This Sustainable Life

Share

236: My environmental role models

Ep. 236

Here is the text I read from for this post:


My environmental role models

Why my role models? Because people keep saying what I do is inaccessible. That it's too much or extreme. That they need to balance. Well everyone believes they're balanced. I have to balance too.

My difference is that I keep moving toward my values. Instead of letting Americans, the most polluting people in history, be my comparison, I find new role models.

It's community. Once you start polluting less, actually putting effort in, not just straws or the latest trendy thing, but based on your passion, you'll find role models and keep doing more to live by your values because you'll like it.


Bea Johnson

  • Author of Zero Waste Home, which I read and recommend as well as 4 TEDx talks
  • Family of four, less than a load per year
  • My response to everyone who knee-jerk responds, "Oh, you don't have kids. If you had kids then you'd understand." Well, she has two kids and avoiding garbage brings them together, as it will everyone who tries instead of claiming helplessness.
  • Her book on zero-waste living led me to find new waste to get rid of, including cutting down on mailings. Emailing and calling places to remove me from their lists is satisfying and returns control.
  • Her TEDx talk on why we should recycle less is the first big public statement I know of to avoid recycling as much as possible in favor of not polluting, since recycling is polluting unnecessarily. Of course all living requires polluting, but recycling is closer to full waster than to benign.
  • Her clean home and family camaraderie inspire me.
  • She's been a guest on this podcast and we email periodically.

Kris De Berger

  • His site called Low Tech magazine inspires simple living minimizing relying on fossil fuels.
  • He shows what is possible, especially what we used to do, often easily, that we then replaced with fossil fuels, like how to move 100 ton blocks of stone, growing plants before greenhouses, and many fun things we've traded for a sedentary, polluting lifestyle.
  • You know how it took decades for people to realize building roads created traffic, not relieved it? He finds similar patterns, like how our push for energy security is making us less secure and increasing efficiency often leads to greater total waste.
  • He does what he talks about. For example, he runs a solar-powered server, he installed a shower that uses a fraction of a regular shower.
  • He shows a low energy future is possible and desirable.
  • I invited him to be on the podcast but haven't heard back.

Lauren Singer

  • Did a TEDx talk, probably the first I saw of all the people's here so inspired me early
  • She also cites Bea Johnson as a role model
  • She was the first person I'd heard of creating a mason jar of landfill waste per year, which enables me not to compare myself with Americans on my waste, which is meaningless because they are about the most trash producing in history
  • She went to NYU and students of mine knew her or were connected. I forget the details.
  • I invited her as a guest, but we haven't finished coordinating
  • She started a store for products that replace disposable stuff. I've met a couple employees from the time I cooked for 50 people in Brooklyn North Farms with almost nothing to throw away after

Rob Greenfield

  • His YouTube channel is the best source of his work. Reminds me of Morgan
  • Spurlock of Supersize Me.
  • Rob is nearing the end of a year eating only food he grew or foraged.
  • He did a lot of attention-getting stunts to call attention to our culture's waste. This project shows a level of maturity that suggests significantly more to come.
  • He rides his bike a lot. I've considered moving to Orlando to participate, especially when I interviewed Orlando's mayor for this podcast.
  • He's been a guest on this podcast and we email periodically.

David Gardner

  • Host of the GrowthBusters podcast
  • Besides running for office, he's one of the only people I know to promote reducing the population
  • It's his passion. He's taking on one of our biggest taboos, or sacred cows, which is also the most necessary change necessary to pull out of our mess.
  • It also may be the most misunderstood or overlooked part of our environmental problems.
  • People just assume because the population is increasing less -- not decreasing -- that things will work out. All relevant signs I know of say we're over the carrying capacity already, making collapse imminent.
  • He's been a guest on this podcast and we email periodically. I've been on his too.

My mom and sister

For food and gardening


Links:


More Episodes

10/16/2021

520: Blake Haxton, part 1: Paralympic victory and maybe the most important message I've heard on sustainability

Ep. 520
I learned of Blake through the mailing list of the maker of my rowing machine, Concept2. Their piece on him described him as a Paralympic bound athlete. I was impressed, but only thought of him as a potential guest on watching his TEDx talk.I think my message to his agent describes what I saw in him and when we talked about in this episode:In Blake's case, I heard a message I've never heard with such clarity and experience I wonder if he realizes how much it applies to stewardship and the environment. It's almost the exact message nearly everyone needs. I can't put it as well as he can, but what he shared starting around minute 3 of his TEDx talk of a system breaking down, where most people would be ready to give up, technology being important, but relationships, faith, support, and laughter being the core of what worked.I see roughly 350 million Americans and 7.9 billion humans ready to give in and accept a system breaking down. Then I see Blake living the opposite of their resignation leading to a better life, and there's been almost a decade since leading to what I read as yet more improvement.In my book coming out next year, I quote Churchill's speeches during the blitz -- that it's bad, it will get worse, but we will fight on the beaches, we will never surrender, it will be our finest hour. I heard in Blake's message from a decade ago what America and the world would benefit most from hearing today. I expect it's stronger today.Since he also just won a silver medal, I also ask him about the training and competing.Blake's TEDx talk, The Advantage of Adversity
10/11/2021

518: Killing cities, gardens, and parks, New York's cruel "Open Restaurants" overreach

Ep. 518
Don't outdoor restaurants sound nice? During the pandemic, New York City allowed restaurants that couldn't host people indoors to serve them outdoors. Many restaurant owners credit the rule for keeping them in business. We neighbors happily supported businesses in need.The landlords saw the huge profit in keeping this public space for their private property, started raising rents---profiting from a deadly pandemic---and tried to get politicians to give them that public land permanently.I might not mind if that space were coming from just car spaces, or if restaurants weren't polluting the area so much with plastic, burning fossil fuels to heat the outdoors while California is on fire, other packaging, and noise.There is a better alternative that no one thought of because we didn't know the city was willing to convert space from parking spaces and open sidewalk. We could turn it to living green spaces: community gardens, playgrounds, farmers markets, bike lanes, public pedestrian spaces, and such. There was already huge demand for such spaces. People wait years for plots in the tiny spaces we have. But search the web for "Manhattan community gardens" and you'll find almost nothing, especially around Greenwich Village.This program is already raising rents, making new restaurants harder to start. It helps a few individuals while hurting the industry it purports to help.Those who know New York City's history will see this land grab from the public on par with the failed Lower Manhattan Expressway. People organized to protect what became global destinations: Soho, Nolita, Tribeca, the Lower East Side.If you have influence with New York City politics, end this program of pollution and destruction.See images and videos I made of what Open Restaurants contributes to:https://joshuaspodek.com/another-morning-walk-seeing-litter-in-my-neighborhoodhttps://joshuaspodek.com/pride-destroyed-the-park-washington-square-park-after-a-parade (video and pictures)https://joshuaspodek.com/video-whats-wrong-with-new-york-city (video and pictures)