Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Mutual Profits

Posted by on Mar 30, 2013 in Featured, Sustainability | 2 comments

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Guarding from the LeftAs I already stated in one of my former articles about Co-operatives, I am a member of the Ha’Bar Kayma (1). This specific co-op runs a Vegan restaurant in Tel Aviv, 22 Ha’mashbir Str. Everyone is welcome to enjoy a nice meal in a nice atmosphere. And this for a reasonable price, for a non- member. A member of the co-op pays even less, since they already paid the membership fee.

Friends, who know me for years, ask what my profit would be. And they always come with this simple math model. By paying 5 Shekel less, on the average, per meal one would need 200 visits to the Ha’bar Kayma to draw even. This is not profitable. The reckoning is right, the premises are not. With a different premise the reckoning changes. If the goal of an endeavor is solely to make as much profit as possible as fast as possible and without limits to growth, a Co-op is the wrong place to be. If the goal is sustainable development, that surly does change the reckoning! And every new co-op is one more step towards this goal.

Another point is the immediate good such a co-op does, which is to save energy. To open such a restaurant a lot of money is needed. As a person without much money any endeavor of such a scale is out of reach. The thing is, that a lot more energy is needed to generate hundreds of thousands of Dollars or Euros. Perhaps the same amount of energy is needed to generate the exact same sum, but the energy is shouldered by hundreds of members collectively and thus the energy efficiency rises.

And then of course, there are jobs that are created. This in a sense also saves a lot of energy. If people work machines don’t have to be build and maintained. Or to put it in another way, don’t make machines out of human beings. It is it seems, that human beings are rapidly becoming the extension of machines. This is not the way to fulfill our desire to reach full employment. As long as machines do the work human beings become redundant. One of the important achievements of the Ha’Bar Kayma are the jobs we have created – 10 full time and 20 part time jobs. Also to have high rate of unemployment is a waste of human energy and resources.
Right Guardian

The Ha’Bar Kayma is a Vegan restaurant. The Vegan (2) diet is the most energy efficient way to eat. This lifestyle creates a minimum demand on the soil as opposed to the consumption of meat. Less water is needed for irrigation than to quell the thirst of all the animals we eat or the dairy products we consume. Also the transportation and storage of the goods needs less energy. Most of the products can be grown locally and that means less demand in energy and more jobs are created locally. The Veganism, although I still struggle to become, is strictly for environmental reasons and not because of morality. Why would I treat animals better than human beings, especially in the 3. World, are being treated?

There is also a new initiative in towns to establish a new co-operative which would run a super market, but I don’t know too much about it. So I will refrain from writing about it. Another initiative tries to establish an umbrella organization of all alternative Co-operatives in town and in the country. Perhaps this will help make the idea of Co-operatives more attractive to more people and many more Co-ops will be established because of it.

My hope is to get to a point where we, as Co-ops, could take over some tasks of the municipality. This is what I call Communal Co-operatives. These Communal Co-operatives should work in the neighborhoods. They could take over the the separated garbage collection, the maintenance of the sewage system and many other tasks. In the end we should establish a housing co-operative and build a truly ecological neighborhood.

Other possibilities are to create Co-operatives that build Ultra Light City Vehicles (ULCV) and a Car Rental for the ULCV (3).

So in conclusion, although the economical profit is small, everyone profits from Co-operatives. I profit from it by feeling good about doing the right thing at the right time. I also profit from being part of a group of nice people. The environment profits from it, as we save a lot of energy and landscape.  And society also profits from us since we created jobs. All in all it might be a modest but mutual profit.

Even in heart land of capitalism the department of Agriculture of the state of Tennessee is in favor of Co-operatives. Who am I to disagree?


Not related to this article but still very interesting is this article from the Daily Beast about Climate Change.

Pictures: The Guardian by Max Nadel. I just try to show off and hope you don’t mind.

For further reading:

1. Ha’Bar Kayma

2. Veganism

3. Ultra Light City Vehicle


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  1. 33Reyes

    I must say it was hard to find your blog in google.

    You write interesting posts but you should rank your blog higher in search engines.
    If you don’t know how to do it search on youtube: how
    to rank a website Marcel’s way

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