Ecological handprints: breakthrough innovations in the developing world
Rocky Rohwedder ( MS, 79 )
Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University
Taking feverish notes on both what Bill Stapp was teaching and how he was teaching it
Take the time to cultivate meaningful relationships with your fellow students. They can become powerful life catalysts as well as lifelong friends and colleagues.
Rocky Rohwedder began his journey with a single, central question: “Are there highly successful examples of communities lifting themselves out of poverty, while simultaneously lowering their ecological footprint?” Based on decades of exploration, he has found the answer to be a resounding YES! Illuminating that link for others prompted Rohwedder to write Ecological Handprints, an interactive eBook focused on proven grass-roots remedies that both ameliorate poverty and restore ecological resilience.
According to Rohwedder, “ecological handprints” occur at the nexus of social justice and environmental restoration. They are market-driven, locally controlled solutions to economic poverty and environmental ruin.”
Each one of these projects began as a small step but has fostered large-scale change within the community. They include innovations like the gravity light, which uses gravity power to replace dangerous kerosene lighting, and the Darfur Stoves Project, which created stoves that use half as much fuel, reducing the need for women to put themselves in danger retrieving wood. These ecological handprints are important because, in the words of Rocky, they are “both lifting humanity and lowering our footprint.”
For Rohwedder, there is no time to argue about the relative importance of fighting poverty or fighting climate change. And because there are robust and innovative solutions that address both issues simultaneously, we don’t have to argue. Instead, we can promote and spread these ideas in support of both people and the planet.