Growing up my dad used to call the television the idiot box. I read an article yesterday that quoted that the average American child watches approximately 40 hours of television a week.
40 HOURS A WEEK.
Is that possible?
When I think of my work week, and how many hours I spend interacting with customers, organizing product, paying bills, thinking of new ways to market, I am exhausted. When I think about a child sitting mindlessly watching TV for 8 hours a day, without interaction, motor activity, intellectual stimulation, or imaginative play I am infuriated. What are we doing? How are we, as adults allowing this to happen?
In the age of green consciousness how are we to engage our children in becoming knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate stewards of the planet if they are not outside engaged in the wonder of nature and imaginative play? How can we expect them to use their own minds to exercise forethought or problem solving, or innovation if we teach them to be mindless and numb, and passive? How do we expect them to really care and create a deep connection and wonder to life and all of it's mysteries if we continually keep them indoors and occupied with the idiot box? PLEASE American parents...UNPLUG the television and set your kids free.
So which of the Earth Savers Gang characters would these fellows take after? Well, a couple of them for sure, but I'll wager that Penelope Paper Saver and Zach Energy Saver would totally groove on this idea:
Meet Joseph Haskett, Peter Gill Case, and Joshua Brant who are working together as a new brand of architectural and urban development hero's to recycle several of the thousands of shipping containers that sit empty in ports around the country. These shipping containers were once filled with all of the goods that our global economy thrives on but since the economy has slowed and thankfully the level of awareness rises these guys have taken a new look at the old, and with a little ingenuity conceived another life for the otherwise massive and useless steel boxes.
Read more about the Onlyville Box Office Project and join us at Earth Savers in giving them a huge nod for excellent innovation, green building smarts, and conscious lifestyle alternatives.
The fate of the Galapagos islands has me saddened today.
Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean and it's wildlife is its most remarkable feature.
The Galápagos Islands ( in Ecuador) and are part of the country's national park system. The principal language on the islands is Spanish and are famed for their vast number of endemic species, which were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
So many beautiful poems and books and journeys have been written about the islands, and they are currently in grave danger due to global warming. To donate or drive awareness please visit http://www.gct.org/
Every year my husband plants beautiful sunflowers in our garden. My kids love to watch them grow and have already started to plan where they will be planted this spring and imagine how big they might get.
Because we really want to get our kids interested in gardening, we have been thinking about planting flowers that will be enjoyable for them and allow them to participate. We have looked around, and decided on several.
In addition to the flowers, we have been busily collecting rocks, and shells that we have added to flower beds as decoration, and which really provide a delightful way for kids to interact weather it be to look under, paint, or catch water in as with the shells. They love to imagine that bee's can "take a bath" and that ant's can "take a break" under a rock and get some shade before they move on. A garden with imagination can go a long way, and I look forward to photographing ours and sharing with our readers.
As I walk around my neighborhood I am seeing the emergence of many new gardens in the very front of many homes- small, raised or enclosed beds, and I am reminded of the Victory Gardens my dad used to tell me about.
Victory Gardens which are described by Wikipedia as:
Not only would this be a major contribution to the planting of our own natural resources, it would be an excellent lesson for our children in learning how to grow and nourish food sources on their own land. The garden itself gradually produces more nutrient rich soil, and of course the remains of the veggies, scraps, and leaf can all be composted within your own yard to re-deposit the waste into the soil creating a stronger source of vitamins and nutrients for subsequent gardens each year. Use the vegetable or fruits or berries to cook with, bake, and the growth of stronger herbs to keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. Don't forget that your neighbors can be a wealth of information, and a valuable resource for gardening knowledge, and for trade. One can only eat so many tomatoes, so don't forget to share the fruits of your labor!
I have long been in a struggle with the Catholic religion, and at times organized religion in general.
I encourage the practice of faith. I encourage the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the teachings of any other enlightened and introspective being that can offer insight, understanding, compassion and comfort on our spiritual and physical journey as a human being.
My husband was raised in the Southern Baptist Faith.
I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic faith.
His father was a deacon.
My mother was a nun.
Unfortunately the message I got growing up inside my faith was one of fear, guilt, and suppression. Ask most of my fellow piers how they experienced their faith and the majority will tell you the same.
