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Life-Cycle Responsibility

Time is slipping away so fast with so many details to take care of to realize the Live More Lightly Project. One of the reasons this project is so complex is that I have taken life-cycle responsibility for the product that I am producing. The product in this case is a multi-media book, but the principals apply to anything produced. In this post, I will refer to the concept of the universal product as a “widget”. The recent rush to re-cycle widgets properly is to be applauded, but the idea of considering the environmental impact of every aspect of producing and maintaining the product is often overlooked.

My particular widget, the “Live More Lightly Songbook and Workshop Guide” will be printed using the most environmentally friendly processes available. The included disk will have to be made from virgin plastic, so the choice will be based on price, although I plan to choose a company that uses environmentally sound practices when they can. This is the point where many producers believe they have done enough, but I continue to examine my practices: can I live more lightly?

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I am writing the book using a computer that I built from mostly re-cycled parts and the notebook I bought to take on the tour was manufactured by AsusTek, a leader in re-use and re-cycling of its products. I am using Ubuntu Linux on both computers (the notebook came with Vista, so it is dual-boot) because I believe that open source software is more efficient and uses less resources. This is a statement I can’t provide academic proof for, but I know it saves my resources. With Windows and Mac computers I have to spend time working to be able to afford the product, then after spending considerable sums of money, I usually have to spend hours troubleshooting. With Linux, if you can get it to work — it is yours. I want to have good karma on this project and use legitimate software only. The software I am using in Ubuntu would take me months of work to afford because I do not want to be a software pirate.

The motorcycle is very important because I will need to tour to promote my book and facilitate my workshop. Air travel produces a lot of pollution and even though carbon offsets can be purchased, my goal is to reduce my impact on the planet. I realize that this may not always be possible, but by touring on my motorcycle I can produce a relatively insignificant amount of pollution and purchase carbon offsets for that as well. It is true that a lot of recent posts have been motorcycle related, but it is all-important to realizing the tour and the documentary video.

Concert reviews are not 100% relevant to widget production, but I am trying to improve my skills as a photographer and videographer. My training as a graphic designer and music technologist does give me a unique perspective, but I am very new to this world. Many of the reviews discuss the various challenges I face in documenting my activities and I hope all of this experience will be valuable to the realization of the project. I am still trying to find out if any video equipment is more environmentally friendly in manufacture or re-cycling. To make this a more easily searchable issue, I have added a new category Video and Photography to the left sidebar to filter posts into this category.

Improving my skills as a musician and writing posts about my interactive performances, such as the Children’s Festival, may be of interest to workshop presenters. I am very interested in presenting Live More Lightly Workshops and I hope that these events will demonstrate a level of competency as a professional musician and workshop facilitator. Current research into low impact workshop practices is on-going and will be the subject of a future post.

The “Live More Lightly Project” is utilizing all of my skills and developing some of my non-skills. The original concept of the project was to focus my abilities to encourage everyone to “Live More Lightly” and that is what this blog is all about. Although I may seem to digress, the importance of “cradle to grave” widget production and maintenance or life-cycle responsibility is constantly influencing my planning. As a parent, it is of primary importance to leave resources for the future.

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