Thursday, December 19, 2013

Citizenship...


When we set out on this journey, we thought it would be something that would be simple.  we were right.  It is simple.  The concept overall is simple.  It is easy to grasp and to hold on to.  Sadly, though, simplicity and ease are not the same thing.  It is very simple to lead a horse to water.The trick has been to make it easier and easier and that is the beauty of the modern world.

We set out to create a space where everyone can do what they want, so long as those things do not harm anyone else.
We set out to create a place where the art and the viewer are closer together...
We set out to create a place where the music and the listener are closer together...
There is less between good food and the tongue...
There is less between the artist and their art.
We looked at situations and we solved the problems.

We have already pledged that this is going to be the year that we speak but it is also going to be the year that we listen.

We are building our city in the woods and the wheels are in motion. A nation needs its citizens or it is not a nation and a nation must provide for those citizens.  We reward our supporters so those who are coming to and pay full price for one event, you are a citizen.  Every time you see something that we post at EQgreenville, there will be a citizen option.  This is the year that the more you support these things that you believe in, the easier we make it...The more the artist gets, the more we support the venue, the more we can make happen.
To become a citizen, become a part of any of these things... Spend your values this year and support something that means something to you!
Subscribe to our CSA...
http://briarstfarm.blogspot.com/2013/12/what-exactly-is-csa-and-other.html

OR get your tickets to ....

The Paris Mountain Music Festival  March 13, 14, 15
http://parismountainmf.blogspot.com/2013/12/tickets-tickets-tickets.html

OR get your tickets to...

Women's Weekend in the Woods April 4, 5, 6th
http://mountainwomenweekend2012.blogspot.com/2013/12/womens-weekend-in-woods-2014.html

We are bullding a community and there are many paths to citizenship...Join and support in your own way, with the things that mean something to you!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Greenville Ink...My Ink Tells a Story

Tattoos are amazing things.  It is one of the few true collaborative arts between the art and the artist.  When we came up with the idea for this project, we forgot about that.  We forgot about what these things mean and what even the name of the event means.  My ink tells a story.  It is a representation of a moment in time that was meant to be remembered.  It is a snapshot of an event.  It is about the remembrance of a loved one, about the celebration of love, and/or the capture of beauty.

For a few weeks in the planning of this event, I got to be the weird guy who talked to people about their tattoos in odd circumstances.  I talked to people in bars and in parking lots and I asked them who did their tattoos.  The link between the artist and the person getting the tattoo is s close one, but not many of the people I approached talked about their artists.

They would look at their tattoos and tell me about them.  They would tell me about what was going on in their lives that made them get the tattoo.  They would tell me how the day went and how the tattoo that they got was something that they had thought about for weeks, months, or years.  They would talk about what would make them take that fateful step and have something on their body that they would have to look at every time they stepped out of the shower.  They would have to endure people like me stopping them in parking lots and asking them about them.

Some people want them to be seen.  Some put them in a special place on their body that only they can see.  Their little secret.  So when we say that "My ink tells a story." it does.

Those are the things that we wanted to highlight.  Those are the things that we wanted to promote and at some point we lost sight of that in the face of egos and food costs and promo and what they were going to get out of the deal and who gets credit.  We forgot that your ink tells a story.  We forgot that some people got tattoos because they lost a child or had cancer.  We forget the stories.

Getting a tattoo is a collaborative effort.  What story does your ink tell?  Let us know! We have talked about the artists, let's talk about the art.  No matter where you got your tattoo, if you want to tell the story of it, please write us at eqgreenville@gmail.com.  We will record the story that you want to tell to be aired on our podcast on Dec. 20. Let your ink tell its story.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why We Do This...

I made a big mistake this morning... I took a moment to read the Facebook page of an organization I have been trying to support.  It is easy to step back and say, we are going to have an event and give the money to charity, but it is quite another thing to actually interact with that charity or organization that is doing some good.
Let me back up a bit.  A few months ago, we started working with some organizations to do some pretty unique things we thought.  We wanted to get a lot of people together and have some fun.  I didn't think we could or should do something like that without it having some sort of positive component.  If we are going to get wild, let's get wild for good.
The economy this year has been horrible.  People have been struggling and when the economy struggles, donations to non-profits go down.  People begin to worry about how they are going to get to and from work, how they are going to pay for college or medical expenses and so on.  When that is the case, they stop thinking about what they can do for others and do the airplane thing, which is make sure they have oxygen before helping others.
It is all well and good to say that we want to help others but it is quite another to actually SEE it and to think about what the results are going to be.  That is where I messed up.  I took a look at the Facebook page of the organization that we are trying to support with Greenville Ink and I had to take a moment to cry.
For those of you who do not know me in person, I am a big dude, scruffy and dirty, but I melt like a child when I see someone in need.  There is a stream of consciousness thing that I do when see something that frustrates me.  I think about what led to that thing and I think about what the results will be.  I think about what could have been done to avoid it.
What got me was a post that school was going to be cancelled because of flooding issues in the classroom.  I took a moment to let that sink in.  School on Nov. 27 was cancelled because the classroom was flooding.  This is a school where working parents drop their children off for education and care while they head to work.  For those who cannot afford it, this school, provides scholarships and partial scholarships and on November 27, they had to cancel classes.
That means not only were there no classes, but working people forced to find other means to take care of their children.  Someone, somewhere had to stay home or get someone to babysit.  The school was flooded.
So, whether or not you believe me when I say I want to help them.  Whether or not you think EQGreenville is a scam or some sort of thing, that is fine.  My concern is school was cancelled on Nov. 27 because it was flooded and we can help.
Skip us.  Fine. Go to UU World of Children and make a donation. Come to Greenville Ink and make a donation to another organization that these artists support, like Autism Speaks or Wounded Warrior...EQGreenville will find other ways to make money to support the things that we do. When people ask why I do what I do, it is because they cancelled school on Nov. 27 because the school was flooded, go to their Facebook page and see for yourself.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Why I Hate Roman Mars....Not Really...Well Kinda...

I like to walk.  When I walk I think.  I do not have headphones in my ear.  I am, however, obsessed with podcasts.  I like to listen to them while I am doing things around the house
or while I am at work, but never when I am walking.  I think when I walk.

Yesterday when I was walking, I thought about something that I had heard on a podcast and it troubled me.  It was about my phone.  I have not gone so far as to invest in a smart phone because I think the design is awful and it is only getting worse (yes, I will tell you how I really feel.).  I have a flip phone and I like it, but thanks to Roman Mars and his podcast 99% Invisible, I now see it as woefully inadequate.

