City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

SPECIAL: Acorns into mighty Oaks


It is hard to believe that it was one year ago this day that I posted the first post on this blog. So much has happened.

I feel honoured to be a part of the Green blogosphere and in the company of some really cool passionate people.

What did I promise back then?
  • To create a space for people to post about their search for a greener and ethical urban life.
  • To focus on living a green and fair life in the UK but to encourage debate across our planet.
  • To struggle to live a greener and a fairer life in my own life and home.
  • To not stick to posting schedules but to try and keep it flowing naturally.
  • To avoid becoming an ego-bigot who makes people feel inferior for not being green enough.
  • To focus on positive action.
Have I delivered on those promises?
Well only you can judge but in my heart I believe that I have delivered. You ain't seen nothing yet ;)

Favourite moments?
Apart from my first son Coby being born (Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles!) launching the Carnival of the Green with Nick from Triple Pundit (a great guy) and the Starbucks Challenge with Siel from GreenLAGirl (a great girl) are my proudest achievements thus far. Of course being mentioned in the UK's Guardian newspaper was nice too. I have a feeling the next year is gonna be bigger and better.

Where do I go from here?
Well first off I keep going and growing.

I intend to clean the site up with a better bespoke template and a real logo.

I might even move from blogger...but probably not.

I have some new cool functionality to add in.

I have some great content ideas lined up.

I would love to take this blog full time but that would require me to either win the lottery or figure out how to make a living from this blog without compromising it. Hmmmm...any ideas?

Any rich angels out there who wanna salary me (trust me that ain't much) for a whole year and see just what I can do with this blog if it had my full attention?

Finally...he shuts up...nearly...
Ghandi Gandhi (thanks for the correction Joe he he he) said one must be the change and so you should feel good about yourself for trying your hardest. Even just visiting this blog is a good start. Ignore those who say that whatever you do is not good enough. Tell them I told them they are wrong. Send them my way. I will have them singing peace songs within minutes. Hahahahaha! And most importantly of all...just keep going!

I just got to the end of this post and serendipitously my wife handed me a poem. It just fits so well and is a wonderful ending to probably my favourite post. Enjoy.
Acorns into mighty Oaks
When I leave this world I hope
I leave a better place
where deeds I've done
and paths I've trod

have helped the human race;
where seeds I've sown will blossom still
and trees I've planted grow
from acorns into mighty oaks,
I hope I've made it so.

For to leave the world
without a trace,
no footprints in the sand,
no memory in a loved one's heart,
no mark upon the land,
no legacy to show you cared,
no promises to keep,
must surely make it hard to face
an eternity of sleep.
SBW (taken from Living Heritage - The Woodland Trust Legacy newsletter No 7 Spring 2006)
Very well said SBW.

And so finally to end this first year I leave you with a question to which I hope I have an answer this time next year:

What do you think is the single biggest problem the world faces and how do we solve it?

I very much look forward to your answers.

Namaste to you all and thanks from the depths of my soul.


UPDATE: I am so touched by all the comments and emails I have received. Thanks to all of you. You make the hard work I put into this blog so worthwhile. Namaste.

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At 3:48 AM, Blogger Deb said...

Happy Birthday, City Hippy!
Your blog is a favorite of mine, for good reason. Keep up the good work.

Hate to ask on your BD, but would you replace "Out on the Limb" fair&green blog with "Sand Dragon" ?

Thanks. I finally got that biodiesel car; she's going great.

Best wishes for your continued success.

At 3:58 AM, Anonymous Trish said...

Big love from Canada.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger Deb said...

PS - In answer to your "single biggest problem" question: global warming; global warming; global warming. Oh, that's three. sorry.

And I sympathize with your desire/need to blog fulltime. I'm selling house and land in an effort to have about a year to get plugged in as a full-time environmental activist/artist. This whole process is taking waaay longer than expected.

I have faith your wishes will materialize, City Hippy. All the best,

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous joeturner said...

Hi CH,

[whispers] Gandhi is the correct spelling [/whispers]

The single greatest problem we face in the future is Emotional Fatigue coupled with Institutional Inertia.

Only the radicals believe change is possible when everyone else is screaming that it aint. Yet the truth is that we all have more power than we imagine.

