The Multiplier Manifesto

Its all about using what you have - a backyard, a front yard, a recipe, dirt in a pot on an apartment balcony,  a closet, anything -  to reduce the number of negative multipliers affecting our world.  Here’s how it works

For our purposes, we’ll call an ‘event’ is an action that does a tiny (in some cases almost imperceptible) bit of harm to our world.  Lets take ‘running to the store for a few salad tomatoes’.  A one-half mile car drive burns about 0.026 gallons of gas, and dumps  231 grams of emissions into the air.  Not much damage done by one measly trip to the store until you realize thousands of people all over the country are probably ‘running to the store for a few tomatoes’ on any given day.

So, lets say a typical city dweller ‘runs to the store for a few tomatoes’, on average, 8 times a year.   Eight is the multiplier for this particular negative event.  Now assume by growing a few tomatoes in her apartment balcony, this very same surbanite cuts the multiplier 8 in half, and now ‘runs to the store for a few tomatoes’ only 4 times a year. Voila.  The negative effects of this event are cut in half.  Now consider these facts:

500 years
how long a piece of plastic food packaging takes to decompose

 dimethyl alkylphosphate metabolites
pesticide residue likely to be six times higher in your kid if he or she doesn’t eat an organic diet

1,500 miles
miles the food in an average meal travels to get to your plate

dead zones
uninhabitable areas that happen when commercial fertilizer runoff pollutes the ocean

2,000 pounds
amount of carbon dioxide emitted transporting food to the U.S. from South America

945 calories
how much you burn by digging two hours in a garden

475 pounds
amount of waste per year produced by an average family, much of which could be composted

taste of supermarket tomatoes

number of people and animals harmed by a garden

 56 million
number of meals for hungry people supplemented by gardener donated food  since 1995



True.  Reduction of negative 'event' multipliers  by one person needing a few tomatoes doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. But what if a hundred people set out to reduce their own negative multipliers?  Then thousands more, jump on the bandwagon.   Word spreads, and now millions of city dwellers start coming up with all sorts of creative things that reduce negative multipliers.  Now we’re getting somewhere.