“There goes another million dollar idea”

In times of great change, the opportunities are endless. Maybe Confucius said it hundreds of years ago.  Definitely, I said it 20 seconds ago.

My friend Margo was telling me about her experience hanging out with a friend of hers.  Through the course of the conversation, seemingly ever half an hour, her friend would remark. “there goes another million dollar idea!” 

“The guy just sees opportunity everywhere!” Margo shared with me. ”and ya know what’s weird, when I did a survey of business incubators around the state, several directors mentioned this phenomenon. About half of the people who came in, wanted to do something, be a part of something, but didn’t know what!”

As Margo is telling me this story the proverbial light bulb went off…. “Those people need each other!!”  Well, duh!!

This is the kind of connections a Think and Do Tank can create. As we jump into creating sustainable lifestyles, everybody can be an essential participant!

Today you’re clueless…”just give me something to do”, but to the person who is spewing out ideas, you are gold.  … READ MORE >>

3rd of 29 Ways to Make Money on Your Home-Open a Commercial Shop

I’ve started a list of good ideas that come about if we rethink the functions and interplay of our home and its neighborhood.  So far I’ve got 29 killer (If I do say so myself)  ideas.  The first 7 are home oriented, the last 22 are more neighborhood oriented. Add your ideas to the list via the comment area!

Home Design 

Home Occupation

I like the idea, the signage could be improved!

3. Rent Out a Work Space

Live/work homes have a separate workspace with commercial potential. What if you reconfigured part of your house to be a workshop or a commercial space?  Of course the zoning may not allow it.  Here in Santa Fe, home occupation is an accepted usage, with conditions on how many parking spaces and the number of allowable employees. A big difference between home occupation and commercial in the eyes of Santa Fe regulations is the home occupation is for appointment only customers/

If your clientele would “follow you home” , opening up your business out of your house could be a large saving.

Maybe your house has a great location, and a neighbor is interested in opening up a yoga studio;  maybe you just don’t need such a big house, and could use the income. … READ MORE >>

Curriculum – Because life is for learning!

I should have been a woodshop teacher, (BA in Industrial Arts) but went into construction instead.

Much to my amazement, I keep being drawn to learning, my own ongoing growth and the Santa Fe School District’s trials and tribulations. Quite a few years ago, I came across the idea that schools could be centers of communities; in fact they used to be, all across America. The light bulbs went off…What if schools were reconfigured and became the hearts of “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning, and open space”??!!

vida streetscape

Live, work, play, learn, shop, all within walking

If they were conveniently located, and multiple stories for commercial shops and teacher’s housing were added for smarter density, teachers could walk to READ MORE >>

Is your neighborhood playing with A FULL DECK OF CARDS?

is your neighborhood playing with a full deck of cards?

To help folks become conversant in all the parts that go into a sustainable neighborhood, while having fun at the same time, how bout a deck of playing cards??!  Like baseball cards, but with a different component on each card; An illustration on the face, and info on the back…”Collect em all!”

The cards could tie into Lessons Learned, Ideas, Tools, How to… , Sustainable Rules of Thumb, Indicators, etc and maybe the big village scene.  Hey, submit your ideas for cards, and if your idea(s) is chosen, we’ll send you a pack of cards!

Make em totally fun, and yet informative, and empowering. Remember, the challenge is to make sustainable neighborhoods as popular as cell phones, so they’ll spread across the planet like wildfire!

Hey, how can we be making sustainable real, if your neighborhood isn’t playing with a full deck of cards??!!

Submit your ideas Here!!

If it ain’t FUN, it ain’t sustainable!

I think that says it all!  “If it ain’t Fun, it ain’t sustainable!”

I can get overwhelmed by the immensity of it all; the Impending Bummers, the complexity of all these systems within  systems, trying to figure out how we are gonna learn to collaborate on such large scales, when we’re so busy it’s hard to get three people together at any one time.

As a visionary wannabe facilitator of sustainable neighborhoods, who’s  been going for “What else can we do beside suburbia?” for 30 + years, I’ve learned some useful tools along the way. A major learning is working with the inspiration within. At times I call it “Letting go, and letting God”.  Now I know we have deep convictions about separating church and state, and I don’t want to use language that might create separation between us, so please just consider this concept, and substitute the words that work for you…. READ MORE >>

350 ppm-A number we can live with

350 is a pretty dang  good batting average. It’s also the amount of carbon in parts per million that scientists have agreed upon that makes for a sustainable planet. In other words, if we want to avoid a lot of the impending bummers that come with Global Warming, we need to figure out how to get the amount of carbon in the atmosphere back to 350 ppm (carbon sequestration). And we need to then stablize the amount of carbon we release each year to 350 ppm.

I think we are currently at 387 ppm.  not so good for ocean levels rising from melting ice…etc.

I’ve listed 350 ppm as an Indicator.  We need good indicators so we can tell how we’re doing. As we redesign our neighborhoods sustainable, we need a “killer” modeling tool (s) to give us feedback.  ”Are we there yet??”

Every decision comes with a bunch of consequences…If we can keep our carbon spew down to 350, we have a good idea we are getting close to one aspect of ecological sustainability.  I’m so amazed at how complicated our lives have become.

It seemed so easy to just crank out suburbia, go to work, manufacture stuff, go shopping, retire and play golf into the Golden Years.  Alas, those days are gone. With great modeling tools and sound indicators, we can figure out how to live on the planet with billons of our fellow citizens.

We can do this, we can make sustainable real!… READ MORE >>

Cap & Trade-smoke and mirrors?

I’ve read a couple of articles about cap and trade, and the authors seem to think it’s bogus.  Way too complicated. A boondoggle to make the same clever people who brought us the foreclosure bummer even richer.

Here’s Anne Leonard’s take on it.

The idea I like is to tax carbon, and lift taxes on income.  In this way, folks will be encouraged to take their savings and invest in renewable energy.  I cannot believe how happy newspaper stories report on increase fossil fuel production, or the good news about nuclear energy…What planet are these people living on???… READ MORE >>

Recycling… because trash isn’t really trash!

I just moved all my stuff out of my office, as we had a broken water pipe next door and my flooring warped. All my stuff is boxed and stacked under the front portal (porch). As I was packing up all the books and collected cool stuff, I started feeling oppressed by all my stuff.  It’s like my stuff has me, rather than I have stuff.

I have a lot of good books and magazines about sustainability. I want to  start a library, a sustainability center reading room; share all my good stuff. Well, maybe I’ll keep my cool collected stuff. It’s amazing how much stuff we have….I bet all the storage units in the US combined would cover Texas!

Have you seen The Story of Stuff? It’s a real eye opener, it’s incredible at how much waste is created as our stuff gets mined, manufactured, and transported. Something like 6% stuff, 94% waste!!!!

Enough about stuff… what about recycling?…  READ MORE >>

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