The best gift that the current economic state has given to us is that it has exposed all the ills of our planet on a metaphysical, psychic, mental, emotional, spiritual, economic, physical, and social level. Because of the economy, people have been forced to make different decisions about their current lifestyles. Some of these decisions are actually birthing new movements throughout our planet that serve the entire and greater whole as opposed to a small part of the whole. Check out some wonderful trends for 2010 that people are embracing.

* Raw & Living Foods Diet - Because the trend now is eating healthier because everyone has made the connection that our diets are directly connected to how healthy we are, people are especially interested in getting more living foods into their diets. Incorporating living foods into one's diet entails not only transforming your eating habits, but it involves transforming your kitchen, your home, how and with whom you socialize with, and it also transforms your entire life and decision making process. The benefits of a mostly raw and living foods diet are unlimited and it serves the individual, the community, and the environment.

* Alternative Housing - With the mortgage crisis still in effect, people losing their homes, etc, many people have looked into alternative ways of residing and living. I've heard of people purchasing commercial buildings and operating their home-based businesses out of the same place they live as well as taking in relatives and friends to help pay the mortgage. As well I've seen two or more unit families move into multi-family housing units to cut down on costs. Many folks find this to be encumbering however, communal living is going to be the wave of the future starting in 2010.

* Home-based businesses - Now this is a trend that has taken off in so many directions. It is clear that the internet has leveled the playing field when it comes to how we do business. People are now making hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars running home-based businesses via the internet. Home-based businesses cut down on morning traffic in urban cities because people are conducting business at home, it empowers people to create more income and leave a legacy to their children, it feeds and nourishes the individual as we are doing what we love in the comforts of our home and making money from it, it allows us to spend more time with family and children, it creates more income for less work, and it still creates jobs for people.

* Car Sharing - Being bi-coastal as a sun-worshipper of Los Angeles and a homegirl getting back to her roots in Philadelphia, getting around has been challenging until I discovered a wonderful service in Philadelphia called Philly Car Share. Its a non-profit organization that allows people to rent cars on an hourly basis for just running errands. This has been a wonderful way for me to still get around in the city of brotherly love while not having to spend a lot of money. Basically if you don't own a car but you need to just go to the grocery store for an hour, you can rent the car for an hour for really cheap. Philadephia college students use the service a lot as well as elderly people who still drive but cannot afford their own vehicles. This trend can also eventually cut down on traffic, pollution, less stress for the elderly, but most importantly it helps those in need and creates community.

* Green Investing - I'm not a fan of the stock market, however if you are and you are a savvy investor, this would be the way to invest for the future. Every major company is eventually going to have to adopt more greener and holistic practices in their work environments, not because its cool but its becoming extremely necessary and also consumers are demanding environmentally more friendlier practices for the products and services they purchase. The greatest power we have as consumers is our "green" power literally.

* Save More, Spend Less - People are no longer buying into the well-packaged marketing schemes of spending more money now to get the things we want. I think a lot of us have been so burnt by the economy that we actually want to have a nice nest egg not just for emergencies now but also just in case we may want to just stop working for the moment and just relax; a concept that we would have never thought of before. And people are sacrificing luxuries like cable television, newer cars, those coveted electronics, and luxurious vacations instead to save more money, and enjoy our quality of life.

* Starting a non-profit - People have seen how much they have needed help in the past that it has inspired so many of us to start our own non-profits and we are finding ways to pay ourselves by helping other people. What a great concept?

* Growing food in your backyard, front yard, or in your high-rise apartment in NYC - Growing food gives you a sense of power, it is the most healthiest way to eat, its also good for the environment of course, and its a way to share food with others and really combat hunger. You want to combat hunger, teach a man or a woman or a child how to grow their own food. And because of the abundance of Mother Nature, She responds to water, soil, and sunlight like it ain't nobody's business which is why you can grow food anywhere.

* Recycle, Reuse, & Compost - The idea of reusing things is a program that we must download to our psyches. We can no longer afford to be the "throwaway" society that we have been for such a long time and there's no reason for it. We are recycling paper, cans, bottles, plastic, even clothes, shoes, baby carriages, books, computers, cars, etc. You can donate your car to the Salvation Army instead of disposing of it. You can give your computer to a school, a library, or a non-profit. If you know a woman who is having a baby and you have baby clothes, you can bless her with a wonderful gift for her new baby. Composting adds to the environment and it cuts down on waste. Learning the concept of reusing, recycling, and composting is revolutionary.

* Offering Health Services on a sliding scale - Recently I've been seeing an acupuncturist in Philadelphia. I pay $15 for each visit and I get herbs which only costs me $15 as well. So instead of seeing a physician who would have probably cost that same amount for a co-pay if I had health insurance and then sent me home with a prescription for a higher amount and for an inferior product that would not have contributed to my health, I visit a community acupuncture clinic. Its done in a community setting meaning its one big room with reclining chairs and massage tables. You still get the quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Everyone is asleep. You can stay as long as you want which was something that I couldn't do when I received private acupuncture for $50 or more a session and it celebrates how acupuncture was originally performed in China. I've also heard of naturopathic doctors, Reiki specialists, and massage therapists offering their services on a sliding scale on certain days of the week to help more clients, serve a different population, and to also help spread the message that health shouldn't cost much money.

Author's Bio: 

Nwenna Kai is the author of The Goddess of Raw Foods available for purchase at, the FREE e-book Nwenna Kai's Holiday Recipes and the upcoming children's book, TheMoreLove's. You can get the e-book by signing up for her e-newsletter at her website She is the previous owner of Taste of the Goddess Cafe, one of LA's pioneering organic raw food cafes. She is the 2007 winner of the Elizabeth Dole Young Entrepreneurial Scholarship sponsored by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) for her work as a health and wellness entrepreneur. Visit her website at and her blog at