"The GreenLife Flame:" GreenSource Knowledge Paper #8 based on the Event Circle Interviews on PlanetShifter.com
"The GreenLife Flame:" GreenSource Knowledge Paper #8 based on the Event Circle Interviews on PlanetShifter.com


"Both in Future Shock and then with much more detail in The Third Wave, we (Alvin and Heidi Toffler) argued that in fact a turn was taking place; that the third wave, while it was technological, was not industrial, and that there's a distinction between these two; and that especially the rise of the computer, but also many other technologies linked together, were giving rise to a new kind of society, or civilization as we call it, that contrasts with the mass society produced by industrial civilization.

It is what we call a de-massified society. It is heterogeneous; it has much more room for diversity. And the computers, rather than suppressing diversity, have in fact made possible and fostered a high degree of diversity, particularly as we shifted from the mainframe to the PC. So you now move from mass production to de-massified production of customized products--small-run production. In parallel, you move toward de-massified micro-markets--boutiques, targeted catalog shopping, etc., as examples. You move toward a more diverse family structure--not everybody's in the nuclear family any more. In fact the working father, stay-at-home mother, with two kids under eighteen- probably represents under 5% of the American population today. Instead of nuclear, we have a wide variety of family forms.

We sometimes summarize the changes in terms of a biological analogy: that society is going through cellular differentiation and a speedup of metabolism at the same time. Then came Powershift, which we published ten years later in 1990. Powershift focused more directly on the implications, particularly the economic implications, but more generally the power implications, of a society in which knowledge has become the central economic resource. It focused a lot on the economy, on business; talked some about the future of the nation-state and of politics; and did a very quick rough sketch of some of the global implications-.

The recent book, War and Anti-War, takes as its premise that knowledge stands in a new relationship to economic production. The book looks at the implications of this for both economic power and military power. Knowledge now becomes central to both kinds of power on the planet. Now, what does that mean in terms of conflict, war, peacekeeping, and the global system?"

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Some GreenLife Options to Consider:
  • Eat less processed foods
  • Build a front-yard garden
  • Experiment in sustainable living with a comprehensive plan
  • Run the car on biodiesel
  • Compost
  • Scale back our actions to what the earth can sustain
  • Create a rain water harvesting for your garden
  • Support Social Justice projects and educate about a specific issue
  • Dumpster dive
  • Shop and barter at the farmers market
  • Reduce our consumption that enables us to remain debt free
  • Use a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV)
  • Refurbish and distribute computers to residents currently lacking computer access at home, thus helping to close the digital divide
  • Divert used computers and computer equipment from landfills
  • Promote localism
  • Make furniture from trash
  • Save regional ecosystems

Source Material from the Event Circle Interviews on PlanetShifter.com

I have a long way to go -- I still drive too often, eat too many processed foods, and take too many flights. But I keep a front-yard garden, commute daily by transit, stick to a vegetarian diet, recycle, compost, and take reusable bags and containers with me wherever I go.

Aaron Lehmer Interview

Through the development of my artistic lifestyle, I've really created an experiment in sustainable living. My artwork, in a way, has become the excuse to talk about the eco issue and sustainability. Just today, I worked with an elementary school to create a sculpture using plastic bottles. By using plastic as a material, I opened the opportunity to talk with the kids about recycling, use of natural materials, pollution issues, and possibilities for making better choices. Many of my projects also very specifically seek to educate about a specific issue, such as recycling, carbon footprint, chemicals pollution or climate change. And, just about any time I do a project, I introduce all of these topics or talk about my own actions as examples to demonstrate that it's really not that hard to be green. I find that just by acting and talking, all of my own sustainability practices inform - or, maybe, spark questions that open the door for conversation. I'm often asked about all of these things, for example, running my car on biodiesel, why I eat vegetarian, local and organic, how I grow my own food, what changes my trash self-portrait inspired, or how the heat in my studio works.

Tim Gaudreau Interview

I am working on a more comprehensive plan for myself so it is really tangible. Composting system is my goal this month....next month it will be Energy reduction. We are working on creating a reproducible system than we can offer to people.

