The Commons

Explore our archive of articles on The Commons.

The Potential of Grassroots Environmental Stewardship

Essay

Some years ago, CapeNature launched a highly successful land acquisition project called the Stewardship Programme. It offers incentives to land owners to make land available for conservation. These Contract Nature Reserves are designed to establish areas and inter-linked corridors of land to promote conservation—and it works.

The Value-Renewed Society

Article

Instead of going to bed at night dreaming of mining the minerals on Mars or finding some new pool of water on an asteroid, we need to ask ourselves some burning questions about our vision of life on Earth.

Rebuilding Earth’s Forest Corridors

Article

Nature tends to live in ribbons—the forest corridor, the mountain range, the coastline, and the winding river. Any ecosystem that is disconnected from similar (or different) ecosystems will eventually die.

The Treasure of Our Living, Relational Commons

Article

As I have learned about the social life of trees and the intimate bonds that indigenous peoples have with various lifeforms and rivers – and as I pore through recent ecophilosophy that explains aliveness to the western mind -- I’ve concluded: We really ought to be talking more about animism and commoning.

The Power of Allurement

Article

In the face of this devastation, is there space for contemplating beauty? The power of allurement says yes, we must. This power draws us out of ourselves, brings us to life, again and again.

Good Fortune

Essay

Three miles and four hours later we creep back to the starting point, our eyes exhausted, necks stiff, but our curiosity only whetted. Savoring this feast as we drive home, I’m reminded of Thoreau’s words: Wealth in-doors may be the inheritance of few, but it is equally distributed on the Common. Today I am a rich woman.

From What Is to What If

Article

Given the state of the world, the message of despair is pretty convincing. Things look grim. But something about that doesn’t sit quite right with me. In fact, there’s evidence that things can change, and that cultures can change, rapidly and unexpectedly.

Burning Man | What We’ve Learned

Gallery

"We don’t need a blueprint, we don’t want a master plan, we just need to practice the skills and create the kind of spaces we want to live in, and share them."

Restoring the Housatonic River Walk

Article

The ongoing creation of River Walk also speaks to the human element. It marks the confluence of ecological renewal, environmental and social justice, the underpinnings of the industrial revolution, and the vitality of a downtown.

Documenting Land Trauma

Gallery

Since the mid-1990s, when I first learned about it, a fervent desire of mine has been for this type of coal mining to be halted and forever banned. If my photos have helped build a movement calling for the abolition of mountain-top removal, then I have accomplished something in my life.