The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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Natural Dyes Save Lives

Conventional textile manufacturing is poisonous to its workers and to the land, but there are alternatives.

A new crop of small businesses is investing in organic farming, natural dyes and a transparent supply chain that encourages shoppers to think about the effect of their purchases — and they’re selling their products online and in a small but growing number of US stores, from small trendy boutiques to Target.

These include Colorado-based PACT, which makes underwear and loungewear from all-organic cotton; New Jersey-based Boll and Branch, which sells organic-cotton bedsheets, blankets and towels, and two companies based in Los Angeles — Jungmaven, a hemp and organic-cotton T-shirt company, and Industry of All Nations, whose clothes are made with natural dyes and fibres from around the world.

Visit Gulfnews.com to learn more about the businesses using natural, sustainable textiles to produce their goods..

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Unravel Documentary

This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing

When people in the West throw their clothes away, their cast-offs often go on a journey east, across the oceans, to India’s industrial interior. From the Kutch District of western India to the northern city of Panipat, garment recyclers turn into yarn the huge bales of clothes that come from people and places distinctly strange. With little exposure to Western culture other than the Discovery Channel, the garment recyclers rely on their imagination and the rumours that travel with the cast-offs to create an an intriguing perspective on the West.

Director: Meghna Gupta

Producer: Meghna Gupta, Gigi Berardi

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Indian Bio-Diversity Board to Open up 110 Seed Banks in States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

News like this gives me great hope that we are wising up and moving away from mono-cultures and industrial farming.

HYDERABAD: To preserve indigenous seed varieties and also promote organic farming, the state bio-diversity board will soon open over 110 seed banks across the two states. With the requisite budgets sanctioned for this pilot project, the board is all set to start the programme in the coming weeks.
The concept is inspired by the activities of a Karnataka-based NGO which was able to do the same in a small scale. A similar project is underway in Gujarat too.
‘’The idea is to start one such seed bank in every village. Farmers can take seeds of various traditional crop varieties free of cost and return double the seeds to the bank after cultivation,” said R Hampaiah, chairman, AP State Biodiversity Board. The board has proposed to open about 60 seed banks in Andhra Pradesh and about 50 in Telangana.
‘’This will not only preserve the local varieties of crops but also promote organic farming, which will in turn reduce the cost of cultivation and yield better output and returns,’’ chairman of the board said adding that huge numbers of farmer suicides in the region was a result of farmers resorting to cultivation of crops not suitable for their region.
According to him, the yield and quality in modern day agriculture were unfortunately inversely proportional though a very small number of farmers practice low cost agriculture and ensure better prices for their yield. The Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) of the respective villages will also be provided aid to market these varieties so that more and more farmers are encouraged to sow indigenous varieties, he said.

You can read the entire article here.


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Word Vibrations

Tejinder Narang relates a story that exemplifies the “sublime intimacy of spirituality and science.”

Mystic Mirdad entered the stable and spoke kindly to a sick cow. A disciple asked him how could a cow understand what he said. Mirdad replied, what matters is the “vibrations of words”, not the words. The cow soon responded in good health. Any name, or “naam”, say, Gopal — a word, or shabd— when spoken and heard becomes an audio frequency identifying Gopal in the consciousness.

Likewise, the process of seeing is conversion of light frequency into cognitive energy in the consciousness. Only consciousness in vibration can decipher frequencies. Sanctified “vibrations of words” can be resonations, called “Shabd Dhun” in the Indian spiritual thought. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him,” says the Holy Bible.

Without the Word, everything ceases to exist. The “Word” is an expanse of infinite vibrational energy. The five elements of nature —air, fire, earth, water and ether — are energies generated by oscillations of atomic or subatomic particles. All beings are a mixture of these elements and represent a compounded form of vibrational energy. Heartbeat is the most prominent rhythmic pulsation in the body. Light, sound, thought, changing season, planets, etc, denote vibrational diversity. Vibrations, thus, seamless connect life and non-life.


