Sunday, March 23, 2008

Earth Hour; One Hour No Power

On March 29th at 8pm, I have vowed to participate in one hour of no power! I encourage each and everyone of us who call this planet home to do the same. Together we can make a difference. Visit for more information and to join the fight against global warming!

Soker Grrl's in Backpacker!

Pick up the April issue of Backpacker magazine, turn to page 64, and feast your eyes on the lower left corner. A photo I took on a pack trip to Skillern Hot Springs last June has been published. With great excitement I invite you to take a peek, and keep an eye out on Backpacker's website for Soker Grrl as well.

Thank you to everyone who shares in my adventures. I look forward to many more treks in the future.

In Peace,
~Soker Grrl

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Simple Steps to Leaving a Lighter Footprint

As global warming becomes more of an issue, whether you agree that it exists or not, changes need to occur in order to preserve Mother Earth for future generations. Here are a few simple ways to make changes in your daily life that will make a difference.

*Carpool: transportation consumes about 25% of the total energy used in the United States (source)
By sharing a ride to work, extracurricular activities, or running errands you can help reduce the amount of emissions being blasted into the air

*Keep your vehicle properly maintained
A well running vehicle reduces gas use, thus reducing emissions

*Switch to environmental friendly cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice

*Bring your own shopping bags: reuse the plastic ones or there are many reusable cloth bags, many which are available for purchase at your local grocery store

*Replace just 1 roll of toilet paper cut from ancient forests with 1 roll of recycled toilet paper

*Buy organic when ever possible: this means not just food items. Studies have shown that many cotton fabrics have been treated with pesticides during the growing process.

*Sign up for paperless billing: this option is available for almost all of your bills. Also, most banks have an option for online bill pay. This not only reduces the amount of paper used, but can help avoid identity theft.

*Use a water filter for your home instead of buying bottled water.
"Bottled water costs more fossil fuels to transport than tap water, and i
t also takes 1.5 million barrels of oil each year to create enough polyethylene terephthalate plastic to make the bottles" (source)

*Create your own compost: is great for reducing the amount of organic garbage thrown out and supplies some wonderful topsoil for your garden.

*Contact your local waste removal facility, many offer curbside recycle programs that are free

*Last but not least, remember the 3 R's: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

There are a multitude of little steps we can take to minimize our impact on this planet. I have barely scratched the surface. By performing even the simplest of these tasks we are making a difference. Leading by example will show our children, our friends, and our neighbors that one person can make a difference, and together we can transform the world.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Law of Love

When man's needs are discussed one thinks of the basics; food, water, shelter, air. Although these are our physical needs for survival, often overlooked is the need for love and connectedness. David Suzuki addresses this issue in chapter seven of his book The Sacred Balance.

Love goes beyond the affections of a man and wife or of mother to child. It expands to community and nature. Love is more than just an emotion. It is an essential need mapped into everyone's DNA. Affection during developmental years, even as early as conception, is required for children to grow into socially capable adults. Affection is needed throughout our lifetime in order for us to pass on this ability to the children. With out love we will grow up empty, not knowing how to properly function not only in society, but we lose the ability to connect with nature and grasp its importance.

Throughout our history, until recently, man was a group of hunter gatherers. We worked together in harmony with our surroundings. We realized that nature helped provide what was needed for our survival, and in turn we treated her with respect. Now in the days of concrete jungles, metropolitans, and ever growing cities, this connectedness has diminished. Is this because the adults of present time were not given enough love? Were we not taught that the actions we take today will effect our world tomorrow? In some cases, yes.

Love and our connectedness to nature are an invaluable need that is too often overlooked. The pseudo-need for more things has almost overcome our primal instincts for being part of nature. We are a part of the environment, not a separate entity. Love needs to be rekindled in order for our survival. We must reconnect and realize the importance of our actions and non-actions in order to live, not simply survive.