From the Editor

December 18, 2007

 

 

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From the Editor

 

From-the-Editor archives:

 

December 18, 2007:  "The Story of Stuff"

 

October 8, 2007:  Collaboration: Doing More with Less

 

September 7, 2007:  Winds of Change

 

August 1, 2007:  A Way to Collaborate

 

July 12, 2007: Laying a Foundation

 

June 4, 2007:  Let the Turf Wars Begin

 

May 1, 2007:  Building Lives

 

March 27, 2006: Opportunity Expo, May 1, 2006, Cape Cod Community College

 

March 14, 2006:  Ideas on Sustaining Cape Cod's Water and Open Space

 

February 23, 2005:  Sustaining a Volunteer Center

 

February 7, 2005: The Pulse of Progress at Cape Corps

 

December 2004:  Volunteering to Sustain Cape Cod

 

October 2004:  The World Series

 

May 2004:  The Cape Cod Center for Sustainability Brokers Successful Partnerships among the Cape's Nonprofits  

 

April 2004:  Building the Wealth of the Cape

 

August 2003:  A Knuckleball of an Idea

 

 

 

 

 


"The Story of Stuff"



          "The Story of Stuff” with Annie Leonard is traveling across the Internet at this time of the year when we are at the peak of our consumption mindsets. Annie's piece takes us through the "materials economy," which she frames as a linear process in which "stuff" is moved through a system that includes "extraction," "production," "distribution," "consumption," and, finally, "disposal." At the end of the piece, Annie presents a list of ten actions that each of us could take that would improve our community and our quality of life. The link to the entire piece is www.storyofstuff.com.


          Number 6 on this list states that "spending time in face-to-face civic or community activities strengthens the community, and many studies show that a stronger community is a source of social and logistical support, greater security, and happiness. A strong community is also critical to having a strong, active democracy."  We encourage people to follow this suggestion for the fundamental reason that doing so would significantly expand the capacity of nonprofits to do their work. 


          And at this time of year more than any other, nonprofit organizations are reaching out to each of us as individuals to donate. Money is certainly essential, but the value of forging a personal connection that continues over time is even more important. Ask the Red Cross, the Cape Baseball League, the hospital auxiliaries, the Arts Foundation, the Natural History Museum, the National Marine Life Center, and all other organizations that effectively use volunteers to staff their programs. They demonstrate just how valuable the gift of a volunteer’s time can be.
 


          With this in mind, we have been developing a community directory of Cape organizations that utilizes the Internet as the means to help connect them with
Cape residents. We have been listing these organizations one at a time on our Web site (www.SustainCapeCod.org) in the Community Directory at this link:  http://www.sustaincapecod.org/communitydirectory. And we are providing free assistance to nonprofits that want to be listed there so that they are not overwhelmed by the technical stuff that is necessary to post information about their organizations (we've found technical skills to be a real soft spot of the Cape's nonprofit sector). Please pass the idea along to any nonprofit whose work interests you. 


          WPXC FM (PIXY 102.9) and Frank FM (WFQR/WFRQ 101.1 and 93.5) will be giving attention to this effort on December 23 at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. (a little early I know). They will also be providing us a CD of the show that we'll put up on our site when we get it.


          And in addition to the ten suggestions that Annie Leonard lists, we add one more: Please reach out to an organization that is directed to achieve nonprofit aims that interest you. We'd love it if you would let us know that you've done so.

 

Allen Larson

Editor of the Larson Report and president of the
Cape Cod Center for Sustainability

 

 

Suggestion Number 6 from “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard:


        Unplug (the TV and Internet) and Plug In (the community).  The average person in the United States watches TV over four hours a day. Four hours per day filled with messages about stuff we should buy. That is four hours a day that could be spent with family and friends and in our community. Online activism is a good start, but spending time in face-to-face civic or community activities strengthens the community, and many studies show that a strong community is a source of social and logistical support, greater security, and happiness. A strong community is also critical to having a strong, active democracy.

 

 

 

 


 

Chatham