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“One of the biggest killers on this planet is apathy. I read a thing in an internet cafe calendar in Galway, Ireland, yesterday that read ‘why are the people who have all the answers to world problems taxi drivers and hair dressers?’ This was a very good skit on human behaviour in general where people have all the answers and don’t act on their ideas. Why not?” — Venus Kamura from On Fire: The battle of Genoa and the anti-capitalist movement.

Yes everyone knows I read a lot of different things and although this book is a little patchy there are some areas of it that I find quite interesting and to the point.

I’ve now received a few messages from friends saying that they’ve felt as though they want to make some changes in their lives, and have been disheartened by it all in the past. Now they are committing to something new and want to integrate changes in their lives to make change in their own world! YAAH to you guys! WOOT WOOT

Well it’s not that hard to imagine it to be difficult really.

I think whether you are an activist or not you know that change needs to happen in our world so that it’s a place that the children of the future can enjoy. No one wants to leave a huge mess for them to cleanup as we have been left from past generations. It’s our responsibility to be role models, elders, and guardians for Mumma E (read: mother earth).

I think that all this boils down to a few things for me at least.

Firstly, be careful how many things you take on in your life. Keeping things really simple, breath easy, and focus your attention on a few actions that you can handle to start. Branch when you are comfortable. No one likes peanut that is thinly spread on many slices of bread so why would you spread your skills thinly across different type of issues. It’ll only weaken your ability. Plus you don’t want to walk away feeling jaded or tired or burnt out at the end of the day.

Secondly, and probably most importantly is my general philosophy since Otesha. I have them thank for this philosophy. When trying to adopt change in your life start by adopting something small, once you get comfortable, adopt something else that is new and will influence change. This is how we encourage youth on our bike tour to make changes in their lives. If you take baby steps life is more manageable and you won’t feeling like giving it all up because it appears to “be to much to handle.” This is the only way that our world will change in one big revolution. Apathy is an easy out especially when you think of all the huge things we need to take on a society to change it. But I never look at it like that. I’m thankful for the decisions I make each day to try and reduce my imprint and talk to people about issues that I see around me.

Lastly, the Dalai Lama knew it best when he said “Be the change you want to see in the world today.” It’s just that easy. Well sorta. Take a deep breath, be proud of where you are at, and remember that growth is about knowledge, learning, and change. At no point do we ever stop changing or growing and all those actions we take are causing other actions and movements to happen. Children watch us as the elders of the future.

Yeah it’s not really something that relates to my travels but I feel now strongly about this as I travel around New Zealand and yet to find activists. Perhaps they are hiding or just underground who knows. But at least I can be my own activist right?

WORD TO YAH MOTHA

Shane

PS – You have to remember that if you make one action today…think about if everyone took that action. Think about what happens when someone sees you taking that action and then questions you about it. Oh yes then the revolution starts!

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[Note: If you’ve sent me an email recently chances are I haven’t replied because my email out here seems really not all that accessible. Not sure if the government is blockin it or that the hosting is crapola. I know it’s up cause my friends back in canada have told me so. So bare with me 😛 ]

There is lots to write about (thoughts wise) but just to give you an update I’ve been chillin out in Christchurch with my old friend Duncan whom I met on the Galapagos Island. We worked together on a”trying-to-be” sustainable farm out there signing Queen songs at night while washing dishes. It was nice to see him again! I’m off today to check out some hot springs, do some more hiking (an abudance in this city), and see some dolphins on the weekend.

It’s weird I’ve spent a bit of time researching local activist groups to no avail it seems. Kinda a weird scene not being to hook up with some common peeps but that’s life on the road I suppose. So all those out there just remember it’s at times like this that I remember all the rad stuff you are doing to make the world a better place *thanks for that*.

More to come when I get a chance!

Peace and bike grease,

Shane

My Name TagFor those of you who don’t know I’m a dumpster diving geek. This means that I jump into dumpsters near grocery stores or other shops and search for things to eat or use. I tend to get a lot of questions about why I do this and the purpose behind it when I talk to people about the issues. I figured since a recent article that came out in Calgary’s Avenue Magazine about Dumpstering Diving featuring me I would include the article and also provide further information. I would encourage you to read the article and provide comments if you want.

Food Quality / Other Issues

One of the biggest questions and concerns that I get is that the food quality that I am recovering is quite bad and could potentially cause me harm or that there are other issues associated with these practices. I’ve tried to break down the common questions that I get from people to answer all the questions (and would encourage more from people).

  • Isn’t the food completely gross and sketchy (read: super gross and moldy) Nope. Seriously. Take a look at that picture below and the quality of that food that we recovered. Did you know that stores will throw out veggies because they don’t look like you expect them to look? Yep veggie discrimination. It kinda make sense though cause we live in a demand created culture and thus we expect high quality food.
  • What do you do with the food after you recover it? I take it home and eat it. Well that’s not entirely true. Some of the things I donate to Food Not Bombs and most things I take home, clean with bio-degradable soap, dry, and eat later. Pre-packaged things just get checked (bad parts removed) and then stored for later consumption.
  • Aren’t you taking food away from homeless people? I think this is a fair question really and I’ve had a few people ask me about this. The question I like to rebutle is the following – “Why would a homeless person deserve or want to eat food out of a dumpster? Why wouldn’t they want to head to a shelter and get some fresh warm cooked food there?” I think it’s an assumption that the food is there and that somehow I’m stealing it from someone else that needs it. But you have to realize that everyone sees this food as waste and not as food. Also, there is so much of it that I end up not taking all of it home with me anyway.

Umm what have you found

This question I get a lot and most people figure that the things that I found are far and few between. I can guarantee that most times if I head out on a dumpstering mission I’ll find a load of food whether it be a bunch of bread, fruit/veggies, or things I can use. It is a bit of a hit and miss mission because sometimes you’ll find nothing like any expedition.

