Reflecting on Purpose - Conservation, Sustainability, Transparency, and Change

We're just getting underway, here, and it seems as good a time as any to reflect a bit on why I built this site in the first place. I want a place to accumulate my thoughts about these and other issues. I want to build a knowledge base and internet community around them and help facilitate thoughtful action.

 

It occured to me that many thoughtful actions may be provocative. For example, why not make stencils and chalk messages near drains about where the drains lead, like they do in San Francisco? Taking a queue from there, why not observe 'green' cities and collaborate to adapt good ideas in our own hometowns? How about secretly administering water conservation devices throughout the community?

 

I recognize that "The ends justify the means" is a slippery slope; that's not where I'm coming from. Complacency and herd behavior, however, are not any better. I hope to inspire and inform thoughtful actions every day, whether implemented on mass scale or just increased thoughtfulness about the actions we take every day.

 

This site will grow to become a rich resource for community consideration of the choices we have the luxury to make and how we can make them better, whatever that means. This gets into the 'shades of green' comment. Recently, as I have participated in more and more community events, I have remarked various shades of green, myriad tones of eco-friendliness. These range from flat-out greenwashing and well-intentioned ignorance to hardcore, daunting ecophilia. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss the virtues of green polyculture. For now, I just want to point out something I learned: the less-green shades are not inherently bad, especially when they are tied to a growing level of awareness. In the same sense that it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many levels of commitment to build a successful campaign, whether corporate, political, or cause-related, much the same way different skill sets are important.

 

Diversity is perhaps the lesson; again we see its importance in the boardroom and in the ecosystems that support life on Earth. For a long time, I refused to enter a particular coffee chain. When I finally 'broke down' and patronized one, I realized that things had changed -- not wholesale, but somewhat. I suddenly had several ideas about how they could become even better, inspired in part by the changes that had been made since my last visit. These ideas seemed more reasonable, more realistic. I had written the chain off and I realize how wrong that was.

 

A wise teacher once taught me that, "We have to learn from others' mistakes; we don't have enough time to make them all ourselves."