Posts tagged ‘education’
Over the last decade eating local has evolved from an idea into a movement, locavorism, with farmers markets, CSAs, and community gardens, at the forefront. While the locavore movement has emphasized the values of eating local food and getting to know your farmer, it often overlooks one local food source that we all have access to, wild food. What is wild food? It is edible plants and other food that can be harvested from our natural environment free of charge aside form a little bit of sweat and elbow grease.
In his book The Forager’s Harvest, Sam Thayer guides us on an adventure into the wild and explores many types of edible wild plants, some of which many of us regard as weeds. With a focus on education the book is perfect for anyone who is interested in or learning about foraging and serves as a good field guide for identifying, harvesting, and preparing wild plants. With almost 40 different types of edible plants, from gooseberries to wild rice, Thayer shows us how plentiful nature’s bounty can be. The Forager’s Harvest, is not just a simple field guide, it covers a range of topics from forage to storage, cooking methods, and foraging as it relates to conservation.
Water is one of our planets most essential natural resources, making up roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface, and contributing to wildlife, biodiversity, ecological stability, and the development of communities world-wide.
Despite the apparent abundance of this important resource, however, the survival of these fragile systems are challenged by human activities on a daily basis.
So where can we look to develop conservation efforts that preserve water as a vital resource today in order to ensure future access tomorrow?
Lessons From the Field
Lessons from the Field, a series published through National Geographic, serves to establish a broader discourse over the topic of water conservation. From science experts and water managers, to community leaders and conservation activists, these stories highlight on modern challenges and possible future improvements in water management, conservation, and the sustainability of our world’s water systems.
“Smokey Says—Care Will Prevent 9 Out of 10 Forest Fires.” Catchy? Pretty good for a 1944 advertising campaign, and undeniably effective. In 1944, Smokey Bear made his first appearance, campaigning for Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention with this catch phrase. A huge success, the campaign has since helped educate the American public on safe practices to help prevent wildfires and the destruction of America’s favorite wildernesses. But over the years, Smokey Bear’s image and message has changed. While in the 40s Smokey existed as a cuddly cartoon, he’s been animated in the 21st century, updated, and more endearing than ever. read more…
The students of the first semester of New Media for Environmental Communication finished their final projects, and we are all very proud of the work that came out of it. Visit the Our Work page to see our digital storytelling pieces. You can also visit our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/environmentandmedia) to see the videos.
Recently I have been watching more documentaries, which led Netflix to suggest Food, Inc and on a whim, I decided to watch it. Little did I know how much it would actually affect my thoughts about what I eat and making sure that my food comes from sustainable processes. Food, Inc. strives to diminish “the veil” between the average American consumer and what they eat.
The film is divided into three sections, the industrial production of meat, how the growth grains and vegetables differ from the past, and economic and legal power surrounding food. By beginning with the treatment of animals and people, it starts in a very startling way that sets the tone for the rest of the 93 minutes– how inhumane our food system has truly become. At times, it was hard for me to even watch. As it delves farther, Food, Inc. questions the environmental and economical sustainability of large-scale farming and uses stories of farmers to portray their hardships. The final segment addresses about legislation surrounding food systems, like how the FDA has changed to regulate less, food label laws so people know where they get food, and the power of the fast food system.
In the end though, the movie empowers viewers to change the way they buy food. One of the most poignant statements was that as consumers, we vote whenever we purchase from a grocery store. We vote when we choose potato chips rather than apples or Tyson chicken nuggets rather than chicken from a farmers market. I liked that it promoted change (they even offered tips at the end) and encouraged others to do so.
Although the animation scenes can be gimmick-y at times, I would definitely suggest Food, Inc. to anyone who is interested about food production (and especially if you have instant Netflix). It’s a great blend of factual and emotional evidence with knowledgeable people talking about the subject matter. If you don’t have time, the official website for the movie, Hungry for Change is still a way to educate yourself about these issues and to stay involved.
The “Story of Stuff” is a video that is about 20 minutes and it explains why consumption is occurring at its current rate. This video was produced in 2007 but its concepts are still very much relevant. The main concepts are:
-Natural resources –> production –> distribution –> “the golden arrow” –> waste –> pollution, make up a linear system that is limited by finite resources
-Power and money in the government and most importantly how these are used
-Nations and their rate of consumptions; comparing countries populations to how much they consume
-Hidden externalities of production; how much trash did it take to make up your trash bin of “stuff”.
From this video a website, blog, and other videos such as “cap and trade” . There are also special case studies about specific products and what those are doing the environment, like bottled water for example. After watching the video(s) and you feel inspired, they give you places to go and “get involved”. read more…
In 2006, when Angie Rattay, an Austrian design student, created her graduation project she had no idea how big it would get. Her (multiple-) award winning project “Planet Earth – Directions for use” provides information on how to use our planet – on four different leaflets, designed like a prescription and folded inside a medicine package. The four leaflets provide information about Atmosphere (air), Biosphere (biomass), Hydrosphere (water), and Lithosphere and Pedosphere (earth). The graphic design attempts to communicate the complex themes of environmental protection in a simple, straightforward, and easily understandable way and even discusses the expiry date of our planet. An edition for children is also in progress. The product can be ordered from the Neongreen Network website, though the webshop is not finished yet. The whole product is manufactured by gugler*, a print shop with various certifications for sustainable use of resources (FSC, WWF Wood Group, Austrian Environmental Sign,…). Unfortunately not all websites are available in english.
A few years later, Angie founded the Neongreen Network, an association to support eco-relevant design projects.
The team also organizes the Earthtalks, an event in Vienna where international respected speakers give a talk to environmental topics. This years’ event was the fourth edition and up to now the event was supported by speakers like Vandana Shiva, Yann-Arthus Bertrand and Cameron Sinclair. read more…
The Environmental Health Clinic at NYU is redefining the way people tend to ailments. They’re redefining what we include in the canon of ailments at that. Modeled after typical health clinics at universities, the Environmental Health Clinic, the brainchild of artist, activist, and scientist, Natalie Jeremijenko, approaches health from “…an understanding of its dependence on external local environments” (x design project). Jerimijenko uses different forms of media, rather it be robots or art, online clips or animals, to communicate her message creatively. By working in many different mediums and spreading her word with innovative uses of media, Jerimijenko is able to reach a large audience outside her immediate student body.
Like a regular clinic you make an appointment to talk about your particular concern. What differs from a normal health clinic is you leave without a typical Rx prescription, but rather a prescription for actions you can take and referrals not to other doctors but to specific art and design projects and environmental organization groups.
During an November 2011 interview with GOOD Magazine Jeremijenko explained her new approach to the way people engage with their environments, creating an alternative take on traditional “office hours.” This is just one innovation among many she has created to engage her students and patients more intimately with their environmental health concerns. Others include: read more…