With only a handful of hours left in good old 2007, I'm in a reflective mood. I learned a lot this year and hope I was able to share some good tidbits with you about greening your life and, if you're anything like me, the large portion of your life occupied by listening to and enjoying music.
I sometimes wonder which parts of my life my future carbon-taxed
children will challenge. I can almost hear them say, "You actually had to make your own coffee?" or “You washed your gasoline powered car with water?" or "The coach section of an airplane wasn't just standing room?" or "What are liner notes?" (that one will break my heart).
Historians say that we are on the verge of a new era. Up until the year 470, our civilization was in the Classical Age. Then the Roman Empire collapsed and we moved into the Middle Ages and people focused on building communities through shared religious beliefs.
In 1455, the printing press started up and information became transportable, accessible, and cheap. Literacy surged. Scientific theories grew because mass printings allowed those theories to be disseminated to other scientists working in different locations, bringing forth better idea piggy-backing that built bigger and better theories with greater speed. This explosion built the foundation of the Modern Age that focused less on community and more on the individual. We've been hanging out there for a while now…..until recently?
Experts believe we're at the verge of a new era. I think they're right. Look around, you can find almost any product of service you desire through the internet (or even just eBay). Information is not only cheap, it’s practically free. The old pyramid model of government, business, and society is being eroded by the success of decentralized organizations like peer-to-peer file sharing, work from home programs, and open source technologies. We consume, and consume, and consume—and sometimes we consume products that just don’t make sense, and I’m left to wonder how much more humans in the Western world can really absorb.
This brings me to the images of the bathtub
you see to the left. More than just being a beautiful design, it symbolizes what I think the next era will be about: cutting out the unnecessary in everyday life through great design. This bathtub is not only beautiful, environmentally sound, and innovative: it saves the water that would normally be used to fill space under your knees (i.e. space adult bathers don't really use)--without sacrificing the soul-saving experience of a good bath after a long day in a weary world. Sustainability shouldn't be painful--it should be joyful and thought-provoking.
In art and design, the space not occupied by the subject in a portrait or still life is called “negative space”. The space occupied by the subject is in turn called “positive space”. Maybe the next era will focus on getting rid of the unnecessary negative space that wastes resources and maximizing the positive space to make things a little more, er, well, positive! As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Happy 2008, GreenBasers!
Labels: green resources, sarah