99% Invisible is a podcast about design and I like it because it makes me think abut things that I would normally have never considered.  Though initially, I went to school to be an engineer, I quickly switched to liberal arts because I am horrible at math.  That being said, I still have what I like to believe is an eye for design.

The most recent podcast was about interfaces and it was really very challenging.  It talked about the interface.  The interface is the way that we act and react to and with technology.  The QWERTY keyboard, the steering wheel, and more.  My favorite and the one that is currently breaking my brain is the phone.

The podcast touched on the idea that the flip phone that was initially created by Motorolla was backward.  This was the first, real world, flip phone ever created bt it was backward.  Why?  It was backward because the mouth peice flipped down.  The first Motorola flip phone, the MicroTAC,  did not sell well.  This was because people thought that the first phone of this type would be similar to Capt. Kirk's  communicator.  This is an example of how TV has taken over .

Let me explain.  When I am walking I think and every so often my mind flies to something that I had heard earlier.  In this case, I reached for my phone to make a call and that is when I realized that there was something wrong and shortly thereafter, that I am angry at Roman Mars.  When you look at the flip phone, the keypad on the bottom along with the mouthpiece, and the screen on the top with the earpiece.  This is wrong, people!

Think about what would (I contend should) happen if it were reversed.  First, you rarely need the keypad while you have the phone to your ear, yet, as you are holding the phone to your ear, your hand is in the best proximity to use the keypad.  I took my phone and held it to my ear, upside down.  If I am using the phone and someone calls, I have to pull the phone from my ear and look at it.  Further, I have to hold the phone away from my head, should I need to do anything while I am in the middle of a call.  Now, reverse it.

If the phone is reversed with the screen down, towards your mouth then you would, with regular use, be able to use the keypad while you are talking with the phone to your ear without having to pull it away.  Also, with a slight shift in the phone, you can see the screen, while still holding the earpeice to your ear simply by looking down.  If you had an incoming call, you can very easily see who is calling and even be able to continue talking.  If you were dexterous enough, you could even send a text or do something else while talking on the phone if you were good enough with your thumb.  When you think about it, it is common sense.

Think about it...you would be able to talk, walk, text, and more without doing anything different,  It is the elegance of design and it would be perfect. Instead, because some designer, somewhere thought that the communicator should flip down instead of up, we see that as the norm and we do something that is basically counter intuitive.

So now, I hate Roman Mars.  He has made me think about the way the world is not wrong, but lacking.  Common sense would say that he and his podcast have given me an idea of what would be good.  I walk through the world with a sort of augmented reality, a lot like Arnold Swartzenegger had as The Terminator.  I am embarrassing myself in Starbucks, holding my phone to my ear upside down.  I stop to read plaques (always read the plaque). I find myself listening to his podcast and taking a moment to Google something that he is talking about, bubble houses, pneumatic tubes, and more.  More than anything, though, I am inspired by his work.  I hate Roman Mars, because he beat me to it.  Go to 99% Invisible and join me in hating Roman Mars...or hoping to be a bit more like him.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Somewhere there is a picture of Rose and Katie...The Greatest Volunteers!

Somewhere there is a picture.  I was tired most of the time and hammered a lot of the rest of the time at Winnie Mae's Music Festival last year, but I swear that it exists.  Or maybe it is just in my mind's eye, this image of two of the coolest people you ever want to meet sitting in lawn chairs at the gate of Winnie Mae's Music Festival on a cold May night.

They kept calling me and saying that they would be there and that they would show and that they would love to help.  A lot of people did.  Rose and Katie got there, asked what they could do.  The sun was up when they came to me.  I asked them to PLEASE just watch the gate for a little while and I would find someone to take over from them.  They got a blanket, two lawn chairs and spent several HOURS down there.

They had the biggest smiles on their faces and the only thing they asked for in return was some food.  They were awesome ant this was the epitome of what this is supposed to be about.  A couple of months later, we got them tickets to the Avett Brothers for their hard work, but I still don't think that did what they did justice.

Somewhere there is a picture. I know I've seen it.  It is of the two of them sitting in those chairs, flashing the "peace" sign or maybe it is just in my mind! (?)  The one above is the best I could find and even it is pretty cool. There are moments in time that you can't get back.  Still there is a feeling, a memory, and sometimes that is just as good.

Thanks Rose and Katie

Get ready to do it again.  Get your tickets here:http://parismountainmf.blogspot.com/2013/11/tickets_15.html

Friday, November 22, 2013

We Can't Do This...Apologies from the Editor (language)

The vast majority of the people that I encounter are people who come to me with a goal a dream, a vision.

They are large groups of people who have been told that they can't do "x" or they are not allowed to do "y".

They are told this by groups of people who, for whatever reason, and in whatever way became successful and now spend the majority of their time attempting to maintain that success and in my humble opinion, spend a lot less time on the thing that got them there in the first place.

The problem for these people is inevitably one of pure logic. If one continually tells enough people that they can't do something one is quickly outnumbered by these people and with every person that one tells they can't do something, there becomes a split into categories of those people who won't do something and another category of those who will. A further subset of those who will are those will try and fail and not try again. Then there are those who will try and succeed and support those who were told not to try. Then there are those who will try and fail and try again. The people in the latter category are those to be feared by those in the primary category. The enemy of those who say "We can't do this." is not those who try and fail...The enemy is not the person, it is the will.
 So, to those who would tell someone they can't do this or they can't do that, my advice is to tell that person how they can do it, otherwise you awaken a will that will that will lend to your downfall. Since my goal, however, my desire is to see a world forged of that will...forged of that desire, carved by those people who would say "Fuck you!" to those who say that we can't do this, I would say, hey, keep creating enemies...keep suppressing others because the one that rises, the one who dreams big and overcomes the combined efforts of those on top who would tell them otherwise is the person who will be the personification of triumph.
We can't have a tattoo expo...but we are.
We can't have a music festival...but we are.
We can't build a farm.
We can't build a school.
We can't build homes....
We CAN'T DO THIS...
But we are
We are doing the things that so many people said we could not do, because enough people got pissed off at those who would say that this could not be done.
We are a group of the stones that the builder refused...but if you reject enough stones, those stones form a mountain.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Greenville INK! Raffle

The Greenville tattoo community has come together to help raise money for a great cause, and get the word out about their art.  The art of tattoo has come a long way and have made great strides in the Upstate.
These artists are donating their time and their talents to helping to raise funds for a Montessori School we are building in Paris Mountain and providing school supplies for underprivileged children in the Upstate.
We are going to celebrate their art and promote this medium by having just an awesome evening at Gringos, showing off their skill and talking about their work.
We are also offering raffle tickets for a number of great prizes provided by our wonderful sponsors:

Greenville Growler Station  and four local artists are putting up to win one of four, hand painted, growlers!

