Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ahoy, navigators of the Hoy LIFE!

More than two years have passed without posting in this blog! Absence dictated by the choices we made. It was a time of great inner work and out there in the matter too.

Lots of consciousness have came to the planet within this time. As well as happened to ourselves. Many new projects have started, and our geographic moves as Downshifting For Earth project have finished. We're settling.



First scouting at Acolhimento Project

Lately, I've felling the need to resume the communication via this blog. The Planet urges the ultimate awareness about the need to slow down our pace and listen to our inner Essence. To listen to Gaia. Much more than when we started our journey in 2010, now there's no way out. ALL actions to enable life on Earth, with divine love, must be taken by everyone. Each one of us. And I want to sum and align consciences with everyone who have been and will lovingly visit us herein the blog.

There is no longer time to wait for miracles or magical tech solutions, to hope that congress, banks or any other institution would save Life on Earth. They will not. On the contrary. They are blindly committed to the contrary. Thus, we can no longer neglect. Ourselves, the simple street fellows and peasants, need to do the miracles. Literally.

Given that, I'll be back blogging, more in the sense of exchange with all those who want to join or have been together in this journey. Now, with more loveliness and without war. Such  consciousness became very clearly in the last 5 years journey around the globe and inside ourselves. There're those who would prefer protesting, but there is much more to do without any kind of war. We have chosen the no-war way, even though we'd sometimes slip out that path. Boycott instead of complaining. Seek alternatives instead of forcing the system to change. Localize rather than globalizing. Love instead of fear.

Now, we want more a space of consciousness nourishing, concrete actions for Life for and for the Divine Love on this Earth.

We might still talk about the failures. On this oil-civilization shadows. But let's look more carefully to this Planets cure. A Planet to which we - humanity - are a vital part.

Let's talk more enthusiastically about those projects of the New Era, it's Networks, which are constantly forming and interconnecting, imitating nature in its all-interconnected perfection.

New and good projects already established won't save anything alone, but are now links of this  large network of love that is taking form throughout the Earth. Part of the great collective consciousness - the noosphere - to which we belong and act actively, either positively or negatively.

Among the new projects we want to share, as links in the Great Turn in Earth are:
  • "Projeto Acolhimento", a Vipassana Meditation center in Brazil;
  • Ancestral Natural Handcrafted Atelier;
  • Essência da Terra", a Agro-Ecological Production and Education Center, based on regional integration;
  • Resilience  - Re-signifying Engineering.
Love being bottled in Ancestral Atelier
These projects are being born and run in the Maraú peninsula, South of Bahia state, in Brazil. All  puppies of the Downshifting For Earth Project, that is now being revitalized, as the seek for the lifestyle slowdown is not over. On the contrary, it becomes increasingly important.

We want to share our gratitude to all  those who had given support so far. Gratitude also to all the feedback we had received. Not a few were those who had shared their wonderful stories of freeing their lives with the help of this blog and the many talks and seminars we could share. Stories of that little last drop of courage to make transitions in their lives, from apathy to the pursuit of truth. It give us the sense of share and responsibility as well as strength to back up on blogging and to run all other projects.

Gratitude to all!

Love, Peace and Axé!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baking soda in toothpaste – concerns and benefits

We are happy with public interest and questions regarding the post about natural toothpaste previously published. In this post, we'll further discuss the use of baking soda in toothpaste.

There is, indeed, a wave of teeth whitening products that uses mainly sodium bicarbonate combined with bleach, which led to arguing about the use of bleaching acids without dentist's supervision and its contraindications to tooth enamel.

Sodium bicarbonate is a weak alkaline compound used in food preparation and it has excellent oral qualities. It cleans, fights heavy breath, remove plaques that contribute to tooth decay and contributes to the overall oral health. In small amounts, it can even be ingested by children since it isn't toxic.

The disadvantage is that, when used repeatedly, in large quantities over time is slightly abrasive to the enamel of teeth 1. However, the abrasive effect is attenuated if used in small quantities (2 mm balls), light stroking (to brush without too much pressure against the teeth) and / or increasing the amount of herbs in the recipe.

On the other hand, there are so many chemicals in commercial toothpastes and some of them are proved to be carcinogenic such as sodium lauryl sulfate and sucrose, for example. In this regard, the natural toothpaste is a safer and healthier alternative.

As stated above, increasing the amount of herbs is a way of reducing the amount of bicarbonate in each brushing. We've already tested with up to 4 parts of herbs for 1 part of baking and it worked fine (see recipe below). Moreover, there are many other natural recipes of toothpaste without bicarbonate, using specific types of clay as a base, for instance.

Anyway, we always recommend research in many different sources, observing the effects on your body as well as trying and regularly switch your toothpaste recipes.

