Episode 30: Creating Sustainable Communities with Brian Weller

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Meet Brian Weller, co-founder of WELL, Willits Economic Localization, a rural community in Northern California moving off the grid. Think monk, businessman, artist and psychologist who knows not to take himself too seriously.

Learn how to enter into community contracts such as land purchases for eco-communities and listen to a 4-point system for building a sustainable community. Meredith Medland, your host and founder of 3outcomes.com, asks usually insightful questions that reveal strategies to help you navigate the deeper level of intimacies required for sustaining community.


Woman: This program is brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com.

[musical interlude]

Meredith Medland: You're listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”. I'm your host, Meredith Medland. Today, you will meet Brian Weller, a co-founder of WELL, Willits Economic Localization, a rural community in Northern California moving off the grid. In this episode, Brian brings 39 years of teaching and meditation, 25 years of corporate consulting, and a passion for living life on the edge which underscores his work in sustainability. He's a think monk [sp], businessman, artist, and psychologist who knows not to take himself too seriously.

Today we will explore how communities can get together and look at going off the grid. We’ll learn how to create and identify sustainable living practices for entering into community contract such as land purchases. In our third segment, we'll reveal strategies to navigate the deeper level of intimacy required for sustaining communities.

Here are some highlights from our show.

[musical interlude]

Brian Weller: Sustainability--and there are many definitions of it--but in essence, it's a state that can be maintained indefinitely. What we've seen over let's say the last hundred years or so in technology are three major trends. One is towards miniaturization; one is towards speed, faster; and the other, which is an economic indicator, is really to do with cheaper; so cheaper, faster, smaller. If you look at those trends in terms of our economy, they’ve already created I would say a short-termism[sp]. What motivates a lot of people to look at creating a more intentional or eco-community is--in economics now referred to as “the triple bottomline” where [xx] our economy but we look at our ecology and social equity.

So one of the real [xx] to me was--as I was bringing a lot of my knowledge and experience from corporate planning, strategy building, working with culture, and so on--bringing some of those personal values into our local community were highly valued by people but, at the same time, there was a natural suspicion.

Let's look at what intimacy is. I think of intimacy as the freeway to the sacred and what sacred, of course, it comes from the sac and the sacrum which is at the base of spine. It's really the container for energy of the life [xx] which is it really forms I would say the energetic basis of true intimacy.

Meredith Medland: In our first segment, we are addressing how communities can get together and explore going off the grid. Brian, what does “going off the grid” mean to you?

Brian Weller: Going off the grid, it's a good time that really nails this core idea which is basically being more localized for our energy and our food, water, and some of the core essentials that each community requires whether that’s in a rural setting or an urban setting. So it really defines this notion of economic localization which is basically consuming what we produce locally.

Meredith Medland: Now, tell us a bit about WELL.

Brian Weller: Willits Economic Localization is a grassroots organization in Northern California in the town of Willits. It started about three and a half years ago when a group of us, about 15-16 of us, got together and viewed an interesting movie by Gregory Greene called the “End of Suburbia”. That was really highlighting some of the trends and tendencies towards what we now refer to as “peak oil”, some of the concerns that are growing now more and more in the public awareness about resource depletion and basically meeting the needs of the future since we're compromising so much of our natural capital.

So we got together and viewed this film, started talking, and then two weeks later we showed this film again and about 30 or 40 people showed up. So we decided to show it again and about 80, and then we kept showing it for the next six months every two weeks. And basically, we built a grassroots organization whereby the whole community got into a conversation to see what we could do to basically preserve a sustainable future.

Meredith Medland: One are the most important things I've you heard you say in other interviews is related to what it means to be sustainable in your community. Would you be willing to share that with our listeners?

Brian Weller: Absolutely. Sustainability--and there are many definitions of it--but in essence, it's a state that can be maintained indefinitely. So the keyword here actually--which underscores sustainability--is endurance, it's enduring overtime. The technical definition of sustainable development, the word development, of course, means to unwrap as in envelop means to “wrap” and “develop” means “to unwrap”. The sustainable development movement really began with the Brundtland Commission in the last ‘80s and defined it as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In environmental terms, it really means being “climate neutral”, so those are two ways of looking at sustainability.