How is it that Jesus and the teachings of his benevolent message was so far from our experience of our faith? Organized religion has a long way to go I would say in inspiring a love of his teachings and in understanding how to put his enlightened teachings to practice.
This morning my husband Brad came in from a business trip clutching a New York Times, and thrusting it disgustedly in my direction.
On the Front Page of Tuesday's February 10th New York Times is a story about a new escape from hell that the Catholic Church is granting it's sinners as a way to increase popularity, and re- establish lost ties with it's members who have strayed from the flock.
It's called an "INDULGENCE" - I'll say.
The basic premise is that the catholic church can grant an amnesty from punishment in the afterlife.
RIGHT. Kind of like a "get out of jail free" card from purgatory or hell.
Dear people - where has our common sense gone? Do we really believe first of all that the loving God in its many forms that so many respectfully believe in would create a "waiting room" of penance for our sins to punish us for our transgressions on earth? If the answer is yes...I say we are missing the point of the entire journey here. Secondly- Do we believe that a church or institution has a direct line into God and can grant us PARDON from having to spend time in the Big House? GIMME A BREAK. Life is not a driving record where the your fines can be waived at the pearly gates.
The article goes on to categorize the various "flavors" of indulgences you can receive from the church as if sitting in a booth a friendlies ordering an ice cream sundae. There are "Partial Indulgences" in which you may "reduce" your time in purgatory by a certain number of days and years, and there are "plenary" indulgences which eliminate all of it until another sin is committed. Although the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in the 1567 - charitable contributions combined with other acts can help you earn one. WHAT?! Oh- and there is a limit. Only ONE plenary indulgence per sinner per day...and that sinner will be pardoned at the bishops discretion. PAH- LEASE - I feel like I am reading the directions for the MONOPOLY board game.
The return of Indulgences began with Pope John Paul II, who authorized Bishops to offer them in the year 2000 as part of the celebration of the churches third millennium. I'm sorry- is someone screaming "MARKETING!!!!" The offer appeared prominently on a website of the Diocese of Brooklyn announcing that any catholic could receive an indulgence at any of the six churches on any day by fulfilling some basic requirements: going to confession, receiving holy communion, saying a prayer for the Pope, and "achiveing complete detachment from from any inclination to sin." Basically what the church is selling is a "happy incentive" for confession and to attract sinners back to the church.
So why would I post this on the Earth Savers Blog anyway?
If we are to challenge and change and transform the way we relate to the planet, and believe in our own capacity to make a difference to impact the future- we have to also challenge the dogma's, institutions, and belief systems that keep us in the DARK, and that insult our intelligence. We need to excercise our own common sense as human beings. It angers and upsets me to read of the abuse of power of institutions of like the Catholic Church and the transparency of it's motivations. As human beings, we have the right to explore our intellect, our spiritual identity, and our physical experience of the world, and our journey here.
At the very core of my anger and indignation is NOT an opposition to the teachings of Jesus, and the many wonderful things organized religion can provide for people- but the manipulation of the human psyche and the suppression of our quest for meaning and purpose in this lifetime.
INDULGENCE - yes. That is in fact what the church is doing in this case. Indulging in it's power and in it's reach and influence, and I'M NOT buying it.
I encourage your comments- PLEASE.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many are bustling to gather the flowers, chocolates and cards for their loved ones. Yet, for more than 45,000 Columbians, Valentine’s Day isn’t about these gifts. It is a holiday that helps fund groundbreaking social and environmental programs that change their lives.
Accounting for nearly 20% of their yearly revenue, Valentine’s day helps enrich the lives of the workers on 163 Florverde-certified farms. With the sales made on this day, these farms are able to sustain continuing educational programs, subsidize housing and child care and promote local health programs for their workers. These programs aim to eradicate illiteracy, provide subsidies for home purchases to over 2,000 families a year, and provide child care for families of farm workers.
Valentine’s Day also helps certified farms promote sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural practices. These “green” initiatives include the implementation of Integrated Pest Management to reduce the use of pesticides, the monitoring of soil nitrates and the prevention of water contamination, the improved recycling of waste products and more.
Teamed with The Global Partnership for Good Agricultural Practice, Florverde standards mean healthier workers, fewer pesticides, stronger families, better training and personal opportunities, and a more sustainable future and environment.
For more on this story, please visit http://inr.mediaseed.tv/Florverde_36260/