Second Prize is a trip for two for two days at the Atlanta Tattoo Expo in June of 2014.  Two days and nights in June in Atlanta with two meals provided at two great Atlanta restaurants.

Grand Prize will be a trip for two to the Seattle Tattoo Expo.  Four days and nights in Seattle the second week in August, with hotel, airfare and three meals at some great restaurants included! $10 per entry!  Take a chance get your tickets here:

You can only buy one at a time and Specify the name to go on the ticket!

We at EQGreenville would like to thank the artists Relentless Tattoo SC and Monster Ink Tattoo, Physical Graffiti South Tattoo!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

75% less waste at Gringos: Achieved. What's Next?

We are getting closer and closer to our deadline of reducing the waste of Gringos by a whopping 75% in 30 days.  Monday is the final day and the question is, did we?

Looking at what goes into the garbage it was not terribly hard.  It really just took a month of watching what was done and why.  Then there were little changes and simple conversations to be had with the staff who were more than willing to help.

What are the benefits?  Well there are plenty.  Overall, since we are now able to take their compost and add it to our numerous piles around the town, and since we are able to take their glass and put it in our bottle wall the staff are loving the lighter trash bags at the end of the day.

We want to pat ourselves on the back for doing so much, but in all honest, we have not done a whole lot.  It really just takes a moment and 75% of the waste that goes into landfills can be taken elsewhere...put to good use.

Why We Do This...Project 1

Project 1.  Shipping Container School.
A lot of people are asking why are we doing this and what is this great cause they are coming out to support.  We are building a school on our plot of land just north of the city of Greenville similar to the one pictured.

The school will provide daycare, pre-school, and kindergarten for now and eventually expand to further education.  So why do we do this?  So some underprivileged kids can get a better education and some struggling parents can have a safe, beautiful place to leave their children.  This is just the first of several projects.



Give.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dream house, dream world?

When you are looking to build a house, it is almost intuitive that you look around at other homes being built.  You begin to subconsciously look at what the Jones' are doing and how.  The house pictured is being completed in my neighborhood and all I can think about what I would take from it, is the the garage.  
Unless 50 more people were going to move in with me, there is no way that I would ever own this home.  
Then I thought about what a house was supposed to "say" about you.  This house screams that someone was so successful that they can afford to live in this home and they want people to know that.  It cannot be comfortable.  The bathroom has to be very far from the bedroom and that means a long stroll in the middle of the night or likely there is a bathroom in the master bedroom...a huge one.  Likely there is a bed in that bedroom.  Likely there is a sofa in there also.  So we have sofa, bed, bathroom.  If you throw in a small kitchenette, it would be a great apartment.
What does a home say about you.  I like to believe that my house would say about me that I have finally got it together, whatever "it" was.  The other 15,000 sq. ft. are superfluous.  You could fit everything I need and own would fit in the garage and I would not even need the drive way because I do not own a car.  

I am not going to get into the carbon footprint of this whole thing or even the overall moral implications that went into a home that large.  For that matter, I am not even sure if it is bought or not but  I would like to have the garage and you can haul off the rest so that I could use the rest as a yard and garden, maybe to play touch football. I don't judge this person for what they do with their money it is THEIR money and this is America, Dammit!

Still...give me a tiny home...



Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Memories...(THE ARMY DOES NOT HAVE GUNS!)

I don't really look at this picture a lot.  I make it the profile picture on my personal Facebook page on days like today, Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and so on.  I was in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 1996.  I remembered the day that I decided to go in, I was seriously poring over college applications in my senior year at Berkeley High School.  My dream was to go to Penn State and get an engineering degree.  I had the grades but not the money.  I come from a large military family and when the idea popped into my head to go into the Army, it was confirmed moments later when I got a call from Staff Sgt. Kane, the recruiter at my school.  He asked me what my plans were and noted that I had a really good ASVAB score.  I took it as a sign that I needed to join the Army.

I was luckier than most.  As I said, I came from a large military family and at the time, my brother was on recruiting duty for the Army at Ft. Dix, NJ.  A lot of recruiters do not volunteer information and my brother told me all the questions to ask and all the MOS (Military Occupational Specialties) I was qualified for.  I remember being in the inprocessing station some time later and someone bragging to me that they had only had to enlist for 3 and a half years.  I showed him my paperwork and how after a moderate amount of negotiation, managed to sign for 2 years 17 weeks.

I have to say that it was never that I didn't like the military or that I looked at it like a horrible thing.  In fact, it was the opposite.  My father was in the Navy at a time when black men were not really equals and had risen through the ranks, gone to Vietnam, raised nine kids of which I was the youngest, and retired.  To this day, on weekends he drives a van full of young, bright eyed kids like me to the inprocessing station in Columbia from Charleston, all the while telling them what to expect and regaling them with stories that we had long ago gotten tired of or never got a chance to hear because they were too embarrassing to share with one's  children.

I loved the Army, before, during and after I went in.  I remember going to work with my father sometimes and just thinking about how cool he was.  I liked the click-clack of his highly polished shoes and the way people would get out of his way when he was coming, with a curt "Good morning, Master Chief."   The Army was a bit more regimented but there was a realization that all those medals and ribbons were earned by doing something, by proving yourself.

I used to and still do like getting up early in the morning.  Running, push ups, sit-ups, cadence calls, saluting and hearing Retreat at the end of the day when they fire the cannon at Building One and everyone is officially off, though not really.  I was at a place called Pinion Canyon on maneuvers when we heard over the radio that there was a bombing in Oklahoma City.  For a moment, all I could think was that we were being attacked and that this is what I signed on for...Let's Go!  As details emerged about what had actually happened, we calmed a bit though saddened by the loss of life.

