SUSTAINABILITY IS NOT HAVING MORE THAN TWO CHILDREN
When a couple has four children, the next generation will be double the previous one. This means that if everyone in the next generation uses only half of what we use now, including vital resources, they will be using the same amount of resources as this generation. Much of what the conservationists suggest we do would be countered by people averaging more than two children.
On the other hand, if people averaged one child, the next generation would be only half the previous one and that would make many of the conservation plans unnecessary. The number of children that parents have is the single largest determining factor in the quality of life for all in the future. Having less children is necessary for a humane, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle.
The concept of "spending marketing dollars" in and of itself is not green, and that should tell you something!
This is going to be fun to listen to!
Yes, The concept of "spending marketing dollars" in and of itself is not green, and that should tell you something!
This is not going to fun,its going to crazy.
Fuji water claims to be carbon neutral. But when a heavy, locally available commodity like water is being shipped from the south pacific, something is definately wrong. To be sustainable, I think we need to buy more long-lasting quality items, buy less overall, and buy more locally. Especially food. We should buy more from Oregon, the west coast, etc. It does not matter if something is organic if it is from South America or China.
buying locally is important, but unfortunately not straightforward. if you buy your locally grown organic produce at an oregon Whole Foods, unfortunately that produce has already made the journey by truck up to the Whole Foods distribution center in Seattle, then back down to Oregon again. so what good does it do to buy local there?
buy local and support your local cooperative-- shop at people's coop in southeast portland!
I'm really interested to see if there is a lot of "last man on" thinking showing up here.
Eating locally is a great example: we live in a part of the country where we can grow just about anything (in season). Does that mean populations in parts of the country that can't (say most of the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain states) are by definition unsustainable? Should they be forced to move here? Do we have room here to be sustainable if they did? Are they just SOL (Sorry, Out of Luck... what did you think I meant?)?
Let's continue the food question, which is environmentally cheaper: shipping an equal weight of refrigerated food by truck from SoCal, by rail from the midwest, or by sea from South America or Asia? Just exactly where did that morning coffee come from again?
And what about the volume that we already consume here, anyone rationally think we could even provide for our current population without doing the otherwise natural bit of not having fresh foods for most of the year? How many folks would relish the trip to the grocery if for nine months of the year there were only grains and canned goods (don't forget that refrigeration requires continuous power). Classic example: if you don’t live on the coast, you don’t get sushi without getting sick (it was only a traditional meal in Japan if you lived in a poor fishing village back in the days before mass refrigeration).
One point that I often hear conversations here (in the PNW) where otherwise rather intelligent folks look at diesel exhaust from a truck and bemoan the pollution; do they realizing that unless they are wearing homespun fabric from local fibers, eating what was grown within walking or horse riding distance (no car plants, local steel, rubber, etc up here), watching the natural TV (used to be called weather and neighbors), and forgoing the cell phone and (dare I say it) computer... then a truck brought it to them? We truckers don’t just go for drives in those things, someone wants what we are hauling and the carbon footprint is really theirs. Anyone care to tell me where the chemicals involved in making solar cells come from? Or where the local sources are for say a wind turbine’s metals or an electric car’s batteries?
Already got all the stuff you want? Is it ok then to say everyone else shouldn’t?
NO! NO! NO!
How dare you bring LOGIC into an Environmental discussion!
Next there will be REAL SCIENCE rather then the pseudoscience that is promoted by the "enviroeletest cults" that are profiteering off this easily manipulated subject. (The web is there follow the money.)
Don't get me wrong I am all about profit and if you can shear the sheep that want to be green by making "Feel Good" motions, then more power to ya! Further, if you can profit from being actually "sustainable" and “environmentally conscious” that is a plus!!
It is when some misguided sheep that wants to have a personal legacy; a fool, such as say the Governor of Oregon; starts legislating politically motivated environmentally and economically counter productive measures, that action needs to be taken to protect society from these environmentally illiterate do-gooders! Example? H.B. 2186
As for us, we only drive recycled vehicles; we only generate about 30-pounds of non-recyclable material a month and have been living “simply that others may simply live” for well over 3 decades…
Green is NOT new, but the marketing is. I question the productivity and certainly the honesty and integrity of it, et al!
