Monza Sustainability, Green Lifestyle and Young Entrepreneurs Community on MeetUp

I’m so excited to announce I have opened my first MeetUp group as a facilitator of a local green lifestyle community. I live in a city close to Milan that hosts one of the biggest fenced public parks in Europe, a bomb of energy, natural scents and greenness… Welcome to Monza!

Oggi ho aperto il mio primo gruppo su MeetUp. Utilizzo il servizio già da parecchio tempo e lo trovo davvero utile per incontrare persone vicino a noi, che condividono i nostri stessi interessi. Se volete salvare il pianeta, e nel frattempo divertirvi ed essere inondati dalla mia energia positiva (chi mi conosce sa… ;-)), unitevi al gruppo qui!

A presto il primo incontro…

green-addict-on-meetup

 

A presto e buon weekend,

GA

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Interview to the guru founder of Transition Towns, get inspired!

Rob Hopkins at Degrowth Conference in Venice tells us what is Transition about and how easily you can start the movement in your own town.

Thanks Rob for the interview!

Alla Conferenza sulla Decrescita tenutasi a Venezia, ho chiesto a Rob Hopkins di spiegarci il successo delle Transition Twons (città in Transizione – sito italiano) e quali sono i primi passi da compiere per chi comincia.

[Watch more interviews here]

Meet Premium Cola, the German soft drink social company

Premium Cola is a real social and ethical enterprise featuring shared decision making process between all the stakeholders – end consumers included. Founded in 2001 based in Hamburg, there is no company office, no company boss, no contracts, still it is a medium size firm that keeps growing at a controlled pace – sustainable growth is possible.

I had the pleasure to listen to Uwe’s company brilliant story while taking part in oikos Winter School (Nov 03-11 in Witten) – thanks to all the organizers. oikos is the international student organisation for sustainable economics and management with more than 40 chapters around the globe.

• Thank you for stopping by •

Watch more photos on Facebook

[Premium Cola]

Premium Cola è un’azienda veramente sociale ed etica: si caratterizza per la condivisione a tutti i livelli delle decisioni, con la partecipazione al dialogo in ugual peso degli stakeholder così come dei consumatori finali. Fondata nel 2001 ad Amburgo, la società non ha una sede fissa per gli uffici, non ha un capo nel senso comune del termine e soprattutto non ha contratti scritti che regolano i rapporti di lavoro interni ed esterni.

Eppure è in costante crescita, controllata e misurata perchè non punta solo al profitto. Nata per contrastare il monopolio di Coca Cola, Premium Cola è la dimostrazione tangibile che una crescita diversa per le aziende, rispettosa dell’ambiente e delle persone, è possibile.

Ringrazio gli organizzatori della oikos Winter School (Novembre 03-11 a Witten – Germania) per avermi dato la possibilità di entrare in contatto con la fantastica esperienza di Uwe, l’ideatore di Premium Cola.

oikos è un network internazionale che raccoglie studenti da tutto il mondo, che si interessano di sostenibilità applicata al business e della sua integrazione nei corsi universitari.

 

Green city no cars

How many times you – stuck in the traffic jam – have dreamt about giving up the car and slowly walking through a wood, possibly alone… Now the dream is going to get real thanks to English non-profit organization Giveacar teamed up with Trees for Cities! “An average car will pay for around 13 saplings – about the right amount needed to offset a year’s worth of carbon.” – says The Green Thing Blog.

Quante volte imbottigliato nel traffico hai desiderato buttare via la macchina e ritrovarti d’improvviso in un bosco a passeggiare da solo, in pace… Il sogno sta per diventare realtà, grazie alla sinergia tra due organizzazioni no-profit inglesi: Giveacar e  Trees for Cities! “La valutazione di un’auto usata da rottamare è di circa 13 giovani alberelli, che corrispondono esattamente alla quantità di verde necessaria per compensare un anno di emissioni di CO2″ – come spiega The Green Thing Blog.

•  Do you like this UK initiative? •

[Scrap Car Plant Tree]

Change up Scelgo io

This Friday I couldn’t suggest anything than these three blogs – for Italian speakers only, sorry.

They are hosted by three “green bloggers” from Milan area – Marta Albè, Arianna Bosio and Giusy D’Addio. We were invited by Marinella Scarico to join the conversation at Change Up bloggers barcamp tomorrow on Sat 20th. Change Up is a new network working to raise awareness about sustainable and healthy living, particularly focusing on women and mother needs. All of you interested in, please feel free to join at Palazzo Liberty, Milan – till Oct 22nd – and on Twitter #scelgoio2012.

Have a good day!

Change Up – Scelgo io

Underground New York Public Library

Today I would like to start a new series on my blog. As I like the #FF (Follow Friday) Twitter costum so much – I said – why just suggesting people to follow? Why don’t suggest blogs?

