April 22nd-Earth Day, 2014

Today is officially Earth Day, although I have been posting Earth Day, Every Day to drive the point home that we need to be conscious every day of how we treat the planet. While looking through my “green” library, I came across a book I had forgotten I had. For those of you over 50, you may remember the Whole Earth Catalog, a massive book that was introduced years ago, first published in 1968. I have the 1994 version called The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools & Ideas for the Twenty-First Century. It is 384 pages, 11″ X 14″ and is in black & white.

Since I just found it, I have not had time to review it, so I decided to choose one section to highlight: SUSTAINABILITY (page 64)

Sustainability umbrellas include the following:

1. are environmentally friendly

2. provide an equitable return on goods and services

3. direct national budgets and corporate capital to promote environmentally friendly, equitable production

4. educate and cajole politicians and civilians, labor and management toward long-term thinking.

These practices are guided by the concepts of:

1) Waste not, want not.

2) Respect for the sun.

3) Respect unconditionally the network of living creatures of which we are a part.

On this same page is the document I have seen before by Donella H. Meadows entitled: If the World Were a Village. Imagine a village of 1,000 people. Then the author breaks it down into ethnic groups, languages, number of babies born to each group, what they would own, how many would have access to clean water (1/3), half of the adults would be illiterate, etc.

The kind of information in the catalog was unique at the time it was written. I plan to browse through it over the summer and  report back any interesting items that I find by going through the Table of Contents and choosing something from each srction. Here are the topics:

Whole Systems
Taming Technology
Political Tools


2 thoughts on “April 22nd-Earth Day, 2014

  1. I grew up in a sustainable household where we grew our own vegetables and fruits and composted the shavings. My mother sewed my clothes or others passed on what they no longer wore. We walked to school, to the store, to the library, and we were generally not transported to recreational spots because there was gas rationing. I took it for granted until I realized much later how people threw away perfectly good clothes and shoes without a thought to their value to someone else. After the war, we traveled all across the country seeing our wonderful National Parks where we camped. We had friends all over, so we were able to stop periodically and clean up. It was a simpler life, but we enjoyed what we worked hard for like planting and gathering the harvest. We continued some of the same things,
    and our grandchildren are all Scouts, trying to recapture what we knew quite automatically through our conditioning

  2. Our generation grew up with a self-sufficient mentality. My mother sewed our clothes. She cooked,
    baked, and canned food. Bicycle riding was a fun activity. Moving from Jersey City to Woodbridge
    Township was a big change. Buses came every hour at 5 minutes after the hour. Miss that and you
    wait for the next bus. Fortunately our stop was 1/2 block from us. City transportation was more
    frequent. Dad built an extensions to our house and our garage. We walked to the local stores.
    Imagine – we now say, “The good old days”.

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