• How Your Smelly Feet Might Just Save the Planet

    For the last five years with the legislature in session across the street, I have been part of a panel of water experts who answer questions from a very diverse group of students from six or seven regional high schools. The event, Students for a Secure Water Future, is sponsored by River Source, a local nonprofit focusing on watershed-based education. Water quality was a hotter-than-usual topic this year, and when the subject of nanotechnology came up, I knew I’d take the mike. In all of its immaculate genius, modern science has recently come out with a new kind of odor-eating sock. Coated with millions of absurdly tiny flecks of metal, the rinse water from these fabrics, we now find, destroys the biological processes built into wastewater treatment plants. Raging against this untested anti-reek technology, I was suddenly clocked with what was probably the silliest catch phrase of the day (or I might venture to say, "any day"): “Save the World. Stink.” Sure it’s a stupid-sounding line, but stupid sure is good when it makes the truth memorable.


  1. Unknown says:

    That was an interesting panel, I hadn't heard of nano-'stink-killing'-socks... This is a telling finding about the unintended consequences of nanotechnology. It is important to note that many cosmetic products also have nanotechnology ingredients that could end up in our water supplies. Clearly the fate of these particles is not known, how they interact and leave the body (if indeed they do leave or if they bioaccumulate), and how they interact with natural systems, not to mention infrastructure like waste water treatment plants... Another case where the 'precautionary principle' might prevent widespread problems, such as we are seeing with genetic engineering...

  1. Thanks, Miguel!
    I'd like to say that the panel gets better and better every year, but that wouldn't be true because the truth is that the panel is always best when Miguel Santistevan is part of it (and unfortunately some years you've had scheduling conflicts). Be well, bro'!

  1. Being green also means reconnecting with our bodies, reconnecting with the earth. I think that was the strongest message for me during Youth for a Secure Water Future. So, our bodies put out odors.... that's o.k. and is what was meant to be.

    Thanks Nate for sharing your wisdom with me and the students. I always appreciate what you bring to the group

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The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

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