Sunday Best – February 2, 2020


At some point during a long day of speeches, a passing phrase will usually catch my ear. This week it was at a sustainability gathering for a big waste management company, where about halfway through the morning someone asked, “Why do we call it waste?”

This is a pretty cool question, since my biomimicry studies reminded me that in natural systems, there’s no such thing as waste. Leaves become compost; poop becomes fertilizer; seeds become sprouts. At long last, with movements like the circular economy inspired by visionaries like Ray Anderson, we are re-examining this question for human endeavors, thinking more about loops than lines.

Dear ones, what are we throwing away in our own lives? Maybe it’s something as tangible as plastic bags or potato peels. Maybe it’s the chance to deepen our own relationships, with endless discussions of logistics and no time for feelings. Maybe it’s our own time, thrown away on comparison shopping and binge watching sitcoms from the ‘90’s instead of thinking or resting or exploring. (Okay, maybe that last part is just me.)

Instead of sighing over the trash, let’s recognizing the resource.

Whether stuff or chances or time, it’s all precious, and all looped together.

There is no such thing as waste.


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