Nature is always making a come back
Ahh, the importance of language, and how we express our green messages, so I'm trying to be poetic or a little metaphorical in my gardening gabbling, as it's still spring for a few more days and with my sore wrist in hand (pardon the pun), one needs some inspiration to get back in the back garden and level it before laying pavers, mulch etc.
What living system can survive without its protection from the sun's deadly rays, its moisture retention, its detoxification, and its fuel and vitamins.
We can preach the concept of mulch as the garden’s moisturiser, in that bark, woodchips, straw, pebbles etc keep the moisture in and also act as a face lift, in preventing erosion!
The canopies are the sun-hats for the shade loving plants and local residents which help keep the urban heat island at bay.
The sediment control measures are the detox tablets (keeping the drains and ground water free of contaminants).
The organic fertiliser and compost are quite literally a food source and the vitamins.
The drought loving plants are teeny botanic camels, in their water storing splendour .....
Anyway, here is a recent, most insightful and in depth article from the UK on young people and their connectedness (or somewhat lack in this regard!) to nature. The comments by readers are also well worth a read.
Just happened to be on a tram coming back from working in the city and on my I Phone I was researching blogs about jobs and comparisons between numbers of university graduates in Melbourne for the types of jobs being advertised (a matter of vocational sustainability - for a change I'm talking about a different kind of sustainability.) There need to be more forums and conduits for information about job search experiences post graduation. After all, it's three years out of your life to get a degree, and would be exceedingly disappointing to sacrifice all that time and forgone income, and yet, not be able to obtain employment in your chosen vocation.
While I was ruminating on such matters, I heard the sweet sounds of a guitar coming from the middle of the tram, and I mustered up the nerve to talk to the person next to me. I said to the man, on my left, with the gentle New Zealand accent, how refreshing it was to hear live music on the tram whilst rumbling home. Normally you just hear the quick bursts of sound emanating from the street, from the buskers, as you go past at the city stops. The man sitting next to me, replied that it's quite normal in Rome, Italy to have buskers playing accoustic instruments on public transport, as I experienced in New York.
I fumbled around in my bag to find some change, as I thought this young man was most certainly deserving of a monetary reward. My nattering on about the busking boon aboard the tram must have convinced the man to do likewise, as he leant down to leave some coins in the open guitar case, as he got off.
I wandered over and had a chat with the guitarist and threw in some encouraging words which he seemed thrilled to hear. No matter, what is going on in your life - you will always find there is someone who is much more unfortunate and the fact that I stopped to talk (and not merely leaving a few dollars) seemed to have made his week. Keep going buskers on public transport, out there, you make our city, and you remind us that music isn't just something we hear on our ear phones, as we trundle home.
Green marketing, fitness, kids, allergies, Vitamin D, walking to school, fun outdoors and everything but the kitchen sink
Today on the news in Melbourne, and in recent months there have been studies revealing a link between low vitamin D levels in children and allergies developed at a very young age. Gone are the days when you'd let your baby crawl amongst the bugs and beetles and imbibe a snail or two (what I'd call being a 'locavore' taken to its enth degree).
Human genes and our DNA don't change so swiftly and the studies reveal that critically higher rates of allergies must be caused by environmental factors. My unprofessional opinion has tended to be that we must be keeping our homes too clean (all those anti-bacterial agents galore, but not so much in my case!) but it now seems that allergies have more to do with how much time we spend outdoors, or the amount of vitamin D in our foods.
If so, this is a boon for green marketers and social marketers. They are after all trying to promote their products and lifestyles which often correlate with habits which are better for the planet as well ......... healthy outdoor living in the garden, bide riding, walking to school). From a green marketing point of view, these findings have even broader implications for the ways we promote our green and healthy lifestyle campaigns conjointly. Yet another campaign route to get the kids off the computer and away from the TV, and out using the play and gardening equipment or bike you bought for them, watering the vegies, walking to school for those 15 minutes of vitamin D they need.
But our campaigns have to be deployed cleverly. The usual message - thou shalt do x or else isn't working, in the modern world. Depending on the ways social marketers promote these campaigns, it remains to be seen whether parents will prefer to flick the switch - or to simply keep adapting to changing dietary needs!
Here is a link to an interesting article on the ways we shout our slogans and campaigns from the treetops! The main premises in this article are grounded both in scientific research and I think common sense!
At our Get Eco-Creative exhibition last weekend there was a theme running through: river and acquatic health and the ways our green messages can be conveyed in relation to this theme. So it is time to get back in to the serious business of the day, and talk about some more seriously inspiring environmental videos which also have a major bearing on river/sea environments.
Two names bubble, foam and spring to mind: Shark Girl and Mission of Mermaids.
You can also see my blog where I provide plenty of stimulating discussion about fertilisers, pathogens, engine oil and the like and how these impact on river and sea species (are you still awake? No I actually try to write the blog in a way so that the material is kept 'hale and hearty' as far as possible. )
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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