Paul Hawken (of Smith & Hawken) explained in his book Natural Capitalism that in order to achieve sustainability, the result of one process had to be ‘food’ for another process. Further, if you take something from the land, you don’t return it as waste, but rather something usable by Nature. If you’ve rendered unusable, then you remake it, reuse it or give it to someone else who can.
When I lived in Alaska, no one hauled away our waste. Every single item we hauled on to the property or grew there, had to be consumed, reused, recycle or returned (to the land). We got it down so that our family of 4 generated one small bag of trash per week. It was a huge lesson about being mindful of, and responsible for, each material decision we made. The goal: low impact.
Sustainability — low impact lifestyle, carbon footprint, carbon offsets, permaculture — what we’re talking about here is conscious, responsible living. It’s more than a good idea. Where do you start? While Natural Capitalism focuses on businesses and business processes, Living Green focuses on the principles of sustainability in everyday living. You can get them both at Amazon.
More to come…
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability