"Schools are struggling to cope with poor academic performance, often jettisoning arts and shop programs to emphasize reading, writing, and arithmetic skills. But trying to reinforce mental learning in a world where kids are already confined to a mental existence is a bit like trying to cure a sunburn by laying out in the sun long enough to gain immunity. Emphasizing academic skills made sense when young people grew up farming, ranching, hunting, fishing, or building forts and working on cars. But now we need to create balance by actively reconnecting kids with direct, physical experience."
--Thomas J. Elpel
A Brain in a Box on a Shelf
Green University® LLC
About our Trademark
Green University® is a registered trademark of Green University® LLC. The name Green University® signifies a new standard for innovation in education, sustainable living, and green business development.
Green University® LLC is a Montana state and federally registered trademark. Green University® LLC must necessarily
regulate, control, and protect the use of the university's name to maintain the integrity and identity of the university.
The Green University® federal trademark exclusively covers educational services and mentoring in the field of environmental issues, alternative building construction, alternative energy, sustainable business and business practices, conservation, and sustainable living, including botany and plant uses, outdoor skills, wilderness survival, earth skills, building and
crafting with natural and recycled materials, and primitive survival
Green University® LLC controls the use of the Green University® trademark, which may appear on university promotions, advertising, sponsorships, affinity programs, products and services.
For inquiries regarding potential licensing of the Green University® trademark for appropriate events, programs, and products, please contact Green University® LLC.
Royalties derived from sanctioned and licensed commercial use of the Green University® trademark will be applied towards a Green University® LLC scholarship fund.
We mentor students in wilderness survival and sustainable living
and seek to incubate green businesses.
Science, history, and ecology concepts learned from books are meaningless without a physical connection. Wilderness experiences help wire the hands to the brain, integrating conceptual knowledge, while building an ethic of stewardship and the tools to think sustainably.
For example, building and maintaining a campfire helps wire the physical world with the conceptual world so that people can more intuitively quantify energy and understand where it comes from. This connection facilitates comprehension of energy policies and conservation.
Our Green University® LLC curriculum is geared towards hands-on learning to connect the dots from wilderness education to sustainable living across multiple levels.
Wilderness Survival Skills
Primitive wilderness survival skills are the heart of the Green University® LLC immersion program. Follow your passions and develop your primitive skills with like-minded individuals. Learn to start fire-by-friction, harvest edible wild plants, and weave willow baskets. Help out as an assistant instructor, sharing survival and nature awareness skills with kids from our local public schools.
Every year is different, based on the interests that students bring to the school. Some individuals have had a passion for botany, others for grandiose primitive shelters, and some have focused almost entirely on hide tanning, making their own head-to-toe buckskin outfits. Whatever your interests are, we will coach you to the best of our abilities or steer you towards the resources you need.
Intermittently throughout the year, we pack up and head out with friends and family members on wilderness survival walkabouts or canoe trips. These events are not part of the official Green University® LLC curriculum, and anyone with sufficient skills is welcome to join us for the fun. For a sampler of our adventures, be sure to read Tom's Camping Journals.
Sustainable living research and development is the practical side of Green University® LLC. Immerse yourself in alternative construction, learning the theory and practice of building super-efficient, low-cost sustainable homes. Develop the skills and knowledge to enable you to build your own home without a mortgage or to start a green construction business. Help finish past construction projects or get new ones off the ground. We are constantly experimenting with new ideas to find out what works and what doesn't.
Green Business Opportunities
Green business development is the ultimate ambition of the Green University® LLC immersion program. Whether you are interested in small-scale, short-term enterprises or a full-time green career, the immersion program is the place to discuss and develop green business concepts with Thomas J. Elpel and like-minded students. It is our goal to recruit a small army of motivated ecopreneurs to enter the business world to make a large-scale demonstration that green business is good business.
Previous students are earning lifetime royalties from projects such as illustrating Tom's book Roadmap to Reality and co-starring in the Art of Nothing Wilderness Survival video Canoe Camping: On a song and a paddle. Other students have manufactured and sold hundreds of bowdrill and handdrill fire kits. We have also seriously considered profit-sharing house-construction enterprises with past students. We have lots of green business ideas to develop already, or you can explore completely new frontiers of your own imagining. There is no obligation to launch a green business project while at Green University®, LLC, although you may be asked to help out with new or existing enterprises.
The Ultimate Mission: To Create a Sustainable Economy and Change the World
To create a truly sustainable economy, we must transform our economic, cultural, and political models from old paradigms to new ones:
Old Economy: In the old economy businesses profited by exploiting people and the environment. The more money that changed hands, the more damage that was done.
New Economy: In the new economy businesses make money while making the world a better place. Making a profit translates directly into increasing environmental health and social welfare. You can make the world a better place with every dollar you earn, and again with every dollar you spend.
Old Culture: People processed information in black-and-white, right or wrong terms (i.e.: conservatives), gradually evolving towards more sequential processing, essentially understanding issues in many shades of gray (i.e.: liberals).
New Culture: People learn integrated, or interconnected, essentially holistic information processing, understanding complex ideas in web-like models. It is no longer a question of "jobs versus the environment", but rather of how we can "have our cake and eat it too" --achieving a high quality of life with meaningful work, in a way that is totally environmentally sustainable.
Old Politics: Legislation was passed in a haphazard fashion with each piece of proposed legislation chasing goals or non-goals that are unrelated or conflicting with other goals.
New Politics: Legislators define a positive vision or goal with a quality of life statement, generalized production statement, and an outline of how the economy must function to be perpetually sustainable. All proposed legislation is tested against the vision through a series of holistic guidelines.
Assembling a Team to Change the World
We do not need to reach every person to change the world. We only need to shift the controlling minority in business and politics from those who harm the world to those who will work towards holistic solutions. Specifically, we need a small army of highly motivated ecopreneurs to demonstrate that green business is good for the environment, good for people, good for the economy, and good for politics.
These movers and shakers need to be backed up by investors and vocal supporters. Investors will lend their money to green enterprises to cash in on the new economy. Vocal supporters will espouse the vision, even if they are not physically doing much to bring about the vision.
Green University® LLC is intended to serve as a center to assemble a team to change the world. On a campus with an apprenticeship-like structure, students may serve as volunteers in established and developing green businesses, where they can acquire job skills and learn green business strategies. Gradually they will transition from apprentices to journeymen, innovating their own green enterprises with the aid and advice of their mentors. Upcoming classes of student apprentices will be available as volunteer labor to assist in the research and development stages. Students graduate when they have successfully launched a new business "in the green."
Here on the internet Green University® LLC will showcase successful green business models for others to learn from. This website will function as an open forum to facilitate the exchange of ideas between ecopreneurs around the world as they seek to launch or improve their own green businesses.
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