Wednesday, January 28, 2009

APLS in Eden: A Carnival of Nature

(Update: the carnival is now posted over at the Green Phone Booth)


Every month I look forward to reading the Affluent Persons Living Sustainably carnival. Topics in the past have ranged from the mechanics of buying locally to the ways we think about our children and future generations when we try to green up our lives. I've really been enjoying all the posts in the new January edition about the mind games we play as we try to live more sustainable lives.

I am honored to be the host for the February edition of the APLS carnival. The topic for the month will be NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

I think I must be the Last Parent in the World to read Richard Louv's excellent book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Louv's work is complex, thoughtful, and beautifully written. The author argues that a deep connection with nature leads to a calmer mind, a fitter body, and a more socially mature relationship with the world. Yet we are raising an entire generation with "denatured childhoods"--that is, childhoods where entertainment is more about electronic screens than it is about free play in the wild. Louv asked us to consider how these disconnected youngsters can ever become the good stewards of the land that we need in this era of environmental crisis.

I would love to see what connections you see between experiences in nature and your own efforts to live more sustainably.

What is "nature" in the first place? How is our experience of the natural world different in a place of awesome majesty (like the Grand Canyon), a place of more basic but still unstructured land like a local forest, and a more constructed outdoor space like a garden or park? What if we're just reading about an area we may never have seen, like a rainforest or a desert savanna?

What makes nature so powerful or meaningful? How has your experience with the natural world shaped your own environmentalism? Is love of the natural world an essential motivation for sustainability? Have you found ways to share a connection to nature with your loved ones, young and old?

To participate in February's carnival, please submit your posts to aplscarnival (at) gmail (dot) com by February 13. The carnival will be published at the Green Phone Booth on February 20.

1 comment:

Billie said...

You mentioned on Green Phone Booth that you lived inside the Beltway in DC. Do you by chance live in Virginia?

If you do... do you know of a bulk food store in the Arlington to Chantilly strip? I found one in Takoma Park but don't want to drive all that distance JUST to buy some food with less packaging. I think I would kill my intent with resources I use in driving.

On another note... I did a giveaway on EcoSacs. The person who 'won' never emailed me her address. I was going to randomly select another so if you are still interested... I will randomly select you. Send your mail address to my email address. See my spaces name and add to the end.


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