On the topic of "saving precious memories" (wedding dresses, etc.). IMO, some of these items are worth saving to be reused, but sometimes people are sentimentally attached to "stuff." My mother-in-law is like this... she has a garage full of valuable stuff and rooms and closets filled with more "stuff." She has never thought of the environmental impact of her consumption (older generation), and I am optimistic that when she goes we'll be able to donate much of it to charity or sell it (most has been kept in good condition). But in my own life, I am quick to donate to arts programs or charitable orgs. when I accumulate extra things.
When you rip up roads, carpet, etc. that is not "Green" what do you do with this basically toxic stuff. Chicago was told they could save by replacing the asphalt roads with cement. Besides the fact that cement is terrible to drive on in the winter. What do you do with ALL THAT ASPHALT! It has to go someplace and still be toxic. In Germany we had to re-pave the runways at Ramstein AFB. They found layer after layer of asphalt when they decided to completely re-do them. This stuff had been leaking into the water table for 50 years or more. Ripping it up and resealing everything and then re-laying it was not really a great option.
If you are going to replace something still useable with a Green alternative you should have to prove that the poison you are creating from the cast off can be contained.
How would I get in touch with Alexandra? I'm throwing an event for the 350 project wherein all the guests are asked to rewear their wedding gowns and bride's maid dresses. I'd love to have her there to tell everyone about how to keep these dresses out of the closet.
There are ways to re-use Asphalt, etc. I have re-used asphalt roofing shingles as my driveway (about half mile of the stuff). I have had it for 5 years and it is still holding up. OK, so I now have a 6mo old Springer Spaniel that loves picking up some of the roofing chips and putting them on my front deck, but hopefully he will stop before he de-nudes my driveway :-) Seriously, there are things that can be done with old rubber tires...grind them up and use them in roads, with concrete (may help winter driving) or asphalt roads. Now, if you can help me with wood shingles (I guess I can grind them into composte) I would appreciate it, as I need to replace our roof this year (lasted over 18 years).
"Sustainability" is about economy.
"Green" is a use of biological systems as an example of how we can accomplish sustainability.
Most of us don't know how biological systems work so sustainability has no real meaning.
Sustainability has become a buzz word like "designed", "new" or "improved" or "change" "hope". As with all slogans the word sustainability should be viewed with suspicion.
Very nice way of separating the terms. My recent interest involves "green fragrances" for cleaners. Almost all fragrances currently in use today outside of products that feature EPA's DfE logo, have ingredients that are environmentally toxic. Great strides have been made after several years of resistance. This June the fragrance suppliers are meeting at a conference "Sustainable Fragrances for Cleaners" (www.thegreennose.blogspot.com) to learn how to utilize the fragrance module tool set up by the EPA. Yes there remains the need to set up clearer sustainability definitions for the supply chain but the work of closing the data gap for attributes and criteria is finished and perfumers have the tools for toxicity improvement.This industry has fears of a consumer backlash but is now taking a responsible position that manufacturers can adopt.
I think "clean" could be added to this topic. Take 'clean coal,' for example. Proponents will tout the decreased nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions and the 20 – 40 percent reduction in water usage in IGCC (Integrated Gas Combined Cycle) facilities, but this new technology does nothing to curb the emissions of mercury, one of the most toxic substances known, and only reduces CO2 emissions by 20 percent.
Green is never having to say, "I'm Sorry."
What are the names of the guests on the Sustainability show? I'm interested in the vintage clothing retailer--and the name of her shop.
Hey, NSchaadt - I just caught it myself.
Alexandra's Vintage Emporium
Thanks for writing... I'll post the names right after today's show.
Non-ranched furs are better than fur from animals that were caught in leg hold traps and died in agony after possibly days of pain and hunger?
Fur coats are heavily interlined and supported by padding and linings that are not necessarily non-synthetic. My old Mouton Lamb parka is padded and lined with rayon.
having an attic full of stuff is not sustainable. all of those items required energy, natural resources and labor and they are serving no purpose except taking up space. by purchasing unnecessary items you are sending a signal to the manufacturer that there is a consumer need for that product.
i think people get the word "sustainable" confused. Sustainable can be defined as "keeping something in existence" - which can define any business that is trying to stay afloat and make a buck. "sustainable business" focuses on trying to find a balance of people, planet and profit. in reality, there is no such thing as a sustainable business. there are companies that are definitely trying to mitigate their impact, but they will never be sustainable. it's an ongoing process, not a goal you can achieve and be done with it.
