Skill Up

27 Jan

This month’s theme has spawned many new ideas!
We’ve been thinking that if we can get together to make changes to our consumer habits based on trust and sharing, why can’t we share more things?!
We began looking around our community and finding all types of helpful abilities that others could greatly benefit from and which could encourage better care for the planet.

This should sound familiar as it’s been a way of life for generations but somehow in our modern, processed, convenience lifestyles – we’ve missed out on opportunities to learn skills that our grandparents may have considered ‘second nature’.

No Waste Wednesdays is currently working on developing a series of skill sharing workshops for the 2011 year.  So for those fortunate readers living in Saskatoon – you can look forward to some teaching on back-to-the-basics skills.  Some ideas we’ve had are on gardening, canning, homemade sewing projects, backyard beekeeping, weaving, etc… Tune into for dates to come!

What talents do you have to share?  How can you empower others in your community by sharing that skill?  We thought we’d give you some inspiration to close off January with some wisdom and examples from a fave book of ours, Living More With Less.

Skill Shares

“As many folks in our congreation at Living Water Community Church in Chicago became increasingly aware of how our lifestyles and eating habits are affecting creation, a number of us got together to talk about ways we could lessen our negative impact.  Living in an urban environment, we face many challenges to growing our own food and minimizing our waste.  We found, however, that among us we have many skills in living and eating more sustainably.

In fall of 2009 we started monthly ‘skill shares’ on topics related to food justice and sustainable eating.  A member of our congregation who is a soil scientist led a skill share on composting and vermicomposting, and several members of the group showed their worm bins and shared tips on what has worked well for them.  At another skill share, a full time parent led the group in a few domestic activities in which she has become proficient: making yogurt, sprouting seeds, and brewing kombucha (fermented tea).  We will meet to order seed packets together for our containers and community gardens, and in the spring we will learn to build a cold frame to extend our short Illinois growing season.

People in our group started out with varied levels of experience in living and eating sustainably, but as more people join our monthly meetings, we are finding that many of the resources for learning to live in a way that is easier on the earth are right here in our congregation.” (Annie Gill-Bloyer, Pg. 224)

For more inspiration check out a couple other communities who’ve developed this idea:

Just for the Love of it – The Freeconomy Community’s aim is to help reconnect people in their local communities through the simple act of sharing.

Skill Share – Skillshare International is an international volunteering and development organisation.  We work in partnership with communities in Africa and Asia to reduce poverty, injustice and inequality and to further economic and social development.  We do this by sharing and developing skills and ideas, facilitating organisational and social change and building awareness of development issues



One Response to “Skill Up”

  1. Janna February 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    The youth at my church challenged the congregation to donate anything they have in excess. 2 frying pans? Need both? If not, give it up:) So empowering watching the pile grow to go to those in our OWN community:)

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