If you really get down to the core issues around sustainability or long-term endurance, what we've seen over the last hundred years or so in technology, three major trends. One is towards miniaturization; one is towards speed, faster; and the other, which is an economic indicator, is really to do with cheaper; so cheaper, faster, smaller. If you look at those trends in terms of our economy, they’ve already created I would say short-termism.

More and more of the global economy is based in short-term economics where companies have to really make significant gains and the single bottomline in terms of three monthly, or four or five monthly like that cultivation. What it does is it creates a huge pressure to basically keep this economy on a natural growth curve, growth in the sense of more and more and more which is very out of synch with what nature is doing. Nature you know is very cyclical and there's a rising and falling in the natural economy if we can call it that in terms of the four seasons.

So if you take that one trend and then look at where many people are really driving their own personal economy from this, very much from places of survival and short-term isn’t. You know, “What I need to survive?” So we tend not, therefore, to think very long term, and sustainability requires us to do that. If we're making reactive and short-term decisions based on the survival orientation, then this tends to mean that we make choices and decisions and consume without really considering the longer term consequences. I suppose all of the listeners now probably are aware that those consequences are coming back to haunt us. We see that in terms of the climate change trends and also the instability in the financial markets around the world and the resulting drastic survival drive to secure sources of non-renewable energy in the form of oil and gas.

Meredith Medland: I was on a walk yesterday, we're walking and looking over the ocean and it was with a friend of mine. She’s one of these very outdoor, surfing--she's a massage therapist and she's not necessarily very technically savvy. She doesn’t own an iPod but definitely delve in to the pattern of nature and spends tons of time in nature. We were talking about eco-communities and this recent episode having on the group that’s looking at land in Panama as well as in Costa Rica which has prompted this episode on sustainable communities. I was telling her about some of the things that they are afraid of or why going off the grid is important. Then we entered into a sort of uncomfortable conversation around what's happening with liberties in the United States and it edged just a little bit in what might be called either conspiracy theory or alternative thinking. I was wondering if you'd be able to shed some light on why we're moving towards community and why this going off the grid? Is this just it's like a California thing?

Brian Weller: It's not. It's a worldwide phenomena and it's really gaining a lot of energy right now. Currently, there are at least 150 communities around the world which are now moving very fast in the direction of creating a truly sustainable future. Looking back to your friend in that conversation, what motivates a lot of people to look at creating a more intentional eco-community is--in economics now referred to as “the triple bottomline”--where we're [xx] and look at our economy but we look at our ecology and social equity.

Many people do feel disenfranchised and quite fearful of being able to survive in the current economy which is increasingly more globalized. So there is a natural tendency, I feel, for conscious consumers, conscious people to get together and say, “OK, how can we take greater control over our lives in community?” So the idea of an intentional community is what people literally create a community from scratch as it were, getting land together and making explorations and choices around how they will govern themselves. It includes the whole value of [xx] and equity in the way that they live and work together so that their economy is more localized. They pool resources, purchase land, maybe form a local bank, and then, of course, farm the local environment in such a way that it truly is sustainable. This means that people start to learn really about what it means to be local.

If you think about economic localization is at its core, Meredith, it's really about returning to a sense of place. In other words, right relationship we could say with the land that you live of and then taking care of our water. WELL, Willits Economic Localization, the word “well” is an interesting word here because wells, traditionally--if you go back in history--were gathering places. They were places where people would meet and take up the water. The word “dwelling” for example, means those who live nearby the wells. So dwelling suites were built--going back in time--around sources of water. The height of the well, of course, would be a measure of the core resource required for food and drinking, and all of the rest of it.

Of course, wells are also places where you could invite strangers and tell you stories. So really, I would say, is to return to a true--the word “civic” is a wrong word here because it implies city--but in the current parlance, it's really a return to true civic values where people get to know each other, they form deep and enduring relationships and have a right sort of orientation to where they live. It's returning to this idea of the sense of place and so many people feel displaced today. Those are some of the drivers, I think, these are some of the trends that’s calling people to really come together in this what we now call eco-community.

