Economics

Yesterday I went to a local, cultural art show designed as a community-building meetup event, hosted by a young, Coloradoan hotshot-millionaire. Can’t remember his name, but I’m rather sure he’ll become a reoccurring character in my Colorado life.

Anyway, there I was, sitting in the audience of a writers panel giving advice, anecdotes, and taking questions, when the atmosphere morphed into a discussion of difficulties and disappointments caused by local and national politics: gentrification, the decline of American media, policing, economic growth and expansion, foreign policy, and even Denver’s pit bull ban surfaced.

It was a medley vocalized in unanimous support, held together by a simple theme: frustration.

But this was a unique frustration, as most often the point of conflict is centered around the problem. However, today, it seemed the room was most annoyed by another unanimous, yet silent agreement: We have no solutions.

For those of you who may know me personally, I live a politically dominated life.

I read for information to use in the economic, human struggle against capitalism; I absorb text to progress the message and dream of Buddha, Jesus, MLK, Gandhi, X, Guevara, and others; I follow media outlets, like DemocracyNow.org, for deep analysis from economic, political, medical, and global pundits so that I can absorb into my own analyses; I’m an environmentalist primarily due to practicality; I’m knee deep in creating a career path that serves my immediate needs as well as long-term economic and environmental needs of the globe; I see the world through holism, recognizing my action is deeply wed to the welfare of all others; I practice permaculture, vermiculture, urban farming, and walk and ride my bike as much as possible; I feel the suffering of others; I grieve at US foreign policy; I shudder at the thought of the decline of reputable media sources; I’m in constant search of sustainable solutions; I get lost in the complexity of homelessness; I struggle with comprehending the level of fear that grips my country…

In many ways, I can no longer separate common habit and action from major political discourse. They are one in the same, now.

Yet what do I do to address these issues?

My leftist companions are either dedicating years to the activist fight: knocking on doors, phone banking, signing petitions, campaigning, begging people to vote for him or her, putting all hope in next years election or they’re stuck calculating their move: gathering all necessary information and resources, discussing options and strategies, just to discover they need more data before they can “make the right step.” These people want to create something new and helpful, but are lost or scared… paralyzed that they’ll make the wrong move.

Personally, I’m somewhere in between. These past couple years I’ve had to come to terms with a hard shortcoming of my own: I hate activism and I’m stuck.

I detest it, as it takes an incredible amount of time, labor, and resources for the most trivial of campaigns, and ultimately, as Citizen’s United and a venal Congress displays, money can dominate the voice and action of millions of people. I’m of the opinion American democracy is no more… well, at least not what we’re told it is.

I used to make the altruist argument to “think of others” to convince people to do what was needed. That is, I locked horns with anyone and everyone that would engage in deep discussion to change their opinions and inspire action, in hope that compassion and empathy would dominate political and personal belief so that the Martin Luther King, Jr. vision of a harmonic, sustainable, utopic future society could be shortly realized.

Seems far fetched… Yet, that’s exactly how a majority of the world is fighting the “good fight,” even if they don’t consciously know it. They follow Marxian principles relying on a sum total levitation of consciousness to save the planet, as nearly all solution-making is predicated on changing the very nature of human from “me” to “us.”

“If we can properly educate, then the world will know there’s a better way,” I can hear myself saying. “All us activists need to do,” we affirmed, “is make better arguments.”

So, let’s pretend we could educate so thoroughly as to effectively demonstrate the immediate need for systemic change. How long do you think this process would take? To not only convince all of humanity that environmental sustainability, for example, is critical but also something worth dramatically changing ones day to day life for?

20, 50, 100 years?

Combine that with the sole urgency of climate change and the sweating starts… One realizes we don’t have that sort of time, even if we could carry forth this plan with complete and steadfast progress.

Nay. We must look elsewhere.

*Enter Economics*

This is why I root incredible value in economics. At its most basic, economics is a social science concerned with human decision-making. In better understanding human sociology and psychology we can then begin to shape and manipulate our economic systems by incentivizing individual behaviors that coincide with communal, national, global goals. We can then begin to actively control our monetary, communal, environmental, social and governmental processes rather than be a victim of them.

We – those fighting for global, sustainable, systemic, empathetic change – must see the alignment of daily labor and struggle with long-term goals of economic and environmental sustainability as our path in creating the necessary change we need.

