We’re definitely in a mess. No denying. A mess of our own arrogant, industrial, capitalist, growth mentality making.
And you, my readers from Climate Conscious, don’t have to be told what that mess looks like. We see it every day. We weep over it. We get angry. We shout at others not to pollute. Not to buy fashion made by child labor. Not to spray our food with chemicals. Not to…
And I did it. I fought. But not anymore. And this is why.
Fighting gives resistance. Inspiring gives energy.
So I learned. I learned how to transform my anger into inspirational words. I learned how to give my tears to the soil and afterward make my body and soul flow again.
And I learned what it would take to restore ecosystems and learn as human beings how to live within the boundaries of our planet. I’m still learning. And I most probably will be until my grave. It’s is a vast subject.
But doable. And fun!
Ever since I started on this journey I met so many great people!
We need to be with many to make it happen. Will you join us?
“Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.”
This is what we can do to build the new tomorrow.
1 We’re all consumers. We can start simplifying our lives and choose quality over quantity. Shop for basic needs. Choose beautiful, functional products made with love and care. Spend our money where our hearts are.
We’re all citizens. We can care and take responsibility. Make sure we create little waste. No plastic packaging. We can color our lives with experiences instead of stuff.
We can follow our passions. Do what makes our hearts sing. And if you think about money and how to earn a living, have a look at the Ikagai model. It might give you some insights into how to build a ‘right livelihood’.
2 When you are or want to be an entrepreneur, join us with a regenerative business model. These business models create multiple values. Not only money but also healthy soil, clean air, clean water, etc.
We can restore ecosystems and do business at the same time! And the interesting thing is that your business will be very resilient because you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Look at this example of a beer brewer in Montana.
Beer is made of grains and water. But it's not all consumed. It’s just being used and about 80% will be leftover.
In this beer brewery business model, additional products are made with the waste. Spent grains are being used to bake bread and grow mushrooms. A biodigester produces energy. And the phosphate-rich wastewater is great for growing algae and farming fish.
We will unleash the abundance of nature with nature-based technologies and use the synergy of the different products to make a business model out of it.
Thus, one business model creates many products. Many values. Many opportunities. And many income streams to make our business resilient.
Governments, Farmers, and Citizens
3 In order to build a world where we can share with all species on the planet, we need to unleash the abundance of nature.
Until now, we just tried to control the world. And reduce the impact of what we don’t want. We fight pests with insecticides, causing birds to die. Soil and rivers get polluted.
We should think the other way around. If we create biodiversity, rewild nature, we will have fewer problems. Natural enemies will keep pests under control.
- On a small scale, we can rewild nature in our gardens. Don’t think it is an insignificant action. All these small puzzle pieces will make a difference together. And if we make it a natural, edible garden we will have taken a further step towards self-sufficiency. This free online permaculture course from Heather Jo Flores will teach us many ins and outs.
- On a bigger scale, farmers can take action. Care for the soil. Create healthy, living soil. Embrace regenerative agriculture.
- On a very large scale, governments can take action. Large scale ecosystem restoration projects are gaining momentum. In China, an area as big as my home country The Netherlands has been restored already (see picture below). John D. Liu made the inspiring documentary Green Gold about it.
It’s a good plan to unleash the abundance of nature for future food security. But there’s more. Healthy soil is a great absorber of carbon in the air. And as we all know, we need that to deal with climate change.
Governments and Entrepreneurs
4 We can all contribute to systemic solutions. The world is complex, yes. But we can learn how to deal with complexity and implement solutions that really make a difference. Let me give you an example.
In Indonesia, fishing villages and concrete cities are sinking because the drinking water is taken from the ground. Let’s dare to stare this problem in the face, and come up with the short-term and long-term solutions.
- Short-term solution: Desalination. Indonesia is surrounded by saltwater. Let’s use modern technology to create drinking water.
- Long-term solution: Restore water cycles on all islands. Very possible. It can be done in the projects of restoring ecosystems.
As soon as we have these solutions, we can phase out what we don’t want anymore: making drinking water from groundwater. Define a timeline and take action!
Here’s an article with more background on this complex problem with its systemic solutions.
Urgent Need for Systemic Solutions — Indonesia Is Sinking!
Systemic solutions to complex problems can be found! Use a machete and you’ll find clarity for water problems
Designers and Entrepreneurs
5 Designers will be tomorrow’s heroes. They can use local, abundantly available materials to create the products that we need and desire.
The materials already exist and several designers are already working with them. But we need more!
- We need designers making beautiful packaging out of mycelium and fungi
- We need architects who build houses with bamboo
- We need clothes made from seaweed and industrial hemp
- We need coffee waste being reused to produce healthy mushrooms
- We need biodegradable plastics made with bacteria
All of these examples are proven practice. We can do it! We just need more designers and entrepreneurs taking up the challenge to make these products widely available.
Oh, this last one, I cannot resist sharing it with you. This is so cool! Who’s afraid of bacteria? They’re the most useful creatures around!
Too bad they have a PR problem…
With this, I rest my case.
Of course, we should still speak our truths about the horrible world we have created together.
Let’s rewild our souls. Let’s rant and inspire with emotion!
Let’s create art, music, and written or visual stories. But be sure to create energy, not lose it. And in the meantime, build a lush future with concrete action.
Hands in the soil. Nature’s food as our fuel. Feeding our souls.
Functional, durable beauty will be the outcome.
Thank you, Mike, for adding your wise energy to my words.