Most people think that the amount of effort it would take to change things is so enormous and their individual contribution so small that it isn't worth trying.

So the ultimate question is how do we keep moving forward, keep the faith, keep running the race without decending into slagging matches with those who don't agree. Given our impact on the world and the other 90% of the world's population, we have a lot of changing to be doing.

Also I think we have to appreciate more that the cycle of wealth we are in is as tight as the cycle of poverty so change can be as difficult to achieve.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Maya said...

Happy Bday, City Hippy! It's been an important and a great year here, I have no doubt. I believe you when you said that City Hippy is going to be bigger and better in the near future...that we haven't seen nothing yet :-) Many good lucks to you as the innovator and writer of City Hippy.

Yes, City Hippy is definitely one of my favorite green blogs! You have helped me so much just for the last month or so...I hope we'll be meeting in person sooner than later. That would give a nice icing on the cake for sure...

What a beautiful poem your wife wrote! wish you also many many more happiness in your personal life.

To answer to your huge question, I agree with joeturner about the combination of "emotional fatique and institutional inertia"'s a huge challenge for all of us. How do we stay strong and well-informed to make the best choices? how do we trust people/companies to deliver and preserve great concepts/movements? for example of the big controversy about Nestle and Fair Trade labelling etc. How do we know when things are for real? Wish I can answer to your questions...but instead I'm more overwhelmed with more questions. Sorry...but I do have faith in our ability to change, even tiny, the world we live in into a better world least I'm trying in my own little world :-)

Cheers...enjoy many more hippy years to come.

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Tracy said...

All the very best Al, I'm looking forward to more City Hippy for years to come.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Mrs Moo said...

I think the biggest problems we face are ignorance and laziness. How do we overcome them? As you have already said "Be the change we want to see in the world". Remember, as Anita Roddick said "To those who say, little things don't make a difference, try being locked in a room with a Mosquito" City Hippy you are one great Mosquito - Keep at it!
Happy 1st Birthday!

At 3:44 PM, Blogger greentogroove said...

Love the blog! Excellent layout of goals... admirable.

yeah, global warming is a great big ol' problem.... but directly, the human race is the greatest environmental problem to date. We've got to learn to be a part of the environment instead of just taking, taking, taking. you're pushing us there, thanks!

At 2:26 AM, Blogger db said...

Happy B-Day, Al, and many happy returns! Make sure you keep the fiber and clean living up - a year old is positively ancient in the blog world!

Thanks for your wisdom, your thoughtfulness, and your willingness to step out and green the internet. May your tribe increase.

Warm regards from San Diego,
Don Bosch
Managing Editor,

At 2:29 AM, Blogger db said...

Oh - and I'm not wise enough to know what the biggest problem is, but the biggest solution is love for each other, and thankfulness for all that we have. With that sort of power and perspective, we can do anything we put our minds to.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous beev said...

Is it only a year? Seems like you've been around forever, CH!

Well, I definitely feel you've kept your promises, and I'm looking forward to your revamp. I hope someone does offer to sponsor you; I can only imagine the effect you could have if freed to blog full-time...

Thanks for a fine year - keep it up!

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Johnny K said...

Fair play to you Al. Keep up the good work.

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous CFL Bulbs said...

Congrats Al. City Hippy is a great blog.

So I was going to go with “complacency” as the biggest problem, because it haunts me sometimes, but joeturner’s "emotional fatigue and institutional inertia" seems more accurate.

I think a lot of people have “I wanna do better” gnawing at them all the time but don’t break loose and start making changes. Taking a little action (even a little) feels good and you’ll want to do more. It’s not all that hard, it’s a mindset thing. Like actually getting up and turning off the light that doesn’t need to be burning, etc.

And it’s viral. When you see a friend respond and become active themselves, it’s always good. But you gotta move to start.

Thanks for spreading the good word!


At 2:23 AM, Anonymous Bald Man said...

I'm a new reader, but wanted to chime in on the biggest problem as I see it.

Social structures that reinforce the following myth: The vast inequalities of our world are morally acceptible.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger mighty acorns said...

inertia? actually i think the biggest problem is that most people don't actually give a damn...just look at the side of the road at all the crap that people throw out their car windows, the piles of rubbish at the gate on pickup day, the price of orangics at the supermarket etc etc...


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