When you were a child, were you commanded to clean your room by a parent?
Compelled to clear the table or clean the dishes after dinner?
Forced to fold the laundry?
Told to take the garbage or recycling outside to their proper bins?
Sure! These were demanded of me decades ago and our son is asked and expected to do the same today.
These are basic and shared responsibilities to maintain a nice, clean, and healthy home.
- Basic instructions.
- Clear expectations.
- Regular supervision.
- Performance standards.
- Threat of punishment.
- Occasional, necessary enforcement.
Had it not been for all the direct, parental attention, I may never have built the habits and skills necessary to do so as an adult. Playing outside with friends or firing up a video game console was far more attractive. Someone else can run the vacuum cleaner!
And we’ve all had that sibling or roommate who didn’t live up to basic standards of health and cleanliness. Too self-interested. Insufficiently motivated. Plays by their own rules.
But the consequences are shared. And, at the end of the day, someone has to clean up.
And so it is with environmental protection.
Sustainability progress. Climate resilience. Resource efficiency.
Driven by local leadership, these things are happening in hundreds of US cities every day.
If you’re discouraged by the climate denial of our President-elect and his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, restore your faith with two quick stories here.
One is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and the other’s from Palm Beach, Florida.
Contaminated drinking water. Right in our own backyard. And probably in yours, too.
Unregulated, toxic chemicals linked to cancer in our wells. Perflourinated chemicals (PFCs), specifically.
Ever persistent, PFCs don’t break down and they don’t boil off.
Prolonged PFC exposure is linked to:
- developmental damage to fetuses during pregnancy
- low birth weight
- accelerated puberty and distorted bones
- kidney and testicular cancer
- liver tissue damage
- impaired production of antibodies
- cholesterol changes
That PFCs are in our drinking water begs questions. I’ve got 3.
Like all kinds of life, mosses have something to teach us about right living.
Basically a lift from an outstanding conversation on On Being with Krista Tippett titled “The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life,” this post celebrates the modesty and sustainability of one of the simplest and oldest kinds of life on Earth.
The guest, Dr Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a bryologist (expert in moss) and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. This balance of scientific knowledge and indigenous knowledge provided an interesting backdrop for the entire conversation.
“Science asks us to learn about organisms. Traditional knowledge asks us to learn from them.” – Kimmerer to Tippett
As I often do, I heard this episode while hiking. And, as I often do, I was hiking with my camera.
The conversation between Tippett and Kimmerer immediately changed my typical shooting subjects and perspective. Rather than going wide and grand, I shot everything with my 45mm f1.8 (90mm equivalent) for fun and challenge and did so low to the ground.
Here: a few choice quotes from and shot-while-listening images inspired by Kimmerer and Tippett. And a new respect for modest mosses.
“If the whole human race lay in one grave, the epitaph on its headstone might well be: ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.'” – British author, journalist, literary critic, and travel writer Dame Rebecca West
I’d been sitting on the significance of Lampshades on Fire by Modest Mouse for some time. Encountering West’s quote tipped this write up.
First, the good news. Any day now, we should receive a free shipping label from HP to send our useless printer to one of their recycling centers.
That’s the full and complete extent of the good news.
This is the story of an otherwise functional HP PhotoSmart 6525 All-In-One Inkjet Printer that stopped printing black ink and, as a consequence, faces the fate of dismantling and (hopefully) reuse.