Friday, November 30, 2012

What do we want? REAL food. When do we want it? NOW.

NYC fast food workers are standing up for justice across the food system:

"Organizers expect workers at dozens of stores to join the one-day strike, a bold challenge to an industry whose low wages, limited hours and precarious employment typify a growing portion of the U.S. economy."

Dismantle Systemic Problems: Civilization

Civilization is NOT redeemable.
Our culture is unsustainable.
We must organize,

"Environmentalists fight as hard as we can to protect the places we love, using the tools of the system the best that we can. Yet we do not do the most important thing of all: we do not question the existence of this death culture. We do not question the existence of an economic and social system that is working the world to death, that is starving it to death, that is imprisoning it, that is torturing it. We never question the logic that leads inevitably to clearcuts, murdered oceans, loss of topsoil, dammed rivers, poisoned aquifers." 

- folks from Deep Green Resistance 

We are UNSTOPPABLE - another world is POSSIBLE!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Energy overconsumption is forever environmental exploitation. . .

My quick thoughts on this article:

What does this picture reveal to you? It may be prettier than a coal plant, it definitely is, however it's more of the same: extraction - production - enviro devastation - social injustice in the process of taking materials & creating solar panels - more WASTE! Converting to renewable energy is a start in addressing our short term problems (CO2, pollution, conservation, etc.) but it is NOT a long term solution to addressing human needs. We shall not take from the earth and exploit communities in one country just so we can improve our quality of living in another. The root of these problems is our over-consumption of energy! Our economic system is flawed and tells us to take, make, and waste. It is dependent on our finite amount of resources and assumes an infinite amount.

We should be digressing from large scale and progressing to small scale, closed loop, sustainable communities. Ones we're following the "I thrive when WE thrive" ethic, growing food, engaging in cultures, giving, sharing, loving, connecting and building humanity together.

Ya dig?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Jacob, the little boy I play with after school, was so cheery as he got all dressed up for trick or treating! (Photos will surely be posted soon.) He urged me to wear one of his mother's dresses to be a "Bollywood star." Adorable - though it was too cold for that. As we went from door-to-door, he began to slow down, became tired of the routine and demanded we get back home --fast! I was curious why he wrapped up before 7 but didn't think much of it. We got to his front steps and he combined all of his treats with the candy bucket inside. He waited as a bunch of children, close to his age, ran along towards his home. Unsurprisingly they raced to him yelling "Hey, hey, HEY Jacob! Check out my costume. . ." and to give him a big hug. Everyone knows and loves Jacob! He smiled and threw lots of candy in their bags. He looked at me, with his head up, then boldly and cheery said ". . .just in time!"

Whoa. He finds a way to warm my heart every single day. The night went on and that is all he did and only wanted to do - share his own candy and give more, more, and more to his friends, neighbors and fellow trick-or-treaters.

That's what Jacob, whom is 11 years old, enjoys most about Halloween. Simply, the act of giving.

We, community organizers, can learn a lot from him. The key to building community is relationships. UBUNTU' in the Xhosa culture means: "I am because we are."
Ya know,
I thrive when WE thrive.

I am doing a lot of reflecting today; thinking about kindness and compassion! Would you be willing to lose it all to gain it all? ♥

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Travelin' Trash Gypsy

Dear friends of love, flowers and green-living,

I am on the road with Pick Up America! I arrived in Colorado three days ago - first touring around Colorado Springs: (an eco-city right below an enormous mountain view) smothered with small vintage shops, vegan cafes, bikes lanes, doggies, friendly peeps and hipsters!!! Four hours passed and I bused to Denver: home to the Nuggets and other sport icons, it's the center of bars, energy and night life. (*Yawn, it's not so eco-friendly!*)

Six hours later, I made my way to Grand Junction: an isolated, peaceful, desert terrain area of Colorado. I met up with the crew there and observed as they went dumpster diving behind a bagel shop. They scored a giant bag of onion, garlic and poppy seed bagels. Sweet!

The Pick Up America bus settled miles away from civilization in public land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. We camped out and fought the freezing desert night and woke up to a bright sun, warming weather and hot tea in the mornin'! We then packed our lunch, camel jugs, gloves and trash bags to set off to reach our next destination: Utah's dirt roads and mountainsides.

On our way there, we met a lovely woman Sharon, her sweet horse and Jack Russel Terrier dog. She rides on the trails of the public land (where we camped) and seems so happy and liberated to be on those desert roads. I think it was my first real encounter with a cowgirl!

1st Day of Clean Up and I'm already shocked by the plethora of trash!
I'm still learning how pick up days work but we split up into group, and started off with a couple of miles into between us on the same road. The car with the trash wagon attached would leapfrog and collect the groups and their bags as we cover our daily mileage. We each walked around 6 miles, dragging our bags full of scrap metal, recyclables and litter along the way. This Utah road was home to hundreds of rusted beer cans seeming to have been left from a party as big as Woodstock and most cans even dated back to the sixties. What a shame!

