Beyond Ecological Footprints

I’d like you to watch the 20 minute Resource Abundance by Design video once again by William McDonough.

Why? Well, now that we are looking at ecological footprint calculators it is important to remember what true natural design looks like. You can see how an ecological footprint really talks about doing “less bad”. McDonough speaks about doing “more good”.

He also addresses the issue of contaminated land. From an ecological footprint perspective, this land is seen as “unusable” and is written off. Yet, this is not true. When we realize that a toxin is simply a material in the wrong place, the land can be remediated.  The cadmium and lead (toxic in soil) is extracted and can be put to use in creating technical devices. In this way, the once contaminated land can not only be used for growing food again, but can also be a source of valuable “technical nutrients” for building computers – brilliant!

From there, take a look at the 3 minute video Reflections on a Future of Abundance by William McDonough. This video highlights the key concepts of eliminating the concept of waste and seeing all as nutrients.

An Ecological Footprint in Context

What is an Ecological Footprint?

An ecological footprint is essentially a measure of resource consumption. There are a variety of different ecological footprint calculators available. Each one asks a number of different questions about your day-to-day practices related to diet, transportation, housing, goods and services. From this data, it translates the amount of resources used into the total amount of land required to produce these resources. From there it multiplies your individual use by the total population of the planet. This is why calculators provide both a value in hectares (the individual amount) and the number of planets (your individual resource use multiplied by the human population).

What is an Ecological Footprint, really?

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Authentic Livelihoods: Creating with Dirt

We can all create with dirt. Every single one of us. Unfortunately, there are many people who simply move dirt around rather than truly create with it. People have also been taught all kinds of things that aren’t so and then start to believe they cannot create at all. This is false. We can all create. There is also a big difference between earning a living and making a living. When people are truly creating something, they are adding to the world in a wonderful way. The more people that craft occupations where they can be innovative and creative, the more we will see poverty as a thing of the past.

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Embracing Biodiversity

When people think about biodiversity, they often think about a natural place far away. Yet, biodiversity is all around us when we open our eyes. It is incredibly important to recognize the diversity of life all around us. It is when we truly recognize the life around us that we can truly be grateful for it. Many people speak of “falling in love” with nature, a pet, or even people. Yet, love is not something you fall into or out of. Love is recognized. When we recognize love, we are grateful for it. From there, we naturally live in harmony with all of the surrounding biodiversity we are grateful for.

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Shifting the Focus on Climate Change

There is an incredible amount of information, data, articles, media stories, campaigns, petitions, protests and overall “politics” about climate change. When reviewing potential information to present to you on climate change, so much was coloured by an underling tone of Chicken Little’s the “sky is falling” and an ever growing list of what not to do. This is fear-based and stifles the kind of innovation and creativity that will bring about meaningful change.

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