Imagine Paris-Roubaix. The peloton is going full
gas to position for a narrow cobbled sector ahead. Racing into a funnel there won’t be room for all.
Society’s “funnel” is the convergence between a reduction of numerous systems (eg. resources, air/water quality) and increased strain on these systems (eg. Pollution, population and demand).
A “funnel” metaphor helps visualize the pressure facing our society today. The present converging systems are unsustainable. The need to identify
and create sustainable systems is paramount.
The Earth is like a locked greenhouse; a closed system in which energy can pass in and out of our biosphere, but matter cannot.
Any systematic increase in concentrations of pollution accumulate infinitely within the finite liveable space. Imagine living in that greenhouse as it fills with exhaust.
The Earth’s thermodynamic systems function to balance natural limits, flows and concentrations.
This resilient, evolving system was sustainable for 4.5 billion years until our societal influence has imbalanced natural levels with compounding affect. Resource depletion increases and climate change is accelerating from a few centuries work.
As we transitioned from Nomadic to Sedentary, society began degrading the biosphere with our systematic over-exploitation of the physical
landscape with factors such as deforestation.
Mining and drilling over the last 1500 yrs, saw the systematic, large scale introduction of substances from the Lithosphere into the Biosphere such as Mercury and Fossil Fuels.
Lastly, in the most recent chemical era, society has been engineering complex, persistent chemical compounds which are bio-accumulating in our air, water and topsoil.
Based on this understanding of the system and the current unsustainable activities of our society we can create a list of System Conditions for a sustainable planet.
In a sustainable society, the natural world is not subject to systematic increases in:
- 1. Physical degradation of the biosphere (beyond natural periods of regeneration)
- 2. Natural substances from the Lithosphere to the Biosphere (beyond natural flows)
- 3. Chemical substances created by society (which are persistent and bio-accumulate)
We hold these 3 principles of the natural world as a goal.
We also commit to a further 4th principle that people are not subject to conditions which undermine their
ability to meet their basic human needs. We know this journey will take time and change won't happen overnight.
We’ve begun by:
- 1. Manufacturing in-house
- 2. Using raw material from our waste streams
- 3. Buying raw material as close as possible
- 4. Delivering locally by bike
- 5. Offsetting Carbon Emissions from shipping
- 6. Low-energy and efficient workspaces
- 7. Planning for local manufacturing hubs