Alan Durning at TEDx: Legalize It!

10 stories of legalizing sustainability.
This post is part of the research project: Making Sustainability Legal

In this 13-minute video, I tell the stories of everyday citizens who are organizing to make sustainability legal.

From clotheslines to reused pickle jars, from car-sharing to wilderness outings for poor teens, common-sense, green solutions are too often against the law.

On jobs and climate and fairness and biological diversity and toxic chemicals — all the dimensions of sustainability — we know that we need to overhaul the house from the foundation to the roof. But the whole family is fighting over the blueprint for the remodel, and there’s no money in the bank account. So maybe we could just take a few minutes away from screaming at each other and go clean out the fridge.

This is the movie version of the Making Sustainability Legal booklet we published in May.


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  1. erikjansen says:

    Thoughtful Wall Streeters will tell you that it is human nature to over estimate the impact of fear and undervalue the potential for poditiver opportunity. We also want to chase “control” as a panacea for our fear of the unknown (future). The proven result: laws that are sold to the democracy as good, that, in fact, assert over-control actions in order to avoid the risks and fears inherant in any future at almost all costs. Net: we codify beautiful and effective possibilites out of our lives. The solution: trust and a “return to exercising personal responsibility”. This, and I am a determined democrat. Go figure.

  2. Carlo Voli says:

    Excellent presentation Alan, and very informative. Great to see new different ways in which meaningfully significant positive and practical changes can be achieved. It would also be good to have in place and promote systems and procedures that make changing these antiquated laws a much easier and simplified process.Thank you!

  3. harrietcooke says:

    Thanks for reminding me of these forms of social and ecological injustice and the inspiring pushback by passionate ecological individuals and lawyers. Always good to hear good lawyer stories .

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