On the heels of one of the most hotly contested elections in recent memory, American opinion about climate change has moved a few steps closer to the global scientific consensus – a view shared by most, if not all, of the international community.
Why the shift?
There are probably many different factors involved, but Hurricane Sandy certainly brought much-needed clarity. That a tropical storm from the Caribbean could wreak such devastation thousands of miles a way is a painful reminder of the very serious environmental challenges we face as a planet. Media coverage like Businessweek’s It’s Global Warming, Stupid further solidified the issue in the minds of many fence-sitters.
Climate change deniers still exist – their ranks will never die out completely. But the tide is turning, and a growing number of Americans believe that we should begin taking proactive steps to slow, if not reverse, global warming before it’s too late.
There exist any number of approaches we could adopt – from breakthrough technologies to radical lifestyle changes to increased political action. It is unlikely that any permanent and meaningful solutions will emerge without exploring all of the above.
However, much can be done today – right now – with resources we already have at our disposal. But first a little background.
Wasting Resources to Create More Waste – an Unsustainable System
Under the current model:<>
- We destroy entire ecosystems to extract fossil fuel resources to power our economy.
- We then use some of this fossil fuel to create genetically modified foods, petro-fertilizers, and chemical pesticides.
- This unhealthy, synthetically cultivated food is sold worldwide – but 33% (1.3 billion tons) of it never gets eaten.
- Instead, this wasted food goes to landfills, where it rots and produces methane and other toxic greenhouse gases.
- And we repeat the process once again, beginning with the destruction of ecosystems to mine more fossil fuel.
From extraction to synthetic engineering to pollution, we continue to invest billions in a linear model of waste that is, by definition, unsustainable. Nothing about this system is worth keeping.
Abandoning a Linear Model of Waste in Favor of a Sustainable Loop
At Re-Nuble, we advocate a very different model – one built around a closed, sustainable loop that confers nothing but benefits at every stage. Known as the Green Back Approach, our model starts at the point when uneaten food becomes waste:
- Rather than send this waste to landfills, we recycle it into organic fertilizer (i.e. compost) and green, renewable energy.
- The organic fertilizer goes to local farmers who grow natural, healthy food through sustainable agriculture.
- The renewable energy goes to local utility companies, thus, reducing our reliance on fossil fuel and the need to clear more trees and ecosystems.
- And we repeat the cycle indefinitely, feeding renewable energy and organic food into a loop that creates more renewable energy and organic food
The benefits of such a system are tremendous - less waste, healthier food, decreased pollution, and more green jobs – all at the local level. And we can begin this process today, without:
- waiting for new breakthrough technologies to be developed
- making radical changes to our consumption habits
- hoping that our politicians take the lead
We simply stop treating waste as “waste” and begin using it as a resource to power a self-sustaining model of energy generation and healthy food production. It’s a very encouraging and inspiring concept.
Check out the ">video to learn more.
So why hasn’t this already been implemented worldwide?
That’s a very good question – one we’ve been asking ourselves for the past several months.
We’ve reached the conclusion that awareness is the main hurdle. You see, modern society was designed to shield us from the destructive activities that go into extracting the resources we consume. And after “responsibly” discarding these resources, most of us give little thought to what happens to our trash thereafter. In other words, we live in a bubble whose field of vision is limited to the grocery store, kitchen, and trashcan.
Re-Nuble wants to pop that bubble and expand our field of vision, in much the same way that Hurricane Sandy helped reposition the debate on climate change.
The good news is, we’re almost there.
Saving the Planet for As Little As $5
The tide is turning as we continue to raise both awareness and the start-up capital to launch our Green Back Approach. If you’d like to join us in this mission, we could definitely use your help with the following:
- Contribute to our green crowdfunding campaign hosted on IndieGoGo.com/Re-Nuble. We’re trying to raise $25,000 through November 28. It’s an ambitious amount, but through donations of $5, $10, and $50, we can get there with your help.
- Please share this story with as many people as you can. Remember that awareness is essential. The more people who come on board, the faster we can replace today’s linear model of waste with a sustainable, closed loop that reverses the effects of climate change and the devastation caused by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
Thank you for your support. Together, we can make a difference.