Thursday, June 21, 2007

i'm back

I thought I'd take a moment to say that I am back from some time at the ocean with family and an excellent weekend with friends at the bonnaroo music festival- quite a reviving of my spirit and a recharging of my soul. This week I am catching up at work and at home on obligations set aside during my holiday. I'll also be writing a review of 'Planet Earth' the complete BBC series which is now out on DVD. It will go up over at Groovy Green but let me go ahead and say it is incredible (the series not my review;-). For publication here I am working on a piece about fear which I will sum up for you by saying I think it will end up largely agreeing with one of FDR's most famous quotes.

My biggest announcement however is that I am beginning the last of four weeks at my current employment position. In mid July I'll move to work with another firm and will be tasked primarily with modeling comprehensive programs focused on sustainability both for implementation in new communities and for retrofit in existing neighborhoods. In other words, someone wants to pay me to explore real, local alternatives to our current linear systems of extracting resources from far flung places to meet our needs. Much of the focus will be on how to set up or reconfigure communities in ways that utilize cyclic patterns regarding water use, food supplies, waste disposal, energy use, transportation connections and more. It will be about the nuts and bolts of relocalization and what might or must change in the way of habit and infrastructure and the interplay between the two. All that and my commute will shorten to a bikeable distance - a longtime goal of mine.

Not to mention the garden is growing (had the first garden tomato for dinner last night), work continues on 'Another Nation of Farmers' and the baby chicks are getting real feathers and seem eager to get out and explore. Suffice to say that the combination of a vacation and some steps forward towards realizing an old dream as a new reality has me feeling reinvigorate and excited.

Hello life. Happy here and now. Boy do i feel better.


RAS said...

Congratulations on the new job!

Anonymous said...

Aaron - congrats, and a question: for whom/where will you be working? please, spill the beans! we are all curious - there aren't many places with jobs like that (yet). our city is looking at hiring a "sustainability coordinator" and i'd love to be able to steer them to such a resource (presuming you would be doing consulting...?)

nulinegvgv said...

Thanks ras.

I'll be working for a firm called Outdoor Living. It’s a small group of Landscape Architects whose bread and butter to date has been designing and managing the construction of amenity areas for high end communities. They create outdoor environments with ponds, trails, passive and active recreation spaces as well as overseeing street tree plantings and the implementation of other landscaped areas. I know, it doesn't sound especially green, but the owner has been looking for a way to break out into a more sustainable line of design and consultation for a while and he feels the time is right and I might be the catalyst.

The idea is to present his current clients, who develop new communities, with information about how to build neighborhoods which are much more self-sufficient, sustainable and foster a better sense of community through better planning. This firm is also interested in side ventures into anything that might make sense from a sustainable standpoint. I’ll be putting together a program for the collection and recycling of restaurant food waste using worms to produce potent fertilizer for resale and maybe creating a side business that designs and constructs bio-basin rainwater runoff systems that use plants and time to mitigate the erosion damage associated with southern summer thunderstorms. The truth is, the possibilities are wide open to any and all of these options but I think the focus will be on consultation concerning how to go from linear processes to cyclic ones in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to the systems we all share.

Feel free to contact me if you have thoughts, ideas, or concerns regarding this type of work. I am excited.

aaron newton

nuline ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com

rhonda jean said...

hello aaron, I found your blog via other I read.

Good luck with your new job. It sounds wonderful, not only from a personal point of view but also because it seems that companies are inreasingly looking at green options.

I presume you've heard of David Holmgren but have you read his fabulous article on retrofitting suburbia for sustainability? Here is a pdf version of it. If you haven't already read it, I hope you find it valuable.

nulinegvgv said...

Thanks rhonda,

I have indeed read that article but I'm glad you posted it here for everyone to access. I am a big David Holmgren fan. Let me reciprocate with an interview.

David Holmgren Interview

I have a feeling the permaculture principles championed by Holmgren, Molison and others will be important to the work I’ll be doing at my new job. At least I hope so.