Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 Recap: trials and tribulations.

2009 was a year of mixed success of the green front for me. It's a questions of engagement or engagement. The Silicon Valley is a very intense place and to be an active participant in one's work life and social life is a question of time and distance and the relationship between the two.

I ended up putting a lot more miles on in 2009. Both automotive and aircraft. A new job slightly further away made it difficult to ride my bike to work, and the hours and scheduling of meetings made it tricky to rely on mass transit. When I was able to plan ahead it was quite easy, when I lived and just in time next step scheduling, it was much more difficult. A a creature of least resistance, let's say the path was obvious. The main lesson of the year is scheduling and location dictate greenness. It's that simple. Density facilitates a reduced carbon existence.

The architecture of our work and life needs to radically change. In NYC I spent about 10 days and the difference was huge. I walked everywhere. I commuted to a remote work site by mass transit. The only problem is the architecture of our lives wasn't create overnight and it's not going to change overnight. It'll take enlightened leadership of the type that created our interstate freeway system to build a greenway system of equal magnitude. The first was created in the prosperity of the 50s, the question is can this one be created in poverty on teens?

The other area of green life I was more successful and that was the reuse and recycle route. 2009 resulted in the discovery of sharing and buying used. Garage sales and thrift stores provide saving not only in finances. Replacement items are not transported long distances, no new packaging material is used. And for many things, you can get new items second hands. As many individuals receive unwanted gifts, it's good to see the gifts find a wanting home. My only wish was that hardware companies opened up the drivers of old technologies so that new uses for old technology could be found.

So 2009 in brief:

1) Being an active participant in society the way our society is structured is carbon unfriendly, changing the architecture will take time. We have working templates.

2) Technology and resources to make sure things get used effectively are getting possible. You can avoid buying new and still have a good life.


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