"being less bad is not being good." - William McDonough
When I was studying Forestry Conservation in New Zealand one of the biggest problems was getting rid of the non-native possums, which eat everything, and are wiping out ground nesting birds. They also have amazing fur coats, which some people make into coats and try to sell... but there is such a strong anti-fur stigma that the average person can't buy them without a lot of explanation. For example, a friend of mine gets harrassed every time she wears her vintage (bought used) fur coat in Portland.
On the flip side, it seems that people who produce furs are focusing on certain marketable animals. It would be great if one of those fur companies actually produced coats only from invasive species which are currently just killed and left in the woods.
I think the bottom line is that we as a species need to diversify how we clothe and feed ourselves, and be aware of where our products are coming from.
AlexSandra's Vintage Emporium is located at 6726 N Interstate Avenue (at Dekum) in North Portland. Making ladies look fabulous since 2004. Specializing in vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories. AlexSandra is also a self taught seamstress.
NEW HOURS! Friday 12-7 Saturdays 11-6 Sundays 12-4 Or by appointment. 503-735-4420
I ahve been purchasing beautiful items from her shop for years. She has amazing vintage items, but she is also very interested in buying locqal, and all other areas of sustainability. It feels good to buy from someone who cares this much about the environment, and the footprint she leaves.
Thanks very much!!
For me sustainable is a start to finish thing. What I am looking for is ecosystem friendly at every step. I care if it is toxic at ANY step from inception to transport, to use, to disposal. Everything should be a useful part of the system.
In fact, we have always been a closed system. Everything that is here, was here before us. It is just combined or concentrated differently now. It is hubris to believe that we can destroy the system overall, but we can destroy or build individual ecosystems and everything they support.
My ideal would be an environment so non-toxic that in, say, a post-Katrina episode, the only thing needed would be tidying and rebuilding. If Katrina had happened in the same spot 500 years ago. the system would be liveable again for most of it's residents within HOURS of the end of the storm.
There are a lot of products out there that are genuinely a more sustainable alternative to conventional products, but with this increase in product availability and marketing, comes a new "green consumerism." Marketers are making people forget about how reducing and reusing are very important methods of being sustainable. For example, it is not sustainable to buy a bunch of organic clothing if you already have perfectly useable clothes or to install new bamboo or cork floors when your home has a functional floor.
Since my wife had cancer Green has taken on a new meaning at our house. We still want to preserve and take care of the environment, but now we are also very concerned about having products in our home that can harm US. We have recently ordered wool carpeting, while in the past, we would have just chosen the most beautiful and economical.
In regard to the mink advertising campaign claiming to be sustainable versus synthetics, what if you dig a little deeper and ask how much petrochemical is required to produce the farmed fur versus the synthetic fur? It would be interesting to know how much petrochemical is used in raising the mink feed (fertilizer, running farm equipment, shipping, etc), shipping the mink feed to the farm, having farm employees drive to work every day, etc.
I have Garbo's vintage clothing store on the north coast; my tagline has always been "shop retro, shop green". I hear from customers all the time how they used to throw things away before my shop opened. It's very satisfying to turn landfill into fun and funky new fashion, and offers customers a vast array of style versus chinese blah junk.
Garbo's Vintage Global Wear on Hwy. 101 in Wheeler
Open 10-6 everyday (closed tues/wed)
'fast, cheap and easy' is how we got here. and it is a mantra that is drilled into us from an early age.
unfortunately adam smith's model didn't account for a limited supply of material(s). combine that with exploding global population and you have a very interesting situation.
reversing course suggests a "slow, expensive and hard" direction.
which, perhaps, is the right path to choose ... ?
I think one of the biggest painted-tigers of the Greenwashing movement is GE and its boardroom-generated "ECOMAGINATION", which always just raises my hackles when I hear it. GE's companies are environmental transgressors extraordinaire, and they focus all their advertising on small experimental environmental programs that were likely created to divert attention from GE's global environmental impact.
I think your guest's point about integrity in the product/message is critical. Because "green" and "sustainable" are necessarily subjective terms - with no apparent agreement in sight what they will ever be - it's important that the externalities - costs beyond that of making the product (i.e. waste, pollution, etc.) - are limited as much as possible and/or accounted for in the cost of the item. In the same way the global economy is tanking because of hidden externalities to the actual value of assets, our environment and its health are most threatened when we try to hide the FULL COSTS of being consumers.
