I witnessed something yesterday that was truly amazing. What I was witnessing was history in the making. It was a moment that humanity turned the corner on cleaning up the planet. It was a group of people from around the world defining in real time the new green labor economics of the future on a live Zoom call. These global citizens were engaged in the use of, and the design of a smartphone app called Open Litter Map which uses its own cryptocurrency called LitterCoin. The economics are still at the early stages of what I would fully define as complete Sharing Green Economics (SGE’s) but there are key components of it that are necessary for creating open participation, transparent data, and some kind of reward for doing litter cleanup, either for intrinsic value or monetary incentives. The endeavor is not only sustained by its crypto currency but also through a catalyst and DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) called Cardano. At this point in time, Open Litter Map and Cardano may not have the level of cutting-edge DAO elements, robust governance, and the advanced project-based components that organizations like Hypha DHO and its SEEDS currency have. And, they might not have all of the regenerative and sustainable blockchain pioneering that The Common Stack has. However, the extraordinary green labor relevance of Open Litter Map is in the doing. And the doing starts with Citizen Science. Citizen Science, which is massively underrated, is just the first step towards something greater. Because Open Litter Map is not only about gathering photographic, quantity, type, and location of plastic and other garbage that litter the urban and suburban landscape, but also about picking up, and disposing of the debris. This allows people from all over the world to participate, and this is a game changer for the environment. And, this is what makes Open Litter Map and Litter Coin the 2021 Sharing Green Economy Organization of the Year. Hope and action have arrived. 2022 will be the year that we finally turn the corner on climate change and the environment, because decision makers will finally understand that real change happens when you include people who want to participate.
Let’s finally turn the corner this year.
Four years ago my colleagues and I gathered the entire EPA dataset from over 400 municipalities in order to set up a blockchain platform to democratize and crowdsource pollution data collection. We called it YourEPA and it embodied everything that the Sharing Green Economy represented. At the time I didn’t completely understand how significant the connection between the the two concepts were, even after a colleague told me flat out: “YourEPA is the Sharing Green Economy.”
The following is the original description of YourEPA that helped get us into Madrona Venture Lab’s Blockchain Startup weekend:
YourEPA is democratizing environmental data collection to create the world’s most comprehensive and crowd sourced environmental data set.
The basic idea for YourEPA is to use distributed ledgers and to democratize environmental data collection. Now, you may wonder: “Why does environmental data NEED to be democratized.
The United Nation’s Environmental Chief, Erik Solheim, put it best:
He said, “The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatized, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialized.”
To change this, we are working on a method that converts the typical “Proof of Work” blockchain concept into a “Proof of Information Capture” concept.
In a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, new currency is “mined” by powerful computers solving complex math problems. With YourEPA, currency will be “mined” by contributing verifiable environmental data from IoT sensors that anyone can purchase and use to “Mine” YourEPA’s coin.
The benefits of these contributed data will be accessed via token burn, which creates an economy for it. By doing this, we believe we can create the right economic incentives to produce the most comprehensive, robust, and granular data set on environmental data the world has ever seen. We have copied, backed up, and created processes to continuously update the entire EPA data set. We found that the EPA’s data is not comprehensive, is starting to not be updated, and is not granular enough for enforcement, let alone research. But these data will form the “genesis” block for YourEPA’s distributed ledger. And it is our hope that by enhancing the genesis block with democratized data collection, we can help humans protect our planet by helping us understand our impact on our environment better than we have before.
Green Micro Labor is a new economic term applied to environmental decentralized applications that utilize blockchain micropayments to reward earth friendly actions such as picking up plastic, reporting air and water quality, and much more. This labor is typically less intensive than gig economy work, and mostly promotes a more sustainable way of living.
In recognition of Juneteenth on June 19th, The Sharing Green Economy will be observing this holiday as it marks an important day in history. The time has come for a Green Economy that includes everyone. As Van Jones states in his book “The Green Collar Economy”: we can indeed have one solution that can fix our two biggest problems.
What was the most successful economy of the past decade that got workers back to work after the economic downturn in 2008 and empowered the masses to earn supplemental income to make up for their losses? It was the Sharing Economy with companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. People had an instant opportunity to use their shared resources such as the car they owned or extra room in their house to earn revenue.
For many, the Sharing Economy was perfect timing. The economic downturn brought panic as people were trying to figure out how to get by. A similar helplessness is happening now. This time people are watching increasing atmospheric temperatures, more severe storms, and unstoppable wildfires from California to Australia, and everywhere in between.
So why not capitalize on what has been successful in the past to solve this current problem? This time people can use a different set of shared resources and tools to make a difference. That is where the Sharing Green Economy comes in.
The premise of the Sharing Green Economy starts at the individual level; specifically from each and every one of us asking what we can do do make a difference about the environment and climate change.
When the average person asks themself this question: What can I do about climate change? they typically arrive at the same two conclusions:
1. I can limit my own consumptions of energy and resources. And,
2. Only big business and big government can solve the problem.
These resulting conclusion bring about the following sentiments: conclusion number 1 is boring, uninspiring, and isolating (yet necessary), and conclusion number 2 leaves a feeling of helplessness and pessimism, (and unknowingly inaccurate).
In fact is there is so much that we haven’t thought of that will empower citizens and consumers to take action and use shared resources, profit from, and make the climate fight a lot more interesting and inspiring. Humans are innovators and everyone has the capacity to solve problems.
The Sharing Green Economy is about us. Keeping busy and tapping into your creative abilities to find your own solutions will go a long way to ease your panic and worry about what we are facing.
After a comprehensive analysis, The Sharing Green Economy Company of the Year award for 2108 goes to the BITES foodie app!
Congratulations Roza Ferdowsmakan, founder of BITES.
This is a true self-sustaining ecosystem of foodie –> chef –> farm –> chef –> foodie –> farm
There are lots of shared resources within the BITES sustainable business model, leading to a greener planet, while generating revenue.
– The local gardens and farms that are utilized wouldn’t normally be ‘shared’; such as urban farms, micro farms, co-ops, backyard gardens, community gardens, organic, and family-owned small farms. Right now, the vast majority of local growers are not in any directory and they are not on anyone’s radar.
– Chefs bring their own personal pots and pans and cooking tools. They share their own personal schedule, their own pricing, their own menus they want to offer, and their expertise that wouldn’t typically be tapped into outside of their regular job.
– The Foodie shares her home, kitchen, stove, counter top and sink with the chef who uses those to do the meal prep & cooking.