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Call for Content! SB Issues in Focus: ReThinking Waste

  “What a waste!” Is that a statement to cheer or boo? It all depends on how you view waste! During the month of February 2012, Sustainable Life Media will be publishing a new “SB Issues in Focus” Editorial package, including daily features, interviews and case studies on the topic of “ReThinking Waste”

Topic overview: At SB'11, Ian Yolles, CMO of RecycleBank noted that in order to move to a Cradle to Cradle world, we need to remove the word 'waste' from our vocabulary. Do we need to eliminate the very concept of waste, or redefine what waste is- and what it can be? Nature, for example, LOVES waste, turning it into food for countless living systems. 

Can we be as “smart as dirt” in transforming waste into food?  Can we waste nothing? This month we chronicle the inspiring momentum taking place on many planes and in many places in the movement to transform waste to resources.

As Guest Editor for February, Joe Laur, Principal at SEED Systems, former Director For Content for Waste Management’s Organic Growth Group, and Co-author of “The Necessary Revolution”  (Doubleday, 2008) seeks your brilliant content to consider for publication as part of this package. This is a great opportunity to share your insights, visions and accomplishments on what waste means to a sustainable brand leader in 2012.

Content Guidelines:

WHAT: Written (and/or audio and/or video) perspective on topics such as:

Waste Elimination: Henry Ford once said it was a public good to reuse scrap left over from our products and processes, but an even greater public good to design our systems so that there was no scrap. What innovations, new approaches, and accomplishments can you point to in the elimination of waste, even as a concept? All waste was once a valuable material that we paid good money upfront for, and if we don’t utilize it, we pay again at the end of its life to dispose of it. How can we radically transform our systems and relationships to materials and energy so that waste becomes obsolete?

Waste Equals Food:  Ma Nature, with 3.6 billion years of beta testing behind her, doesn’t generate waste in the sense our industrial systems do. All waste from one source in nature is food for another in an endless closed loop of materials and energy swapping. How have you or your organization taken waste to a higher level as a resource? Have you transformed what was once considered waste into a higher value material or product? We want your story here to instruct and inspire others.

WHO: - Anyone working or consulting in the sustainable brand value chain. Leaders, designers, procurers, product developers and manufacturers- anyone who touches the materials and energy flows that move through our systems.

WHEN: Specific ideas for stories and media on ReThinking Waste due by end of day Friday, January 20th.

HOW: Contact our editorial department with your proposed idea, theme or case study. Email our editors at

WHAT: Maximum 600 words, 2- 5 minute audio/video

Judging Criteria for Content:

Our readers are business leaders seeking information about how others are profitably innovating for sustainability. They seek insights and ideas that might be applied across market sectors about how to drive top line growth and shift to sustainability across their value chains. We will evaluate your submissions based on currency of the example or idea presented, balance of perspective, strength of content, and delivered principles, based on specific experience that might apply to a variety of markets or product sectors.

Where appropriate, contributions from authors providing specific insights will be given highest priority.

Kick-off questions for the month are the following:

  1. What are the biggest hurdles you face in waste streams and how are you transforming them?
  2. How are you or your organization reconceptualizing what waste is and what it could be?
  3. What are your examples of radical innovation for 2012 and beyond? What are your transformative strategies and tactics to turn waste into resources?
  4. How are you finding ways to “close the loop” on material and energy flows, to create true “cradle to cradle” systems?
  5. How are you putting into place systems that mimic or utilize natural processes?
  6. What potential or opportunities do you see for greater innovation to eliminate, transform and capitalize on waste??

Please Submit: A fully finished piece, or an OVERVIEW (one paragraph to one page) of your proposed piece for consideration. If selected by the Guest Editors and Sustainable Life Media, the full feature will be due 1 week before publish date. The feature, video or interview will be published during February 2011.

Thank you,

Thomas Miner
Executive Producer, Sustainable Life Media

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