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Beyond environmental protests, we are evolving sustainable lifestyles wherever we are located. The Cumberland Green Bioregional Council was founded in 1984 on the principles of education, networking, and celebration. For years, through workshops, homestead tours, and hands-on demonstrations we have taught each other and those that attend about a wide variety of green-living strategies from biodynamic gardening to alternative energy to health care. Networking goes on whenever we come together, including Facebook and this Meetup website, building bridges between people and groups from both city and country. Sharing information and resources and getting the word out about Bioregional events is essential in building community. Barter Fairs, seed and plant exchanges, and auctions serve as ways to share the means of survival. Celebrating life together brings us spiritual and emotional support and builds on the sense of community. In addition to meetup events, there is a choice of on-line involvement with this group. When you join, you can chose to receive emails from the Organizers only or you can choose to receive emails from anyone in this meetup group. Before the advent of Facebook, there was quite a lot of traffic on this elist, but that has mostly migrated to Facebook. If you chose to receive email from the organizers only, we will send occasional emails and event announcements to you.

A look at our past events  will help you understand the group better. So will this passage from Elisabet Sahtouris' book, "Earthdance":

 If we transform the memes composing our worldview to a common scheme of voluntary cooperation -- a self-creative, autopoietic, body of humanity -- we will abandon our old ideas of the machinery of society and find new organic ways of reorganizing ourselves.

Bioregionalists, such as Van Andruss, Christopher and Judith Plant, have proposed, for example, that naturally bounded ecological areas such as watersheds make more sense as economic-political units than do our present states or provinces, with their arbitrarily drawn boundaries. The inhabitants of such areas would have natural interests in common. The natural boundaries of ecosystemic regions contained original human societies, which recognized their dependence on nature and did not yet see it as territory to be carved up arbitrarily. But most of us today do not think bioregionally, because we lack the concept as a cultural meme.

Unfortunately, we have lost some of the most important memes generated in human history. The massive upheaval of human society that began six thousand years ago, initiating an empire-building era lasting to the present -- was so thorough in promoting dominance and aggression over partnership and peace that we came to see such aggression as our natural heritage. Can we recover the memes of civilized equality and peaceful sharing of wealth that seem to have guided settled human societies during the preceding thirty or so thousand years?

Bioregionalism proposes that the inhabitants of an ecosystem, such as a watershed area, assess the natural species living there and the region's capacity for supporting them as well as the human occupants. The humans would then work out the rebuilding of community in harmony with its ecosystem, aiming at satisfying human needs locally as much as possible, within sound ecological constraints and importing only what is necessary. Bioregionalism could be a working model for the whole body of humanity, with careful urbanization and harmonious agreements on regional production and trade across regions, especially if combined with Hawkens' proposal that we emulate nature by eliminating the concept of waste, so that everything we produce is consumable or recyclable.

However we draw boundaries and organize ourselves, our new body of humanity must be flexible enough to evolve through still further stages. We can be sure that it will always be imperfect by the old mechanical standards. Whatever social forms it will eventually take, making the body of humanity into a healthy, functioning holon within the Gaian holarchy is the greatest task human consciousness has yet faced.

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Founded Feb 7, 2008

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