Tag Archives: sustainability

Efficiency, waste, and backyard chickens

Most of the talk about reducing food waste focuses on big solutions and improving efficiency, but big solutions tend to create waste; in fact the pursuit of efficiency itself can create new kinds of waste even while limiting other kinds. Let me give just one example of why: Chickens. Continue reading

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Boycotts, action, and penance

What I would suggest, therefore, is this: Whenever you sign a boycott or a petition, any time you email a corporation or a Congressperson to ask that they change their own behavior or force a change in someone else’s, first think of five things that you could have done, relative to the same issue or a closely related one, in the past month, but did not do. Then think of one thing that you could do, and do it. The five things ensure that you don’t get to feel self-righteous about your action; the one ensures that you take personal responsibility for the issue. Continue reading

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What’s “processed”?

Suppose you want to eat less processed food. Given how and what most Americans eat, that impulse is probably a good one. But once we go beyond the obvious (cheese curls, sugar cereal, hot dogs) you find yourself down the … Continue reading

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The solar woodshop, explained

These days it’s all green this and renewable that, solar houses and electric cars and trains that run on cow farts. Well, look, my woodshop runs on solar energy, too. My daughter drew this diagram to show you all how … Continue reading

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The lap of luxury

Before Christmas I received an email from someone who seemed to be quite angry with my whole “new agrarian” idea. I won’t embarrass him by quoting extensively (it wasn’t a particularly nice email), but he made this point: All the … Continue reading

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