Why we should pick up litter vs. Why we shouldn't litter!
The prairie dogs, desert trails and mountain breeze accompanied us. Seeing tons of trash in such beauty is saddening. Is humanity to blame for being so overbearing, dominating and selfish? When will we consider the billions of other species we share our planet with? When we will think about the plants, the animals -- and all creatures of green-living? How can we focus on a more inclusive lifestyle that promotes simplicity, self-sustaining communities, waste minimization and living in harmony with the environment and the life it provides for?
Well, in P.U.A., our form of action is turning it all around! We work to restore the outdoors, to experience the feeling of stewardship and to be in tune with the green-living that sustains us all! The natural world is crying to be considered, embraced, cared for and nurtured. To break from the societal ways of tearing it apart is SO rewarding!!! We are setting cultural change across America. We need your help too.
I can tell ya, the sun was just filling us up with hugs, energy and good vibes. Our group felt so connected. Jane Matt, Jeff Chen and I, were so comforted in our work as swayed to folk music, cleaned up our earth and formed such a close team!!!

SO to wrap up my thoughts on the first day, I love simple living, environmental stewardship and tackling anything that takes way from humanity and community ----yes, meaning inconsiderate hurtful things like trash!!!

:) :) :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twistin' (from High School to College)

Hey friends of earthly smells, sprouting greens, sunshine, streams and all lovely things!

I'm back on the blogosphere - dangling on the tire swing of Blogspot's evergreens!!!

Scan these minty updates about the latest twirls of my oh-so-raspberry days then follow the flowery path to the end of the post where you'll find my guide to your extra happy, bright and fulfilling life as a college student, for sure! :) :) :)

1. The front locks are now 14 inches
2. January 9 marked my 7th year of vegetarianism and 5th year of veganism
3. Finally met President Obama
4. Traveling eco-style for the last 7 months - (cycling, walking, carpooling, metro)
5. Appointed Philanthropy Chair in Student Government Association
6. Scored an internship with the respectable environmental organization, Pick Up America!
7. Mastered and ventured D. C. and NYC's transit system!
8. Took on Winter's coldness with Occupy DC & organized w/ Tar Sands Action at Occupy Wall St
9. Overcame student financial worries
10. Took on Honors Calculus and moved on to the next semester of Engineering!
11. Entertained students with Bollywood performances for two special events!
12. Organized on campus "All We Need is Love" Open Mics
13. Moved in with my friends to an isolated, peaceful side of Virginia - perfect for gardening!
14. Built tight knit friendships, friendships, friendships galore!
15. The list goes on but I'll keep y'all updated weekly, for sure!

Next is a to-do list of some sort with what to do in high school to prepare yourself for your college years. Of course, this is based on my own experience: what I did in high school, what helped and what didn't. Just like in organizing, I'm sharing my story and giving you ideas on how to form yours. SO let us *toast* to creative, story-filled lives! What's your narrative?

You have a four year time span in high school -- get things done!
1. Get involved in Club Student Life!!! Run for a position, develop leadership, multitasking, time management and social lives! Do not take short cuts (they should not be just another title to add onto your resume. You need to take these experiences and GROW!) Build connections with other students, faculty and community members. NETWORK to the max. Make business cards:

Community Activist
Rebekah Vegan
- 1 (987) 123-7654
- 1972 Hickleberry Lane, Sunshine Vill, NY 98765-

Take good notes on your organizing tasks. Develop a narrative (story of self) that gets you connected with all student groups. Find your common interests - GET ACTIVE.

2. Practice self care --- stay healthy, energized and positive. Eat well, be mindful, in tune with nature, be selfless and compassionate - be of service and a follower of Jesus by upholding these values in your life. Let people find out how you are through the God you honor! Choose vegan (animal cruelty free, organic/enviro conscious, locally grown foods) and feel good about your choices! Grow and harvest from your own backyard garden. Self-healing is VERY important because it involves your everyday interactions, how you influence others and the feel good vibes that they should be getting from you!!!

3. WORK HARD. I find it very rewarding to have pushed my limits in high school because it has made me a more stronger and prepared college student. Aim to surpass your "best," keep making those goals and achieving them. It's a lovely feeling! If you don't sleep one night to make sure you get the extra points on your research paper, then so be it. It's worth the temporary pain for the long term self discipline, responsibility and time management.

4.Take every opportunity available. If there is an out-of-state summer program offered, take it! You'll make long lasting friendships, memories and be more exposed to people, culture, places, LIFE.

5. Scholarships available in your field of study? Take it and run!!! Apply today, apply tomorrow, stack them up. They will help you get where you need to go and have more time to do lovely things in the world without financial worries or restrictions. Do NOT waste your rewarded money on things not school, food, or living expense related. Give back to the community in other ways. Please, I'm telling you, that you can do great things for people as others have done for you! Use a free Saturday that you otherwise would spend working and devote time for volunteering. Make a difference--today!