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“What matters now”: importance of conservation

I’m reading What Matters Now, the free e-book (PDF here) produced by Seth Godin (with contributions by ~60 [I think] different writers: short, single-page length nuggets of wisdom or inspiration or questions to ponder).

On page 37 I came across the entry by Piers Fawkes, whose PSFK site, with its global orientation, I used to read religiously before I got trapped in a particularly sordid local situation in Victoria, BC. (The situation is, of course, our current city council’s plan to replace the historic Johnson Street Bridge, although the word “plan” is an abuse of language in this case.)

Anyway… Here’s Fawkes’s entry. I bolded (and underlined) a key bit, one that I wish our city council would open its eyes to.


You are immortal. The result of everything you do today will last forever.

Everything you buy, own, consume is likely to last forever somewhere in a landfill. Even the majority of the the recyclable materials you use will not be processed and these ‘green’ items will be found piled up in deep far-off valleys whether you like it or not.

When our great great grandchildren finally work out how to solve the selfish errors of our time, we will be considered primitive: our balance with our habitat ignored in pursuit of progress.

But as humans we strive for progress. We will not live alone self sufficiently on our rural hectare and therefore we must bring simple common sense to everything we buy, own & consume. If they will last forever, then we must make these items as useful as they can be for as long as possible.

Products needs to be kept, repaired, loaned and shared. Packaging needs to be reused and returned. That is progress.

Yes, the future will have smaller markets but tomorrow’s business leaders will be the first ones to build markets today that have a focus on forever.

Piers Fawkes inspires his readers, event attendees and corporate clients to make things better. His latest click to print book is Good Ideas in 2010.

In other words, it is better to repair than to replace.

Johnson Street Bridge by Brandon Godfrey on

Johnson Street Bridge by Brandon Godfrey on

Photo by Brandon Godfrey – on here

1 Comment

  1. I agree – repair this bridge rather than replace it with an expensive and unneccesary new one!

    Comment by Matthew — December 18, 2009 #

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