Sunday, December 2, 2007

Self-Education and How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

My current attempt at self-education is reading a book by Paul Stamets entitled Mycelium Running-How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Paul is founder of Fungi Perfecti and has been a mycologist for over thirty years. "How can mushrooms save the planet?", you ask.

To quote from the flyleaf -- "The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called 'mycelium' - the fruit of which are mushrooms - recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium's digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycogardening)."

And you thought mushrooms were only good in spaghetti sauce! Who knew?!

The book is fascinating, although very technical. Paul is, after all, a botanist, and uses the technical jargon of that discipline. It is full of photographs and diagrams which help to illustrate the principles involved, which makes this book appealing to the layman.

For anyone looking for a way to help the planet, check into mycorestoration and mycoremediation. This is a process that can be utilized at local levels by ordinary people with the proper information and training. If you have read-or are a proponent of -Natural Capitalism, Paul has a diagram on page 99 you'll want to check out.

Keep educating yourself on what you can do to help the planet survive, and thrive.

Until next time....become the change you imagine.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Power of One

People often question their own ability to affect change in the world. We believe that we are like little ants with no power. Nothing could be further from the truth. One ant doesn't seem like much, but a colony of millions has an impact on everything around it.

Humans have the capacity to drastically influence their environment by their sheer numbers. You only have to look at the avalanche of information about our current environmental crises to understand that we are currently dealing with the consequences of previous human actions.

That being said, every individual has the power to change things for the good of our world and every living thing in it. Here are a few ways:

  • Educate yourself, and your children, on ways to reduce CO2 emissions, recycle, reduce use and waste. Share what you learn with others and assist them in being part of the solution.

  • Use the power of your pocketbook! Support companies who have developed legitimate strategies for reducing their own negative impact on the environment and social inequality.
  • Join organizations committed to repairing existing environmental damage.

  • Work with local government and community organizations to implement green practices and policies that benefit the people of your community.

Today I signed a letter for Co-op America. Instead of promoting ethanol, automobile manufacturers need to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles to 40 mpg by 2012 and 55 mpg by 2020, and increase their production of hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

The price of "green" automobiles is directly influenced by DEMAND. The more people that demand these vehicles and demonstrate the desire with their money, then more of these vehicles will be produced and the costs will become affordable.

In her book The Art of Conscious Creation, Jackie Lapin states: "Each of us has the power to begin making our visions a reality by stepping into the realm of action." Become an "actionary" and get involved.

Until next time....become the change you imagine.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Evolution of a dream

Anatole France once said "To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act."

As an adult my dream has been to see the world become a place of peace and beauty, but when I remember my dreams as a child, they always involved nature in some form or another. Sometimes we grow up and grow out of the simple ideals of our youth only to find that we are "missing something" in our lives. What is missing in many cases is the passion one feels when pursuing a dream. The passion of that pursuit is what makes us come alive.

I have come to understand that the greatest hindrance to peace is the lack of a stable environment. People all over the world suffer from famine, disease, poverty. They lack the basic necessities for survival. The earth, no longer in a state of balance, cannot support the organisms that inhabitat it. So what is the solution? Everyone has an opinion about that and no one answer exists. But if we look at the most common denominator it would be our planet.

Clean air, water, and land is necessary for the healthy survival of all organisms on the earth. It should be a common goal of all peoples to work toward healing the planet and creating a sustainable environment now and for the future.

In keeping with my original passion, beginning January 1st, 2008 my website and shop will focus on the environment and what is being done globally to heal our world.

Healthy planet + healthy, happy people = PEACE.

Until next time...become the change you imagine.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Some good environmental news from The Non-Toxic Times Newsletter: "In Congress, the House approved new legislation on September 4th that would both create a federal program and provide funding for research into sustainable alternatives to hazardous chemical products and manufacturing technologies. The bill, H.R. 2850: the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2007, would provide $165 million in grant money over the next three years to be distributed by the EPA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards &Technology, and the Department of Energy. These grants would go to a variety of destinations including individual scientists, university and industry collaborations, federal laboratories, and schools training students in green chemistry."

It also mentions in the article that Wal-Mart is the company leading the way in reducing product packaging by 5% and making packaging out of recycled and recyclable materials. That would result in huge savings on packaging, shipping, and the amount of waste headed to landfills. To read more about organizations dedicated to saving the planet click here.

All of us at some time or other has wondered why a small item was encased in some huge plastic package. You know, the ones you can never get open! Communicate with the retailers you do business with and let them know that you support the initiative for less wasteful packaging. Click here to read the rest of the Non-Toxic Times article.

Until next time....become the change you imagine.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Finding peace in the natural world.

Yesterday began with a headache, but I had planned to spend it working on new designs for the shop. These were photos taken in May on the Suwannee River, in Florida, and were some of my favorites. As I worked and became more involved in the project, I stopped feeling the headache.

The more I looked at the photos, and remembered the circumstances of photographing those scenes, it was as if the peace of that place soothed me and removed my awareness of the headache. This seems to be a perfect illustration of how powerful the mind is in forming our reality.

We live in a stressful world, and that stress takes its toll on our emotional and physical health. Perhaps finding a peaceful place to contemplate will help to cope with some of these stresses. What is your "happy place"?
Until next time...become the change you imagine.