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Live Streamed Lecture by Vandana Shiva

Arts-Vandana Shiva poster

Internationally renowned eco-feminist, philosopher, and activist Vandana Shiva will be paying a visit to Winnipeg this weekend, and while her ticketed event is now sold out, local organizers have arranged an alternate, free live-streamed teach-in.

Shiva will be speaking to a group of paying attendees on the evening of March 28 as part of the “Fragile Freedoms” lecture series, presented by the University of Manitoba’s centre for professional and applied ethics, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the CBC.

On March 29, Shiva will be giving a lecture about Earth democracy from 90 Sinclair Street, which will be broadcast as a live-streamed teach-in to other locations across Canada, including a secondary location in Winnipeg.

The organizers of this event state that “there is no lecture hall or community centre with the capacity to hold everyone who should hear her inspirational and empowering message,” which is why they are offering this free, live-streamed event “in the spirit of decentralized knowledge-sharing and radical self-education.”

The notion of radical education, and radical self-education, is part of a larger movement to create spaces of knowledge-sharing outside of formal educational structures.

British scholar David Hicks believes that in its current form education “inevitably reproduces the social, political and economic norms of the dominant ideology. In the west this is capitalist, technocratic, individualistic, materialist, and patriarchal.”

In contrast to the Fragile Freedoms event, the teach-in on March 29 is free, and organizers of the second Winnipeg location—the University of Winnipeg Womyn’s Centre and the Women’s and Gender Studies Students’ Association—are attempting to make it as accessible as possible.

Free snacks, coffee, tea, bus tickets, and childminding are all offered as part of the event. It’s also being offered in a wheelchair accessible room in proximity to accessible washrooms.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept of Earth democracy, organizers of the teach-in provide a definition to use as a starting point before hearing Shiva’s thoughts: “Earth democracy is the worldview that we as humans can be part of a healthy planet, but we must take action to protect peace and swaraj (sovereignty) for all living beings: Let us learn about our right to water, our right to seed and to food, and our right to life.”

Join in the live-streamed teach-in at 7:00 p.m. on March 29 at room 2M70 at the University of Winnipeg.


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Solar Power Used to Support Milk Cooperatives

The Times of India notes how solar power comes to the rescue of milk cooperatives in Bangalore:

As many as 522 milk cooperatives in the state are using solar power to run electronic weighing and testing machines, all thanks to an initiative by the SELCO Foundation Co-founded by Magsaysay Award winner Harish Hande, the foundation is a social enterprise working towards providing sustainable energy solutions. Continue reading


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Monsanto Seed Patents Create Modern Day Zamindari System

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In an interview with Darshan Kakri at the Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture series, Vandana Shiva was asked, “Why should countries like Nepal with a predominantly traditional agricultural base be concerned about the entry of a company like Monsanto in its territory?” Regardless of how you feel about the safety of their genetically modified seeds, Shiva’s response provides one of the best reasons why the products of companies like Monsanto should be categorically rejected.

 Monsanto has a history in making war chemicals like Agent Orange (also called Herbicide Orange) which was used in Vietnam War, not in working with seeds or agriculture. In 1972, university scientists first discovered the recombinant DNA technology, in which you can take the gene from one species and transfer them into another. A few years later, the scientists who evolved those techniques put a ban on it themselves as they decided that they did not know its consequences. This is called the Asilomar Declaration. But the companies thought otherwise. This new technology made it possible to insert human genes into cows, cow genes into wheat as they are doing in England or scorpion genes into cabbage or bacterium genes, which is the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), into maize or cotton. Therefore, a group of companies like Monsanto got together and formed the intellectual property committee of industries. They thought if seeds could be patented, they could make trillions of dollars, as every farmer will have to pay them royalty. Just like in a zamindari system, the peasant works on the land and the landowner gets the revenue. In a life zamindari, which is what patents on life are, the seeds are the peasants and with a little tinkering, companies like Monsanto collect royalties. Continue reading