In Marin County, California, no one is surprised that environmental awareness is taught to preschoolers. But even the most avid hybrid-driving, kitchen-scrap-composting, hemp-cloth-wearing diehard would be surprised that, a mere stone’s throw away, it is also being taught behind the grim walls of one the country’s most famous prisons.
Picture a biologist wearing a mushroom cap, an exuberant union leader, a defender of the Amazon, and 13 Indigenous Grandmothers sharing a stage―and you can begin to imagine the cross-pollination that takes place at the annual Bioneers Conference.
Held every October in San Rafael, California, the Bioneers Conference gathers together 3,000 people (with an additional 9,000 watching from remote satellite locations around the world) dedicated to finding practical solutions for environmental problems.
START YOUR DAY WITH PASSION
One Man’s Adventure Planning His Own Natural Burial
Old Arctic Inuit hunters could supposedly sit for days, harpoon poised and ready to strike, just staring at a hole on an otherwise desolate sheet of windswept ice, waiting for a seal to surface and steal a breath of air. Enduring frosty cold and, presumably, mind-numbing boredom, the hungry hunter, clad in his mukluks and furry caribou coat, would peer endlessly at his ice hole and enter an alert yet hypnotic state of blissful and cleansing awareness.
Welcome to our weekly editors’ round-up, featuring the week’s news, inspiration, and big ideas for body, mind, and spirit. This week: How to spice up vegetarian cuisine, why light at night can be harmful, how going solar just got easier, plus yoga amid 14,000 friends in Times Square …
BLACK PURSE FROM INNER TUBES
In Latin America, tire repair shops (take out the inner tube, patch, etc.) are ubiquitous and carry the lively name of “vulcanizadoras,” for the Greek Vulcan, god of fire and smithery. At some point, though, the tube must go — but not to waste. Uca Ruffatti, an artisan group based in El Salvador, has found an ingenious and handsome way to recycle the rubber: handbags. Sleek, sturdy, chic, and, most important, black, these purses are available from oneworldprojects.com.
Several years ago, film student Christopher Smith saw a magazine cover that caught his eye. The auspicious image — a smiling Washingtonian named Dee Williams, relaxing in her 84-square-foot house — was filed away in his mental Rolodex. At the time, he never imagined it would resurface to shape the two largest projects of his life: a house and a movie. Something of a romantic vagabond, Christopher, with partner and wordsmith Merete Mueller, harbored a dream of building his own cabin from scratch in the Rocky Mountains.
Not too long ago, the only eco-conundrum most of us faced on a regular basis was when the grocery store bagger would ask, “Paper or plastic?” A lot has changed: the world is getting warmer, weather patterns are getting wackier, oil is getting scarcer, and those pesky eco-conundrums are more confusing than ever.
A Path to Agriculture's Higher Consciousness
by Eric Herm
Why is the smartest, most adaptable creature on the planet hardwired to stop talking, lose its sense of self, and feel at one with the world — in a profound state of listening?