13 Dec 2011

How much do we value local bookstores?

One of my favorite types of stores are bookstores, particularly independent ones. I can spend hours soaking up the ambience, browsing through books, and sipping a warm cup of tea in the cafĂ©. However, like many people, I have used Amazon many times (often not for books) because everything is at your fingertips, and of course the items are comparatively cheaper because of low overhead costs. Amazon’s latest strategy of an app for smart phones that encourages people to scan the barcodes of books at bookstores (and then compare prices with Amazon and buy online on the spot) has caused me to reflect on the impact my occasional purchases – combined with millions of other peoples’ purchases – are having on my beloved local bookstores.

I have already noticed the closing of bookstores and other small businesses in the areas I have lived in during the past few years. But it's not just about bookstores - our purchases based on convenience and cheap prices have an impact on all kinds of local stores, the livelihoods they support, and the numerous other tangible and intangible ways they contribute to the fabric of communities. To what extent are the purchases of convenience worth it, if this means losing the charming places that shape the character of neighborhoods?

Do the abundant sources of cheap items result in us purchasing too much of what we don't need from large corporations and leave us unwilling to pay true prices for meaningful shopping at small businesses - businesses that are invested in the communities they are part of? Learn more here: Local Bookstores Ask Customers To Boycott Amazon Over New Price Check App Offer

10 Dec 2011

Seeking Volunteers: Become a 'Wisdom In Nature' Community Activist!

© Wisdom In Nature
Deadline: Monday 20th February 2012;
Start date: Flexible/by early spring 2012. 

Want to be part of an action network based on Islamic principles? 

Wisdom In Nature (WIN) is a pioneer of local Islamic ecological activism in the UK, and is actively inviting applications from anyone in the London or Brighton region to volunteer within our team. Together, we will cultivate an ecological consciousness in our communities through captivating activities and events. 

Specific  initiatives successful applicants will develop might include one or more of the following: Event organising; Workshop facilitation; Food growing/Land-based practicals; Social media & Blogging; and whatever else emerges from the experience, creativity and passion of the growing team.

To find out more, and/or to apply, click here


Wisdom In Nature was established in 2004 and is a pioneer of local Islamic ecological activism in the UK . Our original name was the London Islamic Network for the Environment (LINE). We are committed to the transformation of society to live justly in harmony with the diverse natural world, of which we are a part, thus honouring the principle of Oneness (Tawhid). 

Our approach is both practical and contemplative. We use bottom-up processes and consensus-decision-making for much of our work, finding ways of equalising power and ensuring our processes and actions are owned by those directly involved. This deeper democratic approach reflects our commitment to mirroring the world we wish to live in, whilst being established in core Islamic principles. This is also supported by mindfulness of our sources of funding: our day-to-day work being financed by donations from individuals, helping us to be independent of corporate interest and government influence. WIN has a presence in both London & Brighton. 

Tel. 0845 456 3960 (local rate)