Meredith Medland: Thank you. We're going to get ready to take a break to thank our sponsors. When we come back from the break, we're going to discuss some specifics around how to create and identify sustainable living practices for entering into community contracts such as a land purchase. Then in our third segment, we're going to talk about strategies to navigate the deeper level of intimacy as required for sustaining communities.

But before we take a break, what I want to make sure our listeners know, Brian, is that you are a solid expert in this. In fact, you've got a workshop coming up in Esalen which is the weekend of May 30th, that’s May 30th through June 1st of 2008, and it's called “Creating Sustainable Communities”. You can go to Esalen’s website, which is E-S-A-L-E-N.org and type in Brian Weller and you'll find more information about his workshops. In the event that you're listening to this podcast and that date has passed, I know that, Brian, you do a lot of teaching and it's probable that they can still type your name in there and find more workshops.

So thank you so much for joining us and we're going to take a break to listen to our sponsors.

[radio break]

Meredith Medland: You're listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”. My name is Meredith Medland and I'm your host. I'm here with Brian Weller, and if you'd like to come along with us by going on the Web, you can go to LivingGreenShow.com, you can type in Brian Weller and you'll see an Episode page. On that page, you'll see links with URLs to various media that Brian has been interviewed in, you'll see links to his workshops as well as other URLs that will help you do more research from here.

Brian, I told our listeners that in this second break, we would learn how to create and identify sustainable living practices for entering into community. I also mentioned that there are many of our listeners who are in the process of building eco-communities or they're in the process of going to places like Panama and Costa Rica and buying land. What is the first step for a community of people who have come together to purchase property?

Brian Weller: Let's talk about four core suggestions. I'll read over them quickly and then we can weave a little conversation around them. First one is to collaboratively create visions of what your ideal community would look like from the future. The second is to conduct some inventory which is research from what we currently have in terms of resources. That could be financial resources, natural capital of the land and so on, our talent of course, and practically experience as a group. The third is to speak transparently and systematically about what might go wrong. So this is really the realm of risk assessments, looking at uncertainties and the unforeseen.

Fourthly, and I would say this one underscores the other three, is to spend as much time as possible building deep and real relationship that creates something called “participatory safety”, safe for people to speak the truth to each other. This is always a challenge because what brings people together for this kind of venture is often ideal. What we're talking about here is turning those ideals into reality. So building safety, trust, equity, and understanding what good governance is going to mean. That’s all about the agreements we enter into.

This is really, I would say, the core of creating a sustainable community. Creating a vision first--there are many ways to do this by the way—but, generally, it's good to have a facilitated session or series of sessions so that people can really speak their dreams and get into specifics. What precisely do people see to such a future could look like for them in that ideal community. Are they together on those? Where do they come together, where are they apart? What the differences are, similarities in terms of those visions? Then practical considerations about how they're going to go about this.

Meredith Medland: Why is this important to do?

Brian Weller: It's important to do it because you see so much of what has led us down an unsustainable path in society is that a lot of what we call our lifestyle is reactive, it comes in the past. A lot of what we're doing is with problem solving. How do I sort of keep my life going? A lot of what shows up in what we call a “[xx] reality”, if this [xx] of the past. So the more and more time we spend problem solving and attempting to deal with the effects of the past, the less time we have to step into the future and really create from there and that’s a truly creative act.

So this first step is really to just agree to step into the future and do a truly visioning process and exercise. Having done that, we then come back and look at our present reality and that’s what inventory is about. In other words, “OK, what we have here in terms of our resources?” Financial and natural capital, our talent, experience, and so on. Where are we vulnerable? What don’t we have? Then you're getting into this sort of the real nitty gritty of saying, “How are we going to step from where we are to where we want to be?”

So it's a bit like taking a big leap, you need to be pretty sure that where you're jumping from is strong and that’s really what the second suggestion is, doing inventory work. We did that for around six or nine months here in Willits. We did research across a number of indicators. We needed to know, for example, how much food do we have? Can we feed the 13,200 people or so in our zip code which is about 320 square miles? How much land do we have?