I tell everyone the truth about my military career.  It was not defined by any conflict or call to action.  I went in during that sweet spot where people were coming back from Mogadishu and I was getting out just before my unit was deploying to Kosovo.  My two years and 17 weeks were defined by hard work, constantly learning, blackout drunk trip to Vegas on my 21st birthday, pressing uniforms, firing cannons, rifles, and pistols (THE ARMY DOES NOT HAVE GUNS!).  I still have the two dots on my chest from when I graduated Jump School (they put your wings on your chest without the dammets behind them and punch them into your chest as hard as they can and say, "Welcome aboard, soldier").  I learned a lot about computers and earned enough money for most of my time at Clemson.

Knowing what I know, would I do it again...YES (I almost re-enlisted after 9/11)

When people ask me why I went in I tell them that I went in and they should go in for a melange of reasons.  It should be for the love of your country.  It should be because you respect the institution and see the service that you can provide for it (the only time I feel that paradigm should be so delineated).  You should go in to get discipline and learn about yourself.  Money and education, yes, those too, but not solely those because that weakens the institution.  Do not go in because you have no place else to go or because you cannot get a job at McDonalds.  Go in for a mixture of those reasons.  The chances are that in the world we live in, some mad man a third of the way around the world is going to do something stupid and you are going to have to suit up.  It never happened to while I was in, but I was ready for it every single day that I put on that uniform.

When I took it off for the last time, I noted how when it was issued to me, there was so little on it.  It was a blank green when it was thrown at me from a bin at Ft. Sill, OK.  When I left, I put it in a garment bag and noted how it had gold rank sewn on that said I was a Specialist.  It had brass Cross Cannons, that showed that I was in the artillery.  It had multi-colored ribbons (my favorite was a solid blue tab that showed that my unit had earned a Presidential Unit Citation).  I was expert marksman, I was part of the 4th ID at HHB 3/29 FA.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tiny House Seminar...The world of good design.

A friend of mine introduced me to Bulls Eye with Jesse Thorn and I spent hours and hours listening to the podcasts....Jesse Thorn in turn introduced me to 99% Invisible and I spent hours and hours listening to Roman Mars talk with people who are doing amazing things in the world of design and architecture.  "Always read the plaque" has become my new motto and I think I may have missed my calling and should have been an architect.  The best designs are the ones that you do not even know are there.

So we are building a tiny house in Greenville.  I suppose that I am split.  Part of me wants to hate that moniker of "tiny" house because it implies that it is small and cramped.  That is not the case if it is done right.  I have a 1000 sq. ft. home and I rarely leave my bedroom.  I walk in and wheel my bike through the empty living room, down the hall and into my bedroom. So often do I think that the stove should be closer and that it is a hassle to heat the whole house when I only need one room.  I only shower and have not taken a bath probably since I was a toddler.  I and like minded individuals can get along pretty well in about 450 sq. ft., if that.

Is this going to be easier or harder?  We have the land and the next big step is to start talking to the city about plans and permits.  The design we are wishing to implement would likely fit in my neighbors' garage.  They own a sprawling (I am not sure what makes a mansion a mansion, but I will say that they own a...) mansion.  It takes up near the entirety of their property and has a small yard and a green belt approximately 2 feet wide that circles the house.  I do not judge...More power to them.

We are going to go look at this idea of the tiny house from all angles and all phases.  Our tiny house is going to be a work of useful art.  It is going to be small.  It is going to be cheap(er).  It is going to be sustainable. It is going to be semi mobile (yes, at some point we are going to move it) and that, in and of itself, is going to be amazing.  We are going to show people that owning your own home is not impossible.  We are going to show people that living comfortably in this world is not out of reach.  We are going to show people a design not just for this house, but for life.

If you want to be a part of this seminar on urban development and construction while learning to build your own tiny house, please sign up.  It is a four week course on home ownership and construction.  These projects help to make all of our endeavors affordable and your involvement gives you a hands on look at what goes into these homes.

We will meet at the site or other location every Saturday in January for discussions and looks at...

Week 1 Plans and permits
Week 2 Foundations and tie ins
Week 3 Electrical and more.
Week 4 Decoration and moving in.
Week 5 Fete Accompli (The ribbon cutting party!)

Sign Up!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Your Trash Needs a Passport...(a lot of recycling goes to China)

So, we were curious.  We took a moment to think about where some of our garbage goes.  When I say garbage, I mean that purely as the things we throw away regardless of whether or not they are actually waste.  We were actually at a facility that does not really process its waste efficiently.  They would like to and we are working on that, but for the time being, not so much.  We will get into that later.

We wondered what happened to the boxes and for that matter a lot of the recyclables that were going "away".  I have to admit, I was really surprised at the answer that we got.  The initial call to the recycling company resulted in an "I don't know." when asked where it was going, but it got another phone number.  The next number led to another "I don't know," but still got a little further.  It appears that it goes overseas; namely, to China.

I liked to think of myself as pretty eco-literate and I have to admit that I did not know that.  Later, I took to researching how this was justified.  The initial thought was that this seems REALLY inefficient and wasteful.  Aren't there processing plants here in the good old U. S. of A.?  The short answer is yes, but here is the logic.  Apparently, they use the same ships to ship this cardboard and other stuff to China as they do to bring stuff back.  The idea is that it is economical to use these ships to haul this stuff there, for it to be turned into packaging and carpet and other products so that those ships do not have to return to China empty.

Part of me understood that, still part of me was unsatisfied.  Further research shows that now, even China is getting full and cannot use all of the waste that we are shipping to them.  They will no longer purchase it and are very likely to reject a lot of it.  Basically, your cardboard and more is being collected and shipped back and forth across the ocean.

China has apparently created a "Green Fence", locking out a lot of waste that the U.S. is sending over there because they cannot use it.  They have a need for plastic resin, but aside from that, the U.S. is basically producing far too much for them to use.  It is collected from your from stoop, shipped to China, shipped back and thrown in landfills.  China's Green Fence rejects poorly cleaned recyclables an rather than engage in cleaning the waste themselves, they ship it back.   China's processing of recyclables is pretty questionable also.  The recycling there is done mainly by family businesses using very low tech methods and unskilled labor.

So what does this mean for us?  Well, the main thing, as I understand it, is that we have to get better at reusing our own stuff.  We have to take an active role in reusing our own material.  Perhaps our own Green Revolution is near at hand.  This stuff is no longer just washing up on shores of beaches that people no longer go to, it is being hand delivered via large ships wrapped in the same package we send it off in.

