Sunday, May 20, 2007

Earth Day 2007

We celebrated Earth Day today. Yes, it's earlier in the year, but we wait until the weather is nicer and we can be outside. The picture is part of the Jeff St. String Band, who did all of the music today.

Here's a reading from Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek that I read as part of the service:

"It's still the first week of January, and I've got great plans. I've been thinking about seeing. There are lots of things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But--and this is the point--who gets excited by a mere penny?

If you follow one arrow, if you crouch motionless on a ban to watch a tremulous ripple thrill on the water and are rewarded by the sight of a muskrat kit paddling from its den, will you count that sight a chip of copper only, and go your rueful way?

It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It's that simple. What you see is what you get."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Reading Stack May 07

Reading Stack May 07
Originally uploaded by Kurwin.

Great new time waster on Flickr of photos of people's reading stacks. Here's mine as of last night (May 7).

Saturday, May 05, 2007


We interrupt the ongoing environmental posts for me to share one of my all-time favorite quotations, by Frederick Buechner (Wikipedia):

"Listen to your life, see it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom & pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness; touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and the hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." (from Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons)

Perfect thoughts for our current visioning process, eh?

Here's another one for good measure:

"A vision is like a lighthouse, which illuminates rather than limits, giving direction rather than destination." James J. Mapes, Foresight First

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Strategic Consumption: How to Change the World with What You Buy

Worldchanging strategy #2:

2) Lengthening our time horizons: A great number of costlier green products are smart investments when viewed from the perspective of long-term cost. This is true of everything from more efficient home appliances (which can pay for themselves through energy savings) to low-flow shower heads. These are big-ticket items, requiring substantial industrial investment to manufacture. Buying them represents a wise investment and speeds up the process of higher standards being more widely adopted, but it also requires spending more up front -- sometimes a lot more. (It'd be easier if we all adopted the Japanese approach of requiring today's best performance levels to be the minimum allowable a few years hence.) This kind of sustainable consumption makes good sense.

Further thoughts:

I've noticed that oftentimes those things that are convenient often create environmental hazards: the throwaway rubbermaid containers get into the landfill, leafblowers create noise pollution and air pollution. Right now it's also mostly the case that more environmentally-friendly products usually cost more.