We discovered, by the way, that our local supermarkets--and this is the result of what's called “just in time” delivery practice which is a worldwide trend these days. If there was a major upset in North South Cordon on Highway 101 in California due to earthquake--which we do have--or major fire or some kind of calamity, we have between three and four days supply of food in our supermarkets. That also, of course, means that energy sources will be highly compromised. We found we had two to three days’ supply of diesel for our local hospital. Like that, in drought conditions, we've had them. Our water sources will be severely compromised.

So doing inventory work is really important. It means know what do we have, what are our sources of supply? It's getting down to the real sort of nuts and bolts to look at our core resources. We just spent about nine months on that, we produced big reports and then we did a major outreach into the community where every two weeks, we'd have large meetings. We called in experts to help us think this whole through and engage our local representatives, our local councilors on. That’s been a lot of the work we've been doing over these three and a half years is really building what I call “social capital” which is making sure that people understand that we are vulnerable.

Meredith Medland: What's been the most challenging part of that process for you personally?

Brian Weller: The most challenging part really it comes to the fourth suggestion about building relationship because building strong relationship, which is truly resilient, which can deal with differences of opinion and conflicts and so on, differences in style. Now my background, as I think you intimated at the very beginning, is quite a varied one but I have had many years of experience working inside the corporate world. So one of the real [xx] to me was--as I was bringing a lot of my knowledge and experience from corporate planning, strategy building, working with culture and so on--bringing some of those [xx] and values into our local community were highly valued by people but, at the same time, there was a natural suspicion.

The other thing, of course, is I'm British. All right, so there's a cultural difference here. So spending time with each other so that people can get underneath the words and the language and get to know each other, it's really about building trust and that takes time. It's not something of just a perception of somebody, that doesn’t form the basis of a truly enduring relationship. So building sustainable communities is a relationship-building exercise.

Maybe I could share with our listeners here, we talk about midwifing the future and that’s really what we're doing, like a midwife. The word “wife” is an acronym, it stands for four things. The W stands for being a watchdog, the I stands for incubation or being an incubator, the F for being a facilitator, and the E for being an educator. So this defines the roles that we have here, our organization has in our community. We have about 250 members and many, many more affiliates.

We've been watch dogging for vulnerabilities and opportunities. So we have a lot research going on about trends, how these trends will affect us here in our local community. We're incubating new businesses. We're now a non-profit so we have a trust funds, we have regular funds, and we seek further funds which we can then basically give grants to start local businesses which are based on truly sustainable principles, keeping their money circulating in our locality, that’s the I.

Then the F is facilitation and that’s very, very important. It's being able to have dialog together such we can explore our differences without breaking relationship. Then, of course, education and I think over this last three and a half years we've had something like 30-32 major educational events, sometimes attracting 200-300 people covering again all the new information and knowledge that’s coming out around how to build a community. We've had experts come and spend weekend workshops with us.

Let me just mention one person called Michael Shuman who’s one of the founders of the BALLE Network, that’s the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, and his book “Going Local” is a must read. It causes so much of what it means to create a truly sustainable local community. His latest book, “The Small-Mart Revolution” is an extremely good book, too, so I would recommend that book to everybody.

Meredith Medland: Awesome, “Going Local”. Thank you, Brian. We're going to take a break to thank our sponsors. In our next segment--it's our last segment--it's going to be really juicy. Brian says, “We've got strategies to navigate the deeper level of intimacies that are required for sustaining community”.

My name is Meredith Medland and we're here with Brian Weller and you're listening to “Living Green”.

[radio break]

Meredith Medland: Welcome back from the break. My name is Meredith Medland and you're listening to “Living Green”. Remember that you can go to LivingGreenShow.com and find out more information on all our great podcasts.

Brian Weller, it's our last break and we promised we'd give everybody strategies to navigate deeper levels of intimacy. What kind of strategies do you have to share with me?

