Monday, October 19, 2009

Glimpses of an Emerging Economy

The recent economic changed has made it extremely obvious that an economy based 70% on consumption will need a serious rethinking. As our economy continues to contract, as I think it will for the next year or so, I expect to see a new framework for employment based on a lower level of consumption. I firmly believe that the "new normal" will look substantially different than the "previous normal."

The City of Berkeley Zero Waste Commission has provided a possible job creation framework by stating the following:
Reduce – Just use less. We are so use to thinking more is better that we have forgotten that using less is sometimes better.

Reuse - Stop throwing things away. So many items can be used again and again if not by you then by someone else.

Repair – Reclaim the lost art of fixing things. Many items just require a bit of effort to make them usable once again.

Rebuild – Complex items are well worth the effort and can end up better, stronger or more powerful that the earlier generation.

Refurbish – Sometimes it only takes a little sprucing up to be ready for use.

Refinish – Adding a new cover, color, or stain can make all the difference.

Resell – If it has value others may very well buy it from you. Ebay and others are growing rapidly!

Recycle - Send it back to be used again. Support your local recycling center.

Compost – Send it back to the earth – literally!
If this is not possible then the item should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.
By putting our creativity and economic power behind these eight activities, we can take substantial action towards developing work that is not only meaningful but can truly add to a sustainable economy.

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