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Ah, love. Each Valentine’s Day, lovers take pause to recognize that special someone in their lives. Pink and red hearts ornament retail locations, and flowers, chocolates, jewelry and other gifts are purchased and exchanged. Hands are held, sweet nothings are shared and love is in the air.
But what if these tokens of romantic affection mean something more sinister than the celebration of love and friendship? What if the production of these goods comes at a grave cost for the people directly connected to them?
Today, people all over the planet will be out celebrating our great, green planet! Earth Day, a day that is usually void of the doom and gloom that can sometimes bog down even the most optimistic greenie, will see folks from all corners of the world and all walks of life convening to honor the planet that provides us with water, air, food … with life! Today, communities will burst forth with music, art, films, local and organic food, environmental education and friendships and partnerships will grow.
For at least a decade, honeybee colonies throughout the world have been hit with a mysterious condition, dubbed by scientists as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In infected hives, the adult worker bees leave the hive and never return. They abandon their queen and some larvae, as well as honey and pollen reserves. Furthermore, bees from other colonies, which would usually “rob” a weak colony immediately, leave the hive untouched for weeks. These bees simply disappear, a phenomenon that California’s extension apiculturist and trained insect pathologist Dr. Erin Mussen describes as “unheard of.”
It was nearly noon on a Wednesday a few months back when a welcomed Colorado blizzard closed schools and offices. My 4-year-old son and I were still in our cozies, enjoying lunch while we worked on his favorite puzzle. A PBS cartoon played in the background, but neither of us paid much attention to the TV until we heard the familiar theme song for Curious George.
Weddings are expensive, both to the pocketbook and the planet. If you’re lucky in love and planning a wedding this year, why not make it simple and sustainable?
Buy simple invitations printed on 100-percent post-consumer recycled paper. Before ordering them from a large-scale company, research printing shops in your local community. You’ll get the personal attention and detail that you won’t through a commercial company, and your dollars will support a local business.
Get ready for the sustainable celebration of the year!
Happy Earth Day 2010! This April will mark four decades of organized environmental awareness. And, given the current economic, environmental and energy crises, it’s clear that Earth Day is no longer a “holiday” reserved for hippies. We all have stake in planet Earth. Accordingly, significant action must continue in order to sustain our planet and the people she supports.
As Earth Day’s 40th birthday approaches, I think it’s a good time to take pause and consider the small people in our lives who stand to inherit a pretty big planetary mess. And while I, in sincere optimism, try to avoid the “doom and gloom” that oftentimes tags the questionable state of our planet, it’s important to note that our children and children’s children will be positioned to make important decisions based on the action (or inaction) that we big people take today.
In most parts of the country, March has moved in like a lamb rather than a lion, and spring has sprung! Although a snowstorm or two might still prolong our spring fever, people everywhere are throwing open their windows and welcoming the season’s warm, fresh air and light into their homes. And, while this yearly practice brings with it a sense of invigoration and clarity, it also causes us to take pause and literally see our homes in a new light. Months of sealed-up windows, low lighting and indoor play have left our homes, um, a little dusty, mildly cluttered and in need of a pretty thorough once-over (or a twice-over for those of us who live with little paws — both of the child and the four-legged sort).
You’ve reduced your energy and material consumption, you’ve been recycling now for years and your winter collection of compost is nearly ripe enough to be tilled into this year’s fledgling garden. Accordingly, as Earth Day’s 40th approaches, you’re feeling pretty okay about your good green behavior.
It’s not easy buying green, especially since green has been touted as the new black. Like the “black” of a previous generation, today’s “green” is considered sexy, trendy and it looks good on everyone. And while the branding of green has led to an increased environmental and ecological awareness, which has oftentimes proved beneficial for our planet and her people, the increased awareness has also created a muddled perspective of what really constitutes green. The public relations whiz kids of the corporate world have jumped on the green wagon and, wa-la, companies with questionable environmental practices and policies have been spun from black to green.