Saturday, December 29, 2007

Traveling Abroad ( and Within Our Own System)

Scrambling through the last minute details will only allow for an experience twice what I had originally imagined.

Ah, yes. I will be following the path previously traveled by Caleb Dean himself, and to Copenhagen ( or Kobenhavn), I go! Through the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the spring semester of my junior year will be spent overseas in the lovely Denmark. While the wind circulates unremittingly through the turbine blades, the next five months are bound to contribute to the generation of my own sustainable energy. Experiencing a culture already in tune with, and invested in, the future, not only reinforces the mental models I have been creating, but will provide a foundation upon which the chance to evaluate and spectate on the application of sustainability and social responsibility in practice is limitless.

Their ideas and actions are progressive, and their homes, well just plain cozy sums up the community-oriented candlelight. The social economy is strong and so too are the daily expenses. For a country that has taken a true stand towards sustainability, I guess this may be expected. Offshore farms of wind turbines do not exactly come off as cheap technological structures. So the price of sustainability...

When solar panels, organic food, fair trade goods, hemp clothing, spiritual retreats and yoga classes and hybrid vehicles come into the picture, not everyone, whether they are interested or not, can even afford to become part of the movement. I know from personal experience that shopping at Whole Foods instead of Big Y puts an enormous dent in my wallet. Yet I continue to dish out for the higher costs to mark my contribution in the green revolution.

Again, the actual economic price of sustainability...How does this effect the who, what, when, where, and why? Are we leaving people behind who wish to join? Does mainstream marketing and product/service availability strengthen or weaken the underlying values? How can we make sustainability sustainable for all people and all places, all things and at all times, for all of our reasons and ideas?

More to come on this complex yet truly eye-opening and powerfully important topic.

7 comments:

adrian2514 said...

Does anybody know about this site ( www.earthlab.com ) ? I have seen other environmental sites with carbon calculators like yahoo and tree huggers, but I am wondering what the deal with earthlab.com is, is it credible? I saw they also published a list last month of the top ten greenest cities ( http://www.efficientenergy.org/Top-Ten-Green-Cities-in-the-United-States ). Does anyone know if this site is better than say WWF site? Fill me in

I took their carbon foot print test and it was pretty interesting, but they said that I put out 4.5 tons of carbon while another test gave me like 15 tons? I think I trust earthlab.com’s test a little more (because my score is lower). Does anyone know about any other tests?

luis said...

Great blog!

If the economics don't work, recycling efforts won't either.
As our little contribution to make this economics of recycling more appealing, http://LivePaths.com blogs about people and companies that make money selling recycled or reused items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources.

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