Here is an incredibly inspiring speech by Paul Hawken. This speech actually changed my life in 2004 as I listened to it on public broadcasting. It was from Bioneers conference which was a movement that connected engineers, business men and social activists together for the sake of environmental change in the face of corporate America. Bioneers started before and perhaps inspired the now famous TED talks.
I recommend the book: Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. The book is about the grassroots movement for social and environmental justice that has bloomed into something much larger. I read Blessed Unrest in 2009, and think it would be interesting to go and reread it almost 10 years later. We have come a long way. This is apparent when you go into a grocery store and more local items, organic, and sustainably packaged items are available and at relatively low cost. In 2009, there were not so many choices on the mainstream. I remember searching health food stores for particular items.
I have not read any of his other books yet but Hawken is an incredible thinker. He is a business man with a conscious. His interviews, ideas and his speeches evoke hope and inspiration. He points out the good and speaks freely about corruption and demands new ways. If you play this video for people, they will nod and say yes.
Paul Hawken on One Hundred Solutions to the Climate Crisis (https://e360.yale.edu/features/paul-hawken-on-one-hundred-solutions-to-the-climate-crisis)
Interview on Global Oneness Project (https://www.globalonenessproject.org/people/paul-hawken)
A random list of items to keep in your mind:
- Cut up old ripped up and stained t-shirts and towels to use as cleaning rags – stop using paper towels
- Shop at thrift stores for clothes and shoes – buy a whole new wardrobe for a fraction of the price and without the production wasteand most used items are in almost new condition
- Shop at thrift stores, craigslist, and – or antique shops for furniture
- Consider biodegradable trash bags – they cost a bit more than plastic ones but this may make you more mindful of what you toss in them – this is like Chris Rock’s bit about raising the price of bullets as a means for gun control policy
- Reduce trash and methane by composting scrap foods, tea bags, coffee filters
- Use a reusable lunch box or bag and reusable snack containers inside your lunch bag as well a reusable beverage container
- Install a solar heating clothes dryer – by installing a rope from one end of your yard to another and pinning your clothes on it
8 Ways to go Zero Waste brought to you by Martha Stewart (https://www.marthastewart.com/1520747/8-ways-zero-waste-home?slide=4082201)
In this crafty slide show, Martha Stewart (or one of her staff writers) offers suggestions for even the preppiest of hippies to cut back on disposables
- Replace disposable kitchen sponges with a eco friendly scrubber brush that can be washed in the dishwasher from time to time to kill any germs
- Instead of paper towels, she recommends something called a Swedish dish towel? I like the idea – the photo they present is a beautiful towel – but t-shirt rags will work just as well to clean up a spill.
- The interesting bit here is this swapping of disposable plastic toothbrushes for a bamboo handled castor bean bristled toothbrush. This is clever indeed. But a bit pricey ($20 for 4) and I like an extra soft bristle myself so I think I would hesitate before buying these (online at least – I would have to feel the softness of the bristles in person). The whole toothbrush can be composted which is impressive to say the least.
- Another clever swap out is from bottled shampoos to bar shampoo. This one is fabulous – washing your hair with a bar of soap feels so rebellious in a silly, empowering, juvenile kind of way. The Martha article advertises for Lush shampoo bars which smell really good but there are so many options on the market now. Shampoo bars really reduce a large amount of plastic waste, are incredibly economical, last longer than bottle shampoo and the look of the bath is so streamlined now.
In conclusion, the journey must begin with one small step. It is the repetition of the steps again and again that propel you forward.