So here you are my suggested blog of the week: Underground New York Public Library is a blog by photographer Ourit Ben-Haim snapping intimate moments of commuters reading their books. They are the Reading Riders of NYC Subway.

Are you following me on TW? Go @ecoSFL!

Handwoven · Tessuto a mano

Originally published on Slowear Journal on Oct 8th

Thanks to Francesca Stignani for translation

Leggi in italiano

Weaving like in the old times is an anachronistic and yet intriguing job. In Peillac, a small town in Southern Provence, Atelier aux Fils de l’Arz, owned by the Lesteven family, is one of the last places in France where they still know how to weave on a hand-operated loom, the métier a bras.

The small firm’s activity focuses on the creation of fine handwoven fabrics, made with strictly natural raw materials – eco-friendly yarns such as hemp (from Italy), linen, soy fiber and zero-mile wool from the sheep bred on the grazing land opposite the maison.

Bruno, father and husband, is in charge of the hard work. i.e. the weaving. It takes accuracy, concentration, quickness and muscular strength to control a huge six-pedal treadle loom. Wife Gaëlle is a couturière – a designer and a dressmaker. She likes to make things for her kids, friends and relatives, while Bruno’s fabrics are sold through the Internet and in the organic textiles fairs.

So what makes handwoven fabrics so unique? Mainly their strength – they last much longer than industrial fabrics, not to mention the fact that they can be customized even as far as small amounts are concerned.

Whoever wishes to learn more about this charming and traditional job can opt for a one-week internship at the Atelier – there are different levels of teaching, according to the apprentice’s basic skills. In case you’re just curious, just ask for a guided tour and you’ll be able to see old looms and century-old fabric remnants.

· Atelier Aux Fils de l’Arz ·

Fujino Transition Town in Japan

Originally published on Slowear Journal on Sep 25th

Leggi in italiano

Japan responds to peak oil and energy issues with the green concept of Transition Towns. There are 24 such communities from the North to the South of the country, all of them founded in the early 2000s.

Fujino – one of the first Transition Towns to be born in Japan – is the closest one to Tokyo (only 50 kilometers away).  Around 20 out of 10.000 locals make up the core Transition Group, yet “locals are very open-minded towards transition’s ideas” – states Mr. Hide Enomoto of Transition Fujino.

In fact, it might be that these concepts are not so new to Fujino people.  The fundamentals of Transition Network – founded in 2008 by Rob Hopkins in Great Britain – are permaculture and resilience; in other words, it’s all about finding a clever way to adapt ourselves to socio-environmental changes by building integrated communities.

After all, the principles of sharing and community – not to mention that of “reverence” towards nature – are deeply rooted in millenary Japanese culture, from Confucianism to Shintoism. According to permaculture – which is not merely a cultivation method – human communities should mimic the natural ecosystems, efficiently organized as every little part of the system has a specific role and shares its abilities, relying in its turn on the others’ support.

So what does this mean from a practical point of view? In Fujino, people live ordinarily – eating, working, chatting, and having fun. To get around, they use an hybrid (and shared!) car, which takes advantage of slopes and has a minimum fuel stock in case of need.

Wooden houses with hay-insulated roofs lay side-by-side with one another to form a nagaya – literally “a long house” – to foster the sense of community and facilitate communication. As for the diet, most of the people at Fujino’s community eat vegetarian or macrobiotic food, although this is not mandatory: there are also people eating animal products. In fact, this one – like many others in the community – is a free choice.

For preserving freedom of choice and expression is the first step towards feeling naturally free.

• Watch the interview to Mr. Hide Enomoto here

[Transition Network]

My WWOOFing diaries • Cosa vuol dire fare Woofing

wwoofing-wwoofer-wwoof

As Green Addicted living all year in the city, I decided to really go green this summer and trying my first WWOOFing experience.

WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms (or World-Wide Opportunities On Farming)- basically it is a program working on exchange basis: you give your workforce and receive back room and board.

I received back way more than this.

I was welcomed in a friendly family-like environment, feeling to have a useful role in the community of Guéveneaux. Kate greeted me with a smile as I arrived at Redon station, than she explained to me how they decided to change their diet towards eating only local products, coming from their own garden or from France, areas next to Britain are preferred. As part of keeping the relation with the environment local, they decided to use ecosan (ecological sanitation) instead of common water toilets, so that precious waste will turn in compost.

[Watch the video interview]

Poichè sono una Green Addicted ma vivo tutto l’anno in città, ho deciso quest’anno di fare una vacanza ultraverde lanciandomi nella mia prima esperienza di woofing!

