Love is Green
What Joe and I like most about this venture of ours is the fascinating people we are fortunate to meet. We learn something from each of them, and our lives are enriched.
This morning we interviewed an amazing guy, a lifelong surfer who also happens to be an ecopreneur (you’ll meet Harry Johansing in a future post). When we asked him one of our favorite end-of-interview questions about what we all can do to help the planet, his first response was “Love.” Before you jump to conclusions, he wasn’t being flip. He meant it, and we were touched.
During the recent political campaign here in the U.S., Joe kept telling me that candidates should have to tell the people how they support love. “The candidate that has love for the people, the environment, and the world should be the one who wins,” he said. Okay, I admit, I looked at him with more than a little skepticism. It’s not the kind of thing a political candidate could espouse in the U.S. without getting laughed off the platform. But maybe it shouldn’t be that way. Maybe we need to hear our leaders tell us that they love more than just themselves and their families, that they love their people and our fellow humans and the world that we share.
What we’re noticing is that the people we interview are truly full of love — for the planet, for their families, for their gardens, for animals, for people. Love is what motivates them to do what they do. Yes, they want to make a living. Without a reasonable expectation of paying the bills, perhaps they wouldn’t have the courage to choose the more difficult path to be an ecopreneur or to live sustainably.
We’re reminded of Jill Schutts and her son, Ely. Jill stands at her kitchen window and basks in the beauty of the goats she raises. But what really motivates her is the wish to provide the best-possible life for her son by Pursuing the Dream of a Sustainable Life.
Jeanne Freymiller kept thousands of pounds of usable fabric out of the landfill by teaching others how to quilt and make things from fabric. That’s love. And now that Jeanne has died, the love of friends like Peggy Schmidt is making sure the Legacy of a Green Artist and Dreamer is carried on.
Kurt Friese believes mightily in eating locally grown foods. We’ve known him for some time, and he is all that his book implies. We loved how Kurt Friese Shares His Passion for Slow Foods in a New Book (and I learned something about the wisdom of short titles after that one was published). Kurt, his wife, Kim, and their restaurant staff fed my daughter’s love of cooking when she volunteered as a dishwasher just so she could learn from them. Their Iowa City restaurant, Devotay, exudes that same love of nutritious, tasty, local foods that he writes about.
Jessica Klein loves her garden. Kevin and Mary Somerville love their farmland. Both have a fondness for vermiculture — Jessica in a single bin, and the Somervilles on a grand scale. Their passion has inspired readers who also are passionate about gardens and worm farming (see Ranching Underground Livestock). (Now Joe wants to put a bucket of worms in our kitchen…)
You’ll read in a future post about our new friend, Bob Packard, whose worm farming adventures led him to volunteer in a gardening program for inner-city youth. He loves what he’s doing, and “the students have gone from ‘Yuck!’ to ‘Wow!’” as they, too, are becoming fond of worms.
Though I may not have mentioned the others in this post, every single one of the people we have written about and will feature in the future is filled with passion. If they’re not, no matter what enterprise they’re engaged in, they don’t interest us. Where there’s no passion, no love, there’s no real story.
A couple of days ago, we posted our first Premier Sponsorship. AndePhotos might not sound, on the surface, like it’s an enterprise that’s “organic,” “green,” or “natural.” So why do we think Karen Ande belongs on our website? Because we believe the work she does to support children orphaned from AIDS in Kenya is as “natural” as it gets. Through proceeds from her nature photography and the photos she takes of the orphans, she is helping provide a sustainable life for children whose futures have been all but ripped apart. Her photos touch our hearts.
We also want you to know about the volunteers who are responsible for bringing you many of the stories we post. Most are college students, writing about green living in ways that are meaningful to them.
Others are a bit more “seasoned,” sharing the perspectives gained over a longer life. Some have specialities, such as Veterinarian Doreen Hock, who recently wrote to encourage pet owners to take a Holistic Look at Vaccinations. All are motivated by love of the earth and its inhabitants. They are eager to make a difference, in whatever way they can, to make the world a healthier place for themselves and for generations who will come after them. Please get to know our Contributors, for their passion also inspires us.
Our families, too, support us, in ways too numerous to count. They are our ultimate loves. And, fortunately for us, they understand and share our love for the rest of the world.
Soon, we’ll be bringing you original Blue Planet Green Living videos. Our goal is to engage viewers with humor while passing on important content that you can really use. Joe has the vision, the passion, and the knowledge.
But without our dedicated team of volunteers (whose profiles will appear under Contributors once our first video is posted), this creative project would never materialize. Once again, college students and other young people (young to us, anyway) are selflessly giving their time to this project. Their dedication and passion have kept us going through disappointing technical issues like a new camera that refused to talk to the editing program we purchased. (Yes, we’re learning things every day.)
And so, I’m getting to the final point of this post about love. Last night, we purchased a Panasonic camera on line. Joe and I were working late, preparing a post for today (which you’ll now see tomorrow), when the phone rang. It was 10:30, not a time our phone often rings except in emergencies. On the other end was an effervescent voice, an inquisitive person who wanted to know more about Blue Planet Green Living, to whom she had just sold her camera. We instantly bonded. Her interest in our mission was genuine. And when we learned about her own important work, we all felt there was a greater reason we met than to transfer ownership of a camera.
Amy Louise Williams is an Emmy-winning documentary producer. She has a passion — a love — for people and the environment that she shares through her work. We plan to tell you more about Amy as time goes on. But today, we want to introduce you to her through a short promo for a PBS video that we are posting on our home page. What does Amy’s video about the children in The Road to Matveevka have to do with things “organic,” “green,” or “natural”?
Like Karen Ande’s photos, Amy’s video introduces us to children who may never have the luxury to think about how to make the earth a better place. They are the forgotten children of Ukrainian orphanages, children whose futures are all but sealed to a life of crime and prostitution and sometimes suicide. They, too, are part of this planet we love so much. We don’t pretend that our website can solve the incredible problems that they face, but we want to shed a bit more light on the issue in whatever way we can.
To us, and to other environmentally minded people, saving rain forests and sea turtles and song birds and whales and all of nature is important — essential, in fact. But we must not lose sight of the urgency of caring for our fellow humans. Please take a look at Amy’s video, then look inside your heart. We think you’ll understand why we found this so important to share.
I’ve called this post “Love is Green.” That might sound a bit simplistic. Love comes in all colors, after all. What I mean by this is that we can share our love for people, for animals, for the beauty of nature, for each other, in fact, by making this planet a better place for all to live. The changes we need to make take money, time, and commitment.
We have a choice. We can each love “locally,” focused only on what directly affects us, or we can reach out with love to others we’ve never met and will never get to know. We can reach into the future by Living Green today, leaving the world a healthier place for the generations that come after us. But let’s not forget to also reach across borders, to make the world a safer place for our fellow travelers on this Blue Planet.
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