Monday, October 21, 2013

True Sustainability, it is catching...Gringos Project, Day 3

Today we spent the better part of the day on a roof looking out over the city of Greenville.  We are still in that phase of thinking about what can be done and what should be done and how.  The problem is not too few options, but too many and we like it that way.  I only had a little time because I had another meeting, but more on that later.

Today was basically a look at what we are up against.  It is a lot of bare white space...Just what we wanted. Elizabeth and I spent a good hour brainstorming and flying through all of the options.  The main thing is to cover every bare surface that can support something with something green.  That is pretty much end of plan.
So what are our next steps?  Well, funding and manpower.  There is a part of me that believes in the power of people to get things done when faced with an idea and a facilitating factor.  I hesitate to say that something is simple, but when faced with zero obstacles, why would it be hard to do the right thing? Like I said, there is a hesitation to say that something is easy, but this seems to me to be a no brainer.

I say a lot of this because I spoke with two leaders in our community who feel the same way.  The first meeting was with a man who wanted us to put a window box in his parking lot.  It was bare gravel and it looked hideous and out of place. It was about 11:45 a.m. and I told him that I had to meet Elizabeth in 15 minutes.  He held up his finger to indicate that he wanted me to wait, wrapped up the phone call with his mom about Mah Jhong and we looked outside.  It took five minutes to reach a consensus about what was going to go in there and how.  I told him that we wanted to build a reclaimed pallet planter and he said go for it.  That was that.

I hurried to Gringos to meet Elizabeth and she was already there, hanging out.  She bounced up and we headed outside.  Jacob found a ladder but the only place it could be used was next to a table of guests seated on the patio.  No biggie.  Elizabeth and I talked about what we could and could not do.  Like I said, there was little we could not do and so many options.  Jacob allowed for us to go crazy with thoughts and ideas and then I had to go to a meeting with John Cocciolione.

John is the new director of the Greenville County Special Needs Board and we were set to sit down and chat at two, but he was running late.  He was putting out figurative fires as I would later find out and again, it was no biggie.  Elizabeth and I just went and hung out at Snack Works up the street and she learned a little about what Patrick is doing there and had her first wheat grass shot.  They hit it off and we all parted ways.

I took another swing past where I was to meet John and he was coming out with a water in hand and we sat down to talk.  It was a good day for collaboration, because the one word I was not hearing AT ALL was "no".  We talked about how to engage his staff, the properties the GCSNB, and the clients more in the green movement to make his organization more streamlined, efficient, educational, and possibly profitable.  We talked about how to engage his clients in useful activities like gardening and possibly business and how to give them a place to be rather than just go.  Yes, it was a good meeting.  John, like me, is from elsewhere and the beauty of the things that we want to do is that we are not reinventing the wheel.  It has been done...a lot...in a lot of other places that we have been.

We are excited to bring it to Greenville and with people like this, leaders in the community, behind this, it will not be hard.  With all that we have to work with, the hardest place to find purchase is the one square foot of space in the human head.  My hardest job is changing minds and to date, there are not many that I have had to convince, just connect.

We have set a goal of $7000 to get this and other projects going through the winter and dawning into spring.  If we keep it up, I think we can hit it.  Please contribute!  You'll breathe easier...literally.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The 75%...The Gringos Project, Day 1

We have been given a goal.  75%.  Of what?  I sat with Adam and Brian at Gringo's on Camperdown and we had a somewhat brief, yet long conversation.  How does this conversation somehow exist and how can it be both long and short?  It was one of those conversations where the initial question is posed, then there is a quick answer, then the remainder of the conversation is simply simultaneous head nodding at the ideas that we have both had that are so incredibly simple and similar.

So we are going to take this restaurant and give it a green makeover.  Our goal is to decrease the amount of waste by 75%.  We are going to develop systems that they can use to save time, money, space and the environment.  I consider myself fairly eloquent, but this was one case where I did not have to use  a lot of words, especially since I was dealing with Adam Bennett and preaching to the choir, so to speak. We both come from places where this is commonplace so we are not doing anything different, it is only different for Greenville.

Within the next week, I am going to spend some time with his staff and look at ways to minimize waste.  We are also going to embrace the things that are going to inevitably spring from this, like how to deal with building owners and city hall.  This is going to be fun.

Day 1...A lot of thought.  We have been poring over designs and ideas all day and creating what amounts to a wish list of things we would like to do.  Experience teaches that there needs to be a structure to things before getting really deeply involved so today is about brainstorming and design for the rooftop garden.  The earthbox design was specifically requested.  It is low maintenance and miserly with water. Combine that with the fact that we can mass produce them pretty easily and we are off and running.

Today was met with the idea that this is going to take a lot of looking and adjusting to things on the fly.  We are all about solving problems though and the only thing that was not on the table for this whole project, was doubt.  Follow along.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wheat Grass Verdict...

So we gave it a shot, seven of them, in fact.  One shot of wheat grass a day for seven days and it was not really that bad.
The hardest part was developing a routine. Getting it every day was the hard part and that seems to be the thing that adds to the experience.  Being healthy takes dedication and somewhat of a routine.  You have to want it as the trainers say.
It is not a magic potion, we have to say that right off the bat.  From our research, it is part of a regimen that can lead to a lot of positives.  First, increased energy.  We have been working pretty hard and coffee simply does not do the trick in a lot of cases.  The caffeine is notorious for petering out within a few hours.  A strong caffeine start at 6 a.m. leads to a fall at about 2 p.m.
We did not find this with the wheat grass. Its effects are more long lasting and being novices to this, the three of us wondered what may have been the cause of this.  Was it something that occurs across the board?  Might it even have been psychosomatic?
We had our launch party on Tuesday evening and a shot of wheat grass in the morning (for those of us who were willing) was a life saver after an entire evening of shots of vodka.  Apparently the stuff speeds digestion and cleans out the liver, two HUGE necessities after a night out.

Eli's Verdict?  Every once in a while, but not every day.  It is a good pick me up, but I feel I would be forced to choose between coffee and wheat grass and there is a clear winner with the coffee.

Laina's Verdict?  I am now a daily shot taker.  I think a week is not long enough to judge the effects and I am really very interested in seeing how I feel in a month.  I also want to explore more of the routine aspect of it.  A shot a day...?

Jason's Verdict?  I may try another couple of days or weeks.  I have too much to do and though this could be a solution, it could also be a problem.  It is not readily available everywhere and

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Table of Contents.

