Live Earth Area Co-ops
The Celebratory Social Software for Sustainability
The 21st Century
‘live as in jive’
Live Earth Area Co-op
A Live Earth Area Co-op is for people who feel that
- they are part of the Earth / Nature / Planet
- all things and all beings are interconnected
- all things and beings are worthy of respect
- they would like human society to develop in a sustainable and harmonious manner.
This is the ‘Common Bond’ of Live Earth
A Live Earth Area Coop is a local freestanding, co-operative grouping of people, who explore their collective strengths and use this in a co-creating manner to reduce their impact on the planet and help steer society down a sustainable path whilst at the same time celebrating and expressing the wonder of this life.
The LEAC pattern is modular and designed to spread everywhere and fit together to take even greater advantage of cooperative strengths from bulk buying and green politics to the launch of the Live Earth Game of Balance and Celebration into society
Live Earth is the Celebratory Co-operative Social Software for Sustainability for the 21st Century. It is designed to spread everywhere and provide the working grounds for people to stand together on in their ‘day to day’ lives and to help empower them to build the kind of society that in their hearts they long for.
The basics for a working start have been identified and gathered together. Like a patchwork quilt it will be endlessly added to and improved on for the benefit of all. It will spread round the world like a beautiful mantle woven with threads of love, understanding and connection and coloured by smiling faces and dancing feet.
We call it Live Earth (live as in jive) because the Earth is alive and we are all part of this one life that has grown out of this beautiful planet.
The common bond is what lies at the heart of community. It is that which joins people together. It is the core principal of the Credit Union movement that Live Earth has borrowed and improved on.
Typically this can be, we all live in the same village or area, we are all an ethnic minority, we are all of the same faith, we all work in the same factory etc. Whilst these are good, their limitation is that they have insides and outsides. Some people are in and others are out. They are ‘minor common bonds’.
The basis of Live Earth is the use of the ‘major’ common bond. This is the planetary common bond. This recognises that all things, plants, animals and people are part of the whole and are interconnected. In other words that we are all commonly bonded with everything else whether we are aware of it or not.
The major common bond contains all the minor common bonds.
By using the major or planetary common bond as a social bond, no inside or outside are created because implicit in the bond is the acceptance of all things and all people.
The beauty of this is that it creates social groupings that as well as honouring all other people also honours all the other animal, vegetable and mineral parts of life. This is profound indeed and opens the way to society based upon harmony and respect.
By recognising that we are part of the whole, each Area Co-op is naturally fully formatted for connectivity and fitting together with other Area Co-ops opening the possibility of an interactive raft of Area Co-ops based in connectedness and sustainability.
The image of the ‘common bond’ is of the axle on which the wheel turns. The wheel needs the axle in order to turn and stay centred.
The Working Function of the Common Bond
The common bond is the thing that attracts a group of people together. It does this simply because the people feel that way for their own reasons and so this resonance is in common, which is why it becomes their common bond. It is simply the expression of natural affinity. Once people come together in this manner the common bond acts to hold them together in a free-standing way.
In the case of the Live Earth Common Bond where the Major or Planetary Common Bond is being used something completely new happens. Instead of defining yourself through what you are not as in the use of geographical, religious, racial or occupational minor common bonds, you define yourself through acknowledging the reality that you are part of the biological and physical whole. This in contrast is inclusive, not simply in human terms but also in terms of all fellow species animal, vegetable and down into the mineral kingdom. This is the fundamental biological and physical reality of life.
The interesting thing about biological and physical reality is that because they are non conceptual or intellectual they have no opposite they simply are, they generate no reaction.
So the Live Earth Common Bond is the biologically honest ground for socially gathering on. When you step onto this ground you are publicly announcing your acceptance that you are part of the whole. You are stepping onto the grounds of social honesty.
When you do this you are stepping out of separation and into connection. Of course we are all connected to everything all the time whether we like it or not. So doing this is simply being honest. When life is based upon honesty rather than delusion it stands every chance of working naturally.
This is why Live Earth is socially transformational. By identifying the real grounds and inviting people onto them it creates an unshakeable foundation upon which genuine, natural and sustainable human life can freely occur.
If we look at our society and its underlying patterns we can see that it is based in separation, separation from each other, separation from nature and indeed separation from ourselves. This is so chronic that we see the rest of nature as a resource for our species.
This obvious delusion is of course why we are in the process of destroying the rest of nature and ourselves in the process. It is simple. If our basis is separation we will destroy without caring, if our basis is connection we will respect and nurture and coexist with our fellow species as what our DNA tells us we are ……. members of the same family, inter related and interdependent.
This then is the wonderful service and function of the Live Earth Common Bond. It simply identifies the real grounds and makes a place and a welcome for all those who instinctively feel like this, to come together and co create new harmonious social patterns that will assist our society and species to move towards a sustainable futu
Green Area Social Club (GAS Club)
When people come together they need to socialise and celebrate. This is especially important in the early stages. Through meeting each other and sharing experiences, trust develops and bonding occurs. This is essential human and animal activity.
