Green economy: does it include you?

In honor of World Environment Day, in honor of EcoFairfield, and in hopes of winning a trip to Brazil this summer (yay!) for the annual WED conference organized by the United Nations Environment Programme since 1972, today I blog about the theme of the conference this year: Green Economy. Does it include you?
World Environment Day -June 5th-The Green Economy is a fuzzy and complex concept. My definition of it includes triple-bottom-line businesses, cooperatives, private industries, non-profits, and charities; political reform (revolution?), fair-trade and global markets; as well as timebanks, volunteerism, barter, and gifting circles; women’s empowerment, agroecological practices, and renewable energy technologies.

EcoFairfield 2012

But more than these elements, vital to a green economy is a shift in thinking and understanding how things influence one another within a dynamic whole, and then prioritizing accordingly. The Green Economy is not a one-size fits all solution but many different solutions applied appropriately. The Green Economy is not one ideology but the healthy balance of many.
To paraphrase Michelle Long, instead of a global village, a Green Economy is a globe of strong, healthy interconnected villages.
What we have today is a global village in which a country’s Gross Domestic Product is considered
by most to be the only indicator of standard of living. GDP’s focus is Market Value a.k.a. Money. It ignores income disparities and depletion and degradation of natural resources. It counts your parent’s divorce, hurricane Katrina, and the alarming rate at which we are losing our soils as “gains”.

Contrast this scenario with a globe in which nations strive to boost Gross National Happiness which measures factors conducive to happiness. Here, in this world, you are guaranteed care when you fall ill, and proper education, here mothers won’t die from childbirth if preventable, and you won’t go hungry. GNH is even a useful comparative indicator; research supports the notion that markers of individual and social well-being are remarkably trans-cultural. Pinker likes to say that because we are all relatives, it’s not all relative.

And though I celebrate globalism, I acknowledge unchecked globalization is seriously un-sexy. Ignoring labor rights, human rights, and damages to the environment in international agreements leads to a world of corporate hegemony. A tricky balance needs to be resolved between globalism and localism. Imo more localization is needed. Localizing efforts lead to diverse, harder, better, faster, stronger villages and communities.
As Fairfieldians would say: there is unity in diversity.
So does the green economy include you?
Only you can say and somehow you already have the answer. Are you interested in seeing your town flourish in every way imaginable? More specifically, do you want to see more and better movies offered at the local movie theatre? Top that how about watching locally directed and produced media? Have you ever wanted to be an actor? Are you a videographer? photographer? screen writer? Think about all the new gigs that would be available, now multiply that to include every industry!
Also, what is that small business idea that whispers to you while you try to sleep? And to speak about food, aren’t the veggies and fruits from the farmer’s market just oh so ripe and delicious!? Ever thought about growing your own? Wouldn’t it be fun to manage a community garden along with your neighbors? And exchange seeds? And have potluck parties?
The questions are endless. But the main one still is: Does it include you? You with your valid worries and problems; ambitions, needs and responsibilities; and a set way of doing things: Does this so-called Green Economy include you?
I bet the better question ought to be:
Do you want to be left out?
EcoFairfield 2012
Serve. Connect. Inspire.
Because our locals are awesome!
Fabiola Domenique
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Further Reading
 UN International Year of Cooperatives
And if you are curious here are the contest guidelines:

9 thoughts on “Green economy: does it include you?

  1. A green economy is based on an economy of true resources like clean air and water, fertile soil, as well as loving, supportive community…It includes me because it includes everyone. My passion is connecting people to create community…singing…facilitating healing…teaching yoga…teaching people to eat healthy, nourishing foods…things like this! 🙂

  2. I think a green economy can include everyone. It will take a change in attitude, expectations and priorities, but I believe it can be done.

    Well written essay.

  3. It’s great piece, thank you for sharing. As an economist, I wonder, if the current financial crises will make the policy makers give a second thought to Green Economy! And, if implemented, how will green economy affects the current financial system?

  4. In many ways a Green economy is on in which people accept and understand that they are accountable for the trade and commerce conducted locally and globally. Observation of current events gives rise to the thought that many blame others for current situation we are in at local, national, and global levels. Even in action is an action when it comes to politics. As we (I) ponder a Green economy what about Green politics? what does a Green Economy look like if it does not have the politics to support its infrastructure?

    1. I like your definition Jeremy. I agree that politics need to be addressed for a true paradigm shift, that’s why I spoke of a Green Economy including a political reform (revolution?) element. 🙂 I’m sure we are all familiar with the OWM for example. Thanks for posting

      1. OWM is what I was referring too in current events. I have my concerns that in accountability, we have also lost the bases for how our government works. OWM was a great example of what could be achieved if they organized as a lobby. What did does OWM advocate as a lobby? Also, In regards to a Green Economy and Politics? A lot of direct actions need to be taken by individuals. I really wish I had a few answers instead of just questions. I can only reduce my need for big corporations to supply me with goods and rely on small corporations to conduct business and commerce.

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