ENVIRONMENTAL ESSAYS

Creating a National Park

A century of overgrazing, largely by sheep, had caused serious damage to the grasslands, but this valley had been considered the most important conservation area in the country by the Chilean government for over 30 years. All of its original species are still intact. It sweeps from the northern ice cap down to the Baker River and out to the arid borderlands of Argentina. The valley represents every type of landscape found throughout the entire Patagonia region.

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Merino On A Mission

As more sheep ranchers employ sustainable grazing practices, the grasslands in Patagonia are beginning to regenerate. The more companies that use merino wool from the Patagonia region, the better.

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Why Shop?

No tree wants to end up as a toilet paper roll. It’s a horrible way to go. Toilet paper goes down the toilet and toward the sea, but cardboard cores have it worse: They end up in landfills, since no one has a recycling bin in the bathroom. And we’re talking about a lot of cardboard cores – the equivalent weight of 250 Boeing 737s every year in the U.S. alone.

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Hick-onomy

A small community lies high in the mountains in a state we’ll leave unnamed. Until last year, it had an economy based on the all-too familiar story: Tourism in the high winter and summer months and second-home owners. Healthy hay farms and orchards completed the mix with the farms, in particular, setting a high standard: geometric fields, freshly painted houses and well-maintained tools.

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The Parable of the Iron Pan

Many years ago, when I was in my 20s, I lived in a small apartment in New Haven, Connecticut. I had a chair, a bed, a lamp and some books, and that was about it. I particularly lacked items for my kitchen, and I needed to eat, so I began searching for cooking utensils.

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Break the Rules & Make It Work

At the age of 18, Yvon Chouinard founded a small blacksmithing company that would later, almost by accident, grow into Patagonia, Inc., an innovative, environmentally conscious outdoor retailer. Yvon’s love of nature developed as a child and at the age of 14, while training to be a falconer, he began a momentously successful rock-climbing career that took him all over the world.

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The Responsible Economy

In my quarter century of stupid stunts, I’ve had enough near-death experiences that I’ve accepted the fact that I’m going to die someday. I’m not too bothered by it. There is a beginning and end to all life – and to all human endeavors.

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The Elephant in the Room

At a recent forum on corporate sustainability, it occurred to me that all the presentations were in some form related to innovation. New technologies for renewable energies, more efficient packaging, reducing transportation, reducing toxics, reducing water usage, recycling materials.

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