Vacation, nature, and a bit of irony…

Yes, summer is dwindling… and as I spend small portions of days preparing to send our kids back to school I keep running across reminders of the vacation that was nodunes-kidst so long ago, but seems so long ago.

The drive took us through breathtaking views of West Virginia mountains where we were awed by trees as far as the eye could see.  It was amazing to see so many undisturbed miles without areas cleared away for development.  My views on chopping down trees are no mystery.   Can you just imagine how invigorating the air in the middle of those mountains must be?

I think about our kids running wild over the Jockey’s Ridge sand dunes, the largest active dune system in the Eastern US.  What a difference to those treed mountains… conditions on the dunes are so harsh, vegetation can only grow on the outskirts.  But the sunset… ah, the sunset.   The silhouettes in this photo are actually our precious kids, standing where the top of the dunes (that are believed to have been formed millions of years ago) seem to meet the sky.

And what beach vacation doesn’t include lots of ocean time.  Just the sound relaxes me.  I could watch the waves for hours on end and I get seaglasswrapped up in how vast and amazing the ocean is.  The irony is that one of our favorite adventures was trying to find sea glass washed up on the shore.  This sea glass is actually glass that has found its way into the ocean and gets tumbled and smoothed by the water, sand and salt.  Every time we found one it was like finding a real gem and then I start to wonder what it came from, where it originated, who touched it before us and even how it wound up in the ocean.  Yes, ironic that Mom Goes Green and family found treasures in something that started as ocean litter!

The point of all of this is simply that experiencing the mountains, the sprawling dunes and the incredible ocean reminds me of another quote by Divamish Indian Chief Seattle:

“Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”

… tread lightly in our daily lives, because this planet is truly amazing!

Mom Goes Green is ONE YEAR OLD!

cupckI’m still sitting in awe… Mom Goes Green is one year old today!

I remember a time when I was brushing off my husband’s suggestion that I start my own blog. What could I possibly have to say?  Well, apparently A LOT.

June 10, 2008, was my first post and here I am, 176 posts later.  One almost every other day.

I’ve journeyed through:con-fetti

I’ve barely made a dime, and questioned whether I should continue on occasion, but when I look back at well-over a thousand comments, I know it was worthwhile.  I don’t have plans of quitting anytime soon, but even if I stopped today, I realize that somehow, somewhere, I made a difference.

Thank you for joining my journey to “go green”!

With love & appreciation for reading me — Mom Goes Green

“Do the zoo” and pay it forward.

martika-joOver the last few days our family enjoyed a weekend getaway that included a visit to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium… and after already spending so much time at “our” zoo (the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) and almost taking the animals for granted, I was again reminded that zoos are truly a treasure.

First, let me say that anyone who knows me knows that I detest circuses.  It breaks my heart to think about those poor animals being carted around the country, being confined and/or shackled, and then being forced to pTiger Escapesractice and perform for countless hours a day.  This is NOT the way to treat earth’s creatures.  Animals should not be forced to perform, and I’m especially moved by the heartbreaking circus-life of my beloved elephants!… it’s no wonder we hear periodic stories about one of them going berserk and trampling a trainer.  I would be angry too!  And as a result, I will never, ever support an animal circus.  (Please, the next time an animal circus comes to town, reconsider giving them your support and money.)

I used to feel a bit uneasy about zoos too, but I’ve since realized that legitimate zoos are really a blessing in that they allow us to educate ourselves, and see and experience amazing wildlife in ways that we would otherwise never know.  It’s also a sad reminder of how fragile their lives are when, this weekend, we noticed the scales that showed us each animal’s threat of extinction… there were far too many near the “danger” end of the scale.gorilla

I’m sharing these stories because I’m asking you to support zoos.  There are 218 AZA accredited zoos and aquariums in the US.  All are dedicated to excellence in animal care and welfare, conservation, education, and research that collectively inspire respect for animals and nature.  I think we need to feel grateful… so…

visit a zoo, donate to or become a member of a zoo, or buy a zoo membership for a gift, and you will have a hand in making a difference.  The animals have given so much, now it’s time to pay it forward to the animals… and say thanks!

(… and if you ever questioned whether animals really have a heart and soul, take a few moments to watch this… and just try NOT to smile!)

The Prince’s Rainforests Project: a royal cause

First of all, this has absolutely nothing to do with “Purple Rain”(!), but everything to do with saving cherished tropical rainforests!

The Prince’s Rainforests Project (as in Charles, Prince of Wales) was started in 2007, but is being given a big push by the release of this new PSA. If it takes royalty and celebrities to get a cause noticed, I don’t care… I’m all for it, as long as the cause DOES get noticed and positive steps are made.  I think this will appeal to kids too… take a look.

The mission of this project is to create public awareness, work with governments, businesses and non-profit organizations to find a solution for deforestation, and find sources for funding.  This global effort is aimed at getting top level support from nations around the world.

Saving these tropical rainforests is so critical because they absorb about a fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions, and we all know how CO2 affects climate change.  In fact, these forests are often burned down, which releases all of the CO2 they have stored back into the atmosphere, as if they had never existed.  And this doesn’t even consider the fate of the animals that call these forests home.

So check out The Prince’s Rainforests Project, sign-up to have your voice heard, find new ways to help and spread the word.  Stand up and say you want this preventable disaster to stop.

And when you take a look at The Prince’s Rainforests Project site, be sure to watch the counter at the top of the page.  In the time I spent reading one page on the site… 445,129 square meters of rainforest were destroyed.  How horribly sad.

Earth Day! Don’t just look through green colored glasses!

It’s April 22… the 39th celebration of Earth Day!  While I am rarely at a loss for words, today I’m going to say less than normal.  I think Earth Day speaks for itself.

I am reminded, however, that this misuse of the planet has been going on for a long time… is anyone old enough to remember the 70’s commercial with the “Crying Indian?” I remember being very little and seeing this on TV… and feeling a sadness every time I saw the Indian cry.  It may be 30+ years old, but it still gets to me.

Today, we have the Blue Man Group to remind us that, while the vehicle for the message is modernized, the message has not changed.

So, I’ll leave you with two more thoughts:

“The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.” ~ Chief Seattle, Divamish Indian, 1855

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.  To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” ~ Wendell Berry

Happy Earth Day… celebrate!