Being Green – Celebrating Abundance

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  I usually decide on a weekly topic based on something I pick up during the week past, and for this week’s post I had a few ideas… all of which evaporated when I received a note from a fellow forum user this morning (thanks, D.!)  He pointed me to a Youtube video of William McDonough giving the opening keynote address for “Global Forum 2009: Business as an Agent of World Benefit“.  The video is a little over an hour and I haven’t listened to it all yet, but I will.  I really like the reference near the beginning of the talk to the green roof on the Ford plant instead of asphalt (‘ass fault’, as two words denoting blame).  I’ve been a fan of William McDonough and his work for a number of years now, both in the work of his architectural firm and from his founding partnership with MBDC, the people behind the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certification.  In his opening for the TED talk he did in 2005 he lamented how a ‘rubber duck’ sold in the state of California needs to carry what amounts to a biohazard label.  There’s just no reason for that.

What impresses me most about Bill McDonough (in addition to his extensive knowledge, experience, drive and expertise) is his indefatiguable optimism.  He titled his keynote speech for Global Forum 2009 ‘Celebrating Abundance‘, and he maintains that the way forward for the earth and its species (all of them, including us) is through design that seeks to improve the world rather than ways that continue to denigrate it. As he underscores in his talk, we have to move forward by celebrating abundance rather than collapsing under the fear of lack.  At the Bioneers 2000 Conference, Bill asked:

“How can we love all of the children of all species for all time?”

Execution of the answers to that question may be difficult, may be challenging at times, but by definition it is a process that must also be loving and fulfilling in its intent.  In its own way the question is similar to the ‘Seventh Generation’ philosophy of some Native Peoples – that we must plan now for the children seven generations from now.  All I can say is that I would be happy to live in a building/ city/ environment and on a planet that Bill McDonough and those of like mind have had a hand in designing.  My thanks to him and his associates for their contributions to our world!

Before I forget, public comment for the USGBC’s LEED Rating System Development is extended until Wednesday, January 19, 2011 (until 11:59 p.m. EST).

Okay, the links for this week include:

Okay, that’s it for now.  Have a great week!


P.S.  Chris Anderson (the man behind lost his daughter Zoe late last year to an accident involving carbon monoxide poisoning.  Chris posted some images showcasing Zoe’s life here: My dazzling Zoe: Snapshots of a life cut short and Zoe’s sister Anna performed a song that she wrote, here:  “For Zoe” (1986-2010) – Original Song by Anna Anderson.  To Chris, to Anna and to Chris’ wife Jacqueline, we send love and support.

In tough times it can be difficult to remember any of the joys of life, so I thought I’d suggest a TED talk by Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome.  Neil also wrote a blog called 1000 Awesome Things.  Finally, if you need to build a place to hide out for a while, these look really cool and can be a reminder to let some fun back into your lives… Haworth Enters the Art and Design World with the Innovative Clouds Collection (with Video)

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