Pure and healthy breath for all:)


1 http :/ / www.md-health.com/Brushing-Teeth-With-Baking-Soda.html
2 http :/ / www.keeperofthehome.org/2012/10/homemade-clay-toothpaste.html

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SIMPLE RECIPE OF NATURAL TOOTHPASTE

1 part of sea salt (a tablespoon makes a nice amount for a first try)
1 part of sodium bicarbonate
1 part of water and;
1 part of herbs (herbs options: crushed clove, mint, peppermint, fennel, sage, chamomile, fennel, rosemary or myrrh).

Crush the ingredients in a mortar til a creamy texture is reached.

How to use: Brush with a small amount of the paste (2mm pellet) on a regular toothbrush. Stoking lightly works well.

Tip: To increase the herbal sensation and fit to your taste, I suggest using a mixture of herbs. In this case, go up to 4 parts of herbs for 1 part of others (sea salt, baking soda and water). Enjoy the benefits!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BRAZIL in the Anti-Corruption WORLD CUP - Forget soccer

Right now, throughout our country, something unique is being happening and we believe it is, somehow, the birth of a new Human Conscience, more connected to true cooperation and away of greed, what had impregnated humankind for thousands of years.

Altogether, millions of ordinary people are demonstrating for real changes. Likely, our country has finally aroused against corruption, without any party flag, free of any bias leadership. That is the first time it happens since the Great Invasion, in 1500.


Thousands occupy Brasilian Congress  - Image from Internet

Although the demonstrations sometimes turn into riots, we believe the majority of people in Brazil are align with what we have being trying to spread, through this Donwshifter's blog: positivism and optimism around the great and peaceful alternatives for life such consumption reduction, materialism detachment, sustainability, PERMACULTURE, etc.

Among others, the sparks for the protests are being the expenditures and the shameful corruption spread around the World Cup and Olympic Games events which are - indeed- disgraces to Brazil's greed-free population. The pride we use to have on our national soccer is completely shadowed and, to be honest, irrelevant now.

Alongside, everything else coming from greed-based-elites such as banks, corporations, governments, politicians are not slightly better. While most of the world (reasonably humanized/non-blind nations) is aware of the already reached "peak oil" and have started to search for energy alternatives, promote resource-based lifestyles, these Brazilian elites are celebrating the "conquer" of the extremely risky, inefficient and over-polluting deep sea oil drilling and, not surprisingly, have started to auction these reserves overseas. MORE BLACK SMOKE TO ALL OF US.

Corporations such as Monsanto, Shell, Santander, etc are having a blast in Brazil. Consumerism is sky-rocketing like in China. Brazil had become an environmental tic-tac bomb alike.

Within this scenario, we'd like to share with all our friends to whom we had committed on hosting for the World Cup and Olympic Games:

We keep our commitment and welcome everyone to our diverse and colorful country, but in a very different way. We'll be so glad to find volunteering projects (many friends can receive foreigners) - maybe in our own - to host you. There are vast opportunities to get in contact with a culture and people you'll never see on the mass media.

All this is - from now on - expressly disconnected of the FIFA's World Cup and Olympic Games, which had clearly shown to be as corrupted as local governments and corporations. Help us to sweep corruption out of this Country, of this Planet. 

If you'd came to Brazil, try avoid flying. Plan ahead and come sailing, is great! (findacrew.com can help you!). 

Wherever you are, don't forget to divorce your car and TV (if you haven't yet).

We respectfully ask all friends, also committed with non-corruption, respect to Human Rights and with a New Era of COOPERATION to support non-greedy Brazilians in this moment as well as we want to endorse all peoples of the Earth in their genuine marches against cultural laceration, neo-colonialism, modern-slavery, corruption, consumerism, tirany, discrimination, waste, etc.

Peacefully, let's weaken the Empire of Greed and free the Earth!

Gaia Acknowledges!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Is Climate Change a Fallacy?

Note about the non-scientific content of this publicationclick here 



A broader view over the Earth's Environment
Back in 2010, when we launch our volunteer program of consumption downshifting – dfE - we did have some deep certainties based on our previous experiences. We stated in the first dfE post that “... the economical grow itself is a paradigm...”, “... such over accelerated economic boom, in latest centuries, had caused to Earth indubitable losses - such as global warming and its consequences -, planetary wide disequilibrium and Nature mass destruction.”



Even with these certainty in our backpacks, at that time we had a tiny little feeling that we could be possibly wrong. As “everything is possible”, Planet could be just copping with all human activities and to downshift would be a silly decision. But, in any case, the journey seemed to fit perfectly to either confirm of refrain our thoughts. And after all, what is better than check out on the spot and dedicate time for information gathering to defeat eventual doubts?

Well, after 20 months in the journey, about 15 countries visited, lots of observations, many books read, information gathering and reflection, we were exposed to many outstanding facts, which we previously ignored by ourselves. After all, our conclusion is that the Planet is indeed suffering with human activity.



Some of the most relevant facts leading to... 


3rd Footprint Downshifting Report


The graphic report.