We are changing more and more every day, growing, and getting bigger with more and more contributors from across the nation.  Our first two weeks, we have hit the ground running and a number of you have read our articles.  Thank you!
We are just getting warmed up.  We are working out where to look for what and honing our skills to let you know what is going on.  The front page will feature comments about what is going and the strongest stories about things and people you should know.  
The Events and Happenings page lets you know what kinds of things we are up to as well as others.
The Bazaar is the page you can go to get stuff and we are soon to have lots.  Eat Up!, Health and Fitness, Sight and Sound, and more are waiting for you to take a look as well.  
The Gist will be featured articles with some of the coolest people around. The Egress will feature fiction and poetry by some very talented people. 

This was just a moment to let you know to look around and see what there is to see.  Tomorrow, we round out our beverage run by talking about some local bars and you can see how a week of wheat grass went.  We will be following up with our Ink! spectacular where we talk a lot about body art and modification...Should be interesting.  Tomorrow, I talk with Patrick Cox about photography, Greenville, and a lot about life in general.  

Are we having fun yet?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John Cocciolone, Executive Director of the GCDSNB: A Name and an Acronym to Know

By Lucy Hoffman, Event Director With Plan Ahead Events, Greenville
Part of the fun of my job is getting to meet the people who run organizations.  John Cocciolone is what I would refer to as a horse of a different color.  Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Organization hired Cocciolone to be a turnaround guy.  He was brought in to recreate this organization in broad sense.  His job is to get this organization noticed.  I admit I had never heard of it before I met him.  I’m guessing that is true of many of you as well.
John Cocciolone, Executive Director, GCDSNB
The mission of GCDSNB is as follows: “to serve and assist people in our area with developmental disabilities, Autism, and head and spinal cord injuries.”  At the Mauldin campus, there are 600 people bused in daily to help with their lives, their families, their work skills, and their life skills.  
Cocciolone has a background of working with nonprofits.  He worked with Easter Seals and owned his own consulting business assisting nonprofits with the many challenges they face.  He came on board here to bring the organization up to speed.  He is working on improving the website, shortening the name, fund raising, creating marketing pieces, and establishing a “face” of the organization.  According to LinkedIn, “John is an experienced and successful nonprofit executive with over 30 years of tenure as a CEO. John's strengths include; Board and Staff development, Strategic Planning, team building, project management, and advocate for people with disabilities and nonprofit organizations” – an ideal fit for this organization.  He graduated from Central Michigan University and Michigan State.
Cocciolone is working hard with the board in establishing priorities and motivating the staff.  He has positive things to say about the people with whom he works.  His determination to see this organization succeed is such that he spends 12 hour days working on it.
Cocciolone also hopes to get his organization involved with Eq Greenville – another great idea in Greenville, and have the clients work with the composting and garden creation.
One of his goals is regular events – which is where I come in.  I’m assisting Cocciolone in planning a comedy night on February 20, 2014, at the Gunter Theater. This is a fund raiser – but just as importantly, it will bring exposure to this great organization.  Come out that evening and help support the Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.  You will want to meet the forever affable Cocciolone.  He is a force with which to be reckoned.
Lucy Hoffman, Event Director with Plan Ahead events

Monday, October 14, 2013

From A Small Town, To A Big City, And Back Again

Katie Garren is a recent college graduate and now an aspiring writer and full time adult.  We asked her to take a few moments to put down her thoughts about the transition in today's world.

I grew up in a small town.  Not the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone, but the kind that’s just small enough to be annoying.  I ran into the same assholes year after year in school, with a random smattering of new faces to give the illusion of diversity.  I spent 13 years learning with the same people, in the same run-down schools in the same mile-long stretch of road.  It was cloistered and smothering.  I hated it, if you hadn’t gathered that already.  Not in a visceral way, I didn’t want to burn the town down or drown myself in the lake, I just wanted to leave.  So, I did. 

I decided to go to college.  I ran away (in a manner of speaking) to the big city of Seattle to learn and grow and mostly get day drunk while watching Disney movies.  I learned a lot.  I grew as a person.  I made friends, talked to people, separated myself from the person I used to be.  I was happier than I’d ever been.  I was on my own in a foreign-ish city (orientation had been my first overnight trip to the city).  I explored and had fun.  I learned to be okay on my own.  For the first time, I really understood who I was.  I knew myself and didn’t have to rely on anyone else.  It was lovely.

As much as I loved college, it had to end.  Four years of life, with occasional class attending, ended with a twelve-page paper about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and two graduation ceremonies.  I thought the world was in front of me.  I thought my life was about to begin.  That train of thought was corrected almost immediately after my final graduation.

As I walked out of the ceremony to meet my family, it became obvious I was no longer in control of my own way.  I was ushered by family immediately to the car.  No time for pictures or, god forbid, saying goodbye to friends I may never see again.  My family was uncomfortable with the crowds and suggestion of traffic on the freeway.  Screw my goodbyes and my happiness.  Forget my new home.  That life was over.
I left Seattle to move back home.  I thought, hey, how hard could it be to find a job. Ha.  What an idiot.  I lived in a small town.  There were no jobs.  All of a sudden, I was stuck.  There was no returning to Seattle.  Not without a job.  I needed a job to move back to Seattle and find a job.  You see my predicament.  But this is not the worst part.  I was back in a small town after having gotten out.

Coming back to the small, safe, stifling town I grew up in was, and is, torture.  It all seems so much worse now.  Everything that seemed small when I was in high school seems tiny now.  Everything that was bad is now worse.  There is nothing to do.  I mean that.  Even the bowling alley is closed by five o’clock.  I try to go out, but I keep running into people I went to high school with and I can only pretend to not remember them for so long.  I am suddenly aware of how much I never liked it here.  Now I understand the visceral hate.  I would give anything to burn this hell-hole to the ground.


I made a new life somewhere else, and now home doesn’t seem quite so much like home anymore.  Now everything about my old home seems tiny and horrible.  I guess that terrible old cliché is true, you can’t go home again.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ink! Showing a little skin...

Leading up to the holidays, we were looking at some interesting gifts that people might find in their stockings.  There was one that stopped me in my tracks and I wondered about what others thought about it.  I have two, and many people I know have many, and several people I know have at least one.  Yes, we like ink.

When I got my first one, I had to go to Athens, GA because they were illegal at the time in SC.  It was a 90 minute drive and it was easier going than coming because I had to drive with a fresh tattoo on my upper arm.   When I left the shop I got it in, the artist told me that she would see me soon.  Her logic was that it was addictive.  Though I did get one more, I would never put myself in the category of being addicted.

