environmental

Should Natural Areas Be Preserved — or Conserved for Our Benefit?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | July 17th, 2012 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: arctic, biodiversity, cities, conservation, conservation efforts, conserve, Eco Travel, endangered-species, environment, environmental, environmental activists, environmental awareness, environmental issues, environmentalism, environmentalist, forestry, Galápagos Islands, Gifford Pinchot, Grand Canyon, John Muir, natural areas, nature, people, Peter Kareiva, preservation, preserve, pristine, save the environment, species, The Nature Conservancy, travel, U.S. Forest Service, wilderness, Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park

In the environmental world, it’s characterized as the classic battle: Should wild areas be preserved for their intrinsic qualities or conserved for their resources? In other words, should nature be used for “the greatest good for the greatest number of people for the longest time,” as nineteenth-century progressive environmentalist Gifford Pinchot put it; or should the wilderness be protected and revered without human intrusions, a view espoused by romantic environmentalist John Muir?

Today, with a burgeoning population encroaching on our remaining wild areas and economic help scarce, many would say that Pinchot’s beliefs are more realistic for the modern world. In fact, there are even those, such as Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, who would take Pinchot’s notion a step further: Natural areas must be managed to benefit humans, if they are to survive at all.

Gourmet Is a Good Thing

Bevin Wallace by Bevin Wallace | January 31st, 2011 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: breakfast, childhood obesity, children, clean your plate, diet, dinner, environmental, food, force-feeding, fresh produce, fruits and vegetables, fun, gourmet, health, healthy-eating, hunger, hungry, in-season, ingredients, junk food, kids, local farms, lunch, meals, mother, organic, parenting, picky eater, processed, recipes, soup, sugar, sustainable, weight, whole grain

Boy eating dinner at a restaurantI know it might sound obnoxious at first and that I sound a little like Martha Stewart with that headline, but I like the idea of raising gourmet kids. By “gourmet,” I don’t mean kids who demand white tablecloths and truffle oil. What I mean is simply someone with an appreciation of good food. Here’s how Webster’s defines it:

Embrace the Unexpected

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | January 6th, 2011 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Healthy Home, Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: Annie Bond, bedding, change, comforter, cotton, Deepka Chopra, eco-friendly, environmental, fabric, friends, green, life, mattress, Merlin, natural fibers, new, organic wool, Quotes, spirituality, strangers, The Way of the Wizard, unexpected, unpredictable

Woman with her arms open to the skyGifts of Unpredictability

Despite the fact that your ego hates unpredictability, the truth is that you have benefited from it again and again. Think for a moment about the unexpected opportunities that have come your way, offers of help you never anticipated, sudden brainstorms and inspirations, impulsive decisions to move or to talk to a stranger that opened new horizons. This is the natural way to live. “Your life is already organized within itself,” Merlin said. “Life flows from life, the bud unfolds into the flower, the child ripens into the adult. Trust in each stage, celebrate it, and allow the next one to come to you effortlessly.”

Planting a Seed of Eco-Change

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | April 12th, 2010 | 2 Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: change, climate change, environment, environmental, environmentalist, Green Living, recycle, reuse

A friend recently confided in me that she, too, was increasingly alarmed by news of climate change, water shortages, chemicals in our kids’ toys — letting me know she was prepared to take action. From now on, she announced triumphantly, she planned to reuse gift bags. “And if people think that means I can’t afford new ones, well … that’s fine.”

Not the Composting Type? Newsflash: There Isn’t One Anymore

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | June 3rd, 2009 | 6 Comments
topic: Girlfriend@Gaiam, Green Living | tags: compost, composters, composting, eco-friendly, environmental, food waste, garden, gardening, green, guide, how to, kitchen scraps, soil

Composting the Kitchen WasteI could barely contain my surprise when my brother asked me a few months ago which compost bin he should buy from Gaiam. We’re talking about a guy who arguably has the cleanest fingernails on the planet (he’s a heart surgeon) and who has absolutely no tree-hugging tendencies. His SUV gets 13 miles to the gallon. He doesn’t have a single compact fluorescent light bulb in his entire house. He occasionally bikes to work, but mostly to avoid becoming like one of his patients. But his 13-year-old son came home from Boy Scouts one day and said, “Dad, we have to start composting.”