Imagine a place where people from all over the world come together to build technology, change behaviours and research land and sea to create Earth 2.0. It exists – and I’m right in the middle of it.
San Francisco Bay Area is the birthplace for companies, leaders and ideas that control big parts of your everyday life. This ranges, but are not limited to, devices that have made most of us cyborgs (Apple), companies that we allow leveraging our most intimate and personal data (Google), and platforms that have created a new behaviour on how we share our life journey (Facebook).
I’m stunned by the people in this city. It’s on the one side a generic group of people - 20-30’s something, democrats, liberals and dedicated to hack their life. Life-hacking here is all about living healthier and longer. The belief in a world where we are able to have eternal life is so big that more than 1300 people have signed up to Alcor life insurance - a service that freezes your head, or whole body, once you die so that you can be re-awakened in the future.
In addition to this, San Francisco is also a very progressive place when it comes to the environmental and health issues we are facing today. I would say San Francisco is around ten years ahead the rest of the world. I would say I live in the future.
Let me give you a few examples of things happening here that could create an outrage in other parts of the world, but are essential to building a sustainable world and is encouraged by this dynamic community:
- All bags, groceries as well as shopping bags, must be charged for. It’s the law. Regardless if you buy tomatoes or luxury handbags. No waste!
- Water is only served upon request by customers at all restaurants. No unnecessary spend.
- The massive drought in California means all public lawns are now filled with signs saying “brown is the new green” since they are not watered. To change is the only way to improve this situation.
Aside from this, people here are actively thinking about what they can do themselves to change the world and their own future. There are no backseat-drivers. I’m surrounded by doers and people willing to step outside of their comfort-zones to help improve the situation. This interest and drive to make a difference have grown a great understanding for how our everyday activities affect our environment and health. It’s more or less common knowledge just how much damage the agriculture are making and this alone have made SF to be one of the vegan friendliest places in the world. Companies to help minimizing the meat and dairy production are the hottest thing around.
Rockstars of the Bay Area like Tim Ferris, Mark Zuckerburg, researchers and Stanford professors clearly state that a Plant Based diet is the right thing to do for environmental and health perspectives (I will dedicate a story on the benefits, ideas and data behind this within short).
And, since I live in the future, people do not only talk about these problems - they fix them. Let me introduce Beyond Meats, Impossible Foods, Hampton Creek and Omega Creamery to your vocabulary. These are companies that are producing sustainable meats, eggs and dairy from vegetables and research, and believe me when I say that the texture, taste, smell and looks are incredible similar if not identical to their original counterparts.
These are vegan burgers that bleeds when you put them on the grill and mayonnaise that would fool you any day of the week to be filled with egg!
These products will vastly change the world, make us healthier and help save the environment. I’m confident we will see the same drive and willingness to change across the world within soon.
It’s our only hope.