Localisation verse globalisation

A reflection by ARRCC's Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black after viewing, The Economics of Happiness.

I was asked to speak on a panel at the Powershift conference in July, where 1500 young activists gathered in Melbourne for three days. It was very impressive to see the passion, concern and commitment. Though there are things we can all do individually, it is quite obvious that these are not enough on their own, and we have to be taking much higher level action as well, to change the actions of governments, world trade bodies and multinationals.

This message was also brought home to me in a film that the Jewish Ecological Coalition recently screened, The Economics of Happiness, which, in short, showed that globalisation is destroying our world and we need to be stopping this juggernaut and concentrating on localisation instead. Watch the trailer of it below.

But there are plenty more things we can also do to make a small difference at home, and here are three:

  1. Keep your hair short. Short hair needs much less shampoo and much less (heated) water to keep clean. Also hairdressing is one of those things that will always continue to employ real people right here at home in your local area - your hair can't be cut in China (unless you are there!) - so use them more often!
  2. Use an environmental shampoo - I use Treading Gently supplied in a large, refillable pack that last ages, saves money, saves the environment, and saves shipping because it is made locally.
  3. I'm still using toothpaste made by a multi-national (Colgate-Palmolive). But here's an environmental tip. Remember the old, metal tubes that used to break and leak toothpaste all over your hands? They were replaced with high-tech tubes years ago - so no more leaks! But those tubes are usually complicated laminates, probably still containing a layer of aluminium which is why they hold the shape they are bent into (try it!). That means they can't be easily recycled, so go to landfill instead. So I use what is called 'Liquid Gel' which comes in a simple, two part dispenser - clear polythene bottom, white polypropylene top - simple to pull apart and recycle. 

    (Without wishing to advertise a particular brand, I need to tell you to help you find it that it is still Colgate 2 in 1 (click here to see: external website icon1 ) - though I note that it is currently made in and shipped from Mexico!. It seems to go a long way and last f