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Align Empowering Humanity

Compose Conscious, Connected, & Integrative Systems

Over the past thir­ty years, con­sumer lifestyle has grad­u­al­ly become over­sized and unsus­tain­able. In the next thir­ty years, pop­u­lar lifestyle will be less about ego and more aligned with nature’s cycles to estab­lish bal­anced ecosys­tems.

“Anoth­er world is not only pos­si­ble, she is on her way. On a qui­et day, I can hear her breath­ing.” — Arund­hati Roy

Com­mon every­day items, that quick­ly come in and out of our lives, can be realigned with more last­ing prin­ci­ples. In many ways, some of the sim­plest changes are also the most wide­ly effec­tive. The ques­tion of “paper” or “plas­tic” for gro­cery bags is bet­ter replaced by the ques­tion of do you need to bring anoth­er bag into cir­cu­la­tion at all, or can you sim­ply reuse one? Same goes for straws. Paper has replaced plas­tic, but that still accounts for a lot of straws going to waste. Why are straws so impor­tant any­way? Many of the nov­el­ties of mod­ern life have become unnec­es­sary con­ve­niences. In order to cre­ate more inte­gra­tive sys­tems of engage­ment, we can begin to make more con­scious efforts to bet­ter use the abun­dance of resources we already have at hand.

“The Gar­den­er”, Suzanne Treis­ter

The idea of a closed loop of goods has been around for some time. One exam­ple of main­stream sus­tain­abil­i­ty that doesn’t require a huge shift in per­spec­tive is Patagonia’s Worn Wear. With this pro­gram for keep­ing per­fect­ly-wear­able used cloth­ing in rota­tion, the cloth­ing man­u­fac­tur­er is help­ing out the envi­ron­ment by stretch­ing out the life­cy­cle of prod­ucts that would nor­mal­ly be turned to trash soon­er. As the com­pa­ny rea­sons on their web­site, “the best thing we can do for the plan­et is get more use out of stuff we already own, cut­ting down on con­sump­tion.”

“The more you know, the less you need.” — Yvon Chouinard

The world doesn’t real­ly need any more sneak­ers. There’s actu­al­ly enough of every­thing, if only the bal­ance of dis­tri­b­u­tion can reach greater align­ment between sup­ply and demand. As pub­lic dis­cus­sion focus­es more and more around the top­ic of sus­tain­abil­i­ty, humans will increas­ing­ly find ways to redis­trib­ute and con­serve resources to bet­ter inte­grate them­selves with­in the nat­ur­al world.

Tex­tile spin­ner, ca. 1910

In anoth­er effort to dimin­ish our col­lec­tive trash, a recent joint ven­ture between Ital­ian health­care group Angeli­ni, and Proc­ter & Gam­ble, the world’s largest dia­per sup­pli­er, set out to inves­ti­gate what to do with the end prod­uct of a $4 bil­lion-a-year dia­per mar­ket. These con­glom­er­ates have begun a poten­tial­ly piv­otal, new pro­gram that looks to recy­cle absorbent hygiene prod­ucts like dia­pers, incon­ti­nence pads, and fem­i­nine hygiene prod­ucts, with a plan to roll out in ten cities by 2030. For 2035–2050+, the company’s vision of prod­ucts and pack­ag­ing con­sists of 100% renew­able or recy­cled mate­ri­als. The prod­ucts being devel­oped from these recy­cled mate­ri­als range from school desks to play­grounds to bot­tle tops. In addi­tion, recy­cled cel­lu­lose can be turned into fab­ric or paper, while super-absorbent poly­mer has poten­tial appli­ca­tions in gar­den­ing, or cre­at­ing flood bar­ri­ers.20

The more that com­pa­nies and indi­vid­u­als pri­or­i­tize reusing, recy­cling, and repur­pos­ing objects, the more that poten­tial appli­ca­tions will evolve. The most sig­nif­i­cant change we have in mind is recy­cling and rein­vent­ing mate­ri­als that are already in exis­tence and trans­form­ing them into imag­i­na­tive new forms. We believe that pur­su­ing this approach will lead to a larg­er, sus­tain­able tra­di­tion of more con­scious, con­nect­ed, and inte­gra­tive sys­tems.

Eye Test Chart, George May­er­le, 1907
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