The aim of the GAS club is to offer a program of regular social events of all kinds to facilitate this. When we sing, laugh, dance, play, eat and talk together the defences come down and a sense of belonging arises.
As well as this, regular seasonal celebrations reflect the different points of the year and seasons and help to locate people in time and space and locality.
In this way the knitting together of people and nature and the seasons is facilitated to help underpin the emerging community.
The GAS club forms the bedrock of the Area Co-op and is the first part to be put in place. Through turning the ‘social wheel’ people become involved and engaged. As well as strengthening the bonding process this also facilitates the organisation and communication with the members. This evolution is of course essential to the implementation of the various services and activities.
As the wheel of the year turns, celebration and activity act to develop and deepen the story line of the area co-op. Local identity arises and a strong feeling of belonging and cooperative fellowship emerges. This is essential for the healthy development of the Area Co-op.
This co-operative social experience forms the mulch or compost that the emerging ‘plant’ will grow in. As in all growth the roots must first go down before the shoots reach up.
Facets and activities of GAS Club
- Weekly social nights
- Music, Storytelling, Poetry
- The Local Story
- The Live Earth Story
- Games nights
- Cycling events
- Children’s events
- Seasonal Celebrations
- Star Gazing Parties
- Giving Back to Nature events
- Play tribes
- Nature Retreats
- Special interest foci
- Small Local Family Camps
- Local bards
- Coop hire of venues
Services and Activities of the Area Co-op
- Bulk Buying of goods and services
- Bulk Buying of Food
- Carbon Footprinting
- Individual and Family Food Audits
- Locally Grown Food Scheme
- Support of local Organic Food for Schools & Hospitals
- Local Spring Water scheme
- Community Compost
- Firewood Audits and Local Forestry
- Carbon Neutral Motoring …. Bio diesel
- Car Share scheme
- Conservation Schemes
- Ecological Footprinting
- Green Business Network
- LETS Scheme
- Banking, Harmonisation of banking : Co-op Bank, Credit Union, Local Banking
- Direct Debit System
- Blessing Wheel
- Green Area Health Scheme
- Earth Heart
- Earth Shares
- Spiritual : Celebranting, Seasonal Celebrations etc
- Nature Connection
- Third World Twinning
- UK Twinning
- Support of Green Politics
- Co-operative Local Government Think Tank
- Regional & National Linkage with other LEAC’s
- The Live Earth Game of Balance & Celebration
Explanation of Terms
Exploring the possibility of reducing the cost of living through the cooperative purchase of goods and services from food to insurance.
Food Audits & Local Food Scheme
Getting individuals and families to record their weekly consumption of vegetables and meat so that a cooperative food profile can be evolved. By quantifying the food consumed it becomes possible to source this with local organic growers as a bulk order. In this manner members get fresh local food, money stays in the local economy, growers know the crop is sold before it is planted, low waged members can exchange work for their food
As this develops the capacity to influence and supply the local schools and hospitals and old people’s homes with food arises
Spring Water Scheme
Source and supply local spring water to members. Have it analysed. Good water is essential for good health. We are 60-80% water
Starting with members, collecting household compost and composting it. When the small model is working this can be expanded up to collect from the general populace. This takes compost out of landfill and creates a resalable product. Also worm turned compost, which can accommodate cardboard.
Firewood Audits and Local Forestry
Get individuals and families who use firewood to assess the quantity they use. Also encourage members off coal and onto wood. When the quantities are assessed make a bulk order that can be sourced locally from a sustainable local forestry source. If there is no such source then create one.
Carbon Neutral Motoring …. Bio diesel
Establish a biodiesel production plant. (all ready there at Bridport) encourage members to get diesel cars and use this fuel. This gives carbon neutral motoring, puts money into the local economy and helps members with their eco footprint
Car Share scheme
Scheme to help reduce necessity of car ownership and attendant expense and pollution. Members agree to share cars by arrangement. Can grow into extended scheme for wider public creating employment, local green taxi service run on biodiesel.
Developing and researching our own ecological footprinting system using the various footprint calculators available. In particular working with WWF. Each member is encouraged to work out their annual footprint and how many planets they are using. Maybe a badge system to show this. Once this figure is worked out the game then is of course to reduce it with a possible zero carbon award system. Prize plus maximum cred for the person with lowest footprint! Also work out Family footprints, event footprints and Co-op Footprint.
Green Business Network
A network of Green Businesses in the Area. Businesses that are trying to practice sustainable action and accountability as well as supplying the local needs have areas of overlap that benefit from mutual support. A monthly meeting of these businesses to socially recharge and discuss common problems and solutions and share resources e.g. accountancy, software, expertise and contacts.
Banking, Harmonisation of banking : Co-op Bank, Direct Debit, Credit Union, Local Banking
Getting people to move their accounts to the Co-op Bank. This will facilitate direct debiting, create a platform of ethical banking, create a sense of standing together whilst still freestanding. It will also lay the basis in time to come when the community strength is developed to explore community banking and credit unions.