Can I be reasonably frustrated that the average Chinese chooses to work in an industrial factory that pumps tonnes of pounds of pollutants into the atmosphere when the alternative is the starvation of his family? Can I insert my global environmentalism argument into his life and expect it to resonate so hard that he abandons the immediate security of his children for lofty goals of harmony and sustainability? No, of course not.

To expect the world to positively and massively respond to these altruistic arguments is an act of privilege. Those with the ability to alter their lives in an economic, environmentally sound way should. But they cannot expect that same action of others. The world is too difficult and complicated for such expectations.

So, what can we do? Study economics.

I’m of the opinion that our saving grace is in aligning personal gain with the advancement of the community – using economic incentivization as a tool for positive change rather than an obstacle to traverse. We must use what we know about human sociology and psychology to incentivize behaviors that align with our long-term political, economic, and environmental goals.

Therefore, the advancement of the family advances the community. Because, at the end of the day, we know humans will do whatever it takes to protect their families. So why fight this?

So why are we fighting this?

Worker Self-Directed Enterprises (WSDE’s)

What if we brought the ideals of political democracy to our businesses? What if our workplaces began to operate under the authority of discussion, voting, and communal participation, just like the governments of the world? What if we began to demand government subsidization of businesses that cooperatively shared decision making with their employees? What if we could show the success of these businesses to others? Now we’re talkin’…

Now we’re talkin’.

Watch this video by Richard Wolff for a comprehensive explanation of WSDE’s

Many people view business as an evil when in reality it is simply an instrument. So far, we’ve allowed our businesses to be commanded with outdated, hierarchical structures of power that have effectively created instruments of wealth for some and destruction for many. But if we democratize our businesses – creating economic democracy – then that opens a wealth of opportunity for labor.

Because our jobs dominate much our lives, it’s only reasonable that we progress from models of brute hierarchy to models of relational democracy. And because our world is dominated by our businesses, it’s necessary to fundamentally change them to change the world.

A progressive and practical move, simultaneously.

Imagine this: A new technology that will increase river pollution by 10% but also increase efficiency by 15% is up for debate by your company’s board of directors. Most of these board members are beholden to their investors not solely by greed but by legal obligation to increase profitability for their owners when they can. Well, what do you think they will choose? Probably to use the new technology.

But, if this decision was to be made by the entire company, which includes hundreds of people from the community that are drinking water from this river, do you expect they’ll choose profitability over personal health? I don’t.

Now contextualize this issue around “outsourcing” – do you think Detroit automobile workers would have voted to lose their jobs to cheaper labor elsewhere just so shareholders could maintain their profit levels? I don’t think so.

We have now aligned business interests with the interests of the individual and community. From here, we start to see an incredible value in the democratization of the workplace and properly incentivizing our fellow human… and a bright future begins to take shape.

WSDE’s are a practical and idealistic solution: one that agrees with basic, daily human needs and yet crossroads with massive, systemic economic and environmental change. As of now, I see no other solution that so perfectly blends these two previously competitive ideas.

There is no doubt in my mind that proper incentivization is our path forward, but that doesn’t mean WSDE’s are the only way. Discussion on this topic will be ongoing.

Meanwhile, the question remains: What and how to incentivize?

 

 

 

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Inspiration drives action

Being a student of history, I often find great value in the evaluation of the past.

What action was taken? What worked? What didn’t? What strategies did they use? How did historical figures galvanize millions into action? What did they say to mobilize their followers? Why did socialism take root in Europe? Why didn’t it in the US? Why did our government take that course of action? How did this cultural event shape foreign policy? On and on…

Looking back on the political, social, and economic advances of the past century, we notice some patterns… one of which has to do with the sharing of information.

Specifically, the sharing of stories.

A key component to the success of an organization, a movement, a military, perhaps even an entire nation, is built upon its stories. We yearn for good stories: of those overcoming adversity; conquest despite lost hope; perseverance in the face of defeat; the traversing of incredible obstacles; a million to one odds.

Our emotions rise and fall to the inflections of the narrative, captivated by words organized into an insight into another life.

“Our struggles are the same… they did it…” we whisper to ourselves. 

Humans love a good story.

That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you share yours. It’s too easy to feel as a grain of sand being washed around by an ocean of power and pressure, succumbed to forces simply greater than our own. So easy is it to feel helpless in this mess of giant systems and powerful players controlling our fates.

And yet, personal testimony remains one of the greatest forces humanity has and ever will see. A power residing firmly within you.

