Grand Rapids Public Schools City High/Middle School recently hosted an all-day seminar based on Peter Wege’s two books, ECONOMICOLOGY I and II. City’s Economicology Expo focused on Wege’s advocacy for balancing the “economy” with the “ecology.”
Forty-plus outside speakers gave programs in their particular areas of expertise. Their topics ranged from Pet Adoptions to Veganism; Window Insulation to Our Water; Hydrofacking to Feeding America.
All the presenters directed their talks to one or more of Peter Wege’s philosophy of the Six Es: Environment. Ethics. Empathy. Economics. Ecology. Education.
Vaughn Maatman, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, spoke on, “Economicology and Ethics.” He challenged the students to examine their values when they make purchases. Working in small groups, students were asked to choose their first car based on Wege’s six Es. Maatman asked them to think about “a healthy relationship between the things you buy and the environment.”
Their choices ranged from a 1997 Stratus to smart cars to bikes to hybrids. Reviewing the results, the students discussed the complexity of their choices. A Volvo, for instance, is the safest car but it’s because their cars use more steel, which means they burn more fuel. Subaru leads the industry in that nothing from manufacturing their cars goes into the landfill.
Maatman asked students to think about their “dream car,” and then think about what car they’d buy in terms of Peter Wege’s Six Es philosophy.
**City High students Melanie Rothley and Mitchell Armstrong on the left stand beside their guest speaker from Steelcase, Melissa De Soto, with students Jason Do and Christian Nyugen on the right. Peter Wege’s Six Es philsophy is written on the board behind them.