Take local action
What can an ecovillage and a suburb of Berlin have in common ?
I went to the 10-day training organized by SCI in Berlin. SCI is an international volunteering organization, founded after the World War I and rooted into the idea of peace for all. Now SCI leads the campaign ”Climate for Peace” which focuses on the issues of Climate Change, Climate Justice and the ways of mitigation of the global threat. So, what can be common between Berlin and an ecovillage like Suderbyn, where I am going to live soon? Two days ago I would say ”Nothing”. ”Inspiring examples of transition” I would say today.
I tell you only one little piece of what is happening around me. Yesterday, for example, we visited the urban gardening project Prinzessinnengarten. A former dump in the city had been turned into a mobile garden in 2009 by two inspired people with the help of tens and tens of volunteers. They started from making beds and growing vegetables but then began internal projects: they gradually built a local organic cafe, bee colony, funny worms composts, soundwall, biking repairing place, social place for work and meetings, little shop for gardening, free shop for stuff, irrigation system, bar for visitors, and much more, and all it is surrounded by the garden. Despite being located in the center of city life, the garden now is blossoming, it uses only organic materials and people from the whole suburb come either for communal work or just to have some coffee with a friend. A lot of young interns and volunteers work here, supporting the garden, making the place beautiful. The organic cafe using products from local farmers and also courses and workshops help to support the garden, pay the rent and provide materials.
I am very inspired when I see how people even in the city space transform the space around, changing their and others’ life. Urban gardening is not only about growing food of course. First of all it is about social space, meeting each other, finding your community. It is about trust, people’s relations and their inner conditions. And we have much more resources on the countryside for such creation!
This is just one small example, a little piece of transitional processes happening all around, like seeds of the future planted all over. Another time we visited transition neighbourhood and our host put in a funny but clear way: we have had the oil age when we relied on the machines work, and it is not bad, it was the time for us to have more time, to do research and learn… now the oil party is over and we need to move to the knowledge-based lifestyle.
What scares me is that the majority of the population remains outside this movement, but what inspires me is how illuminated, creative and right the local initiatives are and how they spread around. People can do amazing things with their hands and hearts! Local initiatives can be seen small if we compare with the global scale, but they create such huge invisible net of awaken people bringing the change. This net penetrates the air: you do not see it but you feel how larger and larger part of the population becomes conscious, how projects inspire each other and how even in the most challenging conditions people do bring the change.
Local projects bring so much meaning into our lives, into our desire for the change of the current production-destruction-consumption circle. Local projects fulfil your inner aspirations, but being tied together in the global net they become the worldwide action. People are realizing it and reproduce examples of more resilient living. Thus, even coming from Suderbyn to Berlin, you can find places where you feel home.
Take your local action.