Sup tree-huggers? This week I did not have an epiphany. Unfortunately I was not in class on Thursday for the discussions but I did read, “How will we conduct business? Closing the Loops in Commerce: Running a Business Like a Redwood Forest”. I found it to be pretty interesting. I never would have thought to ‘become like to nature to save nature’ so that was an unexpected perspective. I know that’s not word for word but that is basically what industrial ecology is about. The author asks, “what if our economy were to deliberately look like the natural world in which it is embedded? Wouldn’t we be more likely to be accepted and sustained by the natural world over time?” That is quite a good point, although it’s not the most realistic idea, it makes sense to me. I have to say that the most important thing that I learned was even though we may not ever reach the point where we “become like a redwood not like a ragweed” in every aspect of our economy, we still must become self-aware. When we become self-aware, we can recognize what we are doing, how our actions are impacting the environment and what we need to change in our actions to prevent further damage. It will not ‘save the world’ but it could definitely help us decrease our ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude towards our society/economy.
Learning this information is pretty useful, especially when I think about a few of the ‘ten commandment’s of the redwood clan’. Several of these are very relevant and useful to everyday life, like shopping locally, using material sparingly, optimizing rather than maximizing, and gather and use energy efficiently. It would be wise for us to apply all of these principles to our lives, individually and collectively (in the corporate world.)
Knowing what I know now, I would like to learn more about all of these massive corporations that are making efforts to integrate industrial ecology into their companies and what kind of ‘trickle down effect’ it is having on their employees and how they operate their businesses.