As part of Ford’s futuring and trend conference, Forward with Ford 2011, the company placed a significant emphasis on sustainability and its efforts in this area.  The company invited Ed Begley Jr., celebrity environmentalist and host of Living with Ed, to speak about his eco-friendly lifestyle and environmental advocacy efforts.  Ed stressed that in his 41 years being an outspoken advocate for the environment there are ways to make and save green while going green.

He first outlined three lies to dispel about the environment:

(1) There isn’t a problem

(2) The problem is so great we can’t solve it (remember we have solved ozone depletion and LA smog issues from the 1970s)

(3) It’s too expensive and you have to choose between jobs or the environment

Acknowledging not everyone would be willing to ride a bike to power their toaster in the morning or cook in a solar oven, as seen on his show.  His key low hanging fruit for all of us to take advantage of were:

  • Weatherstrip and seal your home
  • Change your light bulbs to more efficient ones
  • Ride your bike when weather permits
  • Utilize mass transportation when available
  • Start recycling and composting
  • Grow your own food
  • Collect rainwater with a rain barrel to start

I appreciated his emphasis on transportation and planning issues as a key piece of the solution.  Some other quotes I enjoyed were:

–  “Can’t make gasoline on your roof” in regards to charging your EV from rooftop solar

–  “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting” on the growing water crisis

–  “The world is my gym” when biking is your mode of transportation

Disclosure: Ford invited Jetson Green to Forward with Ford 2011 and covered expenses for travel, lodging, and meals during the conference.  All opinions are our own.

Photo credits:  Jetson Green, LLC.