Friday, September 28, 2007

There are no little things.

Inspired by a comment on my last post that "there are no little things," I found a site dedicated to that principle, and added it to my sidebar. Check it out and pledge to become a "carbon conscious consumer." The site poses a carbon-saving challenge each month, and provides support for meeting the challenge.

This month's challenge is to reduce your junk mail. Here's the short list of why you would want to do that (read more here):

Save trees: More than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to produce junk mail. 42% of timber harvested nationwide becomes pulpwood for paper.
Reduce global warming: The energy used to produce and dispose of junk mail exceeds 2.8 million cars.
Save water: About 28 billion gallons of water are wasted to produce and recycle junk each year.
Save time. You waste about 70 hours a year dealing with junk mail.

Last April, I signed up with a service that makes it easy to get off of mailing lists. I used Green Dimes. Another service is 41pounds. Both services make it easy to get your names off the lists. Green Dimes cancels catalogs too. It was my impression that these services also monitor the mailing lists and keep your name off of them, but ... I'm checking into that...stay tuned.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Who uses styrofoam anymore?

In the midst of the rebirth of environmental consciousness, in the progressive San Francisco Bay Area, MY KIDS' SCHOOLS use styrofoam plates at their family picnics.

That's about 1000 styrofoam plates that will never ever become fertilizer. Actually, make that 996 -- because I convinced 3 out of 4 kids (and myself) to take reusable plates from home. As Blue Gal says, "Be the change, baby."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Save the Bay

Aaahhh.There is something about this scene that relaxes me.

I took this on a school field trip led by the "Save the Bay" organization. The group works to protect and restore the unique wetland habitats of the San Francisco Bay. They also educate the public about the importance of the remaining 10% of wetlands that still exist in the San Francisco Bay. There are two endangered species who live in the wetlands: the California Clapper Rail, and the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. No, I don't think the birds above are Clapper Rails.

I chaperoned twenty-some 5th graders as they learned and observed bay life. After lunch, we all worked in the nursery to transplant almost 500 Marsh Gum Plant native plant seedlings! When they grow up, our tiny transplanted seedlings will be planted in the marsh, and become habitat for the endangered Harvest Mouse. Hopefully when our 5th graders grow up, they will treasure and care for our planet.
Anyone can volunteer for Save the Bay restoration projects; not just school groups.

Marsh Gumplant in its native habitat.

Two of the Marsh Gumplant seedlings we transplanted on our field trip.

Friday, September 14, 2007

For anyone who ever holds back their true self...

I heard this poem today, and it really spoke to me. Especially the first paragraph, which I think stands on its own (although the rest is good too).

Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille in
"Dance to the Piper"

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you
in all of time
this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist
through any other medium,
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine
how good it is, nor how valuable,
nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours
clearly and directly,
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself
or your work.
You have to keep open and aware
directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I'm not dead yet...

...I'm just digging out of coordinating 5 different school calendars (four kids and a teacher-hubby) with my own complicated schedule. It hasn't left much time for taking and posting nature shots.

Plus, we've had some wild fires in California recently, which have made the air really yucky-looking. So here's a picture 10yo took this summer in the Italian Alps, of a very un-yucky sky.