Brian Weller: Well, let's look at what intimacy is. I think of intimacy as the freeway to the sacred and what's sacred, of course, comes from the “sac” and the “sacrum” which is the base of the spine is really the container for the energy and the life force. It really forms, I would say, the energetic basis of true intimacy. The other dimension is really the pursuit of happiness if you think about it. I'm reminded of one [xx] philosopher called Epicu’ros of 4th century BC. What he says here is “The untroubled life is the paradigm of happiness”. The key assertion of Epicu’ros was that the troubles entailed in maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasures of partaking in it.

So this takes us to a very special place to explore intimacy. There is something about simplicity that’s just being together in that simplest state of awareness, that place of appreciation, the place of gratitude, the place of true listening. So the magic of intimacy is really the exploration of being still together. That’s where it comes from, it's really that place of simple silence and that’s the true listening, the deep listening. This is a great challenge in relationship because relationship is a very stormy arena for living. It's like the weather, every kind of shade and every temperature and the more intimate one becomes with another, this creates a greater degree of safety where you can be more yourself. Being more yourself often means then that we share not just the nice aspects and the sort of careful, well-mannered aspects of being together, but what comes up invariably is the stuff that isn’t so sweet and nice. It's the fears and the concerns and all of that.

Meredith Medland: The shadow’s side.

Brian Weller: You could say it's the shadow’s side.

Meredith Medland: Let's talk about that because in creating communities who want to buy land or do any project together, I've seen a lot of dark stuff. I've seen communities split up that were about to make purchases or move forward in creating eco-communities. There's tons of research around project failing and I, quite frankly, think that the key to the whole navigating an eco-community is to start it out first digitally and get everybody on the same page with rules for relating.

Brian Weller: Yes, and people coming together in real time, together face to face in circle. I'm reminded of the Okanogan Indians--the great tradition here in North America--whenever big decisions were being made, they would sit in circle and speak from four places. Each person could speak from any one of these four. So there was a big decision going forward and this is a big decision for a group if they're going to build a community. What the Okanogans would do is--the four decisions are the feminine or female position, the masculine or male position, the elder, and the child.

The feminine position is “How would this decision impact our relationships?” Not just in terms of interpersonal relationships but also relationship with the land and with the local environment in the four senses. So that would be a place you could speak from. The male perspective, the [xx] position, is one really which is more thrustful, it's more to do with action, planning, strategy, the details of what we're going to do and so on. It's that outward stroke, quite cerebral in many ways, the figuring out together.

The elder position is the position of wisdom, and that position is one where people are saying, “OK, how is this decision affect our traditions? How will it affect the long term viability of the land we live on? How is this decision consistent with those [xx] where we come from?” Then the fourth decision is the child which represents the future, in the sense that children will inherit our decisions. That’s to do really with vision, with our ideals, with the future that we want.

So anyone in circle could speak from anyone of these four positions and the idea was to have a true consensual conversation, to explore these possibilities before we come to the decision in whatever aspect that decision is is being looked at. The word decision, of course, comes from the linguistic root “dēcīdere” which means to cut off from. Cidē--as in biocide, herbicide, suicide--is really where we cut off from all possibilities and decide to make a choice, “This is the way we're going to go.” So in building relationship and community takes time to have this initial exploration and then make our decisions based on that consensual hearing.

So often is the case that the men we just speak from our own maleness, and we've had this problem inside, “Well, it was all to do with strategy, with the science, with the data, doing inventory work, coming out with viable strategies.” What we were losing was the relational conversation. So the women decided to form their own women’s council. They came back to ask all together and said, “OK, which want to talk about how we feel where this is going?”

Meredith Medland: Oh, wow!

Brian Weller: In the pursuit of trying to get somewhere, we can destroy the experience of journeying together. So this is really, I would say, the freeway or the highway to the sacred. We conducted two consecutive years of what we called “The Regional Localization Networking Conference” or RLNC where we've had 120 people for a whole weekend representing almost 30 communities. We come together and these rural local communities and communities what we're in touch with and we just share our best practice, what's going on for us.

