Thursday, 27 March 2008

Greening Up at the 11th Hour...

We watched the film ‘11th Hour’ by Leonardo di Caprio last night. WOW. If you haven’t seen it, I’d definitely recommend it. I would summarise it as a documentary about how humans are in our ‘11th hour’ in terms of the time we potentially have left here on this planet. There was a lot of very challenging info to integrate in the first half of the film – the shocking realities of what humans have created here and continue to create, moment by moment, day by day, in terms of pollution, deforestation, soil erosion and so on. Some of the stats were absolutely staggering to me. Two that hit me the most were:
1) in a survey in the US, it was found that on average, college kids could recognise 1000 different company logos, yet fewer than 10 plants or animals in their local environment. :O
2) Apparently, back in just 1960, the human population was around 3 billion. Now, fewer than 50 years later, we’re at more than double that – more than 6 billion. :O For many, many thousands of years, the human population never went over 1 billion, as that was simply the sustainable level for the way we were living...then agriculture/industry etc came along, we found ways to exploit resources like oil, to make things work bigger/faster/harder/stronger for us and we multiplied our numbers like some crazy virus, all over this planet, often squashing other species out of the way on the journey. So now here we are with an enormous human population that seems to drive itself ever further away from connection with nature, into cities, mono-cultures and ultimately, self-destruction. One thing I found really interesting was that many of the speakers in the film emphasised the fact that this ‘11th hour’ is really for humans, not the planet – the planet will go on without us, if we really do end up pushing things so far that we self-destruct ;) It’s not about this planet so much as it’s about us...what do we choose? Are we going to pick up the pieces RIGHT NOW and do something different?
An older friend in the audience shared his perspective with us in the intermission. He said that in his opinion, all these issues could easily be straightened out if people did 3 things: stay at home, grow food and save seed. :))) LOVE IT :))) Ahhhhhhhh, how I long to get to our own piece of land and start growing things other than sprouts ;) The Anastasia books continue to inspire us daily in our desires to get growing and creating our own ‘motherland’...personally, I absolutely agree that the greatest solution right now would be for us all to get our hands in the dirt and start growing and enjoying, connecting. I know that doesn’t resonate for everyone though and so I was glad to see many other suggestions given in this film of what people can do – things like fitting energy-efficient light bulbs, using green energy sources and so on. A lot of the solutions seemed like very ‘slick’/’urban’ ideas to me – like greening up skyscrapers etc... ;) I can totally see the value of putting this stuff across though – it’s about introducing baby steps that people can take to start making a difference. Someone who right now is living 32 storeys up in a high rise in New York and works all day in an office may be a little freaked at the idea of going and living and working on the ;) Yet ‘green’ that person’s office and home block and maybe things might start to shift until they DO feel more comfortable to go and connect more with nature. It’s no different to taking someone who is eating SAD and trying to throw them into being 100% raw vegan – that’s a BIG shock to the system – if you help them gently, slowly transition though, with baby steps, then it might work out much more smoothly ;) So, I’m glad that 11th Hour presented many different solutions for people, so that we can all perhaps side-step crisis when ‘midnight’ comes...will YOU turn into a pumpkin, or will you be out tending the pumpkin patch…? ;) We’ll see... You can see more abt this film and action you can start taking, HERE.

On March the 26th I had:

1.5 quarts water
3 cups zucchini/carrot/parsley/lettuce/cilantro/green pepper juice
2 big handfuls of fresh figs
1 quart water
little handful of pumpkin seeds with wakame seaweed
3 little apples
2.5 cups zucchini/carrot/parsley/lettuce/cilantro/green pepper juice
little bowl of cucumber yum: grated cucumber mushed with avocado, mixed sprouts, garlic, karengo seaweed and finely chopped broccoli, served in lettuce wraps
2 cups water
½ a watermelon
2 cups water

So, while we’re on this green-ing up subject, there are a few organisations I’d love to mention who I think are doing really cool work. It just so happens that all 3 are found in the Vancouver, BC region – which may tell us a thing or two... ;)
The first is the ‘Glean Team’ in Nanaimo. This is part of the ‘Nanaimo FoodShare’ initiative and the basic idea is that they match up people who have an excess of food growing on their land, which they’re not going to pick and use themselves, with people who go and pick it. Genius. This is from their site:

“Every year in the Nanaimo region an enormous amount of quality fruit and nuts drop from trees and rot. At the same time people line up at food banks for emergency hampers.
To reduce this food waste, the Fruit Tree Gleaning Project is linking surplus fruit and vegetables with volunteers willing to pick. Gleaners are encouraged to share their harvest with friends, family, neighbours, or a local food bank.”

Love it. You can read more and maybe even duplicate this simple, yet stunningly effective model in your own community by checking out their site HERE:

on March the 27th I had:

1.5 quarts water
1.2 quarts watermelon/mandarin juice
20oz celery/cucumber/lettuces/parsley/sprouts/dandelion/cabbage/beetroot/carrot juice
bowl of cucumber yum: grated cucumber mushed with avocado, sunflower seed pate, mixed sprouts and karengo seaweed, served in lettuce wraps
2 quarts water
little bowl of figgy pudding: fresh figs blended with oranges, vanilla powder, yacon powder and lucuma powder, with a few dried mulberries swirled in for chewiness
1 quart water

Next up is ‘City Harvest’. This is an organisation that uses urban space in Victoria, BC — yards or vacant land — to produce hand-tended, organically-grown vegetables to market. They give land-owners 1/3 of the fresh organic produce in exchange for the garden space :) Fantastic idea and a great way for people who’d rather have someone else do the gardening, to get extremely fresh, nutrient-dense organic produce that is sustainable (and free). Imagine all the gardens and lawns in N.America alone that could be converted into organic farm ground this way… :) Check out City Harvest’s site here:

Finally, ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ – this one is, in fact, not by any means restricted to the Vancouver area – that’s just where it was first introduced to me ;)...the idea is basically about planting up any random public places with trees, flowers, veggie crops and so on. This movement originated in the 70s in New York, it seems and there are now people loving up empty urban spaces into oases the world over…this site has a great list of links for green-fingered ‘guerrillas’ worldwide:

Well, I do hope all of that’s given you some delicious ‘food for thought’... ;)

One love,
Angelaallalaallaalaaaaaaaaaa. xxx

1 comment:

  1. just saw 11th Hour; the "Nature's Operating Instructions" extra feature was especially interesting... apparently there is some amazing technology built into nature, a lot there that we should use as a model for our own technology