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When Sustainability is the Only Option

August 3, 2012
For several months now, I have been working with em[POWER], a brilliant group of volunteers who are tackling the most poverty-stricken areas of the world- landfill slums.  Imagine living, breathing, drinking water, and eking out a living in a garbage dump. World-wide, nearly a billion people live from the waste created by the other six billion in the form of street people or landfill-related livelihoods. These people are the ultimate in sustainability living- out of necessity though, rather than choice.
em[POWER] is teaching them to glean not only recyclables out of dumps, but how to repurpose what is in their environment, making their lives better through wild duckweed harvesting, composting, vermiculture, biogas on mini and macro scale production, and learning to build earthquake and flood-proof homes from material found within their reach.  See video.
Today, at noon Central, I’ll be discussing “When Sustainability is the Only Option” on the Sustainable Living show with Jo Keirns and John Skinner.   Join us!
3 Comments leave one →
  1. jmuszalski permalink
    August 3, 2012 12:25 pm

    Very interesting article and great talk. Thanks for sharing your insight!


  2. August 3, 2012 12:15 pm

    Worldwide sustainability really is the Final Option. We’ve been spoiled for far too long and that needs to change. The instant gratification we’ve been used to for the last 100 years simply can’t continue indefinitely. The people living in the dumps are where the rest of us will be if we don’t rearrange our thinking and our lifestyles.



    • August 3, 2012 3:17 pm

      Sue, you have a great point. If everyone lived like an average resident of the USA, a total of four Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature. This cannot continue.
      If it weren’t for trash pickers, we would lose 20 to 50% of waste metals globally. They are the unsung heros that are actually doing the majority of global recycling efforts.


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