Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “THe Accidenta; Activist”

September is Locovore Month

There is a lot going on in September, some of it heavy, some of it fun. 9/11 stands out this year of course. It is also back to school for children and students and sometimes there is a feeling that we spent most of the summer on snooze and now it is back to top gear. For the Jewish People, this is a time of preparation as we approach our New Year and soon after, Yom Kippur, which while known as a day of atonement, is actually the conclusion of a month of self-analysis (who can atone for all their sins in one day?).

Community Supported Agriculture

But I also discovered something else about September. It is Locovore (also spelled Locavore) Month. The Urban Dictionary defines Locavores as people who eat food that is grown locally. Food grown in your region not only results in fresher and tastier foods, but also reduces pollution, keeps dollars in the community and has fewer food safety risks.

So I thought I would brainstorm a few simple ways we could celebrate Locovore Month:

1) Consider joining one of your local Community Supported Agriculture programs, where you receive a box of veggies weekly from a local farm. I wrote about this model a few month back.

2) Go to a Farmers Market. Yes I am often critical of these because they seem so pricey, but you do make a connection with your local farmers.

Farmers Markets - making connections

3) Host a potluck and have all your friends bring dishes that include food grown in your area (allowing local microbrewery products is acceptable in my opinion).

4) Support a local community garden. One with a social justice message (as well as an ecological one) is Spiral Gardens in Berkeley. You can volunteer and get dirt between your finger nails or stop by at their stall on Tuesdays. I wrote about Spiral Gardens here.

I believe there is considerable merit in the Locovore philosophy. I am not sure that total adoption is the right way, given that there are clear advantages to having access to very healthy produce grown in climates different to our own, but becoming more aware of our local farmers and supporting ourselves with what grows in our region is a sound value.

Finally, a left coast perspective: I discovered in my research that the Locovre movement gives credit for its creation to Santa Cruz and San Jose. How’s that for some local pride!

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

Coal The Other Demon

“Somewhere in America a family will lose a loved one in the next hour as a result of pollution from coal-fired power plants.”

Wow! I saw this headline in an email from Greenpeace that my father-in-law sent me. You might remember that I spent several posts researching nuclear power, seeing this as the real energy demon. Now perhaps it is time to look at coal.

Below is the text and YouTube video that was in the email. I would love to hear what you think about it.

“Pollution from the coal industry isn’t just poisoning our communities. It’s polluting our political process as well. The millions of dollars they spend on lobbying and campaign contributions has allowed them to continue doing business as usual. But that’s changing.

Communities everywhere are standing up to the coal industry and doing what they have to do to keep their families safe and protect their air and water. And Greenpeace is supporting them.”

That’s why we created a new website — www.quitcoal.orgespecially for these activists and for anyone who is concerned about coal. Check out their stories and be one of the first people to see our new site by clicking on the video below.

We feel that this site can serve as a valuable resource by providing a platform for these activists to share their story and connect with other people in the movement and to highlight the work that is being done across the country to build a clean energy future.You’ll be hearing a lot more about the site in the future. Thanks for all you do.Quit Coal,Kelly Mitchell
Greenpeace Coal Campaigner

Please click here to vote.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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