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Downsize Me (Podcast Episode 13)

Imagine you can live large – trophy house, fancy toys, caveman diet – but the costs are miniscule. Would you find that appealing? Or would you rather simplify your lifestyle and make your footprint the thing that’s miniscule? Is downsizing simply a way to supersize your consumption without maximizing your footprint? The latest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines these questions, as explored in the film, Downsizing.

“Downsizing may be about a small world, but it is an audacious, out-sized peach of a picture.”  – Ian Freer, Empire Magazine

The film, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, is now available for rent and purchase – on Amazon, GooglePlay and YouTube. The DVD is available on Netflix. GrowthBusters director Dave Gardner is joined by new co-host Dana Hicky to discuss the film, and that means overpopulation, overshoot, overconsumption, and climate change are on the agenda. . . .

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Young man trying to manipulate Earth with joystick

Are We Too Stupid to Manage the Planet? (Podcast)

Are human beings too stupid to manage the planet? Just asking the question invokes some misplaced conceit; we’ve wreaked havoc on the Earth largely because of our assumption that Earth is all about us. The truth is, we have no business trying to “manage” the planet. But, the scale of the human enterprise has become so gargantuan, that – in many respects – we ARE managing the planet (managing it into oblivion).

In the newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, we discuss a Raw Story interview with the great, great grandson of Charles Darwin. One of Chris Darwin’s thoughts is that we are poorly equipped to manage the planet. Of course he is right. Chris has launched an app called Darwin Challenge (link below). He’s also focusing a lot of attention on the destructive, unsustainable nature of our appetite for meat. . . .

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K-cup, Hummer and compost

Green Cars, Coffee and Kitchen Scraps

Can Americans get over our love affair with big, gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs? Are you considering environmental impact when you choose your car or coffee maker? One of our goals at GrowthBusters is to make it second nature to consider your footprint in all you do. The newest episode of the GrowthBusters podcast examines EPA plans to rollback auto fuel efficiency standards. What policy prescriptions would be fair AND effective in encouraging us to make lower carbon-footprint decisions?

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling K-Cups, from Consumer Reports, sparks a lively discussion and quest to determine the lowest-impact way to brew your coffee. Did Ben and I hurt Kaitlyn and her parents’ feelings when we characterized the Keurig single-serve coffee craze as “silly”? Not our intention, but what do you think? Do we really need single-serving coffee pods? You might be surprised that these account for a huge percentage of the coffee maker market. The conversation does reveal fascinating facts about the recyclability of various types of pods. . . .

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bottled water, apartment bldg and skull and cross bones

Small is Beautiful After All

A new episode of the GrowthBusters podcast is out.

On tap:

If you haven’t yet committed to avoid purchasing or drinking factory-bottled water, a recent study offers one more reason. Learn more on the podcast. Although I do encourage you to, as I’ve done, commit to avoid bottled water at all costs, let me be the first to tell you:

It will NOT save the planet.

Having grown world population WAY beyond a sustainable level of 2 billion and having continued to grow the global economy after we first exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity in the mid-1970s, we are so far into overshoot that “being green” – while important – is not nearly enough. Unless by “being green” you mean conceiving no more than one child, living as simply as you can, and telling politicians that promising economic growth will NOT earn your vote. Still…skip the bottled water. More about “why” on the podcast. . . .

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Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

Would You Eat a Bug to Save the Planet?

To what extremes are we willing to go, to fit more and more people and bigger and bigger economies on a finite planet? It seems we’re willing to give up many freedoms, conveniences, safety and security, but we’re not willing to acknowledge we’re overpopulated or overconsuming. Addressing those root causes is not an option.

So, get ready to give up that dream home, meat, golf, rock concerts and air travel; and start whipping up a batch of cricket smoothies. In this episode of the GrowthBusters podcast, the  team discusses the newest footprint-shrinking strategies and whether we’ll adopt them before things are “semi-apocalyptic.” How far will we go, before we’re willing to strongly suggest limiting our offspring and settling for a smaller, stable and sustainable economy? . . .

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