Best and Brightest … Genius — Esquire

A once-in-a-lifetime game-changing advance
in our field everyone else will follow
— Marshall Goldsmith

Astrophysicist turned new media whiz — NBC

Passionate … confident … — Forbes

You don't just learn theory from
him, you improve your life.
— Inc.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard University, Standford University, Princeton University, MTV, IBM, US Army

My Mission

My mission is to help change American (and global) culture on sustainability and stewardship from expecting deprivation, sacrifice, burden, and chore to expecting rewarding emotions and lifestyles, as I see happen with everyone I lead to act for their intrinsic motivations.

In my case the emotions have been joy, fun, freedom, connection, meaning, and purpose.

Systemic change begins with personal change.

Some of my values. What are yours?
Months living off the grid in Manhattan: 8 (and counting)
Loads of garbage I filled in 2023 so far: 0
Loads of garbage I filled in 2022: 0
Loads filled in 2021: 0
Loads filled in 2020: 0
Loads filled in 2019: 1
Loads filled in 2018: 1
Loads filled in 2017: 1
Days picking up litter: 2,095 and counting
Years not flying: 7 and counting
Average 2022 electric bill: $0.58
Annual carbon emissions: about 1 ton
Daily burpees: 203,578 and counting


Read the photo-story on me: “A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging” from the Associated Press

on January 26, 2023 in Leadership, Nature, Stories, Visualization

Katherine Roth interviewed me about unplugging my fridge and apartment from the electric grid and Bebeto Matthews photographed me cooking and putting my solar panels on my roof. Read the story and see the pictures at A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging. I hope it helps achieve one of my main goals for this experiment: for a few people to say “You can do that!? I[…] Keep reading →

The opposite of flying is not less family or business opportunity. It’s more of each and nature too.

on January 26, 2023 in Addiction, Nature

People think if they can’t fly, they won’t be able to see their family. They think, “if I’m here and my parents or children are flying distance away, if I don’t fly, I won’t be able to see them.” They also think, “if my business can’t compete there, I’ll lose revenue and go bankrupt.” Then they conclude, “I may not want to pollute, but family is more important and I’m[…] Keep reading →

Do you value family over sustainability?

on January 25, 2023 in Nature, Nonjudgment

Over and over people tell me they care about the environment but family comes first. Their parent is sick and they’ve chosen to live flying distance away, they married a spouse from another country and feel they have to fly there twice a year, and things like that. Okay, say family is important enough to disregard hurting other people. Imagine someone else wanted to see their parent, suddenly hospitalized, but[…] Keep reading →

662: Mark Mills, part 4: What to Do Next

on January 24, 2023 in Podcast

I’ve said before and I’ll say again that conversations like mine with Mark Mills are what I value and wish we had more of. We do our research, we have strong opinions, we agree on many things, we disagree on some things we care about. Most of all, I believe we learn from each other, respect different opinions, and try to understand the other’s view and goals. In this conversation[…] Keep reading →

NYU in 2019: We will stop buying bottled water. NYU in 2023: Here’s some bottled water from us.

on January 23, 2023 in Choosing/Decision-Making, Doof

I don’t look for this stuff. It’s impossible to miss. Where is the leadership in sustainability? Why is everyone so slippery? (I know the answer, of course. Lincoln said it best: “Nothing does more damage to you than to do something you believe is wrong.” When you do, you will lie, cheat, deny, and suppress to avoid facing the internal conflict.) I start teaching this semester at NYU tomorrow. The[…] Keep reading →

Two unbroken streaks: 8 months off-grid and 12 years daily blogging. Which is more challenging?

on January 23, 2023 in Habits, Nature, SIDCHAs

Yesterday began month 9 with my apartment disconnect from the electric grid. Today begins year 13 posting daily to my blog. Which seems more challenging? Which has taught me more about myself, humanity, and nature? Tough call. They seem even. I’m continuing both so I’ll keep learning from both. The off-grid in Manhattan seems more rare, a bigger disconnect from my ambient culture. Earth also passed a month after the[…] Keep reading →

Better in every way

on January 22, 2023 in Blog

How often is an option better in every way? Even quitting cigarettes, which seem better in every way to me in saving money, improving health, decreasing litter, and so on, to a smoker mean losing pleasure. How cereal became better in every way As a kid growing up, the cereal aisle of a supermarket seemed as much a part of nature as trees outside. It just existed, as did all[…] Keep reading →

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