Take some time to think about Earth today

by N. Logsdon Mandelkorn

It’s Earth Day again. The 40th one. What have you been up to?

I’ve been doing some gardening, and I’m enjoying listening to an audio book, The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan. The author tells the fascinating stories of four plants: apples, tulips, potatoes and cannabis.  You’ll enjoy pollinating your perspective with his excellent research! And I just discovered that PBS has produced a luscious video based on the book.  You can stream it online or buy the DVD. You can download the entire transcript and take advantage of several lesson plans that are posted. What a great teaching resource!

This year, I worked on a project with Denise Moclair to help her publish a website to display her “green” artwork.  Denise writes, “Transforming trash into treasure has always appealed to me. I like the challenge of making something out of nothing, of giving new life to something that has been discarded. ”

"Nathor, Nile River Goddess" mosaic

Denise uses a decoupage technique she developed to re-imagine and restore furnishings. For her more decorative pieces, she employs a Pique Assiette (peak H-see-ET) technique to create stunning mosaics.

She writes, “The stream of waste flows deep and wide in America. With GreenTiques, I’m doing my small part with creative panache to find, salvage and re-purpose useful and decorative items.”

Denise discussing her work with visitors at her art opening on April 10th.

The moment her website was published, her artwork created an instant buzz in the Hampton Roads Virginia area. She was invited to be this month’s featured artist at The Blue Skies gallery in Hampton, VA. Her work will remain on exhibit at Blue Skies through May. One of her pieces, the epiphone guitar, was featured in this month’s print issue of Hampton Roads Magazine. You’ll find numerous images of her work on her website, www.GreenTiques.biz.

More Green Resources

PBS has put together a great collection of videos for Earth Day. The Unitarian Universalist Association launched an Ethical Eating campaign today. The Earth Day Network is sponsoring many actions, including a Climate Rally in DC on the National Mall, Sunday, April 25, 11am to 7pm.

Admittedly, the enormity of the environmental problems facing us is daunting. But as the saying goes, all journeys must begin with a single step.  In the last year, I’ve stopped eating meat and buying bottled water. We installed a filter on our sink. I shop at my local food co-op and farmer’s market. I’m taking care of the small patch of Earth for which I’m responsible: my yard.  The newest addition to our tools is a manual lawn mower!

Taking personal responsibility for our delicate habitat is key to our survival, and it’s very rewarding. We have to take action in whatever ways we can.  As the seventh Unitarian Universalist principle advises, we must affirm and promote “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”

2 responses to “Take some time to think about Earth today

  1. Good question, Kevin. We are what we buy. So we’re not powerless. Lazy, selfish, uninformed, maybe. But most of us are unlikely to change unless we are forced. Maybe this recent disaster that’s unfolding in the Gulf will help move us (force or motivate?) in the direction of caring for the Earth instead of exploiting it.

  2. Very insightful words from the entertainers, but special attention needs to be paid to the continued distruction of our environment by our ‘extractive’ culture. Are we, the people, powerless to stem the negative tide that continues to gain momentum in terms of taking from the planet and leaving mess in the wake?

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