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Great armored bugs once lived in a basement hewn from Iowa bedrock. Amongst fermenting sauerkraut and tangled webs, my father took on the heroic battle of exterminating their presence. I cried every time, begging him to stop.
I was born with an innate belief that all beings have a right to live – they all serve a function in the web of biodiversity. It was a philosophical no-brainer for me to adopt a vegan diet.
My confession then; as the years went by, I slid in and out and became a sometimes-vegan.
This week while taking out the rubbish bins and separating the recyclables, I had an Ah-Ha moment. How did I get to this trashy way of living and throw so much stuff away?
I was brought up by a frugal German grandmother who reused almost everything. From jars, bags and cartons, she fed food scraps to the chickens or composted for the garden—hardly anything went into the rubbish bin.
But I also grew up in the culture of a “Throwaway Society,” one that encouraged unbridled consumerism and excessive waste. The rise of disposable packaging and single-use items was viewed as modern and convenient.
A 1955 article published in Life Magazine applauded “Throwaway Living” with a photo showing an American Family celebrating the convenience of disposable papers and plastics.
This pondering has me lead thinking about solutions that will help us build a less trashy future.
Did you read President Biden’s Fact Sheet for the American Jobs Plan? Joe and Kamala are asking us (and Congress) to reimagine who we are as a nation and how we can create a sustainable, compassionate economy.
The plan covers various initiatives—from fixing crumbling bridges to protecting our water and precious wetlands to addressing endangered coastal communities and restoring wildlife. It includes investing in alternate energy resources that include utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles.
The plan allocates 40 percent of the benefits of climate and clean infrastructure investments to disadvantaged communities invests in rural communities and communities impacted by the market-based transition to clean energy.
Now that’s a tall order. Read the White House Briefing, and your head will spin.
Almost everything we consume has been produced, manufactured and shipped to us using fossil fuels. How do we transition our entire lives to a regenerative renewable way of living? How do we behave as a species on this endangered planet to get us to the goal?
Let’s look at it as an opportunity we can all participate in and create new jobs and innovative technologies along the way!
Last week an article dropped into my inbox like a hot potato – one not so easy to drop. According to a report from the World Food and Ag Association (FAO), we have come to a place of reckoning like no other.
At no other time in our history have we been inundated with so many unprecedented climate threats. The perils of megafires, extreme weather events, large swarms of locusts, and biological threats like the COVID-19 pandemic dominate.
According to the report, the annual occurrence of disasters is now more than three times that of the 1970s and 1980s. And Agriculture absorbs the bulk (63%) of the financial losses and damages wrought by these disasters.
These hazards take lives and devastate agricultural livelihoods inflicting negative economic and nutritional consequences in our communities throughout the entire world.
In a nutshell, there are a few things you and I can do right now to help heal the planet and our food systems.
Spring – A Time to Clean, Appreciate What We Have and What shall be Given Up
It’s been a long cold winter, and if you’re like me, you’ve been sheltering in place warm and safe yet going a little stir crazy. This stirring applies not only to cocktails but stirring and rooting around in “drawers of doom” and crammed closets. A life of artifacts and photos, books and clothes, treasures once held dear are now unearthed.
If you could see my office right now, you would think a “relic bomb” had gone off, strewing precious clutter everywhere.
Spring is now upon us, and this muddle of things looks me straight in the face and begs me to clean and consider what I’ve found and what I need to give up.