This Sustainable Life


602: Ash Beckham, part 2: How to Out-Boulder the Boulder, Colorado Crowd

Ep. 602
Listen to the difference between Ash's tone, her level of engagement, and her type of engagement between what she talks about in the first few minutes and about fifteen minutes later. In both cases she shows a high magnitude of emotion. At the beginning she's outraged at stuff outside her life. Later she's passionate about things in her life.Nearly everyone trying to motivate on the environment focuses on problems elsewhere, trying desperately to convince, cajole, or coerce people to act because they have to or disasters will happen. That extrinsic motivation comes off as bludgeoning, all the more because it always comes from someone who isn't living sustainably.If you want to motivate someone, connect with intrinsic motivation. What do you care about? What do they care about? I recommend interrupting the pattern in you of getting into cycles of outrage, blame, helplessness, hopelessness, and so on leading to pointing fingers and inaction or pointless action. I recommend interrupting it in others too, though more tactfully.Instead, recall what you care about and do everything you can for it. Take responsibility for what you love, the opposite of blaming others. If you've bought into the lie that personal change conflicts with systemic change, drop the lie. Don't spread it. Systemic change begins with personal change.Listen to what engages Ash, what she cares about, and compare with abstract things, however big and bad. What can you connect with?

596: Sandra Pérez, part 1: Keeping New York's LGBTQIA+ Pride March clean

Ep. 596
Sandra took responsibility when she didn't have to, as the Executive Director of NYC Pride, to respond to my requests to talk to an organizer. Longtime listeners and readers of my blog know that last year, I was disgusted by the garbage covering Washington Square Park the morning after New York City's 2021 Pride March. I posted pictures and video with the quote from another person in the park I saw that morning, "Pride destroyed the park."It turns there are two Pride Marches and the other one ended in Washington Square Park, not the one Sandra organized, but she knew not everyone would know to distinguish them, the public could associate the mess with the whole community, and, in any case, both polluted too much.Beyond responding, we met in their headquarters with about a month before the March. They were very busy. We talked about what they could do this year and for the future.We also did the Spodek Method you are all used to hearing me do with leaders as guests on this podcast. We didn't record that first conversation, but agree to record the second---that is, this one---where we'd cover what we didn't record and she would share the results of that commitment.She also put me in touch with other staff to incorporate sustainability more in their efforts. It remains to be seen how much happens. Can they follow in my footsteps to improve participants' experiences by reducing their pollution ninety percent in under three years? I hope to help them do it. Everyone benefits.NYC Pride's home pageMy pictures and video of Washington Square Park the morning after the 2021 March

595, Jason Slaughter, Creator of Not Just Bikes, part 1: Ending Car Dependency

Ep. 595
Watch Jason's Not Just Bikes videos. I've watched them all. They're informative, engaging, funny, researched, provocative, and keep you coming back, but not like Netflix stuff designed to addict.After you watch a few, listen to our conversation. In our conversation he shares more depth than his videos of his motivations, how he makes the videos, interacts with his audience, feels frustration from some, learns from others, and more. He shares how life could be versus how it is. In this conversation he shares more about his wife and children, which drive his passion and choices probably most of all.We also bond on how our searches for a better life revealed huge cultural myths that, if we never try living differently, we never think to question or consider alternatives could exist. If, before trying to live differently, anyone asked, we both would have figured anything different than how mainstream North America taught us must be worse. Beyond worse, incomparably worse, even life-threateningly worse.The when we tried, we found it better. The myths fell apart. Yet one frustration arose and grew: nobody believes us. Words can't convey what Beethoven's ninth sounds like live, how a ripe fruit in season tastes, or how freedom from oil dependence feels.But at least in this conversation, I believe we understood each other, so you can hear what freedom and connection sound like and mean in ways no addict can understand. I think you'll enjoy what we share, even if we're both frustrated at how misunderstood we feel by most people, even (especially) when we're inviting them to open themselves to something they'll enjoy more than their blissful ignorance.