Thank you for a thoughtful, wide-ranging, intelligent show!
Many people and groups have their own definition of sustainability. My personal favorite comes from the Natural Step framework, which provides four conditions that must be met to be sustainable. It was developed by a group of scientists in the 80's and 90's and is used as an end goal - it allows groups to envision what they would look like if they were fully sustainable and then develop steps to move in that direction.
I recommend that anyone curious about how to define sustainability learn a little more about the Natural Step framework. A good starting point is naturalstep.org/the-system-conditions.
The sustainable fur ranch gives an ideal example to help us parse out what we mean by green vs sustainable. It may be sustainable but I would argue that the fur ranch is not green. Sustainable refers to a set of practices that are designed to minimize impact on the environment and encourage the least use of resources. Green is actually much broader to me, and is more philosophical and values driven. For instance, "green" includes reverence for life and honoring of nature. It encompasses sustainable practices, but it is an attitude of preserving resources not just for our own use so we can still keep using them later, but because nature has merit in and of itself. Is fur a necessary use of nature? I think most people who see themselves as having green values would agree that luxury and looking good are not good enough reasons to raise animals and kill them.
I make this distinction in advertising my business, because I can document my sustainable practices, but it is more challenging to explain and prove my green philosophy. As you can see in my signature below, I use the word sustainable to describe my real estate company, but not green.--Laurie Sonnenfeld
"Portland's sustainable, progressive realty company."
We own a vintage motorcycle parts and repair shop in Portland. We're helping revive the motorcycles back to what they once were and get them out of customers garages and back on the road. I would think this would be considered to be a sustainable practice, but maybe not necessarily green, because a lot of the motorcycle will obmit more emissions on average than a newer motorcycle. Any thoughts?
Generally fuel enject engines get far better economy vs old carberated ones. So, do you have a way to do that?
Meanwhile, I have a 1994 Triumph Adventurer that I would like some help on.
As a parent, I would love to support sustainability by using toys from my childhood or buying toys used, but I worry a lot about safety. It is very difficult to dig up information on older toys, and potential recalls. I am also frustrated by the amount of packaging around brands marketing themselves in the 'green' and safe category.
The discussion about "green" weddings struck a chord with me--I am a typical eco-conscious Oregonian and live simply and sustainably as possible; I am going to a cousin's wedding in Orlando, FL later this spring and I am prepared to be shocked by the lack of thought for the environment used there. I think it's really interesting that the UO professor on your show is from Texas but cares about "sustainability," etc. I wonder why consciousness about these issues must be regional--in Oregon, we recyle curbside, e.g. In Indiana, for example, not so much. Why must this be?
Just because we are switching to organically and sustainably produced consumerism, does not mean that we are not still over consuming. Over consumption is a lack of excersice. Next time you find yourself wanting to buy things, go on a hike or for a bike ride, you will find you own everything you need. Cameron in Portland
THE PHAROS PROJECT
The key to unveiling greenwash is transparency in communication. However, there are different priorities for performance that vary depending on the person, and the product or goal. In addition, there are likely at least as many definitions of “green” as there are people discussing the topic, and ultimately, it is the individual who determines if the information is sufficient for them to move forward.
We are working on a project to help the building industry expose what would otherwise be hidden tradeoffs for material selection: Pharos (www.pharosproject.net). It is a materials evaluation tool that displays a product’s attributes as defined in three major categories: Environment + Resources, Health + Pollution, and Social + Community; there are 16 sub-categories.
The Pharos Project aims to put the control back in the hands of consumers - the building industry at large - mapping a 360° view of green material attributes, putting those claims in context and testing them against verifiable data and community consensus of ideal goals.
Do NOT take little eco-friendly passenger cars off road to visit the beauty and grander of the great outdoors. TV commercials are very very misleading when they show an "all wheel drive" station wagon driving out into a marshy bird sanctuary and then easily and quickly driving out.
There is a place for large off-road capable SUVs. Their place is with driving large numbers of people in and out of the great outdoors with as little a footprint on the environment as possible.
