Citizen Science and Bioblitz Brings Planet Activism to Everyone

At a time when we may need to rely on bake sales in the U.S. to fund scientific research, community activism is picking up steam and maybe some of the slack. Although most of us don’t have deep pockets, we do love nature and being outdoors. Citizen science is a growing movement to encourage the public to get involved in collecting data for scientific research. Did you know that data collected from citizen scientists has contributed more than 77 percent of studies on birds and climate change? I sat in on an animated discussion about citizen science recently at the ...

Read More


Tackling the Sustainable Development Goals One by One

If you wanted to internalize ideas and actions for sustainable development into the community - how would you tackle such a challenge? There are some creative ways of tackling the Sustainable Development Goals and planting these into our collective brains. To begin, here's a plan of attack. Start with a priority list for the year: Save the world from hunger and poverty. Ensure that all are able to thrive with good health, wellbeing, education, equality, decent work and livelihoods. Don't settle for less than clean water, sanitation, and an environment safe from ...

Read More


Love the Vine You’re With: Sustainable Wine in the Pacific Northwest

wine grapes
When you hear the word sustainability, do you think of wine? Until last year, I simply enjoyed my wine, rarely wondering at the impact of my enjoyment on the environment. I never assumed the wine industry would consider it too. It turns out there are producers making sustainable wine in the Pacific Northwest who work hard to make their product kinder to the planet. I realized that sustainability is all-encompassing, relevant to every aspect of our activity in the world. Excluding human endeavor from its scope - even wine making - is just not good business for the ...

Read More


New Ways to Speak with Trees for Earth Lovers

    What do you think and feel when you see beautiful tall trees dripping with lush green loveliness? When surrounded by all those earthly giants whispering, do you stop to listen? What about a big old tree hug - have you tried that lately? If you're reading this, you probably wish for more tree hugging and listening. Many trees have been around longer than most humans alive today. Do you ever wonder how they communicate and what they have to say? I believe we can learn a few secrets if we turn off the mind and tune into the heart.  If we listen ...

Read More


Preserving Green Spaces and Waterways in Atlanta

Paving paradise to put up parking lots, roads and houses to keep up with the growing population in metro Atlanta (now over five million) has compromised the city's green spaces and waterways over the past several decades. Urban development's impact on water quality has led to massive investments in stormwater management infrastructure leaving the city's residents with some of the highest rates for municipal water and sewer in the nation. Fortunately a new effort is underway to help preserve some of Atlanta's lush tree canopy and green spaces while solving water ...

Read More


Washed Ashore: Art from Plastic to Save the Sea

Earlier this year in Bandon, Oregon I discovered Washed Ashore. They make art from plastic to educate the public about how much of it ends up in the sea. I saw their brightly colored life-sized plastic sculpture known locally as Henry the Fish. Henry is made of pieces of plastic that have washed up on the beach. I find this idea of making art from plastic very creative, but it also saddens me. The reality it makes clear is one of oceans filled with human garbage. Their studio in Bandon was closed for the day, but I caught a glimpse of numerous large plastic sculptures ...

Read More


Water is peace, water is life, water is dignity

Have you ever been stumped by this question: Why bother to conserve water? We have the same amount of water on our planet as we have had for millions of years. Here's how to answer: water is peace, water is life, water is dignity. Water is everywhere. It circulates around the globe from the snow packed mountains into rivers, eventually making its way to the ocean. From there, the cycle starts all over again. It evaporates, turns into clouds and then rains somewhere in the world.  Yet somewhere in the world water is falling either too little or too much.  Global ...

Read More


Two Tales of Composting and Recycling in Zambian

Russell Ford, a former public school art teacher in Washington, recently spent a month in Zambia, Africa teaching at the WayiWayi Studio and Gallery artist-in-residence program. WayiWayi is a visionary art school and gallery run by Lawrence and Agnes Yombwe. Here is one of the many short stories about Russell's experience at WayiWayi, in the town of Livingston, Africa.  The Art of Recycling in Zambia One of the members of the team of Zambians who worked with me to build a ceramic kiln in Livingstone is sculptor Almakyo Banda. He was part of a team of artists ...

Read More