Social, Economic, Enviromental Responsibility

Month: August, 2010

Unlikely Bedfellows

The NRA is the largest organization for gun owners in America. Most hunters own guns. Hunters need a healthy environment in order to hunt.

So, I think that the environmental movement in America should have teamed up with the NRA years ago!

Hunting serves an important purpose. Especially in areas where human actions have eliminated the apex predators. The consequences of that means we now have the responsibility of stepping into the biological role of “lion.” Pretty big shoes to fill.

Furthermore, groups like the NRA work educate their members, the public, and our government about guns and gun safety. What if they started to help push sustainability initiatives as well?


My Time At Men’s Camp

I am currently in the process of finishing my last day at Men’s Camp.

Imagine returning to your youth, to late August, when the weather was perfect, cicadas singing their songs throughout the day, and you were ten. Playing outside. Swimming, boating, fishing. Perfection.

Now imagine that you could recapture that feeling for a weekend. That is Men’s Camp.

If we look back through the environmental movement, we see men and women who all had profound experiences in the outdoors. And who had the courage and confidence to speak out.

For men, that confidence is learned through interaction with other men and through the outdoors. It is no mistake that Teddy Roosevelt spent as much time hunting, fishing and hiking as he did leading the United States of America.

That is what is being lost today. In a sense, men have lost their masculinity. In addition to men suffering psychologically, our society has suffered and the environment has suffered.

At Willson

At Willson being manly. No real post today. That is all.

Go outside

Change The Game

For years we’ve been told that plastic isn’t really that easy to recycle. These guys are on there way to being able to break plastic back down into gas and oil.

If this works; trash dumps could potentially become huge payloads.

Subaru has figured out that it’s cheaper to save and reusing shipping materials as much as possible.

New Belgian Brewing likes renewable energy to make its beer, and encourages it’s employees to bike to work.

And we’ve been told that it takes huge amounts of energy to make hydrogen, yet a few scientists figured out that waste water (pee) can be converted into hydrogen for quarter of the energy.

The Power of Little Changes

A short “I love you” note can make someones day fantastic.

A quick cup of coffee strengthens a friendship.

Taking the stairs at work leads to a healthier lifestyle.

These are all little changes, that can make a big difference. The environmental movement isn’t in need of one big, one hit wonder. What we need are thousands of little successes.

Better laid out mass transit is a good way to start rethinking our roadways. As we rebuild our infrastructure, we can upgrade it to the best possible materials.  Small changes in building and zoning codes can add up to millions of dollars in saved in construction costs, and homes that are more efficient.

If we make recycling easier than throwing something away, then guess what happens?

We don’t really need a break through in technology, we’ve had those since Carter was in office (seriously). What we need are little implementations of those technologies.

All these little things added together, have a large net effect with a minimum of effort. I like that.

Government Waste

Efficiency by its nature, is sustainable. Inefficiency is not.

Our government is grossly inefficient. If we were to simply reduce waste, we would decrease our environmental impact.

Silly idea I know, that our leaders would embody and live out the highest ideals of our country. If the government were to practice what it demands of its citizens: we might actually get something done.

An Easy Way To Encourage Recycling

When you buy an automotive part (battery, alternator, starter, etc) you’ll notice a little something on the bill called a “core charge.”

This is basically a deposit that encourages you to bring back your old part so it can be rebuilt.

Basically, it’s recycling.

And beyond that, it also encourages people to purchase recycled and rebuilt parts.

They’re cheaper!

Recycling can actually make money for everyone!!!

A Brief Update

Thank you to everyone who’s posted comments! We have over 300 excellent, insightful, and intelligent comments on the majority of our posts! We have even had one great debate over the best course of action for environmentalism, sustainability, and free markets.

Personally, I just started working at a motorcycle salvage yard/parts store. I figure I might as well put my money where my mouth is, and help out reusing old parts for what might be one of the most enjoyable AND economic forms of transportation currently available.

I apologize for this weekends lack of posts. I was working again at Camp Willson assisting university students with team building activities. Working with college co-eds… oh the burdens one must bear.

Again, thank you to everyone for making Conservance such a great experience for myself and others!

Why Are Plastic Bags Free

Think about it…

They cost the store money, and they end up being thrown away. Or worse becoming litter.

Meaning that no matter how we look at it, plastic bags cost us (indirectly) money.

If we flipped the paradigm on its head:

What if stores started charging a fee for plastic bag use?

The Last Straw

Hay is grass that is grown as feed for livestock. Straw is a waste product from wheat and other cereal grain productions.

Straw has also been used as a building material for thousands of years.

When it’s baled, straw has excellent thermal properties (roughly 3 times that of traditional wall). Furthermore it’s price point is comparable to traditional stick built homes (yeah, I know a thing or two about construction).

Here’s where it gets interesting:

Straw bale homes are incredibly simple to build.  Install a footer, stack bales, square up the wall, plaster, install header. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Because of the ease of construction, maintenance appears to be fairly simple.

What we end up getting is an easy to build, easy to maintain, well insulated, renewable building material, that’s structurally sound and long lasting (some straw bale homes from the 1800s are still standing and still in use!).


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