Se ancora non sapete cos’è ora ve lo spiego: la sigla WOOFing sta per Willing Workers On Organic Farms (lavoratori volontari in fattorie biologiche) o anche World-Wide Opportunities On Farming (opportunità di vita da fattoria in tutto il mondo). Per un certo periodo di tempo, si decide di dedicare volontariamente alcune ore della propria giornata ai lavori di fattoria e si riceve in cambio vitto e alloggio.

Ma non solo. Io ho ricevuto in cambio molto più di questo.

Sono stata accolta da un ambiente molto aperto e familiare, che mi ha fatto sentire subito a mio agio nella piccola comunità di Guéveneaux. Mi ricordo ancora quando Kate mi ha accolto con un grande sorriso appena arrivata alla stazione di Redon: mi sono sentita a casa. Durante il tempo che abbiamo trascorso insieme mi ha raccontato diverse cose, come la decisione di voler seguire una dieta ecologica strettamente locale o la scelta di utilizzare il wc secco invece di quello ad acqua. Trovate tutto nella sua videointervista, buona visione!

Interviewing Nobel Prize Amartya Sen

One of the latest events focused on efficiency of economic measuring tools (GDP) at Bocconi University in Milan featured Amartya Sen as guest speaker. Besides awarding the Nobel Prize for economy in 1998, he has received quite 100 honorary degrees and is currently professor of both Economy and Philosophy at Harvard University.

I attended the lectio magistralis listening carefully to his story of snakes and ladders (a traditional Indian game), suitable to represent the crucial phase of European economy in these days – snakes represent the several hindrances and ladders the few improvements.

After the conference I was lucky enough to make him a short interview on the behalf of BCFN. Unfortunately he was in a hurry so I had the time to ask him just a couple of questions.

What is your recipe of moving up economic growth in Europe? 

「Economists say they don’t need theory to make economy growing, they need slogans. This is not what I am going to tell you tonight, as we don’t need a list of rules for “good growth”. The important thing is understanding why growth is necessary – paying back the national deficit, assessing public services, etc – and listening to each other making the best out of Democracy.」

Why is food security not granted to everyone yet?

「Food security is a serious issue, you have to consider three elements at least: firstly how much is the income and the economic means to access food; secondly food prices volatility needs a stabilizer – and the government could play this role; Thirdly, the unfairness of distribution between the classes and men and women in the world. So you cannot solve food security just looking at food…

If you want to delve into Sen’s politics-economic insights, I’d suggest you to read his masterpiece Development is Freedom on the importance of public discussion and democracy for economic development.

• This was a long one! Thank you for reading 😉 •

Uno degli eventi dell’Università Bocconi di Milano di questo mese si intitolava「Oltre il PIL: un nuovo concetto di valore」. Ospite d’onore il celebre Amartya Sen, economista indiano vincitore del Premio Nobel nel 1998, oltre che professore di Economia e Filosofia ad Harvard nonché insignito di quasi 100 lauree honoris causa.

Ho ascoltato con interesse il suo lungo intervento, quasi una lectio magistralis. Per descrivere l’attuale situazione politico-economica europea, Sen è ricorso ad una similitudine con il gioco indiano dei serpenti e delle scale, dove i numerosi serpenti sono gli ostacoli e le scale i pochi progressi.

L’ho intervistato dopo la conferenza per il BCFN, purtroppo c’è stato il tempo solo per due brevi domande.

Dal suo punto di vista, qual è la ricetta di crescita economica per l’Europa?

Quando parlano di crescita gli economisti dicono che non hanno bisogno di individuare una teoria, bensì  uno slogan. Io non ho slogan, non credo che sia il caso di stilare una lista per punti con la ricetta per la crescita. E’ importante tenere a mente che la crescita economica è necessaria ad esempio per ripagare il debito dello Stato, per migliorare ed implementare i servizi pubblici, ecc; l’unica regola per gli stati è ascoltarsi l’un l’altro e lasciare spazio alla Democrazia. 」

Come mai la sicurezza alimentare non è ancora un diritto garantito a tutti?

La sicurezza alimentare è un tema difficile, dobbiamo tenere in considerazione almeno tre parametri: se ci sono o meno i mezzi economici per accedere al cibo; la volatilità dei prezzi dei cereali (lo stato potrebbe svolgere il ruolo di stabilizzatore); per ultimo la globale iniquità nella distribuzione di beni tra le classi sociali e gli uomini e le donne. Come vede, è una questione molto complessa: non basta concentrarsi sul cibo per risolvere il problema della sicurezza alimentare… 」

Se volete approfondire i temi trattati da Amartya Sen, vi consiglio di leggere Lo sviluppo è libertà, sull’intreccio tra mercato e politica e la centralità della democrazia per lo sviluppo economico. Qui potete ascoltare l’intero intervento di Sen alla conferenza.

• This was a long one! Thank you for reading 😉 •