That was about 15 years ago and I do not regret them one bit, but how do we look at modern "tats"?  How many is too many?  Have they gotten mainstream enough to be shown at work?  Can you get someone a tattoo for Christmas? What about piercings?  Maybe that's a whole new issue.

What the...???

So what are we?  What is this?  I have to say that this project is ambitious and it becomes more and more difficult to define what we are all about in one sentence..  We think it is pretty simple.  We are about everything.
"But aren't you an eco-startup?" Yes, but how much of what begins at the foundations of our lives tie into the rest of our world?
We collect compost.
We build gardens (two so far) and growing.
We feed people..
We work for ways to make like easier and more sustainable.
We talk about issues that concern people in the area.
We discuss things that go on across the nation.
We talk about the things that make our lives happier, like music, art, and other entertainment.
We start conversations.

So, what does the E.Q. stand for?  Excellent question...

That is the nutshell, but we actually try to do everything that makes things just better.  Are we spreading ourselves a bit thin?...nahh.
Take dive through your world, we are, and you are welcome to tag along. Follow us at @greenvilleeq or on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/EQGreenville

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Let's Be Honest, Starbucks Is The Best Coffee Shop In The World

Starbucks has the market cornered, but there are some interesting coffee places that are doing interesting things.  Our anonymous critic seems to think that most of these places are (and have to be) about so much more than coffee to get in the game.  What do you think?  See what she has to say here!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Beverages Anyone? Articles we are working on.

Not a bad day for the first day. We had a lot of page views for this first "issue" and we are going for more; talking about a wide variety of things.  The beverage issue is on the horizon with our look at coffee shops in the upstate by our anonymous blogger.  We are going to find the best bar in Greenville.  We are going to talk with some local health gurus about the juicing craze.

 I guess I am personally most excited about talking craft brews with the guys at The Growler Station Greenville.   They say that average simply is just not good enough any more and a lot of craft brewers have gone a long way to step up their game.  We are working on these stories and more, so hang on.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Jacob has some great advice for the city...

"Get out of the way."   That is Jacob Billingsley's advice to the city.  As a successful businessman in this city for a number of years, he has a vision of what he and others can do in this town if the city would just step back and let him do something different, new, and vibrant for the downtown area.  I talked with Jacob this afternoon at Gringo's, his two story (loosely) Mexican restaurant on Camperdown Way and he shared his thoughts about coming to the south, opening several restaurants, and his next project, a music venue in the downtown area.  I also spoke with some of the people who work for him and some of his friends about where he is in the "tribe" of people around here who are wanting to do more in Greenville, the Upstate, and the south.  Jacob is definitely one to watch.

We launch on Sunday, October 6th and our talk with Jacob is going to be the first article.  We are going to do a lot of talking, but moreover, we are going to do a lot of listening and telling you about things that are going on around here.  So keep following.

If you have questions, comments, or ideas, please contact us at eqgreenville@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you.

EM

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Just a taste...Letter from the editor

"I wanted to dislike them so badly."
That is a quote from our anonymous food blogger about going to various coffee shops around Greenville.  She went on to say that as part of her new job that she wanted to have something to complain about so she could write a scathing review of some new place.  We had a chat about journalistic integrity and her method of writing and how she should strive to be indifferent and neutral and just write the facts.

Two things came of that conversation.  She gained a perspective on what it means to write, even if it is just for a lowly blog.  Secondly, she gave me a delightful view of what the nature of Greenville coffee shops provide.  Her idea shifted from what she could say that was bad about these places and turned to what was great about them because the beverages are very similar.  Instead of comparing apples to oranges, she realized that she should be comparing apples to other apples and noting what was good about each variety and what there was to be had from each.

Spill the Beans, Starbucks, Coffee Underground, Brew and Ewe, Coffee to a Tea...you have all been shopped.  See what a stranger said about your service and your ambiance.  Get ready, we launch on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oktober!

There is a chill in the air.  In the mornings at least, fall has arrived?  This is the south and we have taken that in stride.  It is not quite sweater weather yet and not yet time to start looking for the snuggly hat in the morning, but it is getting there and there is a lot on the plate for this month.

We are going to look a bit deeper into Greenville and the surrounding areas in new and different ways.
What are the food trends we need to look out for?
Who are the hottest local musicians? Artists?
What do you need to know about the government shutdown?
Finally, from Jon Sanchez.

We have a little bit of everything and then some.
Get ready, we launch on Sunday!
EM

Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter From the Editor...How We Are Growing

Do you know where the word "editor" comes from?  Rumor has it, it was the title of the person who chose who would go into the next fight among gladiators in Ancient Rome.  Not that what we are talking about is as serious as that.  It may not even be life or death.  It is definitely about life.

We are going to talk to you about life.  Though EQ has been primarily focused on growing things and charities, we are expanding to be about the things that are important in your life, your world.  We are going to talk about food, music, money, art, and more.  We have new writers and contributors and more content than ever before about the things that matter most to you.  We are going to be a voice.

I am guessing that life back in ancient Rome was not quite as fun as my job is going to be, but we are going to see. Let's go!

EM.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Local Support...these are the times that count.

I love a good meal and a good time.  This past weekend was perfect.  I met up with a good friend of mine from college and we took a walk in Falls Park and then up and down Main St. looking in shops.  She was feeling a bit hungry and my first thought was the patio at Gringo's.  We went, were treated great, and the food was awesome.

I have worked in and around restaurants since I was about 17.  My mom was a chef and the one thing I can say is that this was just a good experience.  By "good" I mean that as the best compliment that I can give a restaurant and that is a shame these days.  We did not need to be wowed.  We did not need to have a server sing to us or anything like that, just great service and great food.  I am acquaintances with the owner, I did not need him to come by the table and make a fuss.  The kitchen manager popped up from the kitchen to check on something and waved at me, but that was it.  It was a great day with a friend and stopping at Gringo's only made it better.

That is rare right now and in an environment that is being flooded with restaurants where service and customer experience is not really paid attention to, I am glad to see Gringo's where it is.  When I approached them about getting their compost, there was no discussion about how annoying it might be for the kitchen staff or how to do it, just that it would get done and they have not let us down.  They love their community and are willing to do the work to be a part of it.

