Whether we're talking plastic pollution, ocean acidification, tainted soil, dirty water or climate change, we know the long list of environmental challenges we face today are intertwined.
Our attempts at solving these problems will be too.
To that end, grasping the full weight and consequences of our well-intended cures is one of our biggest challenges.
And let's be real, that's where a lot of the drama lies.
The history of human evolution can be summarized rather succinctly: we solve one problem, usually disrupting an intact system as it takes hold, which leads to the next set of issues to be tackled. This cycle can be traced back to the first tool that allowed humans to hunt more easily, tipping the scales of dominion in our favor.
Back here in the 21st Century "sustainability" is the big buzzword of our age. While that's a net good, it still means we have to sift through a lot of greenwashing and bad ideas being spun up as good ones. That's not going away.
Fortunately, people like Derek Sabori are out there to provide some much-needed context.
Sabori has been actively involved in the sustainability space for more than 25 years now. He got his start while working at Volcom, the hugely popular lifestyle brand that was born in the surf/skate/snow space in the early 90s. While there, he helped launch their Vecological effort.
Sabori also taught sustainability courses at UCI, where people throughout his own industry started taking his course.
Today, he runs The Underswell, a sustainability coaching business that guides brands, organizations and individuals on their sustainability path. Not surprisingly, many of them are pleading for help making sense of it all.
"Suppliers are coming to brands talking about 'sustainable' this and "certified' that," Sabori explains, "And they're just going, 'Derek, what's better?' And my response to them is always the same. 'It just depends.' There's going to be a lot of stuff to go through, so let me teach you where to look, how to question."
In short, he's a great BS detector, because Derek's ultimate goal is which move makes the most positive impact.
We're big fans of Sabori, and his YouTube videos that break various sustainability issues down into bite sized bits. So naturally, we decided to pick his brain for the debut episode of our New Earth Podcast, where our goal is to introduce you to individuals from all walks of life who are making an impact. Derek is the perfect table setter.