How the green life can save the poor

How the green life can save the poor

At the moment it seems that all is lost and the circumstances are quite ironic. In an earlier post, I spoke quite aggressively about the growing global food crises which mainly have to do with gross inequality in favor of making as much profit as possible at the expense of the masses who can ill afford for this to be allowed. My argument is this. All is not lost, in fact it never is, if only we could all motivate ourselves to seek out help and look in all the right places. The irony before was that the so-called green life which entails living a wholly organic life which includes almost always consuming organic food; fruit, vegetables and meat, was way out of reach of the poor. It is not.

In fact, it is well within their reach. But in many areas, the catch is that they still need help towards empowering themselves to become self-sustaining and never having to rely on multinationals which feed them with diseases that perceptively cost them less. And what really irks me most of the time is this. The poorest of the poor, doing what they reasonably can to provide shelter and sustenance for themselves, occupy unused land. Quite frankly, I do not see any problem with this.

But the private landowners and even government organizations which hold long leases on these barren lands seemingly do have issues with it being occupied by those who need it more. I have seen land lying empty for years on end but the moment a community moves in, things get shaken up at the top branches of the socio-economic tree. This is not fair. I also see business opportunities for everyone. Landowners could rent out portions of their land at minimal cost (seeing as they don’t really need the money anyhow) and occupants could then go on to make the land profitable for themselves and others too.

All is not lost

They could turn fallow land into fertile land. Surrounding the fertile land, trees can be grown, contributing towards cleaning the air. Fruit and vegetable patches don’t take long to cultivate and grow, and in next to no time, dozens of families can now begin to feed themselves and also sell their excess produce elsewhere. People living in heavily condensed urban environments, particularly those that have not yet seen the light, have different stories to tell. Understandably, they say that there simply is no space to live, let alone grow.

The great organic irony

When you think about this coherently, innovatively and creatively, and take another closer look at your own urban environments, you’ll soon discover that all is not lost and there is, indeed, plenty of space for everyone, particularly the poor, to startup something worthwhile. But, for the time being, I’ve seen irony in this evidence. Where such greening initiatives have taken off in urban living environments, it only appears that, on the surface, those who are affluent and on the middle to higher end of the socio-economic ladder, are taking advantage of organic growth.

High on top apartment complexes, vegetable and plant gardens are being cultivated. Also, sustainable and alternative means of capturing affordable energy from the sun have been put in place with the use of solar panels. Such innovations, it seems, remain out of reach of the poor. All this, and much more, is possible for them if they could just have one small piece of land to do this. But right down below these high complexes, things are happening. The poorest of the poor, well some of them anyway, have become recyclers of note. The problem, though, is that they get paid very, very little for their valiant and noble efforts.

How the green life can save the poor

These men and women are cleaning up our trash. Long before we have gotten up for work in the morning, poor men and women are slowly and patiently traipsing our streets to make it cleaner for us. They are usually on the road for several hours of the day in order to collect enough trash which will enable them to provide themselves with a reasonable daily allowance. This would take care of food for the day. Those that are lucky are also able to provide themselves with shelter for the night. But it will continue to be an uphill battle for them. In order to survive, they continue to play catch up with the rest of us who still take life very much for granted.

How we can help empower others

One of the Beatles, the late John Lennon, wrote and sang a song that still resonates among many sentimental men and women across the world. That its lyrics are secular and cast doubt on the existence of a higher power is not at issue here. What I wanted to mention was these lines;

‘You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.’

This I believe. So, I think that we can all cast aside mocking remarks from others and get on with doing just a little each day to help uplift those who, as I mentioned just a moment earlier, continue to play catch up with the rest of us. Just one entrepreneurial push in the right direction could help these brave men and women set up their own small business. What do you think about that then?

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