Interview with Lorraine Francis

What comes to mind first is the small-scale composting setup I have on my patio. I wanted to see if this could be done in a small space, and it can be -- with containers and worms! So my food scraps get munched by the worms, making rich soil for the plants that I grow, and thus the food that I eat. It's a mini-cycle in my home. I also do many other eco-practices in my life, mostly based around Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - minimizing what I buy, seeking to make full use of anything I do buy, then passing items along for further use or proper disposal. As a result, I have a low flow of products in and trash out, which I think is a key component of scaling back our actions to what the earth can sustain - and treating mother nature well!

a href=http://www.planetshifter.com/node/1244 target="blank">Interview with Patricia Dines

I've volunteered in the past but these days I don't. I spend a lot of my time involved in education outreach at Kenwood Permaculture. Sometimes I do pro-bono work such as designing a garden for a good cause. I recently created a rainwater harvesting garden design for a man who wanted a demonstration garden for his family and friends. Social justice is at the core of sustainability. Without it, what is the point. I support this work through letter writing, financial contributions, etc.

Interview with Karen Boness

I shop at grocery outlet--sometimes they have really good quality stuff at bargain prices. I'm cheap and dumpster dive a lot. So price is important. But sometimes I like one of those $2 farmers' market peaches that are so amazing. It feels good to not always eat those peaches, though, so they remain special.

Interview with Novella Carpenter

It's not that difficult to lead a "green" life. Some things do depend on your economic status, but there are many things we do that don't cost anything and can produce other positive benefits. Here's a list - that I hope doesn't sound too pretentious - that allows us to minimize our impact:

1) We eat an organic vegetarian diet (since 1984) - probably the single biggest personal impact that any person has on the planet.
2) I ride my bike to work and for most errands.
3) We use public transportation as often as we can.
4) We own and use a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) that we power with the excess electricity produced by our 2.1. kW PV system.
5) We harvest rainwater.
6) We've installed a native plant garden and work on restoration projects in local creeks and parks.
7) We've installed low flow toilets and Energy Star appliances.
8) We minimize our consumption that enables us to remain debt free.
9) We save with a community bank and invest our savings in socially screened funds.
10) And while we love children, we don't have any.
11) We compost.

Interview with Tom Kelly

From a Goodwill perspective, we have an entrepreneurial business model of collecting and selling donated goods. We help communities recycle usable items in environmentally sound ways, and prevent items from piling up in local landfills.

Through socially innovative partnerships with Dell, county and city governments, as well as other organizations, local Goodwill agencies divert used computers and computer equipment from landfills, and provide consumer education on the importance of environmentally-responsible computer disposal. These programs create job training opportunities as well as entry level and skilled green-collar jobs for people in need of work.

The Dell ReConnect Program is a partnership between Goodwill Industries International and Dell Inc. ReConnect. It provides free computer recovery and recycling opportunities for residents of designated areas. The project aims to divert e-waste from landfill (last year it diverted 2.4 million lbs. in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin Counties alone) and raised awareness of the importance of responsibly recycling used electronics.

As part of the program, Goodwill refurbishes and distributes computers to residents currently lacking computer access at home, thus helping to close the digital divide. We are also providing sustainable job skill development for our staff and program participants who are working and learning in the program. When computers are not functional enough to be refurbished, we recycle them using a certified recycler that has passed a rigorous Dell environmental and social downstream audit.

Interview with Lauren Lawson

Being active in my local community is one of the most fundamental aspects of my life. Community involvement provides the foundation for social belonging, which in turn creates purpose, systems of support and promotes sustainable well-being. The last 30 years has seen a progression towards a culture of independence, which undermines the benefits of social inter-dependence. As the economy changes, values change with it and it is great to see the emergence of localism in more recent times.

There is something that everyone can do to be involved, whether it's writing for a local magazine, becoming a school governor, contributing to a parish council, shopping locally, making use of public transport, joining a local wildlife group, contributing to a community recycling group or supporting a local charity. The list is almost endless. There is something for all the family and my only regret is the lack of time to do more.

Interview with UK's Karen Cannard

I've made huge gardens, built businesses from recycled goods, made furniture from trash, saved regional ecosystems by organizing community campaigns, planned parks as commons by involving people of all ages proactively in every phase of land improvement. But I'm also trapped in an engineered social structure that forces me to waste precious resources on a car and all the other excesses we all depend on. I hope I get to join in making eco-villages in the very near future, to make a big jump toward healthier living as soon as possible. Anyone else interested in advancing this cause? Leaving Consumerism behind and creating a sustainable culture means building our own world with our own hands, hearts, minds and souls invested with collective wisdom. Money, land, plans, regulations, tools, teams, trucks and site work all come along when the idea is bright and the time is ripe.

Interview with Allen Green