Monday, December 31, 2007

Lighter, Smaller, Smarter

The other day I was killing some time waiting for an appointment to arrive. I decided to see what all those icons were on my Blackberry. I know, I know, why now, several years later? No answer for that!

What I did find was a folder I started long ago, probably at least 8 - 10 years after I read a book that challenged me to come up with new ideas.

There was one that made me laugh. Number six was biodegradable coffins. Have you read the paper recently or listen to the news? They are here! Of course they are more expensive than the regular kind, but my idea that was so outlandish then, is being embraced now.

Seth Godin talks about the weight of plastic drink bottles and how companies are beginning to make them lighter. Having just gone through Christmas with all its packaging, I think this is an idea long overdue. Also, I read recently that Sears (old stodgy Sears!) is reducing and phasing out products in "clam-shell" packaging. Seth says that fashion often follows function. So "green" is the new word being bandied by marketers, it's fashionable. But really for our world, it is functional, too, because less use of plastic saves the manufacturer money in packaging and shipping. That means less trash and hopefully lower cost to us.

Another idea on my list, one that I have talked about for years and years, is that we should have five hole golf courses. (Two threes, two fours and a five.) Now for the aficionadoes of gigantic rolling courses, I know that this is heresy. But I gave up golf about six years ago, because it was taking too long to play. I would get antsy, bored and generally fed up with how I wasn't having fun. So the clubs went to the basement, where they have not seen the light of day since.

Beyond time, think of the savings to our environment if we downsize courses. It would take less of everything to run and maintain the course. Water would be saved, less fertilizer would be dumped on the ground, only to run into our water system. It would take less time and fuel to mow. The courses could be designed so that each player could determine their starting hole. They could also decide to play and pay for only the holes they have time for. Now, I know this is a radical idea and probably not very sexy, but has its time come?

Do you have an idea that is overdue for being developed?

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