planted city

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Millennials are far less likely to own a car, or to even make that a priority. Instead, we tend to opt for public transit, biking, or car sharing. While millennials don’t identify as vegetarians, either, we actually trend towards eating less meat – and we value the eating experience, which means that, though we tend to make less for our work (or sometimes nothing at all), a lot of us are still willing to spend a little more to go organic and local. Heck, even the fact that so many of us still live at home, or choose to live in shared houses or dorms rather than getting a place of our own, translates to a more efficient use of household water, electricity, and gas.

Which isn’t to say that millennials are making these choices exactly for the purpose of being green. We do it because it makes sense: Green living is more affordable, more enjoyable, and thus perhaps makes us more able to deal with the messes we’ve been left with. But, as long as things are starting to change, does it really matter what the motivation is? And can’t there be more than one motivation? Millennials seem more likely to recognize that the environment doesn’t exist in a glass bubble, that it’s tied in with business, technology, and what’s on your plate. Protecting the environment is not something out there and far away, but something right here that needs to be intelligently incorporated into our day-to-day.

A quote from the Grist article, 'No, we're not “environmentalists.” It's more complicated than that.' You can read the rest of it here.

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An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth - in short, materialism - does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.

A quote from economist E.F. Schumacher's classic book Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.

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"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
~ Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."

~ Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013

@JR’s @insideoutproject meets @MargartMead off @MainStreet here in @Vancouver

@JR’s @insideoutproject meets @MargartMead off @MainStreet here in @Vancouver

We’re used to the notion of sharing libraries, public parks, and train cars. But in many ways, American culture in particular drifted away from sharing as a value when we spread out from city centers and into the suburbs. Molly Turner, the director of public policy for short-term rental lodging website Airbnb, evokes the iconic image of Richard Nixon, in Moscow, introducing Nikita Khrushchev to the modern marvel of the state-of-the-art washing machine, available for private consumption in every American home. Beginning with the era of that washing machine, Turner argues, we forgot how to share.

We came to prize instead personal ownership – of multiple cars, of large homes with private backyards and space inside for appliances that would never fit in a modest city walk-up. Today, this kind of bald consumerism is considered almost tacky. But the reasons underlying that cultural shift reveal why we’re witnessing a true change in paradigm. Much has transformed in the last few years alone: the economy, technology, and the allure of cities themselves.

“What’s really going on here is the urbanization of the world and the reurbanization of American cities,” Turner says. “Either consciously or subconsciously, [people] are realizing that that involves the public realm, the commons, sharing goods and services and infrastructure. And I think that kind of bleeds into your personal life.” In other words, if you’ll share a subway car, why not a kitchen?

This move back into city centers also coincided with the Great Recession. Those big houses and multiple cars, it turns out, were beyond many of our means. And it’s no coincidence, Turner says, that Airbnb – a company founded around shared housing – was born in 2008, just as the U.S. was entering a recession built on a housing crisis. For many Airbnb members, the spare rooms they were able to rent through the service helped them keep their homes. City living, for all its allure, is expensive, but the sharing economy makes it possible for more people, whether they’re sharing a car because they can’t afford to own one, or sharing a bike because they’ve got nowhere to store it.

A quote from The Atlantic Cities article, 'Share Everything:Why the Way We Consume Has Changed Forever'. Check out the rest of the article here.

Image source: Collaborative Consumption

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.

Marshall McLuhan

(Earthrise photo: Wikipedia)

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Oromo proverb
Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.

Every time I walk past this Margaret Mead quote it leaves me with a smile. If you want to check it out for yourself it’s on the wall of ‘The Foundation’ restaurant at 7th and Main.

Around town: Six shots from the weekend