In the South Bronx, once a deeply distressed urban area of New York City that the cops had dubbed “Fort Apache” because it had been so dangerous, a lot of the comeback has been around sustainability (thanks in no small measure to years of terrific organizing by Majora Carter and Sustainable South Bronx). A new initiative I just learned about creates three wins at once:
- Cleans up polluted water
- Creates clean and usable biofuel that doesn’t sacrifice agricultural land
- Creates jobs and a general economic boost in a depressed area
Read about this triple win here. More and more, I think we’ll be seeing development projects like this. (I know of many others around the country and around the world.) The key is to look at waste from one process and see how it could be used as an ingredient for the next process. Another great example is The Intervale, in Burlington and South Burlington, Vermont, where beer waste becomes a growing medium for mushrooms, which in turn feeds fish. This thinking shift is one of the major principles of true sustainability.