Greening the Ghetto

The two TED talks in this post both share inspiring South Bronx sustainability and environmental justice projects. I have long had visions of schools growing their own food, which would solve so many problems on so many levels, all at once. The first video describes the turnaround from 40% attendance to 93% attendance in a mostly disabled, mostly homeless group of students who have become experts in their field. The second video tells the story of a woman who grew up across the street from a crack house in an area with the most garbage and sewerage dumps in New York, along with the fewest green parks. She shares her story of synchronicity and community triumph, greening the Bronx and empowering her community.

Both videos address the bottom line, showing how sustainability makes good financial sense, while revitalizing communities from the grassroots up — far surpassing top-down corporate or governmental strategies. As Stephen Ritz says, we can move from “The audacity of hope to the hope of audacity.” If you live in a city, you will probably find these videos extra-inspiring; however, as citizens of a crowded planet with food and ecological crises, we can all learn and celebrate our options. We can reclaim our cities and our planet — as individuals, communities and cooperative contributors. Enjoy!

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