We live in awesome times. It is obvious that the earth is groaning, that something has got to change. It is as if Life itself is saying to us—“Wake up and do the right thing!” The good new is that we have both the technology and the knowledge to correct the downward spiral we are in—and to create a world of environmental quality, social equity and economic sustainability. It is just a matter of more of us focusing our energies in the right direction and getting involved.
Since last September, in these weekly email newsletters, we have been talking about life and how to reverse the momentum of life towards declining numbers of species- a process we labeled de-evolution; and to move forwards into a future of rich biodiversity of plants, animals and microbes. We have finally reached the point in our discussion where we are looking at actual solutions that individuals and organizations are already making; initiating the very changes and solutions necessary. Let’s talk about one such association—ZERI—and their employing the concept of Eco Design.
When we look to nature, to its ecological workings, in order to gain a perspective on how to construct healthy lives and activities, design our homes, businesses and communities, we are struck by the following key principles and recurring themes:
“Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI) is a global network of creative minds, seeking solutions to the ever-increasing problems of the world. The members take on challenges that others consider impossible or too complex. “Starting from ideas, based on science, the common vision shared by each and every member of the ZERI network is to seek sustainable solutions for society, from unreached communities to corporations inspired by nature’s design principles. Innovative solutions are constantly designed by the ZERI teams drawn from many walks of life and expertise” (ZERI website).
“ZERI was founded by business entrepreneur Gunter Pauli in the early 1990s. Pauli introduced the notion of industrial clustering by promoting the principle of zero emissions and making it the very core of the ZERI concept. Zero emissions mean ZERO waste. Taking nature as its model and mentor, ZERI strives to eliminate the very idea of waste.”
“Pauli originally launched ZERI as a research project at the United Nations University in Tokyo. He created a network of scientists on the Internet, using the existing academic networks of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Third World Academy of Sciences.”
“Being the first to pioneer scientific exchanges and conferences on the Internet,
“To emphasize the Socratic nature of this method, he called ZERI’s first academic network Socrates Online. Since then, the ZERI network of researchers has grown to 3,000 scholars worldwide.”
“The first principle of ecodesign is that “waste equals food.” Today, a major clash between economics and ecology derives from the fact that nature’s ecosystems are cyclical, whereas our industrial systems are linear. In nature, matter cycles continually, and thus ecosystems generate no overall waste. Human businesses, by contract, take natural resources, transform them into products plus waste, and sell the products to consumers, who discard more waste when they have used the products.”
“The principle “waste equals food” means that all products and materials manufactured by industry, as well as the wastes generated in the manufacturing processes, must eventually provide nourishment for nourishment for something new. A sustainable business organization would be embedded in an ecology of organizations, in which the waste of any one organization would be a resource for another. In such a sustainable industrial system, the total outflow of each organization—its products and wastes —would be perceived and treated as resources cycling through the system. Such ecological clusters of industries have actually been initiated in many parts of the world by ZERI (Capra, The Hidden Connections, pg. 234).”
“An example of the nature and magnitude of the projects they take on. The coffee growing industry is known for its abuse of the land and the farmers growing and producing the coffee beans. Columbian coffee farms are good illustrations of the basic ZERI method. These farms are in crisis because of the dramatic drop in the price of coffee beans on the world market. Meanwhile, the farmers use only 3.7 percent of the coffee plant, returning most of the waste to the environment as landfill and pollution—smoke, waste water, and caffeine-contaminated compost. ZERI put this waste to work. Research showed that coffee biomass could be used profitably to cultivate tropical mushrooms, feed livestock, compost organic fertilizer and generate energy. When the coffee beans are harvested, the remains of the coffee plant are used to grow shitake mushrooms; the remains of the mushrooms (rich in protein) feed earthworms, cattle, and pigs; earthworms feed chickens; cattle and pig manure produces biogas and sludge; the sludge fertilizers the coffee farm and surrounding vegetable gardens, while the energy from the biogas is used in the process of mushroom farming (Capra p236).”
Technologies in the typical ZERI clusters are small-scale and local. The places of production are usually close to those of consumption, which eliminates or radically reduces transportation costs. No single production unit tries to maximize its output, because this would only unbalance the system. Instead, the goal is to optimize the production processes of each component, while maximizing the productivity and ecological sustainability of the whole.
Well, that is it for this week. I wish you all a wonderful 4th of July long weekend. Next week we will continue with these live examples of good works to heal our earth.
Remember to take 25-35 grams of fiber per day! Calculate your veggies and fruit, whole grains and beans; add the Original’s Inulin (4 grams of fiber per teaspoon), Beta Glucan (10 grams of fiber per two tablespoons), or No. 7 Systemic Booster (4 grams of fiber per teaspoon). Mix the formulas with water; add to protein shakes, juice or green drinks. And of course, each formula has great bugs and Therapeutic Foods. Enjoy!
The Last Quiz Answer: These most important creatures are Cyanobacteria. Cyanobacterium contain chlorophyll,
Cuba is the leader when it comes to growing food in urban areas. Any small space will do. Google Cuba for inspiration (Cuba growing food in any small space). This week I have created a little garden in our condo complex—a community project everyone enjoyed. We began with multiple varieties of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, peppers, and herbs such as basil, rosemary, chives, mint, and more will be planted this week.