After writing posts about lifely products last week, it occurred to me that I should also write about about what what we mean when we say we are moving forward to “A Lifelstyle Based in Life”
Our underlying directive is to be “oriented to Nature.” To us, this means that Nature is the center of our lives and our intent is to understand Nature and live by its ways as part of the whole of Life, just like every other species.
We are, after all, a species of Nature—Homo sapiens—not industrial consumers. As they say, “When in Rome do as the Romans do,” so therefore, being of Nature, we should do as Nature does, not as materialistic industrialists dictate.
“When you build a thing, you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the large world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it.”
— Christopher Alexander,
A Pattern Language
an architectural design text that applies to design of anything and everything
The big difference between lifely products and all industrial products is that they go beyond the whole idea of industrialization and take a leap into Nature.
As I stated in The Lifecycle of a Product, products are multi-faceted and may be better or worse across their universe of materials, manufacture, use, and disposal. But then, products also fall within market sector categories that can indicate how they may affect health and the environment.
Recently I discovered that all products actually fall into a continuum that moves in degrees from the worst industrial products that harm health and the environment to the best lifely products that sustain health and the environment.
I this post I am going to outline this continuum as a reference point for evaluating and sorting products, and eventually making a decision to chose and use a product.
I first wrote about the lifecycle of a product in 1990 (see below). Not much had been written then, but I was co-founder of a new company that was making some of the first green products and I needed some way to assess the environmental impacts of a product, so I developed my own Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that showed how the product was connected to the Earth.
Today I want to give you this concept in a more personal context.