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism (in 2007) exposed the downside of capitalism – the human exploitation, injustice and inequality. Her follow up films and analysis in elite international publications, as well as speeches at public demonstrations such as the 2011 Occupy Wall Street, inspired a generation of young activists.

Following publication of The Shock Doctrine, the New Yorker judged Klein “the most visible and influential figure on the American left—what Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky were thirty years ago.” Klein sits on the board of directors of campaign group and took part in their “Do the Math” tour in 2013, encouraging the divestment movement.

Klein now describes herself as a recent convert to climate change, belatedly realising the close link between inequality and environmental destruction. Klein’s most recent book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism v The Climate (in 2014), argues that we need a more robust and honest discussion about how the predominant economic system has created deep inequalities and global environmental calamity.

Klein has turned much of her research into film, from short to feature length.

The feature length documentary This Changes Everything, directed by her husband Avi Lewis, will be completed and launched later this year.

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Love for the planet

We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.
Pope Francis

You have probably all heard about the pope’s recent encyclical by now. Whether or not you are religious or not it is still heartening to see figure with great influence, such as the Pope, taking a strong stance on our current environmental issues. The encyclical is well worth a read (or a skim read at least as it is lengthy and contained sections of theological discussion which were not so interesting to me) as it does a admirable job in addressing environmental and social problems.

It also reinforces the need to move away from our consumer culture and the fact that this move will need a change in thinking and operating with the emphasis on building builds the local, community-based, ecologically aware systems.

Most striking is the impassioned way in which the pope talks about our interdependence on all the other beings and this planet itself.

Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.
Pope Francis

As George Monbiot discusses in his article, Why we fight for the living world, on the encyclical, this passion for the world around us is all to often missing from environmentalists campaigns which increasingly talk about emission reductions and ecosystem services. Perhaps as Monbiot suggests, it is time that we start talking more about not only the rational scientific reasoning behind the need for environmental and social change but also the emotions that drive us to work towards a more sustainable future.