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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Finding Solutions For The Crises Of Our Time

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Today is a big day for the economy. It looks like the world leaders may have found a solution to ease the economic pain around the world. Time will tell. Still, of course, it will become more difficult for each of us before it gets better.


Many economists are predicting that we will not recover economically for at least 2 years, maybe longer. That’s a long time to some of us, and it will likely affect several minor – and maybe a few major – decisions we make during that time.


But this is also an opportunity. I was reminded of this by several of youand I thank you deeply for that.


Here is an opportunity to cut back on our spending, to get ourselves into good budgeting habits. And even to be liberated from spending money when we don’t need to.


The holidays will be difficult for many of us this year. We’ll be cutting back. But hopefully in cutting back, we will be reminded of the true spirit of the holidays. Compassion, family, warmth, love, happiness. This is why we celebrate, this is what brings us together.


We can take this idea to the rest of our lives as well. Other people in our communities will be less well off than we are. And now is the time to come together to help them. Here we have an opportunity to go out into our communities and work together. I will be writing more about this in the coming weeks, you can be sure!


Plus, as we cut back on spending, as we reduce our electrical and water bills out of necessity, and as we do so many other things to help our budgets, we will be magically helping our climate recover at the same time. Good things will come out of this.


There are tough times ahead of us. But we can survive. In fact, we can do better than survive. We can be truly happy. We can thrive.


Today is also a big day for the blog world. As the banks have consolidated and partnered, so have several bloggers. No Impact Man has decided to take some incredible steps to make his blog stronger, including pairing up with several bloggers. Five bloggers I respect very much are leaving their own blogs behind to form The Green Phone Booth together. And I have joined a writer’s cooperative focussed on finding solutions to the economic crisis and beyond, called the Simple | Green | Frugal Co-op.


I will still be here at One Green Generation. We have formed an amazing community here, and I want to make it even stronger as I to continue to write about all that I’m doing and learning. It’s extremely important to me. I love this site, and I love all of you.


So in truth, I am expanding a bit, so that I can be a part of a group of bloggers with disparate views and backgrounds and ideologies, all working toward the same goal of finding solutions. I’m interested in how that dynamic unfolds, how we can fill a different need than One Green Generation, and what happens when several wonderful minds come together to form a cooperative focussed on creating positive change in this world.


Simple | Green | Frugal Co-op


Please visit this new cooperative when you have the time! I think you will enjoy it. Currently there are nine of us, and I believe there will be more in the coming months. And please let us know what you think, and what would help you most.


Faithfully yours, with much love,

Melinda


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9 comments to Finding Solutions For The Crises Of Our Time

  • Hi Melinda,
    This is my first time here and I have followed your post from Simple Green Frugal. You write beautifully and I am glad you are a part of the CO Op. I wholeheartedly agree with looking forward to seeing where this all leads and am off to check out green phone booth now. Thanks .

  • Thank you for the mention, Melinda. I look forward to checking out the happenings at the co-op. It is interesting how the blogging world mirrors the “real” world. :)

  • Good Luck with the Co-Op,

    You have a fantastic group of writers there… I expect it will turn into something very special.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

  • I went to visit the co-op and I will go back on a regular basis. Looks great! I always appreciate your perspective/goal of looking for solutions.

    About the 2 year prediction-I know that time goes slower when things are more difficult, but one thing I’ve found (especially as I get older!) is that a year is just a drop in the bucket. I’m not particularly good at keeping track of time though. :)

  • Sue

    Hi Melinda, I hate to be a “downer” but I think your readers, like so many of us, are trying to understand the true nature of what’s happening, even if it’s not pleasant.

    With that in mind: what we are seeing is NOT a “solution” to the economic problems. It might be what’s called (pardon the icky phrase) a “dead cat bounce” — meaning a response to a crash that APPEARS to come back up, but is not indicative of life. It’s also possible (likely, IMO) that we’re seeing pre-election market manipulation and even authentically well-intentioned but ultimately futile global actions. It might be many things, but IMO one thing it’s not is a solution. Anyone who wants to understand a bit more, check out http://www.theautomaticearth.blogspot.com. I myself only have the courage to read it every few days…

    I do agree that we all need to do just what you’ve been emphasizing — build community, get as community-self-reliant as we can, and keep our spirits up. Yes, that’s a bit ironic to post such doomerisms and then endorse keeping our spirits up, but I’m of the belief that a well-informed person is in a better position to manage their reality (including their moods and spiritual status) than a blindly “hope it all gets better now” uninformed person (as most around us are).

