Earthtrepreneurship. It may be tough to pronounce but the term is a great description of green rural growth opportunity
[imgcontainer left] [img:chadgarbage.gif] [source]Living Land and WatersChad Pregracke surrounded by garbage collected during the Capital River Relief cleanup of Washington D.C. rivers.
Here’s a mouthful for the new sustainable rural economy: earthtrepreneurship.
Earthtrepreneurship. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s important to revitalizing the rural business-owning middle class that can sustain communities and provide new jobs.
What is earthtrepreneurship? It’s a rural community growth opportunity in what so many pundits are calling the new green economy. Why use the term if it’s so difficult to say? It exactly describes the types of firms that savvy individualists can start to earn a living while respecting the earth and using its gifts to help others at home and abroad.
Rural sustainability needs to be built on an earthtrepreneurial middle class that understands how to create, use, and sell appropriate technologies and services at home and around the world. In some cases, this might well be social earthtrpepreneurship, dedicated to helping others through a nonprofit organization. But it might also involve ways of profitably, but responsibly nurturing and cultivating the earth’s natural heritage.
Earthtrepreneurship is based on respectful, earth-centered ingenuity. Earthtrepreneurs understand and love their own backyards. But they also understand that their ideas have markets elsewhere. They serve their communities, building sustainability at home. They also serve the world, building global sustainability.
One of my favorite earthtrepreneurs is Chad Pregracke, founder of Living Lands and Waters, an organization dedicated to cleaning up rivers. Pregracke’s story is somewhere way out there on the scale of nonprofit start ups, a combination of local knowledge, innocence, persistence, charisma, incredible energy, and an innate willingness to learn and adapt on the fly. He loved the Mississippi River and its banks, where he grew up near the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa. He was appalled with the trash he saw during his work as a diver for river mussels. He decided to do something about it.
[imgcontainer left] [img:chadhead.gif] [source]Chad Pregracke