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Baking Soda Could Help Save the Planet, and Other Things That Caught My Eye

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:12am

So, it started with the baking soda article that I found a few days ago on, titled Baking Soda Could Help Save the Planet. Caught my eye, of course. Turns out that a company named Skyonic has developed a way to convert carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, into food-grade baking soda. Now, think about folks using all that baking soda to clean their homes instead of toxic chemicals, and we're on to something totally synergistic here. Love it, love it, love it.

But here's the part of the article that has had my head spinning. Skyonic CEO Joe Jones supposedly thought up this baking soda solution to the carbon dioxide problem while watching a show on the Discovery Network with his kids. And this is the part that excites me--solutions surround us, and nature holds many of the answers, if only we can take the time to see, truly see, and to make the connections that will make a difference.

Case in point--our little drought situation here in Georgia. An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday said basically that folks don't need to worry, that we probably won't run out of water, let's just wait and see how very bad the spring and summer will be (they are predicted to be catastrophic, by the way) and even if we do totally dry up, there are plans to truck in water.

Truck in water! This is our big plan? We have mere months left of potable water and this is the big news? And what state exactly is going to be so willing to share their water? And how long will that water last? And how much fuel will it take to get it here? And what happens after that? Where is the thinking? Where is the ingenuity? Where are the true roll-up-our-sleeves changes? Where are the ideas?

Baking soda, my friends. This innovative idea, which is currently being pilot-tested at the Big Brown Steam Electric Station in Fairfield, Texas, is my guiding light for today. I am going to place a box of baking soda on my desk to remind me of the kind of thinking the world needs right now.

As for other luminaries, my friend Judy recommends a website named TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design and which has videos of "inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers."

I'm also always blown away each year by Fast Company's Social Capitalist Awards winners, which are featured in this month's issue of the magazine.

And finally, I draw your attention to my favorite book on creativity, famous choreographer and dancer Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit. I reread it every year between Christmas and New Year's, like clockwork, and I get something new from it each time.

More innovative thinking. Less trucked water, please.
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