Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Can Sustainable Values Bridge the Conservative-Progressive Divide?

Sustainability makes strange bedfellows. In this case, a small Jewish-leaning business and a fundamentalist Christian megachurch.

In his latest article for TriplePundit, Martin Melaver, author of Living Above the Store: Building a Business That Creates Value, Inspires Change, and Restores Land and Community and CEO of the socially responsible business Melaver, Inc., talks about a strange partnership his company recently entered into. At first glance, the two organizations couldn’t be less alike. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll see that responsible stewardship of this big ol’ mudball we all share crosses faith, party, and ideological borders.

One of our clients is a fundamentalist Church with a mega-congregation. My own company is a small family business with strong leftist Jewish values. You wouldn’t think we’d have much to talk about except the weather and SEC football. The differences could not be greater.

The K-12 school that is a part of the Church has a sign on its football stadium that reads “With God’s help we will crush the enemy.” In my own lexicon, I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “warrior” outside the context of a yoga position. The Church finishes all of its meetings with a prayer. Our own company meetings are much more riotous by comparison. The Church evangelizes on television every Sunday. We try to do our talking through various sustainable practices that take years before they come to fruition.

There are some things we are never going to agree on, some other things I can’t even imagine having a conversation about. And yet despite many cultural differences, our two entities are slowly discovering some compelling common ground.

This particular Church is interested in creating a continuum of care for its congregants, a cradle-to-grave development that most of us would recognize in one way or another as good ol’ mixed-use, mixed-income community development. And, as trustees of church coffers, they are interested in energy-saving strategies and water-conservation technologies that reduce costs for its constituents – thus making them similarly invested in being good stewards of our natural capital. In short, a conservative Church finds itself breaking bread with a progressive business on a sustainable real estate  venture.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Chelsea Green to Revolutionize Industry with Edible Books

Move over Gutenberg: In advance of Earth Day 2015, environmental publishing leader Chelsea Green Publishing is announcing the introduction of an entirely new type of book – the completely biodegradable, and in certain instances edible, book. While some publishers tout the recycled content of their papers, or use of soy-based inks, Chelsea Green, which turned […] Read More..

Get More from Your Mission: The Social Profit Handbook

For-profit institutions measure their success primarily by monetary gains. But nonprofit institutions are different; they aim for social profit, or improving the well-being of people, place, and planet. The Social Profit Handbook draws from author David Grant’s decades of leadership in the education, foundation, and nonprofit worlds, and provides  leaders of social profit institutions with […] Read More..