As guides, we drive a large SUV capable of transporting 7 grown adults and over 400 pounds of gear in and out of any place a vehicle can travel. We can do this in one trip without any real damage to the terrain becasue our vehicle is CAPABLE. Please keep in mind that not every large SUV has true off-road capabilities. A locking differential is essential to prevent wheel spin which causes years of damage and erosion to dirt and gravel roadways.
It breaks my heart to see one or two people per small "eco-friendly" vehicle struggling through terrain and tearing up primitive roadways that were not designed to support unsuitable vehicles.
In the world of autos, "Eco-Friendly" refers mainly to gas milage. Gas mileage is usually more efficient in smaller vehicles that can only carry 2 or 4 passengers with very little gear. This is fine in urban settings, but in non-urban settings these little cars and station wagons actually take more gas to haul the same number of people safely. Not to mention the multiple footprints made by multiple trips.
We need to think beyond gas milage and also think about the actual physical effects our vehicles will have on the terrain before we head out.
Save gas and carpool in the city: eco-friendly cars.
Save terrain and carpool in the great outdoors: off-road capable SUVs!
on the broader scale, your point also works:
we need accurate evaluation of anything in context and not cliche acceptance of a broad commercial sales pitch...
Yes, what you are saying is true. But those SUV's can be converted to:
1) Natural gas or Propane...far less green house gases
2) Electric...electric DC motors can and do produce 200-300 HP and AC ones are even better, plus way more torque. Cost to refuel is far less than gasoline
3) Electric with fuel cells, these are off the shelf and available now and will extend your mileage. I noticed propane ones as well as methanol fuel cells can be used for this purpose.
The words 'Green' or 'Sustainable' affect my concumerism?
First off, sustainability to me, means using an item as long as possible that does not hurt furture genreations or the planent. However, there are many problems to sustainabity overall, including my own definition.
As for an item labeling itself as 'green' or 'sustainability' innlfuencing my decions as a consumer, i think it has little or none. The reason is those labels have become a part of the mass commercializing today. The average person is bombarded with so many commercials, it's become one big blob. Thus, when i see one, i usually ignore the label. The label only serioulsy affects me when i make an important decision like buying a refurbished computer. But that's after i critically think about whether that item is really 'sustainable' or 'green'.
The real influence is cost, becuase i'm more likley to pay for the cheaper item overall. It's hard not too and i try to buy the authentic 'sustainable' or 'green' items as much as possible.
Laslty, that if you want ot inlfuence the majoirty of people, this is one way od oing so. If the corporations were to authenitcally do produce items like these at lower costs, then it's likely more people are willing to buy 'sustianble' items. Thus, help in preserving the Earth.
Planned obsolescence in the antithesis of sustainability
A large part of what the sustainability movement is working to reverse revolves around the planned obsolescence of many consumer products, favored by an increasing number of companies. Whether its by endless minor upgrades rendering the previous model undesireable, to refusing to support older products with repairs, replacement parts, or backward compatibility, to blatantly poor engineering, the biggest enemy of the green/sustainable movement is our acceptance of the escalating disposability in the products we buy. This is also a touchy subject in terms of the current economy, which is largely structured on the idea that consumers will continue to purchase and replace these doomed products at increasing levels in order to sustain higher expectations of consumer spending. The planned obsolesence piece of the sustainability picture would be a fascinating and enlightening TOL show of its own.
I am a college student on a very tight budget. I would really like to eat locally and more organic, but it is so much more expensive than shopping at Safeway or Fred Meyer. I've tried Trader Joes and several other stores around Portland, but I always seem to spend more money when I shop at these stores.
I think shopping locally is the first step for people like me to being healthier and more "sustainable."
Can anyone offer tips or information on how to shop locally without breaking the bank?
As a University student I am constantly finding that "greenwashing" is a large part of our campus activities. Although I really wish that our campus would become more sustainable, I think that by trying to look green, our campus is using more energy than it would take to be green. For example, this is seen with our school's legislation to create a green fund, where ten dollars would be added onto student tuition a semester to support sustainable school development. Although this great to think about, I believe that in order to create a sustainable future for a large community, it needs to first come from the individual. If everyone lived a lifestyle similar to that of the clothing store owner, Alex Sandra, then maybe a green fund would be a smart choice. However, until the personal level of being "green" is reached,, I do not think the community can come together as one. Do you think that this is an attainable goal? Or would it be smarter to begin as a larger body and work down? What are your ideas?
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