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Redirect farm subsidies to cover down payments+ to people wanting to buy homes, with the stipulation that at minimum 40% of the available land must grow food for people and pollinators (during a growing season). Also, 60% of the non-food plantings must be perennial.

Every neighborhood or town has a community food sharing program for whatever the household doesn’t eat (possibly to the food bank) And there are jobs created (also funded by the subsidy redistribution) to help people tend and harvest their gardens if they’re unable.

xo

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May 25Liked by Yasmin Khan

There is a big idea out there that is both big and manageable and vital to both the planet’s & our survival. It’s called ARKing based on the work of Mary Reynolds and the research of Doug Tallamy. It asks that we be stewards of our own green spaces - be it acres or window boxes - and engage in Acts of Restorative Kindness by providing as much support as possible to our local ecosystems. Basically - get rid of invasive species, plant indigenous/native species, and be guardians in lieu of gardeners. The work of Reynolds and Tallamy is just incredible and asks that conservation efforts not be restricted to national parks or other protected areas only, but include private spaces too, where the vast majority of humans live. Please check out their work. Their ideas are big, yet doable and of utmost importance.

https://wearetheark.org/

https://www.homegrownnationalpark.org/

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May 25Liked by Yasmin Khan

So many years ago I was working at a think tank with local authorities on changing how they designed services. One of my colleagues said "ask them to put aside 10% of any of the contracts they commission for responsive services to go into prevention". The local authority we were working with did (falls service)- not sure what came of it long term, but definitely that idea of "yes, we need to respond to people in need, but how can we be thinking practically about prevention every day" really stuck with me.

I remember chatting to some of the builders/ handypeople who had been going into houses of older people for years to install things like handrails and they were like "of course we can do that- we notice everything- the rug that is a trip hazard, the chair that could be raised etc etc". Some of this is about moving resources, but some was about giving people permission to quickly respond to need and be thinking about stopping things getting worse.

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If I were dictator I would institute strict restrictions on plastic to try and bring the world closer to the 1960s use of plastic. Drink companies would be required to use non-plastic bottling. It would be illegal to wrap fruits and vegetables in plastic. Plastic bag companies would be repossessed (I did say dictator) and under no circumstance could plastic be wrapped in plastic.

I understand certain products like computers or televisions still require plastic, but those are used for years before they are tossed, so I would tolerate that.

We've learned in the past few years that recycling is fairly pointless, and the problem is at the production level of the supply chain. We just need to stop giving consumers the choice of using plastic. Again, dictator.

But yeah, I would launch an aggressive war on plastics.

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May 24Liked by Yasmin Khan

My big audacious idea is that we screen everybody for neurodiversity. I hear a lot of people complaining “everyone is autistic these days”, “everyone has ADHD” or the trite “we’re all a little bit on the spectrum” but not enough people stopping to ask whether that isn’t a sign we need to fundamentally reconsider our notions of how the world should be structured or how we should approach this. Instead of seeing neurodiversity as a problem, we could simply see it as a state of being.

Maybe if everyone were tested we would find that yes, indeed, far more people are autistic or ADHD than we thought. That could be a platform for changing how we set up society; for remaking it in a way that is more ND-friendly; for removing the obstacles to ND people existing happily in the world.

Or, maybe the screening will show, no, not everyone is but a significant chunk of society is and we can then develop a multiplicity of accepted ways of operating rather than always forcing ND people into NT boxes.

Screening everyone would remove doubt, it would prevent people struggling with mental health into middle age before discovering they are neurodivergent. It would allow people to know and understand themselves and society to build its understanding of the wonderful variety within it. It could remove stigma. It could reshape education and social services because we would better understand what support systems we need to build.

So there it is, my big silly idea.

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May 24Liked by Yasmin Khan

Love this challenge Yasmin, I too regularly feel the frustration of seeing such small, overly compromising actions which don´t make the big shifts that are needed. I will be thinking about this all day trying to zoom out more and more, but the first thing that springs to mind is - we need to dramatically change our food system. Why don´t schools and educational institutions around the world all serve a 100% plant based menu to kids, as a collective act for the future, so it normalises this kind of eating and establishes a diet shift that could endure through into adulthood?

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