Earth Day and Constructive Thinking

Actions Speak Louder than Words

The annual Earth Day is marked by a mix of ideas ranging from inspired initiatives to shameless ideas where the purpose it to get us to buy even more.  “Together, we can help to make Every Day Earth Day!” is a great idea but when it is put next to signs, where the price has been reduced on bottles of water (an article about the impact of bottled water can be found here). Well, maybe it was not such a great idea after all.

The goal to get one billion Green Acts on Earth Day is a step in the right direction. You can sign up and commit yourself to make a change. Actions speak louder than words. You can promise yourself to turn off the water when you brush your teeth, plant a tree, or hold an Earth –Day Event to mention a few ideas.

Yet, choosing actions that makes a long-term difference to the conditions on Earth is difficult to say the least. So many factors interact and influence each other and determining the best action is not easy. Every action has a consequence and the effects are often always easy to predict. Is it better to buy locally produced food and prevent people in developing country from selling the food in your local shop? It might seem like a great idea until someone points out that the farmer in the developing country will then exploit the soil more to increase the profit to support the family. They may test GM crop and this will affect the market price on food in your country, which will. . .  well, vicious circles are difficult to break and making the right choice is not easy.

Consider Different Aspects

Turning your attention to different aspects of a problem is a vital skill. However, it is a skill that it is easy to overestimate. We tend to believe that we have explored the problem from all angles. Yet, it is vital to stop and reflect on the thinking so far.

Traditions and old ways of doing things are part of our culture and of our thinking. Take a subject such as architecture. We expect that architects should be great designers, and good  at mathematics and physics. Most of the training of architects consists of physics and mathematics. Yet, biology is the base of health on Earth. The position of the sun may be taken into account especially if you are building the northern hemisphere where the numbers of south facing windows are important. But mostly architects look at factors such as the volume, surface area, and the number of rooms. Viewing a building as part of an ecosystem where the flows need to be taken into account. Flows are factors such as air, light, sound, matter, energy, occupants, and water. The health of a person is vital when designing a house and the flows influences our health and well being. The ways architects are educated influence our health and well-being and the problem spreads though the society.

Gunter Pauli says that natural systems always use flow in their designs. Interactions between different flows are also part of nature. Using these principles to design our society will provide us with solutions that natural systems have been sign for millions of years. These buildings would be more than green they would enhance well-being and create a balance between humans and ecosystems. Leonard da Vinci was one of the first architects that stressed the importance of flow and the imagined cites that was designed based upon the flows of water, waste, and people.  Leonardo took the surrounding of the building into account and the garden was regarded as part of the house.

Twist and Turn

Exploring a subject before making a decision is part of everyday life. Many of us check and compare prices on different items before we buy them. Other aspects in the decision may change the way you select items or even the way you shop. Including new factors and aspects is not easy. Often knowledge about factors that influence a process is not enough to gain new insights. Twisting and turning aspects such as looking at a building from above, underneath, inside and outside may help you to include vital factors. And so may turning and twisting your everyday actions – today, and tomorrow.

In the book “Blue Economy” by Gunter Pauli you can read about ways to use the wisdom of science and combine it with art and beauty. Gunter Pauli directs the “Zero Emissions Research Initiative” (ZERI), which is a network of creative minds seeking solutions to world challenges. He describes himself as a person with a mission with passion.

Photo: Abstract Background With World Map by maple

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