The Environmental Side of Occupy Wall Street

Although the media hasn’t noticed, environmental themes are laced through the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests, as people connect the dots between money and politics as the underlying cause behind the varied problems they’re rallying against.

Among the demands for stricter financial regulations, universal health care, stronger union rights and the abolition of "personhood" status for corporations, are "Ban Fracking," and calls for a nuclear-free, low-carbon future. You’ll also see signs like "The Earth is Not Your Ashtray." 

Many environmental activists that are engaged on Wall Street,  agree that decoupling corporate influence from government policy would be a quantum leap forward for the environmental movement. When environmental nonprofits lobby against the interests of polluters and industry, the playing field is never level, says Robert Moor in a NRDC blog.

Take climate legislation, where the environmental community spent more than ever before, but still got outspent eight-to-one by corporate interests. The cards are stacked way against groups that are trying to bring progressive change in this country.

What if the degradation of our planet’s life-support systems – its atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere – goes hand in hand with the accumulation of wealth, power, and control by that corrupt and greedy 1% we are hearing about from Zuccotti Park?  What if the assault on America’s middle class and the assault on the environment are one and the same?

The fact is: we won’t free ourselves from a dysfunctional and unfair economic order until we begin to see ourselves as communities, not "consumers." 

Read Occupy Earth: Nature Is the 99%, Too

Grey Water System at Zuccotti Park

There’s been much talk about the living conditions at Zuccotti Park, and there, the permaculture contingent is offering resources for sustainable, self-sufficient living.

Their Mobile Design Lab has installed a greywater system that recycles the water used on site. Inside a plastic drum is a biofilter that uses wood chips to separate food and oil from the greywater produced by the OWS kitchen. 

Time’s Up, a NYC based group that promotes sustainability and reducing toxicity there, provided OWS with a peddle powered battery recharging station.

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Read Occupy Earth: Nature Is the 99%, Too

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Comments on “The Environmental Side of Occupy Wall Street”

  1. Chris

    Times Up is also biking out Zuccotti’s compost to local community gardens, and recycling cans, bottles, and cardboard with the help of a volunteer carter. When people move from observing to acting, change is possible!

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Let me clarify – OWS is recycling as well as composting and processing grey water with help from groups like Time’s Up and others.

    Reply

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