Green What now?

Did you know that many of the oranges at the grocery store are not orange when they are picked? Most oranges are actually green when ripe. That’s because most oranges are grown at or near the equator and it is colder temps that turn the orange orange.

So why are all the oranges in the supermarket orange and not green? Well because the supermarkets expose the oranges to ethylene gas while they are stored. Thats right all the oranges we buy are gassed before they get to the shelf so that they will not be green.

I knew about this for a little over a year but I didn’t really think hard about it until last night as I was preparing a meal. I went to a grocery store to buy all the ingredients and the store had some ingredients sold out/ I was a little annoyed but was able to head to another store to pick up what was needed.

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I grew up in the fifth largest city in the United States and almost every corner had a convince store on it. 24 hrs a day seven days a week I could walk in and buy an orange from one of these stores. How does that make any sense? Food and seasons don’t work that way do they?

Convince is nice, but at what cost? Sometimes I think I live a little disconnected from the natural world and maybe suffer from that disconnect.

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There is something called nature deficit disorder. Nature deficit disorder can cause mental and physical ailments. A good way to fight this is through spending more time outdoors connecting with nature and through education. Learning as much as we can about the natural world that we are part of and how we should interact with it.

I will try to take more time today to do this. The natural world is not always convent, clean or orange but it is true and good for us.

Paradise Lost

When I was dating my wife she bought me a print of Muhamad Ali standing over Sony Liston and a copy of the poem / book Paradise Lost my Milton. The print is hanging up in my office at work and the book is on our bookshelf.

I am a big fan of the poem Paradise Lost. The fall of humanity, Lucifers’ revenge for being sent out of heaven.

The thing about Paradise Lost and the Christian creation story that I find most strange and there is a lot to find odd, talking snakes and all, is that God placed humans on earth. In the creation story God creates everything, then puts life on earth, humans are the last created creatures and they are the ones who are given rules to abide by on earth. Satan was kicked out of heaven prior to the creation of everything and wants revenge. Satan takes on the image of a serpent and tempts humans to disobey God. The humans succumb to temptation and God punishes the humans. The punishment for humans is almost the same as the punishment for Lucifer or Satan, banishment. Humans are banished from their home the garden of Eden. The garden of Eden is on earth.

The earth is an incredible planet. Planet Earth provide us with life, and protects us from space. Everything we have ever needed to survive and thrive has come from the earth. I do not know if it is irony or not, I do know that it is tragic, but humans have destroyed more than 97% of the earths ecosystem. Humans have not lost paradise, we have burned it away.

Why did humans do this and why do we continue to do this? Because we were tricked and continue to be tricked everyday. Instead of learning to live in harmony with the Earth we have learned to destroy the earth and carve out our living at the cost of the earth.

We still have a chance at paradise, we were not kicked off of the Earth. We just need to stop being tricked. A life that is zero waste, respects all life around us, works towards sustainability and understands that we must always be growing, that is a life that is lived without being tricked.

“We don’t have a lot of time on this Earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way! Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements!”

Peter Gibbons
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I get by with a little….

This week there were two stories that really made me proud to be part of the human race in the news and about a dozen and a half that made me shamed, but let’s focus on the two that were awesome.

The first story involved the resilience of the Grasshopper Sparrow. The bird was on the brink of extinction when conservationist and a Florida zoo stepped up. The birds were breed and raised in captivity then release into the wild. The survival rate of the birds is a happy surprise to the experts who have been involved in this birds comeback story.

The second story is about the founder of Patagonia and the future of his company. Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia is giving away his company. Patagonia will not go public it will be placed in a trust that is set up for the sole purpose of fighting climate change. This is remarkable and good news.

The two stories that made me smile this week remind me of a Beatles song titled “With a little help from my friends”. The song was written by Joe Crocker and the lyrics explain how everyone gets help from their friends every once and a while.

The Florida zoo and the billionaire businessmen both seem to be friends of the natural world and the natural world needs friends right now. Imagine how much better off the world would be if we were all friends to it….

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Altogether now

Yesterdays wordle answer was fungi. This got me to thinking about how amazing trees are. Did you know that the trees use fungi to communicate with each other sort of like a world wide web? Scientists are calling it a wood wide web. There is an amazing article in the Smithsonian magazine all about some research into trees. I think the more we learn about trees the more we will respect them. I am a firm believer in the power of education. Education provides an understanding and respect for what we study.

If you ever begin to feel like you are becoming apathetic or even cynical educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about everything and you will discover that education is like a sympathy machine.

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family

Kofi Annan

One thing that seems to always be present in everything I have learned is that.. everything is connected and when those connections are broken society breaks down. Education informs, creates sympathy and connects us to each other. beings working together to learn more and become more, helping each other in person on line and in life. Just like the trees that send messages through the fungi humans do the same. We let others know about the changes in the weather and traffic patterns. We encourage each other and we learn from and about each other.

Imagine where society would be today if, we focused on connections through education opposed to division through polarization of beliefs.

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It cost what

I was involved in implementing a plan to reduce the cost of printing at a rather large institution. No one was happy to see me when I was involved in this plan. I represented a change in the way things were being done. The change was taking place because of the cost associated with the levels of printing that were going on at the institution.

I heard all of the reasons to not implement and to implement the printing plan. Ultimately the plan was implemented and I think the institution has adjusted well.

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Personally I believe that the plan was the right call. Stewardship means taking care of something carefully and responsibly. I have rarely seen stewardship employed when it comes to a resource that seems plentiful.

When I consider stewardship I always think of the Cedars of Lebanon. The Mountains of Lebanon were once full of trees Cedar trees. Over time without stewardship the trees were forested and now there are only a handful of these trees that remain. It is truly heart breaking.

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The real cost of deforestation did not seem to weigh in on the calculations when the deforestation was happening in Lebanon. The trees seemed to be plentiful until they were not.

I love cutting loose and being impetuous as the next guy but, I want to be able to cut loose and live free as long as I can and I want my kids to see a real live Long leaf pine however because of a lack of stewardship this may not happen….

Here is an article detailing 13 trees in the United States that face extinction. What we do matters now, in the near and far future. Let us all be good stewards of the earth we were gifted.