Direct Debit System
This is a co-operative approach to paying for services and supporting local initiatives. Paying the various running costs of the cooperative can be done through an elegant direct debit system.
Supporting local initiatives from mental health drop in centres, to toddler groups to special campaigns can be done most easily. E.g. if I want to give £2 a week I might want to give 30p to the mental health drop in centre, 40p to a toddler group, 50p to medical support group, 60p to wildlife initiatives and 20p to a donkey sanctuary.
If a small charity receives say 50 x 50p a week that is a regular £25. This is lifeblood to a small group. Also by being able to demonstrate community support they increase their chances of other funding.
In this way we can collectively support everything in our area.
It is also possible to underwrite this with Earth Shares!
A healing circle of local people that meet regularly and create the facility of group blessings. People can take it in turns to sit in the middle and receive blessings. This is particularly healing and valuable for people with mental, emotional and physical difficulties. On our own we may not feel confident to offer our own personal blessing in a situation, as we may not feel strong enough. However together in a group this becomes possible.
The positive effects of giving and receiving blessings are profound indeed. Experiments in the USA have showed that patients who were prayed for and blessed, even at a distance by unknown people, recovered and healed significantly better.
A wonderful community resource that has great benefits and helps bring people closer together.
Green Area Health Scheme
A scheme involving all the local alternative health practitioners whereby the members benefit from bulk purchase of their services. This would bring the services within the range of more people and encourage more preventative medicine.
As numbers grow and perhaps with linkage with neighbouring LEAC’s, be able to attract a holistic dental practice to the area by offering them a ready made block of patients.
Looking at the herbs that are needed on a regular basis in the area and their quantities and arranging for them to be grown locally and organically.
A piece of community owned land through which the community expresses its sense of connection with nature and life. Examples of such expressions might be sculpture, landscaping, sacred art, a sacred grove which is a circle of one of each of the original trees of these islands, a sweet cauldron which is an ellipse of the half way trees like hazel, blackthorn, broom and gorse.
Reconnecting with nature in a social manner is an essential part of re-creating the grounds for sustainable society to flourish.
The subdivision of land into one foot plots using a technique evolved with the approval of the Land Registry Office. This creates a means of developing common ownership of land in a real manner. This re-creation of ‘common land’ and the ethos that goes with it is an important part of the underpinning the Live Earth Area Co-op.
The Earth Shares may be developed into a form of currency that could be used to underpin LETS or Environmental Footpriting. They may also be used to underpin the Direct Debiting System.
Spiritual : Celebranting, Seasonal Celebrations etc
Developing the ‘folk’ or do it yourself approach to ceremony and celebration. Ceremony includes births, marriages, deaths, divorce and separation, rites of passage, etc.
Developing the seasonal celebrations. These help to connect and locate people in time and also into the locality and nature.
Part of the difficulty that our species faces arises from our sense of separation from nature. This of course comes from lifestyle and social imprinting. To find our way out of this there are exercises and activities that can greatly assist.
These range from games and activities, to ways to communicate with plants and animals. It is interesting to note that it is now possible to do a MA in Portland University USA in communicating with plants and animals! Then there are workshops on our Deep Ecology root, Councils For All Beings, the Great Turning and Joanna Macy’s, The Work That Reconnects.
Third World Twinning
Twinning with parts of the Third World. Establishing bonds and links and starting to make exchanges from cultural to financial and trade. Linkage with parts of the world that we buy food from and helping to set up workers co-ops that we can trade with.
Twinning with other parts of the country and making links and social exchanges as well as trading links. Obvious example of this are town / country links, local links, and long distance links.
Support of Green Politics
As a block of sustainability orientated citizenry the Area Co-ops are a ready made support system for individuals dedicated enough to venture into the world of local, national, and euro politics.
Support can be practical or financial. It can also be in the form of the Community Think Tank.
Community Think Tank
The membership can also collectively engage in contemplation of society’s needs and possible solutions. This can yield great value locally and indeed nationally. Obviously the need is to start with the Area Co-op itself but this can be expanded to local government and Green Politics. Sustainability is a huge challenge for society so the more citizens focused on it the better.
Regional & National Linkage with other LEAC’s
The Live Earth Area Coops area a modular system that is designed and configured, to interlock at the local, regional and national levels. When this stage is reached huge extra benefits and strengths will accrue. Harmonics will arise that will facilitate higher levels of integration and possibility, leading to unforeseen opportunity.
The Live Earth Game of Balance & Celebration
When there are sufficient LEAC’s up and running it will then be possible to launch the Live Earth Game of Balance and Celebration out into the mainstream of society. This beautiful social game is designed to focus communities on their issues and help them find their own solutions whilst at the same time acting to draw community together.
This game may be played at the local, county, regional, national, continental and international levels. Its aim is a sustainable human society living in harmony and respect with the natural systems and our fellow species.
It represents a simple, coherent and enjoyable pathway to a sustainable society and harmonious world.