The Esalen Institute: Illuminating the Nexus of Sustainability Consciousness

Effortlessly perched along the spectacular coastline of Big Sur, California, along the winding Highway 1, rests the Esalen Institute. While waves crash upon the rocky cliffs, up to 250 people per day participate in enriching workshops or research activities, often followed by a soak in the hot mineral baths tucked in a cliffside crevice. Since 1962, the nonprofit educational institute has provided transformational workshops for people eager to explore and realize human potential through experience, education and research. My journeys…

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Take your Business Off-Grid, or Become a Net Producer of Energy: Learn How at the MREA’s Renewable Energy Fair

All businesses have “variable expenses” related to energy, right? Not always. There’s nothing in the IRS tax code preventing businesses from investing in renewable energy systems (and energy conservation/efficiency) that allow these businesses to operate more efficiently, sustainably, and green. In fact, often there are tax credits and other incentives to encourage these kinds of investments. Some businesses, like ours, generate a surplus of energy, essentially wiping out energy costs not to mention cutting carbon emissions (more on this another…

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Carbon Offsets: Creating Something Real from Hot Air

You’ve probably heard about carbon offsets. They’re everywhere these days, and it seems not a week goes that I don’t hear about a company pledging to go carbon neutral. And yet, it all seems so…full of hot air. What’s real? What do they really do? Which will make the most impact? How are the different purveyors, well, different? I have a suggestion: Take a look at LiveNeutral. Why? Well on a basic, financial level, they are a non-profit. And? And…

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Ecotourism: The Business of Sustaining the Earth through Travel

After the mighty industrial military complex (the companies behind the missiles and the satellites to guide them), tourism is the world’s largest industry, according to the World Tourism Organization. While tourism is big business, much of the industry can be just as destructive as the other extractive industries (mining, lumber, agriculture), sometimes operating in the same places around the world, places like the spectacular Alaskan Wilderness or rainforests of Indonesia. Oceans containing fish or oil hidden deep below the surface…

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Lisa Kivirist: Working with Purpose on Friday Night

The clock strikes prime time Friday night as I send you this introductory greeting. Back in my corporate cubicle days over a decade ago, “happy hour” did not find me at the computer screen. Most likely, on Friday night back then you’d find me physically and mentally as far from my work scene as I could muster: camping over state lines, social at a party, buzzing at the local coffeehouse. While I had a enviable job and paycheck, “work” remained…

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