3rd Footprint Downshifting Report

Well, at this stage, the dfE's Footprint Downshifting Report doesn't look like we expected when our project begun. During the first three half we had indeed a great reduction on our carbon emissions towards the target of 2 tons/year/person. However, we couldn't actually reach and maintain such level mainly due to non-sailing displacements, which happens when we travelled in land, by air or sail without wind. Sincerely, we are not pleased with our current emissions but this is the true we have to face.

That reality incited our conscience that, even trying hard to avoid flights and unnecessary movements, whenever we travel using transportation based on fossil fuel systems, our emissions will be a way higher than accepted.

Since we have decided that traveling should be an important aspect of our quest towards simple and sustainable life, we now have to face and coop with this reality. One alternative we truly consider is to compensate our emissions when we would eventually settle, somewhere.


Another way to cooperate with our societies is actively participate in education.
For seven weeks we've been sharing knowledge on Ecology, Cultural and
 Natural World Heritage with over 250 young students in China,
in cooperation with UNESCO World Heritage and
CSETC (Chinese Society of Education Training Center)

The compensation shall ensure carbon sequestration in quantities at least equivalent to our overrun emissions. Thus, we are indeed committed to plan and achieve all the necessary counterbalance in our next settlement and, on the top of that, perhaps to offset all our emissions caused by ourselves since our birth. Why not?

Before we settle somewhere, we are volunteering in many different places with the aim of helping sustainable communities to flourish. Here we work in the construction of a green house, for winter food growing and nursery,  in the area of Lasio, Italy



The green house ready! Built with 100% recycled material,

found within the farm premisses.


Some people might now have the question “why so much concern regarding carbon emissions?”


Well, having that question or not, this debate leads to the very next post: “Is climate-change a fallacy”.

Thanks for reading!

Comments, criticism and feedback are always welcome!

DfE team

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Return on line

Volunteering at the Temple of Confucius, in the
Three Confucius World Heritage site, Qufu China.
Here, dressed as Confucius' students, we worked bringing awareness
for tourists about the importance of preserving and continuing his teachings, indeed
the moral basis of Chinese culture.


Dear friends, distinct readers,

We've been without access to our blog while we were in China, which does not allow the use of blogspot. Nevertheless, we've been working really hard in three UNESCO World Heritage projects in : Great Wall, Mountains Sanqing and in Three Confucios, in Qufu. The work was in Chinese pace: 47 days almost without days ! Even if we had access to the blogspot, we wouldn't have time to write.

Well, we are now in Europe, still in different fronts. Raquel is another project of UNESCO, project in Sardegna, Italy, very focused on archeology, which has proved a great passion for her! I'm seeking knowledge on Permaculture, which I'll describe in a next post.

Hence, we will try, in the coming weeks, publish our best experiences and learnings of the last 5 months.

Warm regards to everyone!

Francis

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SPLIT PROJECT FRONTS

Split for a while, for a noble cause.
dfE had, for the first time in 19 months in this venture for sustainability, split the team. As it's reaching an abroad traveling cycle completion and, what we learned so far led to the need of gathering more specific and further knowledge, to work in different fields has proved to be necessary for this.

History, archeology and anthropology are clearly fundamental aspects for understanding the contemporaneous societies and their issues, either social, environmental or spiritual.

Therefore, Raquel has headed to China to spend about 3 weeks in the Xi'an, where ancient chinese culture can still flow in the air. There's also the Terra-cotta warriors, an impressive monument, indeed relevant for understanding China's dynasties, historical development and today's context.

I'm staying this period in Thailand, to attend to a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) by Panya Project (If you are in Thailand, tickets still available), in it's new site located in Sikhiu, a farm called Rak Tamachat. Permaculture is a great concept, "discovered" by us not long ago and seems to be one of the outstanding alternatives for many human issues such as social disorder, global and local environment deterioration as well as spiritual (not religious) emptiness. It might sound "magic" but is not. Is natural.


Soon we'll release a comprehensive dedicated post about Permaculture, which seems to be a great holistic endeavor we want to get deeply engaged with, and share, of course. Don't miss it!


As part of a new initiative, part of the trip to the farm where the the PDC will take place, about 20 km, will be accomplished on foot. This initiative can be called "Santiago de Compostela wherever you go".  I personally love the idea of traveling long distances on foot, and this is the first one. I'll surely report how it went.


Gotta walk...

In July, the 9th, dfE will re-join in Beijing for the UNESCO sponsored World Heritage Volunteers program, were we will act as volunteers in three different sites: The Great Wall, Mount Sanqingshan, and Qufu. International an Chinese vollunteers will teach teenagers about the history and significance of the sites, their importance as World Heritage, as well as Confucianism. Also practical work in the site will be carried out, such as site development and maintenance. We are very excited to learn how UNESCO approaches important historical heritages and turism!

New posts coming soon!

Francis (in Thailand, with an eye on Rio+20)