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What is sustainability? As a definition, I like the one articulated by the 1987 Brundtland Report, “Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” My own definition: https://rwitty.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/sustainable-societyeconomy-definitions/ In the few cases where I’ve been engaged to conduct “sustainability audits” for small companies, the criteria […]

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I remember hearing a Sweet Honey in the Rock song 20 years ago “Are My Hands Clean”, that traced the production of a fashion shirt from the source of its materials, labor, machining, all value-addition. Cotton from who knows where, oil drilled in Bahrain -> refined in ____->made into polyester resin in ____-> blend spun […]

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In the late 80’s and 90’s,  farmers, food manufacturers, distributors, retailers asserted that their products were “organic”. There were multiple standards that were voluntarily adopted and hopefully posted as the basis of assertions on product labeling (sometimes). In the 90’s, the USDA finally realized that distinctly  “organic” food was desired, demanded, by many consumers, and […]

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From my read, consumer power is at an all-time low. There are still magazines like consumer reports, but although they don’t contain advertising, they resemble big brand promotional media. They review laptops, refrigerators, phone plans, etc. That is helpful information, but doesn’t represent the empowering of consumers, of citizens. It supports retail, not cooperation. Consumer […]

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I hope folks got my reference to the great JC (thats John Coltrane – “Chasing the Trane”). My wife made lunch yesterday and she made the exercise to “Chase the Trane”, too easy (I think). We had baked potatoes grown in our backyard, and some grown at friends’ around 7 miles away. That was grown […]

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We don’t have a clue where our products and services come from. We don’t know what materials they were made from, who did it – which real person, where, what unintended affects were caused. With technology, there are so many components, that it is difficult to track methodically. So, I’m going to start with food. […]

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If we were really interested in some indication of whether a product or service complied with a definition of “sustainable”, what would that include? When people speak of sustainable currently, most people think of something comprehensive, more than one characteristic. So what characteristics would that entail? How important is each characteristic to consumers and to […]

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Currently there is no product or supplier designation for compliance with comprehensive sustainability definitions. Its hard to know if that is because the definition of sustainability is difficult to articulate and/or difficult to define a consented universal definition. There are ISO type certifications of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, etc, and those aren’t used as widely […]

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The horrible consequence of the predominance of global scale business (manufacture, logistics and retailing) is that regional marketplaces have been utterly destroyed. When advocates for global trade speak of the new markets created by globalism, they neglect to describe the market scales destroyed in the process. Global Economy encourages specialization and bigness. It is a marketplace really […]

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In looking at my family’s expenditures, I would have expected food to be at or near the top of the list. A sustainable society includes how I live, how simply and fully I and my family are able to meet our needs, and how society is structured to optimally realize live and let live. Please […]

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