Book Review: Get Together

“The dream of a peaceful society to me is still the dream of the potluck supper. The society in which all can contribute, and all can find friendship.” -Ursula Franklin

Get Together: How to Build Community with Your People was written by Kevin Huynh, Bailey Richardson, and Kai Elmer Sotto and published in 2019. The book is designed as a roadmap for community building and the chapters take you through the three phases that communities typically go through:

1. Stoke the Flame: Getting Together

2. Stoke the Fire: Sticking Together

3. Pass the Torch: Growing Together

I read this book in a day and I really loved its accessibility and simplicity. The authors put community building within anyone’s grasp by breaking down the concepts into easy-to-follow steps. My biggest take-away from the writing is their exercise on “Designing Your First Activity”. This activity should be purposeful, participatory, and repeatable. The structure of this first activity is something you can come back to again and again to re-establish or re-imagine your community.

When you think of some of the great communities that have stood the test of time, they all have a very simple structure and process for the main activity. You can see this principle to sports, AA, church, motorcycle clubs, anime conventions, fire festivals, burning man, choir clubs, the list goes on and on.

The book follows its own example of being purposeful, participatory, and repeatable. Each chapter outlines another aspect of community building and comes complete with checklists and worksheets for you to jot down your ideas. In the appendix, they recap what each chapter is about in a simple checklist. I would highly recommend this read for anyone who has worked with community building or is interested in starting one. There’s something to be gleaned from the information for all skill levels.

The later chapters of the book cover topics on how to pass the torch. How do you identify future leaders and support them in the ways that are most helpful. As someone who has worked with community building in the past, this book was both validating and inspiring.

I would highly recommend reading the whole book if you can spare a few hours and support the authors. Here’s a link to purchase on Amazon: Click Here!

If you’re not able to spare the time, I’ve included photos of the checklists in the appendix below. I hope you enjoy this content and I want to hear your ideas for what you’d like to build community around. Please leave your replies below in the comments!

Fork-Knife-Spoon

Good morning everyone! Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite contraptions for #priuslife which is actually great for life in general. The fork, knife, spoon set. I originally got this to reduce the amount of plastic and single-use cutlery I was consuming. 

Since I became conscious of my impact on the environment in the year 2000, I’ve been working to decrease my footprint and bring sustainability into as many aspects of my life as possible. The fork, knife, spoon set was a simple and elegant solution to the problem of single-use plastic cutlery.

It’s estimated that every year 40 billion single use plastic utensils are thrown out every year.

Divided by the 333 million Americans, that’s about 120 pieces per person per year.

According to Forbes, plastic cutlery is one of the items that won’t ever be recycled because they are too lightweight, too small, and too contaminated.

Which means that this type of single-use plastic just ends up in a landfill or some other random location. Plastic takes about 450 years to decompose meaning, every year the number of single-use cutlery on the planet is increasing. 

If you want to understand the real cost of this cutlery convenience, Andrew Bernier’s paper “Living the Life of a Plastic Fork” he goes into detail on the costs of the initial production of the fork, supply chain & distribution, and finally disposal. 

Just because single-use cutlery is considered disposable, does not mean that it’s sustainable or good for the environment.

It’s estimated that since the 1950s one billion tons of plastic have been discarded. 

If you’re interested in other life hacks to reduce your footprint you can check out habitsofwaste.org where they empower people to change their mission is to clean up the planet one “habit of waste” at a time.

Having your own cutlery set is a cool way to let others know that you care about the earth. It also means you are always prepared for a meal, and you can be sure that your silverware is always cleaned to your standards 😉

References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauratenenbaum/2019/07/16/plastic-cutlery-is-terrible-for-the-environment-and-we-dont-need-to-have-it-delivered/?sh=491fcbf4019c