We have a lot of stuff. We have neighbors who need stuff to increase the quality of their lives and strengthen their day to day survival. What we don't have are enough connectors, enough systems to efficiently get the stuff from the people who no longer need it to the people who very much do.
So what does a postmodern Earth Day altar call look like? People pledged to learn to live in smaller circles -- to bike less and walk more, to eat locally, to plant gardens. Many pledged to take a digital sabbath -- "no screens on Sunday."
Why Bike Power? There are huge physical and fiscal benefits to biking. With obesity on the rise in U.S. children and one out of every three American adults weighing in obese, biking is one way to get America moving again.
My plan this year for Black Friday was to sit out the retail game altogether. That was before I saw the ad in The New York Times. "Don't Buy This Jacket," exhorted the full-page message sponsored by the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative.
Understanding the "life-cycle" of any consumable good offers a fairly accurate sense of how "green" it really is -- basically, where things come from and what happens to them when we are done with them.
Often, the greenest consumer route is not buying new products made with Earth-friendly methods but rather scoring used products made with traditional, possibly heinous methods. Reduce, reuse, then recycle.