This last one we had this April was on relationship and it was really very, very powerful because it's relationship not only interpersonal relationship but relationship with other stakeholder groups in the community--our local councils, the Chambers of Commerce, the Rotary Club, different groups in the community--because no one has the big picture. We have to come together in circle and see that we're all spokes in this amazing wheel and it takes time to spin that wheel and listen. This is a lifelong learning process to me being reasonably fluent, it takes true moments for me to step back and just listen. My years of meditations has, I would say, help us out but it's an ongoing battle really.

Meredith Medland: What kind of meditation do you do?

Brian Weller: I was fortunate to study very closely one-to-one with a man called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who many listeners may know just passed away a couple of days ago. He founded the Transcendental Meditation Movement around the world. He really brought meditation, I would say, to the world and introduced meditation to the world as science looking at the physiological and neuro-physiological correlates of meditation. It creates a very, very deep state of wakeful rest which has the value or the benefit of releasing stress and strain.

Of course, this is a very important area in relationship building because when we are in distress or in our survival consciousness, people don’t have to bandwidth to settle and really listen to each there, there is this kind of franticness. It's horrid what we used to call “type A behavior” which is “hurry sickness”, and I believe it's something which is like a virus that’s infecting the entire world right now. This means that sustainability is compromised because to do that, we have to step back.

So this meditation which I've been very privileged to learn and I've taught many people across the world over a quite long period of time, is just that gentle reminder to go within and spend time in silence together. So I encourage people, when they're thinking about making a land choice or getting together in [xx] community, to spend some time in silence together.

One of the most powerful things you can do actually is to go and spend 24 hours and look somewhere in nature, just have some water, be warm, and no radio, no iPod, nothing, just sit and be for 24 hours, in one place. What you'll notice is that all kinds of thoughts and craziness will come out. You'll feel uncomfortable, you'll feel this and that, your body will start to rebel and you just be with it. You just let it through like you're letting through just this relief, if you will. Then after time, you suddenly find you're becoming still and that in the stillness--that inner place of resonance with yourself--that’s the basis of building resonant relationships and also being in right relationship with the world around us.

Meredith Medland: Given a little pause there for a little stillness. I'm tempted to put on the podcast five minutes of stillness for the listener but I'll let all of you do that after the podcast.

All right, Brian, we're getting ready to wrap it up, but before--you know I would do things like that. I've done things like that on another podcast in episode six. Suzanne Sterling actually gives this great meditation where she calls in earth, wind, air, and fire during the podcast, it's so yummy and fantastic.

We promised our listeners a juicy segment here and I know there are many things we could talk about. What do you think are the most important things that you'd like to share before we close today?

Brian Weller: I would say live your life together as an experiment. In other words, let go of this notion that it has to be perfect. It's an experiment and like all experiments, we find out, we learn what works and what doesn’t work and it's really that commitment. Life is an experiment. The other is you have to remember that, basically, we're all pursuing happiness and the pursuit of happiness often covers the truth of it which is that it's within, it's within. So take some time in silence, live your life as an experiment and really be available to get off being right about a lot of stuff, listen to each other, and make this appear of real productive fun.

Just lastly, the pain pushes, the patient falls and so a lot of what drives people to come together and to create new community is just the pain or discomfort or the displeasure with the current state of affairs. That can move people to come together. But what really keeps them together and pulls them from the future is sitting down and just doing the wonderful exploratory work, experimental work of visioning the future, and then looking at what we've already got and then pushing what you've got with really wonderful action.

So it's a thrill to be spending time with you today and with your listeners and I wish everybody so much success. This is an incredible experiment planet-wide, we’re all in this together, so let's go forward.

Meredith Medland: Oh, Brian, thank you so much. I really love number three of what you said in your suggestions to build sustainable community and that is to have a facilitator, be there so that there can be more intimacy. I really feel like you've facilitated a fantastic experience in my executive coaching practice. In my corporate facilitation practice, I ask a famous question and that question is about the future and it is visioning. Are you ready for this final question?

Brian Weller: Please.

Meredith Medland: All right. If you look ahead to the next three months, if you could create three outcomes that is three specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, time-based outcomes, what would they be?