Who could have known the testimony of a black, southern priest would forever alter the domestic and foreign course of the most powerful nation in the world? Who could have predicted that a small, Muslim girl sharing her story of surviving a gunshot wound to the head would impact billions so deeply that it inspired action from nations all across the globe?

At one point, these two were simply people with a story to tell… and thank God they told them – their stories inspired the action of billions.

Look around you. We’re an uninspired people. Our figures are disgraceful; our businesses are shameful; our communities are dying; our leaders grow fat with greed.

We need help. But to help, we need action. But to act, we need inspiration. And to feel inspired, we need a good story.

So share yours. Share it with me. Share it with your neighbor. Share it with the stranger on the bus. Our communities need your triumphs and failures. We need to know that our struggles are not in vain; that peace is conceivable; that harmony is on the horizon; that we’re similar in fight and cause.

We yearn for your story. Share it with us.

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Solar Panels Powering The World: True or False?

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You hear a lot of myths permeating the solar industry: inefficiencies, storage problems, viability, costliness, conversion issues, output, etc. etc.

For this exercise, though, I want you to forget everything “you know” about solar energy, and for two reasons:

First, there’s a good chance it’s not true. There are titanic forces working against the solar industry, scrounging for any and all leverage against it. Thus, we must exercise caution.

Second, do not underestimate human ingenuity. Scientific inquiry is bound to change the solar game tremendously in the upcoming years. Especially when invested billionaires, like Elon Musk, are on the job.


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These two flew around the world with a 100% solar powered plane.
(Wow, didn’t know that technology existed.)


Think about this, though:

“Each hour 430 quintillion Joules of energy from the sun hits the Earth. That’s 430 with 18 zeroes… In comparison, the total amount of energy that all humans use in a year is 410 quintillion Joules. For context, the average American home used 39 billion Joules of electricity in 2013.”

(Full Report Here)

The logical question follows:

If the energy exists – is abundant, clean, and storable – why aren’t we using it?

Well, it’s complicated. Forgive me to blame politics, and leave it at that. So, we’re going to concern ourselves with something different, today – addressing one of the most widespread myths about solar energy and industry viability.

One of the most common arguments combatting the solar energy industry is that “the earth would have to be COVERED in solar panels to completely replace our current energy consumption. Which, obviously, isn’t realistic.” 

False – this, is simply not true.

Assuming an average 20% efficiency from solar cells, powering the entire world with solar energy would require 496,805 sq. miles of solar panels.

Which, is more or less the size of Spain.

This map shows what that could look like (projections for 2030).

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For larger Image: Solar Earth

Like proofing? Me too. Here’s the math:

“678 quadrillion Btu (the US Energy Information Administration’s estimation of global energy consumption by 2030) = 198,721,800,000,000 kilowatt-hours (simple conversion) divided by 400 kilowatt-hours of solar energy production per square meter of land (based on 20% efficiency, 70% sunshine days per year and the fact that 1,000 watts of solar energy strikes each square meter of land on Earth) = 496,805 square kilometers of solar panels (191,817 square miles)”

(Full Explanation)

Considering that 25% of that panelling space is in a single desert (the Sahara) and an even greater percentage of the necessary land usage is desert land — when adding those in North America, Australia, and Asia — a solar future just became quite viable.

What were we using those deserts for anyway?

Of course, it’s hard to fully grasp what each box would actually look like from a traditional, ground perspective. So those fields would be HUGE, but it’s not even close to “covering the earth.”

So it’s scientifically possible. Very possible.

But is it possible to push through in a world dominated by petroleum?

Well, that’s a different animal.

Posted in Climate Change, Solar Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas: A Consumer Culture Miracle

Christmas is right around the corner!

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Or so the billions in advertising has convinced us to believe, anyway.

Now, I’m not here to tell you that the true purpose of Christmas has been buried beneath miles of discarded materials slowly decaying, or not, in an industrial dump in Ohio!

Well, for the record,

“Every year, Americans spend $100 billion discarding recyclable materials, including 59 billion pounds of paper, 63 billion pounds of plastic, and six billion pounds of aluminum. Instead of being recycled and reused, the waste is incinerated and stuck in landfills, polluting the air, water and earth.”

However true that may be…

No, I’m here to try something else (as if we could even wrap our minds around what 63 billion pounds of plastic means).

Instead of fighting culture — yes, my culture, a consumer addicted American culture — i’d rather redirect it.

Redirecting: in martial arts, refers to a defender channelling the energy of the attacker against them. Redirecting the opponent blocks the attack and conserves the defenders energy. For example.

