Discovering Regenerative Business

As sad as the situation may seem I want you to think of this as becoming sponsors for my research project. In October I published the first book in a series looking at the values and ethics inherent in being sustainable. Being truly sustainable, living so the Earth continues to be healthy and evolving, is not clearly understood.

In the book I talk about the three stages of sustainability: 1) wise use of resources (plural), 2) zero waste (nothing, nada), 3) regenerative actions. It is the latter that I’m researching, trying to distill a model that can be easily replicated. Chapter nine sets out some hazy parameters, but much more needs to be done.

This project is important! Very, very few people recognize what it takes to make our life style regenerative, which is actually healthy for nature! We do not act with nature in mind and we do not even understand how to do that! The Sustainable Values Set® can be used as a checklist for decision-making – ensuring that the choices we make will benefit both us and the planet! The new models of business that are being created by both big and small firms can act as templates as we start to rethink our life and business styles.

Let me give you an example. The Permaculture Credit Union in Santa Fe New Mexico uses permaculture principles in making lending decisions. What does this mean? It means that loans are based on the impact those loans will make on the community and not just for an individual. For instance, a $3,000 loan that will double a business and allow that business to hire is more important than a 5 million dollar loan that will return a high ROI.

This is unheard of in the financial world! A loan for a bicycle is preferred over a loan for a Humvee. It is the principles that make these kinds of decisions possible. My work with the Sustainable Values Set® can be another source of this kind of sustainable choice making! I need your help in making this information available!!!

Isn’t it amazing when “bad” things become perfect? While losing my transmission in the middle of nowhere would seem ‘bad’ it actually happened at the perfect time and in the perfect place! If I had left on time, if I had decided to drive on instead of spend the night at Cattail Cove then I would have been in real trouble, but I didn’t I made the right choices and everything is set to solve all of the mechanical problems I knew and didn’t know I had. The huge potential for several major accident possibilities have been avoided as has the extreme wear and tear on Gabby that the damaged suspension was creating. I am SO blessed!

I’ve spent the entire time I’ve owned Gabby trying to address the suspension issue. It has only gotten worse and no one has known what to do. NOW I have a expert who even called the designer of my suspension system to get the inside scoop on what to look for. How can you plan this? I found him on the internet when I was broken down by the side of HWY 95!

He found the steering issues before I’d even mentioned that it seemed sloppy to me (an understatement). He, however found that the brake rotors were cracked – I had no idea. All three of these could have been the cause of a major accident! Blessed or what? On top of that he’s a great guy! He comes from Michigan, as I do, he’s into farm raised (his own) as I am, his father has liver cancer as I had, we share many of the same values! It has been great getting to know him! His staff is just like him, all great people.

OK, so the money is an issue! I need about $9,100 to do these repairs and I can’t move until I do. I’m living in his parking lot in front of his garage, next to another of his projects. We are in the industrial part of Lake Havasu City. I can see the Lake from here, but there is no room for my lawn chair. ;-) I have no car as it lost its engine in Quartzsite and I’m towing it on my way to have my future son-in-law fix it form me (bless his heart), so I’m quite stuck.

I’m hoping I can raise the funds quickly as it will take a week to actually do the repairs.

In 2012, when I turned 70, I sold my home in Boulder, Colorado, where I’d lived for 14 years, and put the proceeds into an RV. I wanted to visit some of the wonderful and wild places of American West. I have a passionate interest in sustainability and a long career of working with companies to make them perform better. I thought I’d combine the two and find and interview companies that were doing fantastic things from a sustainable perspective.

What I’ve found has made the whole trip worthwhile! I found companies in New Mexico that are doing exactly what I’d recommend, and then some. I’ve learned from them what it will take both individuals and businesses to make our time on this planet a benefit to Mother Nature. My book, what’s It Mean – Shifting To Green? on Amazon and Kindle speaks to my thinking and work before this trip. The next book will incorporate my learning and the stories I’m finding.

I love my RV, Gabby! She suites me, Rowdy and Priscilla perfectly. The previous owner did not take good care of her, so I’ve been bringing her up to speed as we go. This past year was slow as I spent it living in two places, Camp Verde (near Sedona), and Quartzsite (near the California border). Both places have been fun and enriching and I’ve learned a lot, but since Arizona wages are at the minimum level I’ve been able to just stay afloat.

I left Quartzsite on May 12 on my way to Nevada to talk with and interview folks at Zappos, then going on to Oregon to do more interviews there and then on to Seattle to talk with more business owners and see my daughter and her boyfriend. I spent the night of the 12th at Cattail Cove, an Arizona State Park. It was wonderful, right on Lake Havasu! I’m sure glad I did!!!! In the morning I was only a few miles away when I noticed smoke coming out of the back. Priscilla yowled as there was smoke in the bedroom and bath. I stopped and saw nothing!

I called Good Sam thinking that I’d had a blow out of one of the inside tires, and five hours later a truck drove up to fix my flat. Imagine my surprise when he told me all of my tires had the proper amount of air. I’d heard a hissing sound so I just assumed that was the tire. He agreed to follow me to Lake Havasu City.

Four miles more and the smoke reappeared. He suggested it was stuck brake or axel. I called several RV repair places in Havasu and finally talked to a very nice and apparently knowledgeable man named Bud. He suggested that I drive very slowly into his shop so he could see what the problem was. I did so, driving at 10 miles an hour. I decided to stop for propane as I needed it and was going by a gas station that sold it. Coming out I found it difficult to make the turn. I tried to back up, but could only go forward. Since I had no choice I did so, shoving my mirror into the side, scraping my front bumper and knocking the sign off the pole.

When I got up to Canyon Country RV I phoned Bud and he came out to see what the trouble was. It took him only a few minutes to make a diagnoses – I’d lost my transmission! He’s done his research and looked Gabby over and she also needs brake drums (cracked) the airbag suspension system fixed (she leans to one side and I’ve been trying to get this fixed for the past 1 ½ years), and there is a steering issue. All told the cost is about $9,100.

Your help, your sponsorship of this project will benefit all of us!
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    • $100 
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    • $100 
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  • John & Sunnie 
    • $100 (Offline)
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    • $100 (Offline)
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    • $100 
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Kathryn Alexander MA 
Boulder, CO
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