Brian Weller: OK, number one is to design my ideal sustainable dwelling. I have some land and I've organized some funds and I'm drawing up the plans and we're taking soil samples as we speak. So next three months, that’s a big outcome for me. The second is to encourage or create two new relationships with sustainable MBA courses in the Bay Area of San Francisco, so I'm looking to do that. I'm working with a number of institutes already like Esalen as you mentioned, and the [xx] Institute, the [xx] Institute. So I'm looking for two more relationships there where I can run some courses.

Then third is I would say it's really more to do with outreach and learning from as many people as possible who are doing this kind of work. That outcome, I think, is going to be fulfilled through this interview. [xx] look forward to be contacting me and sharing their experience and I'm really thrilled to be on this program today with you, Meredith, and I really thank you for really for “Living Green”. It's inspiring and the future is right with this right now.

Meredith Medland: Indeed, it is. Thank you so much. If you'd like to get in touch with Brian, you can contact me at [email protected] and I'll certainly create that connection for you as well as you can find more information on Brian, the projects he's worked on, you can see his interview on PeakExperience.tv. Those links are located on the Episode Page, so LivingGreenShow.com then look for Brian’s name, search on Brian’s name and we put it all together for you, so that comes with this podcast.

Before we go, a few more things, remember that the weekend of May 30th through June 1st of 2008, Brian will be conducting a workshop at Esalen called “Creating Sustainable Communities”. This is a fantastic workshop; it includes the workshop that covers the practical models and wisdom that Brian has put together from his on-the-ground experience. This is real stuff, I know you've already sampled that in this interview.

If you'd like to connect with me, remember there is a blog, you can also find that at PersonalLifeMedia.com. I am so appreciating your comments on the blog and the emails that I'm receiving from everyone. I'm giving you the best that I can in answering all your requests. Last thing that I just have to share is that in iTunes, there's a Customer Reviews section. So if you go to iTunes, you go in the Podcast Directory, there's a search box in the upper right hand corner. In that search box if you type in “Living Green”, you'll find this podcast. There's a Subscribe button, if you click on it, what you'll is a Consumer Reviews section and in that section, there's an opportunity for you make a comment about this podcast and, of course, I'd love you to give it a five star rating. The key is that I'm looking to create 100 customer reviews within the next three months and those reviews are one of the ways that iTunes and Apple, essentially, lift the show up to the top so that there can be more advertising of the show done when you enter into the podcast directory. As you probably know, there are more iPods being purchased everyday, so if you care about the environment, you care about “Living Green”, I would really love your help with a Customer Review, love to hear your comment, and I would love to have you tell people more about this show.

So, Brian, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's been so great to interview you.

Brian Weller: It's a pleasure, really a pleasure, Meredith. Thank you.

Meredith Medland: All right, thanks a lot. For texts and transcripts of this show and other shows on the Personal Life Media Network, go to PersonalLifeMedia.com. Thanks again for listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”. Keep living green.

Woman: Find more great shows like this on PersonalLifeMedia.com.

And now, please enjoy this entertaining clip, “Recyclable Comedy” from our sponsor, Plenty Magazine, PlentyMag.com.

Man 1: Many people ask us here at the Nuclear Waste-Making Factory…

Man 2: Hey, Mister, where does nuclear waste go?

Man 1: Nuclear waste goes to many places that need it. Just for example, here's a storage based in Hanford, Washington. Columbia River flows not far away, so as the waste decays, maybe it gets in the water, maybe not.

Man 2: Well, which would be better?

Man 1: That depends. Do you want human beings to evolve? Because if you do, you've got to cheer for radioactivity to make it to the mighty, rolling Columbia! You'll notice that people have children who look just like themselves, it goes on like that for generation after generation after generation unless something comes in to change it. Without radioactive water, you have a child just like you. With radioactive water, you have a child just like you but with invisible hand.

Man 2: Can you have too much nuclear waste in the water?

Man 1: Of course. But my friend, there's a lot of water out there, sure there's too much radioactivity in some of the water but we've got a long way to go before there's too much in all of the water.

Man 3: For more “Recyclable Comedy”, go to PlentyMag.com.