So, this year, consider this my attempt to not confront my culture, but rather redirect it.

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This holiday, why not redirect our inner consumer to a more pleasant, environmentally friendly company? They exist, believe me.

I’ll even categorize some for you.

Clothing:

  • SVILU: Luxury Women’s Fashion.
  • Conscious Collection with H&M.
  • MinaOlya: Flowing skirts and cut out jumpers!
  • EcoPlum: With every purchase, customers earn “EcoChipz,” which are redeemable for either rewards or a donation to environmental causes. Each product sold also carries a third-party green certification. In addition to selling sustainably sourced products, EcoPlum produces educational content, such as monthly columns by industry experts, local green business listings, recycling information, eco-tips, and book and video recommendations.

House Products:

  • Seventh Generation: Inspired by an Iroquois Law – “in our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” Shop here for recyclable trash bags, eco-friendly disinfectants, surface cleaners, laundry detergent, and more!
  • Method: Want environmentally sound baby products, hand and body soaps, air fresheners, or sanitizers? Try them out.

Outdoor Equipment:

  • Patagonia: High-end outdoor equipment and clothing. 3/4 of their products are either organic, recycled, or otherwise environmentally friendly.

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(Also, check out their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” Initiative)

Beer:

  • New Belgium Brewing:  “It monitors and records all of its energy use, waste production and emissions and recycles, reuses or composts more than 75% of the waste it produces in manufacturing. It also makes bikes and a Prius available to employees to run local errands. One hundred percent employee owned, the company has more than 480 employees.”

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Pet Toys:

  • West Paw Design: They make eco-friendly dog toys, mats and beds that are filled with fiber from recycled plastic bottles. They also use recycled paper and soy-based inks and encourage customers to send used products back for recycling.

Solar Panels: Why not go big this year?

  • Try Sungevity or Namaste Solar. Both can do home, business and government building installations and are top rated companies in their industry. Can’t go wrong, here.

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Lo and behold, environmentally conscious companies exist! And in many industries! Who knew?

Best part is, there are many, many more companies out there that deserve your business more than others. For this Christmas, give ’em a whirl! Or, take your family out to an environmentally conscious restaurant!

Why not try something new? Could be fun 🙂

Put 5 more minutes into choosing where you get your products. Spend a couple extra bucks and feel good about your decision. I guarantee you will.

Besides,

Your mother thanks you.


P.S. Though, it wouldn’t feel right finishing on such note, as I, deep down, must expose the reality of redirecting, at least to some degree. Redirecting your consumption won’t save the planet, only slow the process of its destruction. So please, consider how much you consume and work to reduce it. Perhaps, on a yearly basis and work to cut that in half. Reduce and reuse, not simply recycle. Try in 2016. Or, start today.


 

For More Eco-Friendly Companies:

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Climate Change, Heating Up The Syrian War

It’s an ugly truth to a dawning reality.

A new study confirms climate change contributed to the Syrian War.

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The predicted disastrous effects of climate change are no longer ideologies of an impending future, but realities on our doorstep, today.

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

“Compiled statistics show… that water shortages in the Fertile Crescent in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey killed livestock, drove up food prices, sickened children, and forced 1.5 million rural residents to the outskirts of Syria’s jam-packed cities—just as that country was exploding with immigrants from the Iraq war.”

The combined pressure of food scarcity and overpopulation in Syrian cities, mixed with high unemployment and poor government management, helped plunge the country into armed conflict.

This research has provided the first deep look at how global warming may already influence armed conflict, and brings about new thoughts regarding climate change.

Documenting recent irregularities in climate — extreme drought, high winds, heat waves — has produced a new sentiment. Effectively, dawning a scarier reality.

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Climate change is no longer solely an issue facing future generations, as many are led to believe. Climate change was an issue yesterday. And it’s worsening, today.

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Full article here.

We can rather safely assume right extremists will continue to ignore its call, as denying scientific study has become normal practice. But, perhaps, it will give a new tangibility to the previously impalpable, for others.

Instead of uniting behind, “think of your children’s children!” — the common call for climatologists — the game has changed. Indeed, this increased urgency should tremendously change our outlook.

The common phrase must reposition itself, then: “Think of your life.”

But what do we do with this information? Where does it bring humanity? The fight for a livable future? Appropriate action?

I have an idea, albeit small and a selfish one, in using think of your life.

For two reasons:

First, foresight is not the strongest attribute of the average world-goer. And second, people are self interested. Many pawn the responsibilities of sustainable living on future generations to the thought of “it doesn’t affect me.”

