Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

22nd August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“In Latin America, Africa and Asia 40% of people don’t have access to formal housing. In Bogota alone 750 tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill every day. It can take up to 500 years for plastic to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is either sent to landfill or not formally disposed of and so is left to pollute the environment.” ~ Unilever Sustainable Living

According to EcoWatch: Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Ninety-three percent of Americans age six or older test positive for the plastic chemical BPA. Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our oceans, and all-out bans on plastic bags and bottled water are making little headway. To make matters worse, conventional recycling programs are ineffective at best; only two types of plastic are widely recyclable, and even then, it’s downgraded into other products which cannot be recycled further, eventually ending up in landfill, or worse, in the ocean, where plastic seriously harms wildlife, the ecosystem and our health.

Continue Reading – Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

If We Are Going to Take Down the Establishment, Progressives, Libertarians, Anarchists and Non-Voters Need to Unite

If We Are Going to Take Down the Establishment, Progressives, Libertarians, Anarchists and Non-Voters Need to Unite

30th June 2016

By Tim Bryant

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Anyone paying even the slightest attention to the 2016 Presidential Election can see that this election cycle has been marred and corrupted up on a variety of fronts. On one hand, you have Hillary Clinton, a notorious insider and lifelong crook that is currently under criminal investigation by the FBI, and on the other hand you have Donald Trump, a reality TV character who says whatever’s on his mind, making it hard to pinpoint any real fundamentals to his policies, as well as creating polarizing political theatre for the public to eat up.

These are the choices we’re given; you really can’t make this stuff up.

For those who have been awake for years, the ridiculousness of this year’s election is not all that shocking, as it has been on display for decades for those who cared to look behind the scenes. However, for a large majority of the population, this year’s election seems to be a major catalyst in waking them up to the obvious illusion that the United States of America is still a free and democratic society, the two supposed cornerstones of the “greatest country in the world.”

Continue Reading – If We Are Going to Take Down the Establishment, Progressives, Libertarians, Anarchists and Non-Voters Need to Unite

5 Solutions for a New World

5 Solutions for a New World

By Tim Bryant

Guest writer for Wake Up World

With the rise of alternative media, seeing the flaws in the mainstream media is quite easy if one knows where to look. It’s also particularly easy these days, thanks to the dawn of the Internet, to dig deep into history and discover that it has been completely misrepresented, along with the many forces behind it. As an alternative community, it seems the focus has been solely put on pointing out everything that is wrong in society. But what about solutions? It would seem that everyone is in this journey to change the world together. If that is the case, then it’s important to start focusing mass amounts of energy on the solutions to these problems rather than just simply pointing out the flaws. Finding the holes is easy; putting sustainable solutions in place is much more difficult.

This article aims to provide a brief introduction to real life solutions already in place.

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The Hidden Truths of Africa: Neocolonialism and the Modern Age of Slavery

The Hidden Truths of Africa: Neocolonialism and the Modern Age of Slavery

By Tim Bryant

Guest writer for Wake Up World

“The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it.” George Kimble

Africa: A Forgotten Continent

What does the world really know about Africa? In the West, if you were to turn on the T.V., you would be hard pressed to find any news coverage regarding Africa other than starving children, political chaos, and exotic wild life. Despite being the second largest continent with a population of almost a billion people, Africa is usually relegated down to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to social and geopolitical importance on the international stage. What is perplexing though, is how Africa can be the most resource rich continent on the planet, yet also be the poorest continent on the planet. In reality, Africa should be prospering, and the envy of the rest of the world. Something isn’t adding up and its time people started to figure out why. Continue Reading – The Hidden Truths of Africa: Neocolonialism and the Modern Age of Slavery

Don’t Ask, Just Plant — Taking Back Our Food Sovereignty with Guerrilla Gardening

Don’t Ask, Just Plant — Taking Back Our Food Sovereignty with Guerrilla Gardening

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

During both world wars, Victory Gardens were a staple throughout the United States, found everywhere from private residences to public lands and even the front lawns of city hall. Their purpose was simple: to reduce pressure from the public food supply during times of war. Victory Gardens also carried an unexpected perk, they helped boost morale during uncertain times by empowering gardeners through their contribution of labor and production of sorely needed fresh fruits and vegetables. Incredibly, these seemingly humble vegetable patches produced a staggering 41% of all fruits and vegetables consumed by the nation.

Jump to the present day and our system of food production would be all but unrecognizable to Victory Garden veterans. Instead of food self-sufficiency, we have homeowners persecuted for growing produce on their own property and children who think food comes packaged from the supermarket. Small farms are going bankrupt and being assimilated into industrial corporate farming operations. And when individuals push back against the hijacking of our food supply, they are met with fierce opposition, often stemming from local government.

Continue Reading – Don’t Ask, Just Plant — Taking Back Our Food Sovereignty with Guerrilla Gardening

The Amazingly Simple and Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness — for Good

The Amazingly Simple and Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness — for Good

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

During a balmy 60ºF December morning, Rene Zepeda is driving a Volunteers of America minivan through Salt Lake City, Utah, looking for the homeless who may be camping by the railroad tracks or over by the river, sometimes in the foothills. Cold weather is on its way, so the van is packed with sleeping bags, thermal clothing, coats, sock, boots, hats, protein bars, nutrition drinks and canned goods. According to Rene, once the day is finished, everything will be gone. “I want to get them into homes,” he says. “I tell them, ‘I’m working for you. I want to get you out of the homeless situation.’”

