The World in 2050

 Great Lakes Bioneers and the Bob Russell Resilience Reads book project will be meeting this month on Bob Russell’s birthday!  Join us at Horizon Books on November 18th from 7-9 pm to talk about one of Bob’s favorite books: The World in 2050:  Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future.  (Northern, yes that’s us.)  The news is “both alarmingly bad and surprisingly good.”  This is an amazing read and there are plenty of copies available at the Traverse Area District Library!  But, come on out whether you have read the book or not.  The discussion will be lead by Gary Howe.

After the discussion, the crowd is heading over to the Workshop Brewing Company to celebrate Bob Russell’s birthday in style.  There will be cake, an open mike for toasting Bob, great music, and of course, Beer!

Reuse Your Money!

Odom.logoOdom Reusable Building Materials is expanding!  And to help fund the expansion, they are giving us the opportunity to ‘reuse’ our money.

Odom salvages building materials and sells them to builders and DIYers at it’s retail brew-barnwoodstore in Grawn.  Reused materials have more character than items found in your run of the mill big box stores. Just check out the reclaimed barn wood used to create a vintage look in Brew (right), the charming double french doors from a recent home remodel, or the table top made from repurposed bowling alley wood (both below).  Click here for more examples of Odom reuse in Action.

But, reusing building materials is more than quaint.  An estimated 170 million tons of construction waste is generated annually in the US.  Bruce Odom is passionate about giving these materials another life.  He believes that waste reduction should be a normal part of commerce in the building trades.  

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Women and Environment: Highlights


There were many highlights from the day spent at the Women and Environment Symposium, in Grand Rapids last Friday.  One of my favorite moments was when a young woman asked the panel on citizen action: “What advice do you have for women to be heard when we try to speak truth to power?”  State Representative Winnie Brinks did not pause a moment:  “Become the power” instead, she advised.  I looked over at the four students from Benize Central High School that attended as part of their SEEDS afterschool program.  I hope they heard that.

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Fracking Awareness Meeting TOMORROW

frackingRepresentatives of area environmental groups and individuals concerned about fracking will gather on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am at Michigan Works, 1209 S. Garfield on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am.

This will be the first meeting of the Fracking Awareness Coaltion, organized by NMEAC, to  make more people aware of the health and environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas.

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And a Child Shall Lead Us….

cropped-carter_8850fbCarter Schmidt is conducting a Survey.  He wants to know how many people in Grand Traverse County compost their kitchen scraps.  He thinks this information should be collected and  “could be useful to our local government as well.”

My money is on Carter to do something “useful” with this information.  He began his bike powered neighborhood composting business in April of 2012, when he was just nine years old because “food scraps really don’t belong in the trash.” But, he didn’t stop there.

Resilience in 2014

chalicetrace3Resilience is the subject of the service at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse tomorrow morning, Sunday, December 29th:

        “Resilience in the New Year”; Hans Voss, Maura Brennan, Misty Sheehan, 

Our interdependent web of life certainly needs our best New Year’s resolutions! In this service we will hear from local resilience experts, Hans Voss, Maura Brennan, Misty Sheehan, and others as we explore real actions we can take in 2014 to increase our local buoyancy to endure and thrive cooperatively through times of change. A new book club that is region-wide and will span many seasons, will explore this topic and be launched after the service. You can become educated on resiliency, which is certainly step one on our journey together to care for our earth home.

 So, if you need a dose of inspiration to go with this beautiful Winter weather, join us tomorrow at 10:30 am at UUCGT, 6726 Center Road, Traverse City .



The Gift of Community Resilience

brrrp snapshotWe believe that the earth can be transformed from a place where excessive suffering is allowed to exist, to a place where harmony, peace and balance is accessible to all. We are committed to bringing about this transformation through partnership with those in our broader community, with a focus on communication, hospitality, education and service.

– Excerpt from the Neahtawanta Research and Education Center’s Mission Statement 

Bob Russell shared many gifts with our community.  His  life was dedicated to environmental and social justice.  As a result, he helped to birth projects like the Neahtawanta Research and Education Center for Peace and Justice (NREC), The Great Lakes Bioneers Conference, the Investigating Community Resilience show on Up North TV, and Traverse Peace Alerts,  to name just a few.  It goes without saying that we lost a great community leader when Bob passed away last August.  However, like most great leaders, his legacy will live on.

Over the next few years Bob’s presence will still be very much with us through one final unique gift he gave to us:  His favorite book list.

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Black Friday.  The biggest shopping day of the year.  A day that has become a tradition for some of rising at the crack of dawn to begin their holiday season.  By which I mean heading out to big box stores to wait in line in the cold for hours, and then scratch and claw (in some cases literally)  to get the BEST DEAL on that very special gift for that very special someone.  Ah, the Spirit of Christmas.

Except this morning, many will be sleeping in.  They cut their Thanksgiving family time short, and headed out last night before the green jello leftovers were safely stored in the fridge.  Who could resist all those Pre Black Friday deals?  How else is one supposed to afford that perfect gift that will elicit a gasp of joy from our kids, spouses, and friends, and make them happy all year?  Besides, if you get one for half price, you can get two!  Two is better than one, right?

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Franseen Reports from National Bioneers!

imagejpeg_0Hope.  That was the message that Lisa Franseen got from Janine Benyus, Joanna Macy, and the other luminaries that spoke at the 24th annual National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California.  “I haven’t heard this much hope coming from Bioneers speakers… ever,” said Franseen.

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