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.
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.
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.
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.
Downstream From Your Jeans
Across the world, nitrogen runoff from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers is creating aquatic dead zones in freshwater lakes and in oceans, killing off species of fish and crustaceans. Called eutrophication, these dead zones are growing exponentially.
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.
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.