[Friday Five] Black Friday goes green + Paul’s boots …

Hi, this is Geoff.

Our friends in the US might be having a “turkey hangover” right now, so let’s just jump right in…

Black Friday goes green: Patagonia, already an exemplar among socially-responsible businesses via its 1% for the Planet initiative, extended this by pledging to donate 100% of its sales on Black Friday to environmentally-minded grassroots organizations. Fantastic way to take an event that embodies consumerism and consumption, and flipping it on its head. Makes sense for a company that actually encourages its customers NOT to buy its products unless they really need them (and then to buy used if they can through its “Worn Wear” storiesand then create an entire secondary market to facilitate this!) Bravo, Pantagonia, bravo…

Mass extinction: I don’t even feel comfortable writing those words as it feels sensationalist, but according to Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, the sixth mass extinction is already here. Details are spelled out in the peer-reviewed journal, Science Advances. A summary of the piece was published on Stanford’s own website, but the line that most caught my eye was this: “As species disappear, so do crucial ecosystem services such as honeybees’ crop pollination and wetlands’ water purification. At the current rate of species loss, people will lose many biodiversity benefits within three generations, the study’s authors write. ‘We are sawing off the limb that we are sitting on,’ Ehrlich said.” Biodiversity sets the rules of the game and we have to play the rules, permaculture design not only plays by the rules it refines the art of playing the game.

Half-above, half-below water shots: Photographer Matthew Smith describes what intrigues him about these types of photos: “For me, one of the most wondrous parts of any dive is the moment that the water engulfs my mask as my head slips below the surface,” Smith explains. “I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical, and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter. That is what draws me to taking half-over-half underwater images.” You have to see these pictures yourself – they are truly breath-taking (and they were on display at the Australian Museum in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition last year).

Paul’s boots: I can write a lot here, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Just watch it. And I challenge you not to weep with joy before even getting to the 2:00 mark of the video at how beautiful, touching, kind, and giving human beings can be.

In case you missed it: A handful of this week’s intriguing articles and videos from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute. First up is an impassioned TedX talk by Ryan Harb about the first public university permaculture garden in the US. Second is a video from Jacob Neeman walking us through how he built his wooden house — from start to finish — all done by hand, and using no nails, screws, or steel plates. Finally, a beautiful set of insights from Brigid Stromberger about her time spent at Zaytuna Farm in, “Reflections From Our Time Capsule.”  If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Anyone can sign up for the next batch.

Cheers, and have a great weekend,

Your friend,



PS: Remember, the Friday Five is not meant to be a one-way transmission of information, but rather a conversation-starter. All of you have something valuable to say, and I want others in our community to benefit from your insights, experience, and different point of view. So let your voice be heard in the comments below.

2016-12-13T11:05:40+00:00 Blog|13 Comments