Stuff: The Solution is not for Sale

During the Stone Age, Homo habilis apparently created and used tools. It could be argued that this was the beginning of man’s affinity for stuff. Tools were, and are, valuable and worth carting around from place to place. Speaking of carting, it’s stuff that was the impetus behind the invention of the wheel in the late Neolithic era. Wheels were used to make pottery — ahem, more stuff — and to build horse-driven chariots to carry stuff.

While tools and wheels are pretty fundamental items, many of the things we purchase today are not as necessary. At Mountainfilm in Telluride 2012, we showed Living Tiny, a film about downsizing living spaces. In it, one character says, “ People like having lots of stuff, Americans in particular. Ultimately, you can only occupy 12 square feet of space at a time. Everything else is just a place to keep your stuff.”

What Motivates Companies to Make Environmental Choices? The Bottom Line

Without a federal cap-and-trade program or a national clean energy standard, why do some companies evaluate and reveal their environmental impact? Because it makes good business sense. The “triple bottom line” — which measures success with an eye toward finances, the environment and social impact — is beginning to merge with the plain old bottom line. Saving money means increasing efficiency, and increasing efficiency leads to better environmental decisions.

This trend is seen with such companies as FedEx, which has announced environmental targets to lower emissions. Similarly, UPS is trimming its jet fuel use. Lessening fuel consumption, for both companies, improves the bottom line. Businesses that take such steps are often lauded for their environmental awareness, but does the bottom line — even as it now blends with the triple bottom line — deserve kudos?

Going Green: Saying No to Disposable at Mountainfilm 2011

This year we're really trying to walk the walk, which means we're going for BYOE. Bring Your Own Everything.

We won't be providing any single-use disposable bottles, plates or bowls at this year's festival and we will be strictly minimizing use of disposable cups and utensils.

So that means we want you to come prepared. Be it a spork and bowl, your favorite thermos covered in stickers and an old camp plate, or a fork, spoon and tuperware taken last minute from your kitchen, we encourage you to come prepared!

As always, we will also be recycling and composting, and we will be introducing re-usable pass holders and doing away with laminated passes.

We look forward to seeing what you bring!

Thanks to Klean Kanteen and The New Community Coalition for sponsoring this initiative.