white-arrow WHAT IS CREATIVE

From the view of
ecology, I would define
creative sustainability
as finding new ways to
environments to continue
to maintain the biodiversity
and ecosystem services
needed to be healthy.

Gretchen LeBuhn,
Associate Professor of
Biology at University of California
Director of the Great Sunflower Project

Keeping pesticides
herbicides and rodenticides
out the realm of possibility
and opting to be playful
curious and active with our
minds bodies and spirits that
live in cooperation with wild
creatures and where
they roam

Holly Twining,
Maine Audubom Society

Three bold praying mantises
seem to eye me suspiciously
from the tall grass; two lady
beetles track down lunch
on never-sprayed trees; a
wary cedar waxwing nestles
with its chicks in a balsam
fir; bees galore stuff pollen
sacs from goldenrod. Trying
not to wreck all the parallel
universes: sustainability.

Jean English, Editor,
The Maine Organic Farmer
and Gardenet.

materials for new opportunities
and unrealized potential. It’s
possible to build items that work
better, last longer, and even look
cooler using garbage. When you
arrive at that end, people will
support it and feel proud about what
they have salvaged regardless of
whether they consider themselves
environmentalists or not.

Nick Power,

Creative sustainability
requires looking outward at the resources at
hand and realizing they are not yours alone; that
your responsibility is to look inward for how to conjure
celebration out of simplicity, rather than spiraling into the
dread of implied scarcity. You will need to be as comfortable
in your landscape as in your own skin, maybe more so.
Peel back your life to the bones, firmly grasp the ensuing
existence of grit and gratitude, and urge this way of being
into a world of intuitive tradition: find contentment in
community, share your stories like passing seeds
to the next generation.

Holli Cederholm,
Organic Seed Growers
and Trade Association

Creative sustainability begins with
gaining a fresh perspective on the
entire system. Like swimming beneath
a massive swirl of schooling baitfish
corralled by a barracuda and watching
it from below, rather than from shore.
The patterns, pieces and connections
are clearer, and you can draw
new conclusions.

Margot Carpenter, Hartdale Map


As long as I am making things with my hands,
paintings, sculptures, anything—I feel sustained.
The wellspring I draw from for my creativity is nature.
Much of my work as an artist, writer, naturalist is about
personal experiences in the field. Nature is the source of
my awe and inspiration, as well as human interpretations
of nature going back for millennia. I am interested in
why humans have an impulse to depict things in nature.
Making things, exercising creativity, sustains me, but I
would not be able to do that if I could not dip in and
out of the spring for inspiration…

James Prosek,
American artist, writer,
and naturalist, www.troutsite.com

This is box title

To achieve sustainability we will need to dramatically rethink the way our society is organized. Mulching, LED lights and insulated homes will never cut it. We need people who have the nerve and the vision to get behind structural, policy changes. It won’t be a worse quality life. In fact, it will probably be better, but it would also be a different way to live. People don’t like change, so we need creative people to make it happen and then help normal people understand it and embrace it. Brady Russel Eastern Pennsylvania Director at Clean Water Action

If I were a bird and flew through Hell,
lived to tell about it,
and found myself
during the telling of my flying through Hell
longing to fly through Hell again
so that I would have more to tell,
I would be exhibiting Creative Sustainability.

Jim Draper, artist, www.jimdraperart.com


At work, creative sustainability has become a matter
of survival. How does one continue to deliver on
one’s work commitments, with a reduced workforce
and reduced funding? The answer is to find creative
ways to do the same work with what you have on hand.
You look at all the skills available, even skills people
may have forgotten they have or not used for a long
time, and you shift them around to get the right skills
on the right task at the right time. You give people
opportunities to grow their skills quickly to match the
demand and you give them your trust that they are up
to the challenge. There is a price, of course, often paid
in the human cost of more working hours or frustrated
career goals, and there is a question in my mind about
whether the model is truly sustainable over the long
run. That’s why the creative sustainability I practice
at home is so rewarding: it’s a model for the long run.
It is making something beautiful where others only
see junk, taking that box of old t-shirts and turning
it into a cheerful rag rug to brighten your kitchen,
rather than running to the box store and buying a rug
made of questionable materials and destructive business
practices. It is thinking about the ultimate destination
of something you are about to purchase, before you
purchase it, and sometimes choosing not to purchase
it. It is bringing awareness to your everyday choices.
Creative sustainability is hope for the future.

Monica Piccinini, IBM