Rene works for a program called Housing First. It has decreased the number of homeless by an extraordinary 72% — mainly by providing permanent free housing. Critics bemoan the expense, but once the numbers were thoroughly crunched, it was discovered the program actually costs the state far less than if people were left on the street. Moreover, in a nation where a large proportion of the homeless population are military veterans, adopting such a program is not only a social or financial imperative but a moral one.

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America – The Great Illusion

America – The Great Illusion

By Tim Bryant

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein

Life is the greatest gift in the known universe. It is incredibly precious, vastly diverse in its scope, and without judgement or prejudice – it just happens. One does not have to possess any specific talent, live any particular lifestyle, or be any one particular person in order to enjoy its enormity. In fact, the profound beauty in life does not come through force or will, but instead through surrender to the natural flow.

However, today’s world has become increasingly complex. Social forces mold individuals into thinking, behaving, and believing in a way that benefits the consumer driven society; essentially telling the child, “you can be whatever you want to be as long as you do what you’re told”.

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The Unexpected Effect of Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal, Fifteen Years Later

The Unexpected Effect of Decriminalizing Drugs in Portugal, Fifteen Years Later

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Whenever the idea of decriminalizing illicit drugs in the U.S. is raised, there are always those who rant that such a measure would be the downfall of society, drug use would sky rocket and our moral fabric as a country would be irreparably torn. But these claims paint a very different picture from what actually happens in countries where the possession and use of small quantities of drugs — like weed, cocaine and heroin — isn’t a felony or even considered a criminal offense. Instead, drug use is considered a public health issue, not a criminal one.

Portugal is an excellent example of what transpires when drugs are decriminalized. In the face of dire predictions made by drug-policy makers, Portugal took the path less travelled — with surprising results.

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Greed Trumps Justice: Indigenous Tribe Stripped of Their Native Lands – Over Gold

Greed Trumps Justice: Indigenous Tribe Stripped of Their Native Lands – Over Gold

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

The Dann sisters, Carrie and Mary, are two Western Shoshone elders who live on ancestral and environmentally sensitive lands of Crescent Valley, Nevada. From time immemorial, the Shoshone peoples have lived in a balance of stewardship and reciprocity within this environment. As part of their core values, the Shoshone believe life is a prayer and offer small ceremonies for everything taken of mother earth. The sisters were told by their grandmother that there are nature spirits everywhere. And each time you eat a grain of rice, a grain of wheat, you are eating this thing we call life — don’t waste it.

Unfortunately, Shoshone reverence for the natural world lies in sharp contrast to the desires of the United States Government and its corporate masters. In 1863, the U.S. government, along with the Shoshone nation, signed the “Treaty of Peace and Friendship” in Ruby Valley, Nevada. At the time, the Shoshone laid claim to 26 million acres of land in Nevada. The treaty between the government and the Western Shoshone nation allowed for settlers and ranchers to have access to the land, but did not include land title. Nonetheless, all of this changed a century later due to a coveted and ecologically devastating resource: gold.

Continue Reading – Greed Trumps Justice: Indigenous Tribe Stripped of Their Native Lands – Over Gold

Why the Danish are the Happiest People on the Planet

Why the Danish are the Happiest People on the Planet

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Happiness is a national obsession in the United States. Take a walk down the self-help isle of your local bookstore and you’ll find a litany of titles seducing readers with the promise of bliss in one way or another. Whether cultivating the correct brain chemistry, embracing the perfect diet or having the best spiritual practice, there are plenty of experts who offer the ultimate path to living joyously… Or so they say.

But here’s the rub: If these recommendations actually made a significant and lasting dent in our unhappiness, the self-help industry would have perished long ago. Instead, business is booming — Americans alone spend $11 billion annually on self-improvement books, CDs, seminars, coaching and stress-management programs.

Are Americans really so miserable that we need to spend billions of dollars a year just to feel a twinge of happiness? Is all this self-help really making us any happier? Maybe we’re approaching happiness in the wrong way altogether. To find out, we need to study and observe cultures with high levels of consistent happiness. And a good place to start is with Denmark.

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Synchrony and Exertion of Dancing Found to Encourage Social Bonding, Raise Pain Threshold

Synchrony and Exertion of Dancing Found to Encourage Social Bonding, Raise Pain Threshold

By Christina Lavers

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.” ~ Hopi Indian saying

There is not one culture on Earth that does not have a long tradition of dance. This suggests that dancing, the act of moving in time to music, is central to the experience of being human. It is such a key form of cultural expression that it has been called the “universal language”. Every culture in the world has a customary style of dance that communicates aspects of the group’s identity, creativity, rituals, history and meaning. In fact, it has even been suggested that a person could learn as much, if not more, about another culture through participating in their dance as they could reading an anthropological paper.

A recent study led by researcher Bronwyn Tarr from Oxford University produced further evidence that demonstrates that dancing plays a role in supporting and strengthening social cohesion. Tarr, a dancer and experimental psychologist, postulated that dance, being essentially cooperative in nature, could have played a role in our evolution by encouraging social bonds and other pro-social behaviour between community members.

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Urban Edible Forests: The Future of Food is Here!

Urban Edible Forests: The Future of Food is Here!

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

As a scientist, Angelo Eliades of Preston, Australia set out to prove that it isn’t necessary to have acres of land in order to grow enough food to feed a family and share with the community. He decided to use his own small yard to test his theory that growing an urban food forest in tiny spaces is not only doable, but also incredibly productive. Angelo is in good company — communities around the world are increasingly embracing the idea of sustainable public gardens. In a bid to cultivate local, organic food systems that can feed the masses in both good times and those of the more challenging sort, pockets of these community spaces are sprouting up in the most surprising of places.

Continue Reading – Urban Edible Forests: The Future of Food is Here!