Grains of Sand (No ifs ands or butts)

To see a world in a grain of sandAnd a heaven in a wild flower,Hold infinity in the palm of your handAnd eternity in an hour.                                                 ~ William Blake, Auguries of Innocence When I was young, my mother was not a tidy person. She claimed to have started smoking when she was twelve, and chain-smoked […]

Down in the Dumps, Again

“What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance.”                                                 ~ Havelock Ellis My friend knew where the old dump was outside of Leadville, and any excuse to go into the mountains was okay with me. We stopped on the edge of town and then turned down a dirt track to […]

It’s a Wrap

I remember sack lunches from my school days.  PB&J or tuna salad sandwiches wrapped up in wax paper (or those wax paper bags that came out later), or sometimes bologna with a slice of processed cheese. Always on plain white Wonder Bread — the “American way.” Potato chips or Fritos (when they came out, after […]

Put the “Cycle” Back in in Recycle

Neoliberalism, as a loosely defined set of political beliefs, calls for more individual freedom and autonomy, resulting in increased responsibility for each person to address major societal issues. ‘Individualization’ is the process by which responsibility for addressing major environmental issues such as climate change is placed on individuals.                                                 ~ Sydney A. Page-Hayes I take […]

Clean Your Plate

Growing up, I was encouraged to “clean your plate!” It usually wasn’t a problem, my mother was a very good Southern, country cook and we ate well, even when we didn’t have much extra money. My older brother and I were big and had big appetites. One year, when we were in high school. our […]

One Word: “Plastics”

“Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Benjamin: Yes, sir. Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? Benjamin: Yes, I am. Mr. McGuire: Plastics. Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?” ~The Graduate, 1967 Plastics appear […]

Nature Persists

“From a coyote’s-eye view, you could see what the trees were up to: Growth, failure, decay and the drip of acid water through the gravel were mixing a dirt out of the detritus. This hideous forest, I suddenly realized, was there to repair the damage done, and not at our bidding. Its intent was not […]

Plastic Panic

“It’s not nice to fool (with) Mother Nature” ~ Apologies to Chiffon Margarine I think it started with the dirty diaper panic. Years ago, it suddenly became the cause celebre among environmentalists (few of whom, I suspect, were actually parents). Dirty diapers littering the landscape and bursting out of the landfills. Dirty diapers oozing baby […]

Do Straws Really Suck?

“We are drowning the sea in plastic.” ~ Melissa Breyer   “Would you like a straw?” the waitress asked. I hesitated. While I really like drinking my iced tea through a straw, visions of dying sea creatures and piles of trash on the beaches invaded my thinking. The photos of sea trash and stories of […]

Talking Trash

Plastics in the oceans, fish and turtles choking on garbage, litter … what can be done? I strongly advocate for cleaning up the beaches, oceans and rivers. The cleanup schemes range from just individually picking up trash to complicated ocean plastic-collection systems. In the U.S. we’re also talking about banning plastic straws and water bottles. […]