vrijdag 6 november 2015

Why is Zotter Chocolate sustainable?

Can chocolate be sustainable? Yes, mister Zotter proofs it! In Austria, more specific in the region of Graz, this visionary man produces more than 300 different kinds of chocolates, with original ingredients, which are all organic and fair-trade. For an assignment of one of my classes (#industrial ecology) my friend from Kazachstan and I made a video about the sustainability of Zotter Chocolate.

Enjoy the video which you can find here

dinsdag 25 november 2014

Internationale Dag tegen het Geweld tegen Vrouwen: Wat zijn Patriarchale Structuren?

Vandaag is het Internationale Dag tegen het Geweld tegen Vrouwen. Voor mij mag het elke dag Internationale Dag van de Eliminatie van alle soorten geweld zijn, want ook al lijkt de mens en de wereld te "evolueren", toch zijn de cijfers van geweld huiveringwekkend. Denk maar aan de grote groepsverkrachtingen in India of aan de ontvoering van al deze schoolmeisjes in Nigeria. In België, las ik vandaag in de media, worden 150 vrouwen jaarlijks door hun man vermoord. Geweld tegen vrouwen is overal. Sommige mensen zeggen dat door de globalisering van de media onbekende verhalen aan de oppervlak komen en daardoor een schijn geven dat er een stijging in geweld is, wat ik als een reden zie, maar niet als de enige reden. Ik zie ook de verankering van de patriarchaat in onze wereld als een reden van de stijging van het geweld. In een van de volgende blogs zal ik uitleggen hoe de structurele aanpassingen (SATs) van de World Trade Organisation (een van de voorvechters van patriarchaal kapitalisme) in de jaren' 80 voor "heksenverbrandingen" in Afrika zorgden. 

(Eco)feminisme en de Patriarchaat

Er zijn veel redenen waarom we meer (eco)feminisme in ons dagelijks leven nodig hebben, omdat het een kader biedt aan alle problemen, en een oplossing aandient. De roots -volgens (eco)feminisme- van alle problemen in de wereld -van racisme tot vernietiging van de natuur- ligt bij de patriarchale 
structuur van de maatschappij, die de mannelijke waarden en normen hoger ziet dan de vrouwelijke waarden en normen.  In deze video (Engelstalig) legt Marina Watanabe uit hoe de patriarchale structuur iedereen -man en vrouw- schaadt en onze kansen limiteert. 
Zij is een 21 jarige die "Vrouwenstudies", met minor "communicatie" in USA studeert. Op haar youtube kanaal legt ze in korte video's topics uit waar feminisme meer helderheid of zelfs een oplossing kan bieden, zoals waarom meisjes zich op Halloween vooral als hoeren verkleden. 

maandag 24 november 2014

From Apple Computer to Apple Tree

(c) wendiertje89 on Instagram
Fall in East-Germany, 2014
 Dreaming as reply to the Fall in the World

Winter is Coming. It's one of the most popular and known quotes from the series Game of Thrones. It means that dark times are coming, but it also means that we are in fall, the time between summer and winter, when things start to change. Trees start to loose their leaves, the birds fly to other regions and the temperature starts to decrease. In this period we pluck the fruits of our hard work in the previous seasons and keep it in a dry place, so we can survive the cold, dead winter. People who look further, see the spring after this dead period, and start to plant fruit trees and spread seeds from spinach, salads, parsley and even carrots, because fall is also the period when you can change a lot of things. 

My brother and I are very aware of the crisis, the winter, the dark times, that are coming to us, or in fact, already started. There is a big fall in the world. In two meanings of the world.  The Patriarchal capitalism is spreading as a disease over whole the world, polluting the grounds, the water, the air and the human mind. The violence against women and foreigners increased, biotechnology changed the genetics of seeds and plants so engineers control who has access to food and who not, we are working for money that does not exist, because the banks are speculating with it... etc. I believe the only way to solve many problems is when people have access to small pieces of ground and can grow their own food, as I said in the previous blog about "the future of food". That is why my brother and I decided to do something with the ground that we hearted from our grandparents. We want to create a safe haven, that gives us food, that frees us and our beloved ones from the capitalist patriarchy that makes from us slaves of our own wage, that let us be in contact with nature and let us be in control of our own life. We started to dream... as a reply to the fall in the world. 

Planning with Permaculture Design
Last Summer I participated in the permaculture design course from Regreen ecocenter in Greece. These were two of the most interesting weeks in my life, because apart from the knowledge I also got some skills and tools to achieve my dreams: my mind and my hands became different in my eyes. 
Together with my brother we made a map of our ground and started to draw. We decided to have a greenhouse (without warming elements), but also a place with a self made contain and picknick tables. We also made different phases, to give us enough time. We hoped that in the summer and fall of 2016 we would be 30% self-sustainable. We think it's important to have a part-time job, to pay taxes, medical care etc... but we also think we can save a lot of money by providing ourselves with vegetables, fruits and eggs. 

I have to admit that I feel guilty that I spend too much time with my apple computer. Technology is promoted as progress, something that should make everything goes faster, but instead of creating more time for ourselves, I've the feeling I've not enough time. Nothing can go fast enough. By going back to the nature, and planting apple trees and other seeds, I hope to find again a balance with myself and the world, find more time for myself and can feel really happy and satisfied with what I am doing. Being self-sustainable is not only about being in control of your food, but also in control of your mind. I know that my mind is still a slave of all the ruling dogma's of the patriarchy. 

Maybe that's also why I am so interested for ecofeminism. It is a political answer on racism, sexism, class exploitation and environmental destruction, that not only maps the problems (all the roots of the bad things happening in the world are in patriarchy according to ecofeminists), but also provides the solutions: subsistence. 

(c) The Ecologist

Acting, because actions tell more than words

Since the end of June our garden started to change. We bought 3 chickens. We built a picknick table and a terrace where we hope to celebrate nice evening gatherings with friends. We made a greenhouse where we planted seeds for vegetables for next spring - and I love writing about it and sharing it with Facebook, because it makes me proud that I am doing these things for myself, for the world and for nature.

Today my brother, his friend and I planted also 18 fruit trees: mulberries, apricots, pears, apples, cherries and nuts will be hopefully the main ingredients of our diet. Soon I will plant some flowers (like narcissus) and herbs that belong to guilds of plants protecting trees against diseases and insects and/or making the soil more fertile, but according to a garden architect our soil is perfect for fruit trees, so we will focus on plants that will fight against the pests and diseases. In the next months I will give a list of the guilt of plants we used, what kind of problems we (hopefully not) faced and the solutions we (hopefully) found. 

 Celebrating, as the 4th and most important phase of Dragon Dreaming. 
That's for later, but the feeling that I am doing something good feels already as a nice celebration for the soul.