Green distancing

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*Transport & open air: Open busy streets to pedestrians and cyclists, close city centre and town centre roads in favour of this "lithuanian style", more distanced life. Incentivise with cycle courses, easy access for acquiring these as alternatives to public transport use. Reduces health issues, open air tends to breed less viruses, conducive to local shop buying.
* Food issues such as food rotting in fields, no labour, countries we depend on stopping exports: organise training for those wanting to learn farming, incentivise local, urban farming, prioritise autonomy of food production in Scotland. Incentivise by increasing allotment space, running volunteer run harvest days, seed sharing, brokering between those closing down farms and those who might buy them. This reduces reliance on international imports, industrial meat & intensive livestock which is both in crisis and a breeding ground. Promotes healthy lifestyle, and a transition to local food production which is also a lot cheaper and more reliable.
*The economy: Local community bubbles / maps : This is a second layer that adds a further, more distanced level to a social bubble as proposed in other ideas here: you sign up to your local pub/cafe, shops etc in a "local bubble" linking low social connectivity with living and spending/producing locally. If any spaces in a local bubble identify an infection, the map is alerted so that all in the network can consider quarantine or increased distancing. Could be incentivised with an online map that allows all local shops or businesses to be listed, and helping neighbours (e.g self employed) to offer services or products to their local bubble. Would help also if these encouraged people to add neighbours to their local bubble so that they are not excluded from social bubbles that form voluntarily.

Why the contribution is important

This pandemic was predicted by so many environmentalists who have warned for so long about the dangers of a reliance on a global food industry that breeds these illnesses. Now that it is here we have suffered a bigger crash than the credit crunch, and now risk food shortages, mass unemployment and unrest, while many suffer these issues in increase isolation. My proposals are to do with turning these issues around and regenerating local economies and connections whilst valuing the environment around us.

We currently rely on fossil fuel based transport which sends processed meats and monoculture foods across the world, and to Scotland. Scotland itself produces very little of what is needed to keep us fed. This needs to become a system of diversified local production rediscovering the fact that we can produce and not just consume, both in the home, the neighbourhood, across the country and as an example to the world.

Switching to local transport, local business and gently pushing where people are already becoming more healthy, less susceptible to diabetes or poor diet and in touch with the earth and outdoors is also a strong short term benefit while we get over the next few waves of this virus and others that might follow.

If there are less connections between us that spread these viruses we can enjoy a good quality of life with communities of support around us. We can work on knowing our neighbours and working together even if this crisis drags on for a decade, and in the best case scenario - that this is all over within 2 years or little more, we can plant seeds now to minimise the impact of future pandemics and recession scenarios.

Although we hear the birds more and see clearer skies, the situation with the economy and food security in Scotland and the world is dire and we need to reshape towards a more local economy that is less dependent on the shaky world markets & industries.

by alefernandez on May 06, 2020 at 10:03PM

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