Caterpillar Spit

“Plastics typically are made through human industrial systems. Most modern plastics are derived from fossil fuel-based chemicals like natural gas or petroleum; however, recent industrial methods use variants made from renewable materials, such as corn or cotton derivatives.”                                                 ~ Wikipedia “Indeed, a recent study in the journal Science, authored by the researchers associated with the Pew report, estimated that some 11 million metric tons of plastic […]

Parts is Parts

“We should design man-made objects and products in such a way that we’re not destroying the resources, but that we’re basically borrowing them for a certain amount of time … And that we can take them out in their pure form and put them back into the system.” ~ Professor Dirk Hebel, Karlsruhe Institute of […]

Leavings

As a kid, my family was well-off enough that food was plentiful, and our mother was a great Southern cook. Our dad also cooked — primarily the game we collected by hunting or fishing. Between having great food available and being a big kid, I have always been a ‘hearty’ eater. Nonetheless, there have been […]

What a Waste!

“The concept that we could use it, throw it away, and it doesn’t matter where you throw it, and it’s going to safely disappear, that does not exist.”            ~ Ramani Narayan, Professor, School of Packaging, Michigan State “The vast majority of plastic waste produced around the world is not recycled, but rather incinerated, landfilled […]

To Pee or Not to Pee

“By reusing something once flushed away, they say, they are taking a revolutionary step toward tackling the biodiversity and climate crises: Moving away from a system that constantly extracts and discards, toward a more circular economy that reuses and recycles in a continuous loop.”                                                 ~ Catrin Einhorn At some point in their lives, […]

It’s Not Nice To Fool (with) Mother Nature

“Hundreds of local projects to restore ecosystems on coastlines and mountains, in river valleys, forests, and grassy plains, have proved their worth in using restored nature to boost the resilience of millions of people to the ravages of onrushing climate change … Most are cheaper and more effective than any engineering alternatives, with more spinoff […]

Rewilding

In one of the most used and abused states in the nation, a small but growing number of conservationists have advanced a radical theory: Iowa is ripe for rewilding … “The solutions exist,” restoration ecologist Leland Searles said. “It’s a matter of allowing the solutions to happen.”                                                                                 ~ Stephen Robert Miller It’s spring and […]

Ugly Pumpkins

Leaves are covering the yards, the garden plants are slowly (or, if a freeze, quickly) dying, and the squirrel-mutilated faces on pumpkins are moldering across front porches everywhere. It’s the perfect time to start your garden compost pile! Composting is an age-old practice to conserve the nutrients that nature provides. Normally, trees, shrubs and grasses […]

Embracing Rot

“By composting, you reduce your carbon and financial footprint; your waste doesn’t have to be transported, nor do you have to buy nutrients in. By embracing rot, you will start to see failure in a new light …”                 ~ Alys Fowler When I first started my vegetable garden, nearly forty years ago, I made […]

Mud Slinging

With sea levels expected to rise 3 to 6 feet by the end of the century, coastal communities are moving fast to construct major shoreline projects to protect themselves. As the size of these projects expands, the primary building materials — dirt and mud — are getting scarce.                                                                                 ~ Lauren Sommer Mud puddles, muddy […]