Both points are more than evident through observing mainstream addiction to consumption and profits. As long as THIS quarters sales revenues are 4 % larger than last quarters, who cares to look 10 years down the road?

Now, I don’t endorse selfishness, but there is a hard and heavy lesson for ideologists hidden within this advocacy. As much as we would all love to believe in a quick and total elevation of human consciousness; an explosion of altruism, it’s just not likely. Although I believe it possible, I believe there are quicker and easier ways to address human habit.

It’s called aligning incentives.

If we properly align incentives, the “average world-goer” need not strain his or her brain with heavy foresight or altruistic thought (although advised!). If we can lead others to believe climate change is already an issue for THEM then all they need to do is act in their best interest.

Fortunate for us, THEIR (individual) best interest is OUR (community) best interest, and here’s why:

Solar, wind, and geothermal energy, permaculture, localized, urban and community farming, intelligent design and resource use, electric trains and cars, recycling, reducing, reusing, environmentally friendly technologies and products, etc. etc.

Are now viewed as tools to allow the individual, acting in self interest, to survive. This, subsequently, allows the community to thrive.

And that’s the funny thing about individualism. I’m of the opinion that individualism serves socialism quite well. In the sense that the individual, if truly and supremely concerned with the self, will recognize that the best way to personally sustain is through communal action. Thus, community thrives on self-sustaining thoughts, for it is through community that the strongest sustaining forces exist.

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So, it’s no longer some giant, unsolvable issue with the earth, but rather a direct attack on your — and your family’s — life. If you didn’t believe in your “green” responsibility before, you do now.

When you have a stake in your life, you’re invested.

It’s a shot in the dark, and something rather undeveloped. But it gives me hope.

If we can convince everyone into believing they have a unique and personal claim in humanity’s future, properly aligning incentives, then, well, there’s no limit to that sort of community.

And that’s an encouraging thought.


For more articles:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150302-syria-war-climate-change-drought/#.VkjId_uALb9.facebook

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140829-syria-refugees-united-nations-world/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130801-global-warming-violence-climate-change-science-environment/

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Futuristic Homes: Earthships, Shipping Containers, Tiny Homes… What?

It seems like most believe an environmentally conscientious future home goes either two ways:

  1. Everyone lives in a basic hole in the ground, or
  2. Full-scale technological overhaul (“smart home”).

But there’s a balance, as always; a combination of simplistic living and green technology.

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Yeah. That’s it.

Because it might not be what you expect, I wanted to spend some time investigating what future homes might look like, today.

1. Earthship Home

“a type of passive solar house that is made of both natural and recycled materials (such as earth-filled tires)”

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The genius behind the earthship is that, theoretically, it can be 100% impact-less: built from recycled or discarded materials, solar powered and heated, south wall windows act as an indoor greenhouse for growing edible plants, water is recycled three times, the list goes on…

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The best part: earthships can be as simple, complicated, dull or elegant as the designer wishes. Spend $ or $$$. You have near complete freedom.

Here’s an example of some friends of mine seeking to build one near Breckenridge, Colorado. Their website, here. If you want to make one, you can, too. 🙂

2. Shipping Container Homes

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Heard of this movement? Build one today, with MEKA.

I believe the attraction here is with the simplistic design, that it’s easily modified, the ability to reuse an old shipping container otherwise wasting away in some dump in China, and/or that you can build your home as if it was made of legos: just stack and expand!

Pretty neat.

Again, spend little or a lot.

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If you want to see some more designs and awesome photos, check out THIS site. Very cool.

3. Mobile Tiny Homes

Not only can you affordably build a tiny home, now, but there’s a company that can ship your home anywhere! Your home can now travel with you.

Talk about the future, today.

Now that is amazing: small, affordable, efficient, mobile.


So we have options. That’s my point. We no longer see the future as a pristine, white, electronic home. No, its a recycled shipping container; a house framed with dirt and tires; a small, solar-powered home; a mobile apartment.

Thats the future of sustainable living: efficient, recycled, mobile.

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Eliminating Waste Through Design

Ever heard of the 3 R’s? Well, there’s a 4th one, too.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Regenerate. Great concept, and a thoughtful way to help people work to diminish waste.

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Except, it doesn’t exactly approach the problem from its source… And the source of waste is often hidden within its means of production, not in the last phase of the product life-cycle.

