It’s another Monday morning as I write this, which means I’m once again racking my brain for what might be a good blog topic. That’s how lots of Monday mornings go. It’s not uncommon for me to start writing on two or three different topics before settling on one I feel good about.
As I struggled through this little tradition today, I had a brilliant moment of insight (or at least I thought it was brilliant – you might just call me lazy). I should start an eight-part blog series! That’s nearly two months of blog topics at one fell swoop!
***Public Service Announcement*** – Shakespeare appears to have coined that last phrase in Macbeth. I bet you didn’t know that. I didn’t know that until I looked it up to make sure I was using it properly. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Here’s the plan. The next seven blog posts will be a guided tour up the Seven Fronts of Mount Sustainability, Ray Anderson’s famous zero-footprint metaphor. You might recall a brief summary of this in my Buzzwords blog post a couple of weeks ago. Ray and his team at Interface conceptualized the summit of this peak, which Ray called higher than Everest, as the point at which his company could claim to be fully sustainable, with no negative impact on the environment.
Each week, I will focus on one of the fronts. In order, they’ll be zero waste, benign emissions, renewable energy, closed-loop manufacturing, resource efficient transportation, sensitizing stakeholders, and redesigning commerce. Rather than focus on Interface’s progress (which is remarkable, by the way), I’ll instead use each front as a theme, sharing a story or some thoughts that relate to it.
For now, I want to offer some perspective from base camp. Looking up at its distant peak, Mount Sustainability doesn’t look like an ordinary mountain. First, you’ll notice that there aren’t many climbers on the mountain. The surrounding hills like Less Bad Knoll and Marginal Improvement Ridge have a lot of day-hikers, which is certainly good. They offer some great views that you just can’t get inside the nearby town of Status Quo. Unfortunately though, few of these climbers have set their sights on the big mountain.
As a result, you’ll also notice that this mountain has few blazed trails. It is wild and untamed, so any adventurers will want to bring a well-honed machete and a pack stuffed with ingenuity and dedication. Successful climbers will need to be creative to find viable pathways to the top.
Lastly, Mount Sustainability can only be conquered when all of its faces have been successfully scaled. Maybe that’s why so few have set out on the journey to zero-footprint: you can’t just pick the easiest path and hustle to the top. You have to walk every step of the easiest and hardest pathway, along with all the other pathways in between.
Sound daunting? It is. But it’s also doable. So grab your gear and let’s get climbing. The Zero Waste front is up first.