  • Last nights score – Last night we hit up this fruit and vegetable shop in Newtown. They had an entire bin filled with tomatoes, avocados (still ripe), peppers, carrots, mangos (huge HUGE mangos), and plenty more. All of this goodness went into a stew to be used on cereal for many mornings to come.
  • Skates/Rollerblades/Helmets – One night I was in a dumpster near my parents place and came across a bin filled with old skates, rollerblades, and other things being thrown out. Don’t ask me why the shop nearby threw that out but I was pretty appalled. I mean we live in a society where some people don’t even have access to these things and we are throwing it out. Not to mention the resources needed to make all of this stuff. I packed all the gear up in a hockey bag (how convenient it was also in the dumpster) and carted it down to a local school in the inner city the next day. Perhaps I’m bragging perhaps not. The women working there told me that some of the parents and students had never skated on ice cause they don’t have money to buy skates. So now they had skates to wear, helmets, and all the other gear! YESS!
  • Box of Vegan Sausages (Organic) – There was like 20 packages (each worth $5 – $6) inside the box and were going to expire within the next day. We split them up and used them at a local Iron Chef put on by Food Not Bombs.
  • Unused Sleeping Bag – While in a outdoor store I scored a sweet light weight sleeping bag (unsuitable for Canada weather but perfect for OZ) that was thrown out. I also managed to snag some inflatable mattresses they had cut (to make them not self inflate) that I gave to some homeless guys sleeping on the ground that night.
  • And more …

Read the rest of this entry »

For the last three days I headed out with Aline to do the Coastal Track in the Royal National Park (oldest natural park in the world) a 23.5 KM (although I think we ended up doing more like 26 KM) hike from Bundeena down to Otford along the coastline. It’s a great little hike because you can catch the train from Sydney to Bundeena and then home from Otford (yah for mass transit folks).

This route was filled with some amazing coastline, heat, lack of water (made if more challenging for collecting and finding good sources — yah to McGiverShane), cliffs, trees, and space away from the craziness of busy Sydney. Aline and I were getting a little stur crazy in Sydney and decided to head out together to the coast.

Along the way we ran into Maurice from the Nunnery Bike Workshop and his rad partner Kaitlin who were hiking the exact opposite direction. It was a nice treat to run into someone that you know, really like, and care about show up in the bush. Sorta like that icing on the cake really. It was good to chill out with Kaitlin a bit more too. The second night was spent enjoying some wine, food, and good laughs together. It’s kinda funny how you can escape the hustle and then everything seems to be really casual and chilled out. Aline was a nice compliment to all that as I found all our conversation to be centred around the environment, good vibes, making change, and permaculture. Uh yes I nice compliment to my time at Peats Ridge Festival.

I then have spent a bit of time back in Sydney getting ready to head out to New Zealand on Friday (oh that’s right folks taking a two month jaunt out there). Aline and I spent a bit of timing setting up a compost and working on a few areas that she plans to plant flowers and other food items in near her place in Bondi as well. The more that I get my hands in soil the more I realize that I love it! That I probably belong in some permaculture program, that trying to do things with youth is where it’s at, and that taking a course on permaculture has my name written all over it.

Rebicycle TentI realize I haven’t posted for a while but I was out at Peats Ridge Festival from the 29th of December to January 2nd with the Nunnery crew volunteering at a bicycle co-op there (so blame it on not having internet, being in the bush, and lovin every minute of it).

We rode into the festival from Hawksbery River station (27 KM) along an old highway and as it turned out there was about 30 or so riders into the festival (being that this was the first time it was a good show I think).

There were tonnes of elements that this festival had that really impressed me (or made me poop my pants in excitement). Completely composting toilets for all festies (festival goers), bamboo plates/cutlery (chopped up and composted), compost bins & recycling bin, solar powered generators, bio-diesel, grey water collection systems for showers (free biodegradable soap/shampoo for use), and so much more. It was an impressive setup considering some of the other festivals I’ve been too in the past!

I spent most of the time chillin with the bicycle crew in our tent renting out bikes, repairing campers bikes, and giving out free hugs! HAA HAA Actually there was also a courier service that I took great pride in.
I can’t complain with the experience that I had but I do think it might have been good to have more time to take in some of the seminars that were put on. There were (from others that I know went) some pretty amazing discussions going on about mud-brick building, sustainable building, permaculture, etc (frothing at the mouth). More photos can be viewed here from Moz’s camera.
Regardless, I did get time to chill out and catch some amazing bands. Our news years started with a critical mass throughout the festival grounds doing figure-8’s, talking to peeps, and plenty of laughing. One highlight for the night was watching a local Tasmania political rap band called Combat Wombat *I love these dudes* It was a nice way to start of my New Years celebration (bustin up the beats on the dance floor, yellin, and been out there!). As if I’m not like that all the time pffft.

Something worth reading: Being out in the country with 10, 000 people (really chilled out surprisingly) made me really return back to place of calm. One afternoon I took off with Aline for a ride out of the festival grounds and around the country side. It was like a breath of fresh air being out there, and sometimes I think it’s easy to forget that we are well a small part of this entire planet. I feel really grounded in the bush, complete, and chilled out. I just hope that everyone takes some moment this year to find that grounding, deep breaths of fresh air, and relaxation.

My wish fo you peeps: I’d like to write each one of you but well I’m kinda slammed with things to get done before I head to New Zealand (sorry folks). So I hope that each one of you has a year filled with love, adventure, challenges, growth, kindness, sharing, learning, and plenty of LAUGHTER!

– Big smiles & hugs from your crazy friend Shane