Green 2.0: Cultivating Memories

24 09 2010
Panorama of the Iguazu waterfalls from Bresil

Image via Wikipedia

We can re-write history. Of course, we cannot change what has happened in our lives, but we can cultivate the good by cherishing those memories and keeping their spirit alive. We can do this by seeking similar experiences.

Do you have a memory – perhaps related to your simplest pleasures – of a blissful or interesting nature experience? I use both words because if you don’t feel easily drawn to nature, you may not have had a blissful experience, but you surely had an interesting one along the way. You can transform even a somewhat negative experience – like being lost and scared in the woods – by focusing on the interesting aspects of it. Were there mysterious sounds? Intriguing smells? Did following your curiosity get you lost in the first place? Recapture what led you there.

Research shows that people who grow up to feel passionate about conserving nature tend to have had a transformative childhood experience outdoors. In other words, they had a moment of wonder and awe, of feeling impressed by the beauty, wholeness and vastness of the world. If you can dig into your past and remember a time you felt this, you can seek out these experiences again. If you never had a chance, go seek it now. Simply be outside, be open, and awe will find you.

I support you in your adventure!

A Gleaning Revival

7 09 2010
Annapolis Maryland looking across an estuary t...

Image via Wikipedia

In historic Annapolis, Maryland, community garden group Grow Annapolis is trying a new approach to safeguard paid vegetable plots: one plot is outside the fence, where produce is free for the taking. It’s a refreshing show of generosity, but also a clever fix. And it revives an ancient social practice of caring for the poor: gleaning.

The Hebrews of Old Testament fame allowed the poor – immigrants, orphans and widows – to gather food left in the fields after harvesting. (A modern-day organization does the gleaning and brings it to the poor). In today’s economy, it’s heartening to see such an old-fashioned idea put to good use.

Recyling water filters

17 01 2009

After much petitioning, a grassroots campaign has succeeded in persuading Brita water filtration company to provide a recycling program for their plastic water filters. Go here to learn more, and go here to refill your own! (Thanks IdealBite!)

Getting Started on Green Resolutions

13 01 2009

Today, some web resources to help you get motivated:

  • If you don’t use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) because they’re not warm and homey enough, consider these top picks featured at Low Impact Living.
  • More Green for Less Green has recently posted tips on how to make your own cheaper, greener versions of everything from produce bags to dish soap, not to mention the great ideas for saving on groceries–and no, you haven’t heard it all before!
  • If you resolved to become more aware of and involved in environmental issues, log on to EarthNews, a blog-format news engine supported bySupported by the Environmental Information Coalition and the National Council for Science and the Environment.

Seen and Heard

8 01 2009

Seen: A new element of style. Some creative folks in the Netherlands have created a font that uses up to 20% less ink. Get it free for your computer here. (Thanks to DailyCandy for the tip-off).

Heard: Imperiled bird songs. Audubon published a beautiful and frightening article about Canada’s endangered boreal forest and the North American birds that depend on it for survival. Read about it, and hear the birds sing, at the Boreal Songbird Initiative‘s important website.

Coalition to Sue the EPA; Great Lakes Now Protected

30 10 2008

From the Chesapeake Bay Foundation‘s website:

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), the Virginia State Waterman’s Association, the Maryland Watermen’s Association, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association, former Maryland Governor Harry Hughes, retired Maryland Senator Bernie Fowler, former Virginia legislator and Natural Resources Secretary Tayloe Murphy, and former Washington D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams today notified the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they intend to go to federal court to force EPA to require pollution reduction in the Chesapeake Bay.

Visit CBF’s website if you want to watch a video statement, sign a petition supporting the action, or learn how to attend a upcoming rally. Do you think the action is justified? How should we go about saving the Bay?

On a happier note, a historic law now protects the Great Lakes from “depletion and diversions,” according to the Great Lakes Natural Resource Center‘s press release.

A Big Step for Boreal Forests

13 08 2008

For all of you who signed the Boreal Songbird Initiative petition I posted on the Conservation Page a few months ago, this news should be especially heartening: Ontario’s leader has pledged to preserve 55 million acres of boreal forest (home to prime songbird habitat and climate-regulating trees) in large tracts, a move hailed by conservationists. You can read more about it at the International Boreal Conservation Campaign‘s webpage.


13 08 2008

I’m not talking about the Beyonce song. A beautiful partnership has formed between such seemingly divergent fields as law and art to promote awareness and action on behalf of wildlife endangered by climate change. At their website, Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World, you can view an online version of the traveling photography exhibit featuring works by some of the world’s best nature photographers. You can learn about animals that may be imperilled by climate change, and you can help. A sprinkling of quotes from the esteemed thinkers of the world, past and present, serves to lift the site into a spiritual experience.

Conservation Page Update

12 08 2008

Please check out the conservation page for an urgent action item concerning the Endangered Species Act. Simply click on the picture to visit the National Wildlife Federation for more information and an opportunity to help.

Hooray for Big Corporations

6 07 2008

. . . Okay, maybe not all of them, but some consumer product giants like Deer Park, Kraft, and others are making their plastic containers sleeker to deliver the same amount of product in less packaging. They have even anticipated the fears of consumers and printed “Still 8 ounces!” or similar encouragements right on the package. It warms my heart to see even such a small step by the companies that, like it or not, control the majority of the product stream for the majority of the American public.

Another supermarket development you may have noticed is the introduction, and even T.V. promotion, of concentrated dish and laundry detergents. Buying liquids in concentrate saves money and packaging, as penny-pinchers have known for decades with their (admittedly sometimes scary) concentrated juice drinks. We all remember those from school. Now, it seems, concentrate is cool again, as long as you remember to use the amount on the package.

There are, of course, still corporations that need a push from their voters–the consumers–to make some needed changes to products millions use frequently. If you’d like to help, go here to sign a petition for safe cleaning products and disclosed ingredients from leading companies (with thanks to the Audubon Naturalist Society for promoting this opportunity).

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