Apparently, there is a push to close down the patio at midnight and that just does not seem right.  If there WAS ever any place that has earned a place in this community, even though they have been open a short time, it is Gringo's.  I am going to show up at City Hall today and support their bid to stay open later and promote an environment where people can just hang out downtown and have a GOOD time.

It is hard work to become part of a community.  There is a lot that goes into it and a lot that goes on the behind the scenes and I have seen that commitment from too few businesses in the area, but Gringo's is one of them and I appreciate that.  So meet me at City Hall...https://www.facebook.com/events/328056487340407/

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mid-Grid: Greening the City

Note:  This is an article about thoughtful and considerate government.  We are NOT working FOR the Greenville Zoo, nor is any part of this project set in stone.  This is merely about how the thoughtful staff at the Greenville Zoo are taking into account the community that surrounds them and the planet on which we live and working to make it better and how I am proud to be working with them to do whatever to make it happen.

I just got a house within sight of downtown Greenville, SC and I have no intention of moving from it any time soon.  Nor do any of my neighbors.  In fact, they are building a condo complex right across the street.  Over half of all people in the world live in cities and that number will increase to 75% in the next 15 years or so.  We have to admit that the average person is not going to pack everything up and move to the country.  This idea, on its face, is impractical.  So, what are we going to do?  Ask questions, that's what.

The city is not going and is, in fact, growing.  The means to solve ecological problems are not out of our reach, especially if we start now.  I found this out personally, yesterday.

I led a meeting with the staff at the Greenville Zoo and we talked about how to institute a composting program at the zoo.  Let me back up.  A couple of months ago, I wanted to start work on a garden system. It was July, the middle of the growing season, and my idea was to focus on fall and the following spring.  Thinking ahead, I thought it would be a good idea to locate fertilizer and begin to work on the soil so I contacted the zoo to get some manure.  I was told that was not something that they do.  I have to admit that I was rather bold at that point and asked if it was something that they would consider.  They connected me with the director of the zoo and the ball was set in motion.

We had a number of conversations, he and I, and there was a lot of discussions about the problems that come with manure.  At some point, it was just easier to toss it, though no one wanted to.  No one at all wanted to but there were many issues at stake and the zoo did not have the resources to get it going.  That was when we began to ask questions.  The first was "how?"

The Greenville Zoo has two elephants.  They are, by far, the largest producers of manure on the 14 acre property.  Yes...14 acres, that's it.  The staff of the zoo focuses very well on the health and well being of the animals and the experience of the guests of the zoo, with few exterior organizations to engage in such an endeavor.  That was another question:  What if someone outside of the zoo were willing to get in on it?


So we tackled each of the things that could hinder this project one by one.  Odor?  We use coffee grounds, popcorn, and other absorbent, fragrant refuse from businesses in the city to absorb the leachate (liquid run-off).  This imparts heat on the pile, getting it up to about 160-170 degrees (we hope 200 degrees!).  This kills off weed seeds if there are any and any harmful bacteria that may reside in the pile.  We keep the core of the pile at high temp, for three days, and when all is said and done, the pile smells like hot coffee.

Space?  With only 14 acres to deal with, space is at a premium, so the hunt for level ground began.  Also we took into account that there are only two elephants putting out about 700 pounds of waste each day (manure mixed with hay and the accompanying moisture of the leachate).  This is not as much as it seems and can be easily managed on a daily basis by one person or a few volunteers.

Cost?  The zoo is not a wealthy entity, no city entity is.  So how is this made viable?  If nothing else, it is profitable from the start because it makes use of waste and unused space.  The idea is to bring together a number of local entities to support this effort.  The manure is free, the coffee grounds are free, the labor is based on interested parties and volunteers and this means someone willing to go to the zoo, and toss compost.  Where there is a will, there is a way.

So we solved all of the problems. I led this meeting and answered questions, but at no point did anyone say this could not be done.  Everyone there did nothing but think about HOW it could be done. There are random permitting issues and paperwork, but there is nothing stopping this because it is so sublime in its simplicity.  A little thought, a little work and we save tons of carbon, generate revenue, and help everyone involved.

We do this because we believe in it, but we are not receiving any funding from the zoo for this work.  If you believe in this please make a contribution!





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More than a ton...

Three Piles...More Than a Ton of Compostable Matter.
So we start off pretty easily.  The basics of compost is piling matter so that it rots the way that nature intended.  We have taken it an extra step.  By actively working with it and creating and environment that supports life on a number of levels throughout the pile, we speed up the process and make it ready for use more quickly.  What began as a slow start, eventually got faster and faster with more and more levels of life crawling through and around the piles and developing an internal heat of more than 160 degrees.





Black soldier flies and other things began to get into the mix and now what started off as one pile of green and crunchy mass is now a dark brown mass of viable compost.
It is not entirely to the finished product but it is getting there soon.
We have saved more than a ton of mass that would normally have gone to waste in landfills.  We have created a viable means of income and more.
As we inch closer and closer to our larger project, we can see that the main thing that we have on our hands is a good start.
Greenville is becoming greener by the moment, but in order for this to succeed, we need more involvement and more support.  One man, hauling compost from a lot of really great restaurants is not going to solve the problem. We have three big piles going on in various places, but we need to get serious about it and turn one ton into 5 and then 5 tons into 20 and so on!

We hope that you will take a moment to give to help this cause!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Take Only Pictures...

...Leave only footprints.  Isn't that what the bumper sticker says?  When you venture into nature and then leave it should be as if you were never there.  The truth is, that I don't think this bumper sticker is long enough.  What if we lived our lives this way?  What if we sought ways to look at our world and say that we will leave as good, if not better for those who come behind?
   This blog post is the first published on this blog but it is going to pose a lot of questions and the subsequent posts will answer them or try to anyway, yet and still ask more.  In the interest of full disclosure, I think I have an ax to grind.  I think that I have taken a lot from this world and I should work to restore the balance.  More on that later...maybe.
   When we think about what we are doing in life, perhaps it is a change in mindset that we need to embrace?  Do we have the knowledge to create a sustainable lifestyle and maybe take it one step further and create a hyper efficient machine that returns more than is put in? I would like to think with our big wrinkly brains and our opposable thumbs, we could cause a net gain in awesomeness on this planet.  Has humanity missed the mark?
   That might be a tad philosophical for the first blog post, but it is something to think about as I engage in this next venture.  We are creating a number of projects all designed to create a net negative effect on the environment, and a net positive on the community.  Welcome to EQ Greenville.  Take lots of pictures, it will be a sight to see!