Don’t get me wrong, we need to do all of this. And it helps tremendously. I still recycle, work to reduce, and reuse whenever I can. And it’s making a difference. Truly is.

But there are better ways to approach the problem of over-consumption and waste.

Although the idea behind recycling — the one most focused on, not reduction or reuse — is seemingly sustainable and intelligent, it proves rather futile. Instead of addressing the problem (consumption) from it’s source (production), companies have ingeniously thrown the burden of environmental responsibility on the consumer. It’s YOUR responsibility to be environmentally friendly, not the company’s.

So lets think…

… do you know how much Walmart is wasting? What about petroleum giant, BP? What about plastic bag companies? Ever looked into what the process of making a plastic bag does to the environment? How about Apple or Microsoft? Ever wondered what happened to electronics once discarded? Greenpeace can tell you.

“Bring your aluminum can back, get 5 cents! (wink, wink)”

While that may work and help for many, it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.

Thus, for example, we find the same companies advertising recyclable — perhaps, “environmentally friendly” — water bottles doing great environmental damage, regardless. Its not their responsibility, nor in their interest, to create reusable water bottles, as THAT hurts their sales. And that’s what capitalism is predicated on; consumption.

Well, damnit, that sucks. But what else can we do?  

Try this one for size: 

What about eliminating the possibility of waste — the very existence  — through design? 

Probably sounds like a load of crap to many; and perhaps too good to be true for others.

But be assured, my friends, it is possible.

One of the best and most common examples is with water. Check out this diagram:

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  1. Rainwater is caught and filtered, and used in sinks or showers.
  2. The sink/shower drains into edible plant garden beds.
  3. This “grey water” is caught, filtered and used in toilets.
  4. After flushed, the “black water” drains into non-edible plants.
  5. The black water evaporates and the process repeats.

Boom. Water reused 3 times. Waste averted.


Ever thought of a bicycle in this way? You should.

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But, what about other systems that we can change to eliminate waste? Can we extend this concept elsewhere? If so, where and how?

Let’s think about modern gardening and farming.

Today, large-scale industrial farms pour hundreds of tonnes of chemicals: growth chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, and/or herbicides, onto large swathes of mono-cropped lands. Not only do these chemicals destroy the micro-ecosystems of the surrounding lands (and maybe farther), but large fields of a single crop effectively drain the soil of its nutrients – the lifeblood of the earth.

This turns into a vicious cycle: mono-crop, spread chemicals, soil degradation, add chemicals, super-bugs, add more chemicals, further soil depletion, even more chemicals, etc.

A truly vicious, abhorrent cycle.

We have discovered, through tedious observation of nature, that humans can do much better. Much, much better.

Lets switch to modern permaculture and building a guild for some ideas.

“A “guild” in Permaculture is a system of efficiently grouping different plants together in order to use everything to its fullest potential. When planting a guild there are several things to keep in mind:
Nature plants in steps: Large plants depend upon the smaller plants around them.
Nature always plants a variety: Observe the large diversity of plant life that occurs in an undisturbed forest, each plant has a specific purpose.
Nature “stacks” plants in both time and space: A natural forest is comprised of many layers of plants that grow and die according to the season and which extend from high above the earth to deep below it.”

Guild

Use nature, don’t fight it: save energy, labor, and soil, all by design.

Want more? Click here.


I also wanted to share something I discovered 4 years ago; a project lead by a man called Jacque Fresco – and he’s determined to create a bright, intelligent, and technology based future.

It’s called, The Venus Project. Now, it might see far off… but then again, getting to the moon seemed impossible until John F. Kennedy said we would do it. And we did.

Mr. Fresco is full of ideas for creating the future: check out the Venus Project website.

Sounds a little out there, doesn’t it?

But if you don’t believe any of this is possible… lets review some badass sustainable technologies already created:

  1. 3-D Printers: printers that can build homes 4 x faster and use 1/3 the material, by Dini.
  2. Transparent Solar Spray that “turns windows into watts” by EnSol As.
  3. Piezoelectric floor tiling system converts energy from human foot traffic into electricity – applied to train stations, sidewalks or even inside homes to harness the wasted energy from our footsteps into power for the grid, by POWERleap.

Although many are prototypes, people all across the world are proving that new, sustainable, and creative technologies are not only possible, but likely to be produced and shared… soon. And the best part is, we’re just scratching the surface. Just last week I watched a video of a team of scientists eating the first “plant based omelet.”

The unimaginable is now imaginable.

And that’s good news for our environment. And in turn, us.

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