New Green Economy

Rural Communities: Use Federal Dollars — Please!


Rural communities need roads too
Rural communities need love too
  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  3. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  4. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

want to help rural communities actually *use* the money allocated for greener rural pastures set aside by the Obama Administration.  Specifically, the EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities in cooperation with USDA have introduced a report called the Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities report.

It’s the Obama Administration’s latest effort to better coordinate federal programs for rural communities.

How rural communities can use federal money: E-Z   Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities is a report that contains case studies of over 12 rural communities and regions that are using federal resources to achieve their economic and land use visions, including:

· Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.
· Lake Village, Ark.
· Waverly, Iowa
· Greensburg, Kan.
· Bowling Green, Ky.
· Hancock County, Maine
· North Central Montana
· Maupin, Ore.
· Howard, S.D.
· Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D.
· Rural Tennessee
· Ranson and Charles Town, W.Va.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a joint effort of HUD, DOT, and EPA to coordinate federal actions on housing, transportation, and environmental protection. USDA is working with the partnership to help serve rural communities.

More information on Supporting Sustainable Rural Communities:

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and to read the report:

More information on the American Jobs Act in North Carolina:

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Green Cleaning Products That Work

So which green cleaning products actually work?  Straight from a friend in San Francisco, who’s had a housecleaning business for over 10 years and has extensively field-tested them all, here are the best green cleaning products for cleaning your house, toxic-chemical-free:

Mrs. Meyers' dishwashing detergent

Method shower cleaner

Mrs Meyers basil all purpose

Bona hardwood floor cleaner & mop

Hope’s perfect glass

I found most of these at the local supermarket.

I bought Mrs. Meyer’s countertop cleaner (lavendar) and it works great.  Also bought the dish washing liquid (basil), it also works great.

But the real revelation was Mrs. Meyer’s dishwasher detergent.

Mrs. Meyer’s automatic dishwasher detergent consists of little packets the size of two thumbs, full of white powder.  (They look illegal.)  You put one in the dishwasher compartment.  It works as well as — if not better than — Cascade with all the rinse chemical-fixins.

I did not expect that:  never thought something “green” could actually work.  It’s brilliant.  It’s all I use now.

More choices for green cleaning products For other green cleaning products, here’s a great link from outside of Seattle containing a list of non-toxic versions of everything from air fresheners to upholstery cleaners to pipe-unclogger to slug stopper (?! really).  Only thing is, “non-toxic” doesn’t necessarily mean chemical-free, so while these lists are helpful, they don’t absolve any of us from research and label-reading.

Still, a helpful place to start:

Non-toxic alternatives (City of Tacoma, Washington)

If you have favorite ‘greeners’ that are time tested and you really believe in them, please post them below.  I’ll try anything, especially if it won’t kill my new, young, growing ash tree that lives near the “outgoing” drainage pipe at my place.  (Also, my dog eats things off surfaces she shouldn’t, so I’d like to keep it real for her too.)  Green cheers to all.

New Green Economy

Occupy Wall Street is About Dignity

I posted about Occupy Everywhere, or Occupy Wall Street, before but did not say what I personally think.  So here’s what I personally think:

occupy everywhere
s t a n d

In the 1960’s a bunch of college-aged, dirty hippies started a vague protest about a small war happening in a 3rd world country, Vietnam.   Did they change the course of history?  No.  Did they change the way we engage in warfare?  No.  Did they stand up for what was true and don’t we all know that?  Yes.

In a way, those dirty hippies gave the US some dignity, because they had the integrity to — well — take a bunch of drugs and not want to get shot at.  But at least they stood up and said no.  They owned their point of view, which was “no thank you.”

Vietnam facts  In March 1966, 50,000 anti-war protesters took part in a rally in one of America’s most famous cities – New York. With a population that ran into millions, it could be argued that they represented a very small minority of the city.

But in history’s memory, everyone was protesting.  We want to believe everyone was protesting.

Occupied   Today’s Occupy protesting dirty hippies don’t have a draft hanging over their heads.  But their life is on the line in a way: their money is on the line, their financial security, which today in our culture translates into all basic needs.

It’s no wonder they’re scared.  And angry.  And standing up to say so.

Unlike the baby boomers, the current generation of 20-somethings isn’t inheriting anything but debt from their parents.  Retirements are gone, savings are gone, family land never existed for them.  The Occupy generation has only the economic system to rely on for their future.  This is not good news.

And they know that.

Money for most Americans directly equals food, shelter, hearth.  After that, it also directly equals every other life experience you can have.

This is a big deal.

I think young people are right to stand up and own their non-alignment.  Why should they align with an economic system that on one hand manages their survival, while demonstrating little interest in the community it serves on the other hand?  Let me qualify that by saying:  businesses, including banks, owe the customer nothing, zero, niente.  Banks owe their shareholders profits.  That’s it.  That’s the law.  The banking system is your daddy.  They like you in debt, for instance.  Which is why you are in debt.

(And how’s that working out for you, as the Republicans like to say?  It’s a good question.  It’s now beyond partisan.)

Occupy opinion  So this is what I think:  it may not do any good, but the kids should go ahead and Occupy Everywhere.

Stand up across the world.  You may not change a single thing.  You may not make one small dent of measurable difference.  And you do need a bath.  But so what.

You have integrity.

To the Occupiers I want to say Thanks, thanks for having the integrity to stand.

In the bigger picture, the picture whose timeline is measured in 100-year increments, you give the rest of us dignity.