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For the Eco-preneur

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  • Lane Anderson
    This is from Veteran For Peace member Ron Dexter http://www.premavision.com/studio/rondex.htm who put it together years ago, perhaps in the era when he
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2008
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      This is from Veteran For Peace member Ron Dexter http://www.premavision.com/studio/rondex.htm who put it together years ago, perhaps in the era when he directed "Gas" and "On The Edge" http://www.imdb.com/find?q=Ron+Dexter;s=nm
      Ron is my ally in bringing conservation into the search for a peaceful future.
      Dear Eco-preneur,
      In an effort to save Mother Earth, you might consider doing an environmental audit of your product and operation. That is evaluating the cost to Mother Earth from creation to disposal.
             1. Does your product do more damage then good for the earth? Consider the whole manufacture, distribution, advertising, For example will a plastic recycling bin cost more energy than the energy saved by recycling pop and water cans and bottles? Wouldn't a used cardboard carton be much better and provide a second use for an existing carton?
         2. Is your product supposedly "ecological" just because it is solar, natural, made of recycled materials, organic, healthy, recyclable or environmentally educational? 
      3. Where is your product produced? Are the workers paid a living wage and treated well? Is it made environmentally? Could the product if really environmental be made locally or at least in America?
         4. Does your product promote consumption because of its technological uniqueness? We don't need techno-novelties just to make the point that we are already in trouble.
      5. If your product is health oriented, just what is the cost to Mother Earth? Yes, a hot tub is good for your health and mind, but how about the cost to the planet?  Electric exercise machines use energy for people to burn of fat and they take a lot of energy to sell, use and to manufacture.
          6. Will manufacturing and selling a more efficient machine, such as hybrid or electric car really end up reducing the damage? If it is your first and only car and you have to use a car, yes. If your old gas car isn't used that much, making a new one (with all the energy needed) doesn't help. Unfortunately only the more affluent can buy energy efficient vehicles and the poor are stuck with the old guzzlers and $5.00 gas.
      7. I getting off the grid, which entails a lot of energy use to set up and maintain, really make more difference that just using energy from the grid more efficiently? We can insulate, wear short and sweaters and get along as our forefathers and mothers did. They didn't suffer because they didn't have 70-degree comfort.

      This planet will not support and American Way of Life for even us Americans. We can survive only if we learn to live with less, a lot less! We have to rediscover the pleasure of simple things that impact the earth less; mind and muscle powered activities such as local sports, reading, singing, making music, dancing, telling stories, doing skits and plays, hiking locally (with no driving to get there) etc.
      Technology has not given us a clean environment or efficient transportation. It has only made us more dependent upon it.

      It is a positive act that makes us feel good that we are doing something. We get a small reward (or some homeless person does) and we get an at-a-boy for doing it. But a life cycle audit of the process is not so rosy. Start with mom who drives her 8-cylinder station wagon to the store to pick up some refrigerated pop for the kids. The pop is refrigerated again and the kids open the frig every time they are thirsty. The empty can is placed in a plastic bag and driven to the recycling center again in a car. The can is crushed and sent to the smelter when it is melted down into aluminum. That ingot gets shipped to the can manufacturer and made into a can. It is shipped to the bottler who fills it with sugar water and chemicals. It is then shipped to the distributor who delivers it to the store where it is refrigerated again and mom buys it again. Think of the energy used in just the transportation during that cycle. What is the most common delivery vehicle you see? Beverage trucks, right. Americans get more than 50% of their "precious bodily fluids" from cans and bottles, many for foreign lands.

      We would be much better off if we drank water from the tap, filtered if necessary or from large bottles that are reused. Yes, the beverage companies would have to find another way to sponsor concerts and sports, but life on this planet might be the trade off.   
      Remember when the bottlers sold us "No Deposit / No return". Now they are happy as clams with recycling that promotes more drinking of their product. We are hooked. 

      "Those who make peaceful evolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." -- John F. Kennedy
      Think globally, act locally:  http://greatchange.org/othervoices.html  http://www.yesmagazine.org/ http://www.mesaexchange.org 
      Volunteer for progress in America:  http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/election_observers.htm

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