BEYOND TABLET, T.V. AND i-PHONE

Recently I’ve been reading, Uprising For The Earth, by Osprey Orielle Lake.  This is a wonderfully inspiring book, with a subtitle:  Reconnecting Culture With Nature.  It’s not so easy these days, as the two have grown apart.

I am fortunate to live on the Pacific North Coast of California, surrounded by rivers, ocean and woods, where my children were also raised.  Frequently though, I think about the issues that Lake brings up in these quotes:

“What happens to us, TO OUR CHILDREN, in our urban centers when we experience primarily the smells of industry, smog, petroleum and chemicals?  What happens to our native ears when left only with the sounds of cars, telephones, freeways and mechanization?  What happens when our hands and eyes rest only upon human made things?…….Our human experience is dependent upon what influences our daily lives, and we are only beginning to take into account the consequences of depriving our children of direct communion with  the Earth, and all the plant life and creatures.”

 Uprising For The Earth

I know that we can’t all run from our lives in the cities, and it’s no longer just our locale that keeps kids indoors.  City dwellers, or country folk, I would love to hear about your plans to compete this summer with your child/grandchild’s electronic tablet, i-Phone, and television.  Thank you in advance for sharing on “comments.”

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FIND A FARMERS MARKET – SUPPORT LOCAL FARMS

Why is it important to support local farmers?

“The loss of small family farms has dramatically reduced our supply of safe, fresh, sustainably-grown foods; it has contributed to the economic and social disintegration of rural communities; and it is eliminating an important aspect of our national heritage. If we lose our family farmers, we’ll lose the diversity in our food supply, and what we eat will be dictated to us by a few large corporations.”
Go to:  Sustainable Table, to read entire article.

To find a Farmer’s Market in your area go to Local Harvest.   Put in your zip code and you’re on your way!
To find out what’s in season year round, go to:  Eat The Seasons

There is good news, however, in the same article above, “Over the last several years, there has been an explosion of interest in small family farms, local food, and the preservation of rural communities and their heritage. Chefs, food lovers, citizens, parents, activists, students and many others are coming together to rediscover the benefits of eating sustainably-raised, locally grown food.”

When you find a Farmers Market, take your grandchildren along.  Turn it into an event, or if possible, take them to a farm.  They will love it, and they need to know where their food comes from.

CHOICES AND THE CONSUMER CULTURE

The home and belongings of a nomadic Nigerian family.

Let’s think for a minute about how much “stuff” we own.  Have you ever taken a walk in your neighborhood and looked through an open garage door?   In a lot of garages, in America, we no longer have room for the cars.  We have become a collector society for a number of reasons, to include financial stability.  Instead of sharing a seldom used item we each went out and purchased one.  Think about camping gear, gardening tools, inflatable beds.  In our family, a few years ago, there were two rototillers and one at the neighbor’s, next door – consumer culture.   Independence also breeds this type of behavior, but times are changing.  We need to depend upon one another more these days, to save money, but also to make a lighter footprint upon the earth.

Last summer I came across an article in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that discussed the topic of borrowing items instead of buying everything we need.  The article stated that, “Social networking and smart phones have paved the way for people to share their stuff…….people who share information about themselves online are more likely to share their belongings.”

To read the full article in the San Francisco Chronicle, go to:
Buy it?  No, Borrow it!   The newspaper listed the following sources for access to borrowing, individually, or creating a group in your community:   Rentalic,   Neighborrow,        NeighborGoods,         Share Some Sugar,        Snap Goods   (This one has a guarantee).   Think about this lifestyle choice, the world won’t change until we do.

After years of maintaining all the “stuff” we own,  the simplicity in the image above, does have my attention.

GO GREEN AT THE POST OFFICE

It’s only a stamp.  How can it possibly make a difference?

It can, and it does make a difference.  Choosing these stamps, and using them may seem like less than a drop in the ocean.  But, there are no insignificant acts when we are working toward the goal of a cleaner and healthier earth.  Small steps can change a culture.

Each stamp promotes a way to be “greener,”  i.e. sharing rides, buying local, composting, etc.  And, the graphics are great!

Like Nike says, “Just Do It.”  The next time you need to get stamps, purchase these and start using them.  You will never know who may have been inspired to change their lifestyle, or at least to think about greener issues.  It’s all important, every step that we take toward a greener earth, and a healthier future for our children.

KIDS AND EARTH DAY

Cool sites to cruise with your grandchildren, then GET THEM OUTSIDE!  The grandchildren are so attached to their electronic devices these days, that we may need to start with a really cool site that gets their attention.  I believe the ones below do an incredible job of sparking an interest to GO OUTSIDE.  As always, you will love the time together.  ENJOY!

Exploring Sharks Family Tour

BIODIVERSITY  American Museum of Natural History

The Green Squad
THE GREEN SQUAD  Kids taking action for greener, healthier schools.

Field Trip Earth
FIELD TRIP EARTH   Travel the world with your web browser – use the airplane cursor


EARTH RANGERS  Kids taking action to help protect wildlife.


JOURNEY NORTH  View migratory animals and report sightings from the field.

FIRST, YOU HAVE TO KNOW – READ ABOUT IT

“What is the use of a house, if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
Henry David Thoreau

Here it comes again – EARTH DAY, April 22, 2012!  You can search the web these days, and fortunately find myriad ways to celebrate our earth on this date, and just as many opportunities to become involved.  Unless we’ve been in a cave over the past few years, we are becoming increasingly aware of the basics; i.e. recycling, water conservation, energy conservation, and so on.  But, I’m not sure that many of us are aware of the environmental science (now don’t let your eyes glaze over) behind the behavioral changes that we are asked to think about on Earth Day.  Don’t just take someone’s word for it, when they talk about global warming, water shortages, potential famine, etc. read what scientist have discovered.

I follow a couple of sites that I find informative and easy to access.  In other words, easier for most of us (the non-scientists among us) to comprehend.  Listed below:
Science News  Magazine Of The Society For Science & The Public.

Environmental News Network

Environmental Health News

There are myriad others, of course, but these are a few of my favorites, and a good place to start.

Just a little fact of interest:  I was surprised to discover that Earth Day 2012 will be the 42nd anniversary.

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD

If you have been near a market lately that sells organic food, then you have probably encountered volunteers informing the public about genetically engineered foods.  And, they are collecting signatures on a petition to demand labeling of GE foods.  1.1 million names have been uploaded to the FDA.  Go to this website:  justlabelit.org, and read the FDA’s unbelievable response.

However, the public is not finished.  Ninety-one percent of the American people want their food labeled to show if it has been genetically engineered.

If you don’t know what all this hoopla is about, go to this portion of the website and read the brief, but concise description of genetically engineered foods.
About GE Foods  and the Debate.   Read about the dangers of this experiment, and that is exactly what it is, and if you believe this is important (Remember, our grandchildren will be eating long after we are gone)  you can sign the petition on this site:  Just Label It   I believe we should have a choice, regarding our health.

It is a sad commentary on our times, but I believe, as do many folks, that the FDA is broken, i.e. recalled drugs, contaminated foods, pink slime meat, etc. etc.  In many ways, we really are on our own, with regard to safety.  Fortunately, we have watchdogs, and social media to help us stay informed.  We must educate ourselves, and a positive action that I always encourage:  Buy local and buy organic.

Thank you for paying attention, and taking action.