Why We Work

On yogurt lids and change

April 29, 2011

By Ulli Klein, Second Nature’s Director of Operations & Communication

(This post is part of a weekly series by the Second Nature team about why we do what we do.)

“Where does this one go?”

That was probably one of the most common question I heard my father ask. It was the mid 80s. Germany had just started a nation-wide recycling program and, like with many things German, the program was strictly enforced including “Trash cops” checking residents compliance by going through their trash.

Here was my 63 year old father, standing in the kitchen with the aluminum lid of a yogurt container in one hand and the container itself in the other hand staring at the three different colored trash cans.

“Where do I put this,” he would ask again and if no one was there to answer, he would quietly place container and lid on the counter and scurry out of the kitchen in hopes my mother would take care of it.

I was convinced there was no way to retrain his old mind.

There are still days where I feel that the United States, my adopted home country,  is a lot like my father was 20+ years ago: Willing and able but confused about living a sustainable life – and I say that with a lot of affection for both, the United States and my father.

Newly Sustainable

April 20, 2011

By Nick Braica, Second Nature Communications Intern

(This post is part of a weekly series by the Second Nature team about why we do what we do.)

Why do I work at Second Nature? Because I like the idea of saving the world.

The main idea that was pounded into me while I was reviewing and editing footage for the Second Nature videowas that we only have this one earth to live on. And as our president Anthony Cortese pointed out, all of the living systems on this planet are in long-term decline due to the fact that our resources are not unlimited, yet we still use them as such. Of course, the doomsday prophesies may be a little extreme for this generation, but the point stands: we’ve got nowhere else to go, and if we continue on our current unsustainable path, we’re going to run out of stuff in the future.

Why I Work

April 14, 2011

By Toni Nelson, Second Nature ACUPCC Program Director

(This post is part of a weekly series by the Second Nature team about why we do what we do.)

Almost two years ago I moved back to my hometown of Lexington, KY, after spending most of my adult life in almost constant motion – living in Charlottesville, VA; upstate NY and NYC; Washington, DC; Eugene, OR; Miami; Rio de Janeiro, and Sedona, AZ, and traveling all over the world for both work and play, sometimes for months at a time.  But Kentucky is the land of Wendell Berry, and to me it’s no coincidence that he is a product of this place – which its inhabitants love more fiercely than any other place I’ve lived, and which, for all my traveling, is the only place I could ever imagine actually putting down roots.  I loved growing up here and always intended to return, despite the rather circuitous path I took to do so.

Hiking in Kentucky

Hiking in Kentucky


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