    May we all be well and do what we can to take care of ourselves.

    Sue

  • Tammy, Welcome!! I’m glad to be a part of the co-op as well! Please feel free to peruse the archives here – there are categories in the right sidebar, or you can scroll through all of the posts here. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing more from you!

    GB, Of course! I look forward to reading at the Green Phone Booth as well.

    Belinda, Thank you! It is a wonderful group, and I hope it will become a special place. Just as One Green Generation has become very special to me. : )

    Deb G, So good to hear – thank you. I know I’ve been writing a few more dire, difficult posts these past few days, but it is only because the world has changed substantially and I’m still trying to figure out what the new solutions are! Of course, in the end, living simply and sustainably really is the solution to so many of our world’s problems…

    Yes, it’s funny – in some ways 2 years seems like a long time, in other ways it seems very short. The Great Depression only lasted a few years, but it changed the way many people lived for their entire lives. It’s interesting to think about.

    Sue, A very good point, which tells me I didn’t make myself clear enough in the post. I don’t expect the recent bank infusions of cash to be a cure-all solution. Not at all. I just mean that it may, in the long term, keep us from a “Depression 2.0″, or whatever it would be called.

    But that isn’t to say that it won’t get worse before it gets better, and that we don’t have a long recovery ahead of us. We do. And that recovery will be complicated by the oil prices rising again as we continue to deplete the world’s supply. And the effects of climate change around the world. And possibly other things we haven’t foreseen.

    So what I mean to say is that: we may have caught it in time so that it isn’t as bad as it could have been. And now we may be able to step away from the feeling of being a deer caught in the headlights, and start working again toward making ourselves and our communities stronger. No matter what happens, we still must work toward those things!!

  • Hi Melinda, you are always building bridges! When I read this post I visited the Green Phone Booth, introduced myself, although I “know” Green Bean, and wished them well. I’ve put a link to the phone booth on the Co-op blog roll. We need to support each other and I’m happy to be sharing the neighbourhood with the women who write there.

  • I have to go with Sue a bit here, though my son tells me i am a “disaster otaku” (obsessed with downer news, in other words). I’m in one of what is supposed to be one of the premier retirement plans on the planet (Oregon PERS) and it has lost a LOT of its value over the past to weeks. A one-day run-up of stocks hasn’t really signalled a stabilization.

    Growing and putting by food, adding insulation, finding alternative ways of gettting at water and providing heat and lighting, putting away the credit card, paying ahead on and retiring debt, not eating out or going out to the movies or concerts, or paying for cable, or getting my hair done or shopping for style — these are strategies that seem worth while to me right now, along with getting to know neighbors, sharing rides, finding ways to get to and use public transit, and staycationing. I’m not even planning to get the DTV box — who needs it — We have a nice collection of old VHS and some newer DVDs, old vinyl records and a phonograph, some acoustic musical instruments, Scrabble, Monopoly, and books, books, books. And I have someone to read them to me while I shell beans.

    All of which I learn more about at One Green Generation so that is why I’m here. Thank you, Melinda.

    risabee

  • Rhonda Jean, : ) I’m glad you’ve added them to our blog. I believe they’ll be picking up speed very soon, and can’t wait to read their wonderful words. We do need to support each other – so true.

    Risa B, Mmmm. As I said in response to Sue (see above), I most definitely did not mean to say that I thought the bank cash infusions would be a cure-all solution, only that I believe they may keep us from having a “Depression 2.0″ in our near future. And again, a recovery from this will take some time. Sorry if there was any confusion there.

    The many things you list are so important! We don’t watch television, and only occasionally rent a dvd. I think we’re stronger, richer (in many ways), and happier this way. I love that you have a phonograph! My stereo of 20 years finally quit recently, and we haven’t replaced it because we can’t really afford to. Another time…

    Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words. They made me smile widely.

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