27 November 2011

Law of the Land

As the National Wildlife Federation reports, earlier this year, Bolivia granted legal rights to nature. This is a very interesting development, and it continues a conversation that is beginning to pick up steam.

I think it is important that we consider the possibility that nature has legal rights. First, it challenges our traditional views about our relationship with nature, and when we start to examine our views, we can develop them. Second, our consumption of resources is driven by the belief that they exist for our benefit, creating a way of life that often jeopardizes the well-being of the planet as well as ourselves; but seeing nature as having rights revolves around the idea of safeguarding the natural world's welfare, a focus that may also protect us.

It will be exciting if more people follow Bolivia's lead and pick up the discussion about nature's rights.

24 November 2011

Changing POV

Last week, the National Wildlife Federation provided some photography tips from a professional nature photographer.

I liked the tips about changing the perspective from which photographs are taken. Those tips are useful for producing good photographs as well as for seeing new things and getting new insights into nature.

Also, I found it interesting that the photographer characterized photography as telling a story. I'm going to try to keep that in mind when I'm photographing the environment. The first thing probably is deciding what story I want to tell. Once that is accomplished, turning photographs into stories becomes another great way to influence people's perspective on nature.

22 November 2011

Every Last Piece

As you may know from my June entry, I use body wash instead of bar soap, so while the following idea may seem basic, when I heard it, my eyes opened.

A family friend who got tired of trying to deal with the little pieces that remain of a soap bar near the end of its lifetime decided to buy a luffa with a soap pocket. That way, the entire bar of soap is used before a new one is needed.

I love the idea of getting the most out of every product. It saves money and resources.

18 November 2011

Here's to Charlie

In a piece of good news, Charlie, a red-tailed hawk who has been in the care of veterinarians at Washington State University since being injured in a collision with a car when he was three months old, has set the lifespan record for his species.

Although Charlie's story essentially begins with the car accident, it provides some great examples of positive human-nature interaction, including the veterinarians saving Charlie's life, his interaction with his longtime friend, falconer Erik Stauber, and his contributions to teaching people about the world of raptors.

The bonds Charlie has made with people have the potential to help transform the way we interact with nature. It's great to hear that he continues to have good health. Hopefully, he'll keep adding to his record and the number of human lives he touches.

Congratulations, Charlie.

13 November 2011

Wild About Organics

A new book is generating wild praise for its focus on how to eat organically. Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet--All on $5 a Day or Less takes on the assumption that eating organic foods brings extra expenses.

Written by Linda Watson, the book has been met with many positive reviews, which laud its ability to serve as both a cookbook and a shopping guide for those who would like to eat organically but don't want to spend too much doing it. It's great that the book combines concerns about the environment, human health, and frugality. Just one of these things would make it worth a look, but combining them all with a practical, how-to approach adds a little more to its value.

The book is available on Amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble. Watson also has a Web site called Cook for Good.

10 November 2011

There's a Reason Green's a Holiday Color

Green and red usually have quite a showing during the holidays, but green can always use a little more emphasis, so think about reducing your waste and energy use this year.

Reducing your impact this holiday season will probably require some changes, but those changes might just start a few new traditions. Some things to consider include the following: (1) give experience gifts such as tickets to concerts, plays, or movies; (2) make gifts for people; (3) instead of buying presents, make contributions to charities in the name of those people on your gift list; and (4) recycle as much as you can, including your Christmas tree if you get one.

For more ideas and information, click herehere, and here.

06 November 2011

Watch Out

Get ready. This year's Project FeederWatch, which the Cornell Lab of Ornithology uses to collect information on bird populations, begins November 12.

Project FeederWatch is just one of the citizen science opportunities provided by organizations like the Cornell Lab. It's a great way to do some bird-watching, contribute to science, and engage with nature during the winter. It can also get children started with observations of the natural world.