Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Story of Stuff

I posted this video months ago but it was burried in another post. I believe it deserves its own place here on infopatriots. With so many subjects to cover on the concept of sustainability, its hard to know where to start. Especially when talking to someone who is new to the concept. This film is an easy, short (21min) animated film about the story of our "stuff" from start to finish and how this system cannot go on forever.

The end talks about creating a new system but leaves the options up to the viewer. At the time I was motivated by relocalization but over the last year all the solutions have lead me to permaculture. Which is about designing sustainability by using nature as a model, where we can replant our forests and create a "garden of eden" type foraging system for most of our food.

How about we let nature do most of the work of harvesting the resources, building the product, packaging the item, offering it to the consumer and dealing with the waste. Then we can have more time to relax and enjoy life and to be happy!

Nature's system is amazing, what kind of product can you buy that is made sustainably, comes in disposable packaging and comes with a technology ("a seed") that allows you to make more of that product on your own, for free, forever.

A friend of mine sent me a link to the Native American Iroquois. Their economy was a mix of hunter gatherer and horticulture (like permaculture). Read the link to learn more, but one things that really amazed me was the concept that land could only be owned if it was being used by the owner personally. So there was not a possiblity (like what we have today) where a small percentage of people own most of the land and wealth. Thomas Jefferson was inspired by their culture and borrowed many of their ideas for use in creating America.

Somewhere along the line we got lost and it's blatantly obvious now that this system is breaking down and is not going to last forever. It's inevitable that we must transition to sustainability. If we do make things, we should be designing them to last for as long as possible and that they are designed to be disassembled to be recycled (like cradle to cradle).

This system is still working because people choose to use it. We have the power to change and create a new system. Instead of buying new and disposable products we can choose to reuse, barter, trade or create new things ourselves!. A great film about the system is Zeitgeist 2: addendum.

If you care about sustainability and the future of mankind, I hope you choose to help move us in this direction. It starts with our own personal actions. We must be the change. If you want to help others, you can give (like for birthdays or holidays) the ability for others to be less reliant on the system. Examples are planting a fruit tree or berry bush. Or give them a spiritual book or website link to bring them to the consciousness of their actions and the power they have over them. Or simply to show them love, radiate the light from within by meditating and practicing unconditional love. See the good in all beings, everything has a purpose and everyone has the potential to be be anything they want to be. Encourage others to be happy and to follow what feels good and to trust their intition. Just look at the sunset or a flower to realize there is good in the world, and that we are lucky to be alive. We should be grateful for the chance that we have to be here. There is so much energy expended for us to simply be alive every day. Humans are very fragile and so is our planet.

The future is in our hands. The world will not change over night, but seed by seed, we plant the possiblity for a clean, healthy and abundant future.

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