Yesterday I spoke with my second podcast guest, Jim Anderson, on his radio show, Conversations with Jim Anderson. I brought my recording equipment to the studio and recorded the conversation to include as a special podcast episode, which can be found here on my Soundcloud page. This is Part 1 of a two-part workshop on environmental law. This Part 1 is a conversation on how environmental law works and why it has not been doing a very good job protecting the environment and public health. Part 2 happens next week, and it will be a conversation about exciting initiatives like Our Children’s Trust, which are reforming environmental law to do a better job at protecting the Earth and the lives of future generations.
Today I posted a new Keeping Things Alive podcast episode with University at Buffalo graduating senior, Vanessa Dwyer. Vanessa started the Fossil Free UB campaign in fall 2015 and is currently transitioning it to the hands of other students that are not graduating. The campaign has gained momentum, but a project this large requires coordination, time to plan, and time to execute beyond any one college student’s four years on campus. I am excited to see where the campaign goes in the future.
Fossil Free UB parallels the “Go Fossil Free” divestment campaign, which is a global movement and explained very well by 350.org here.
Along similar climate action lines, I just started getting into a new book, Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken. This book came out in mid-April, it is only $13 despite being high quality, and it explains the top 100 ways to “drawdown carbon” from the atmosphere. The brilliance of this book is that it ranks solutions by how big of a carbon-reducing effect each one has compared to the other, but other than the rank, all 100 solutions are treated with equal importance, which they are.
The reality of climate change and climate justice is that all solutions need to be executed at once, as soon as possible, by as many people as possible. This is not bad news. Rather, our intense reality and need to take bold action can be taken as good news — taking meaningful, effective climate change action on a big, urgent scale means that a lot more people get to participate and have jobs addressing this problem than ever before, which improves society at a rapid pace.
I am not ready to throw my hands in the air and say “the Earth will be just fine without us” quite yet. I want to try. Really going after the concepts in Drawdown, which includes divestment from fossil fuels, is the only humane option that I see.
One of my favorite websites is Brain Pickings, and today the creator, Maria Popova, showcased a beautiful poster by Wendy MacNaughton and Courtney E. Martin that resonates with me during these chaotic political times. As I struggle to figure out what role I play in the international progressive movement that is building and changing every day, I keep coming back to writing, interviewing, and creating whatever needs to be created at the moment (a meal, garden, email, gift, etc.). I’ll let the poster speak for itself:
Today I posted two new interviews for the Keeping Things Alive podcast, and both of them have to do with healthcare options outside of the U.S. healthcare system. I am fortunate to have health insurance through my job, but I also use acupuncture and herbal medicine to maintain my health and bolster my wellbeing. When healthcare is expensive and unreliable, I find it empowering to have affordable and effective options to turn to in my community.
My first new episode is with Craig Labadie, acupuncturist and co-owner of Buffalo Alternative Therapies. I have been going to a community acupuncture clinic since around 2013, and regular treatments have helped me eliminate my mold allergy symptoms. I’ve also found acupuncture to be the best stress relief tool that I have ever found.
During the interview, I mention that I attempted to paint what I see during acupuncture treatments. Here is the painting I am referring to in case you are curious:
My second new episode is with Sarah Sorci, community herbalist and owner of Sweet Flag Herbs. Sarah is a good friend of mine and I have learned so much from her about how to use edible and medicinal plants that grow in Western New York to support my health and wellbeing.
At around the 47:00 mark of the episode, we discuss various edible and medicinal plants that Sarah found that day in my backyard in Buffalo, New York. Here are pictures of the plants that she is talking about:
Self-heal or Heal-all. Here is the baby self-heal plant that Sarah found, without its flowers yet:
This is the fourth year that I’ve had a square-foot garden. It’s a four-foot-by-six-foot raised bed vegetable and herb garden that provides me with fresh food from May through November. The great part about square-foot gardening is that you can grown a lot of food in a concentrated area, so there is less weeding, less watering, and more production. I also happen to think that it looks beautiful.
My mom occasionally reminds me that as a child being forced to weed her garden, I swore that when I grew up, I would “never own a single plant.” I’ve changed 🙂
A number of the herbs that I planted last year (regular chive, garlic chive, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley, and lemon balm) survived the winter and are currently producing. It’s incredible how much these plants keep giving, without requiring much attention on my part. Free delicious food!
There is empty space in my garden to plant new sources of food for this year, and I have to decide what I want. The problem is that I’m currently in a boot and not very mobile. In light of my physical limitations, I’ve decided to go with greens. They require a bit less water (than say tomatoes) and I had a lot of luck with them last year. So about two weeks ago, my mom and I planted tiny seeds of lettuce, spinach, and an “Asian greens mix.” Unfortunately I don’t remember where I planted what (pro tip: draw a map or add labels as you plant seeds), so it’s going to be a surprise!