I recently had the opportunity to dine with the two most beautiful women in the world. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but who could argue with this clearly unbiased assessment of my two granddaughters? Visits with them are priceless because their homes in the Pacific Northwest are far from our little corner of Iowa Co., Wisconsin.
Anne and Penelope are just beginning lives in a world that’s changing rapidly. My travels got me wondering. What kind of world will these precious girls inherit? If we are to thrive as a species, it’s essential that we maintain a life-sustaining relationship with the natural world. But this isn’t always easy, convenient, or inexpensive. Finding evidence of sustainability while traveling through the crowded airports, expansive housing developments, and the freeways full of vehicles was a bit of a challenge. (Where are all these people going on a Sunday afternoon?!?)
But the trip also revealed several promising practices. If you’ve flown in recent years you know that airplane elbowroom is at a premium. But if we average Joes are going to continue to fly, we need to do it efficiently. Unlike flights years ago, planes at full capacity are now the norm.
In Anne’s home I had a hard time finding an opportunity to use the trashcan. Convenient recycling and composting took care of most throw-aways. The re-modeling project at Penelope’s house introduced me to the Re-Store and the Habitat for Humanity Re-sale Store. Used but very serviceable furniture, tools, and building supplies that would otherwise end up in landfills are available at affordable prices. How about that cool new insulation made from recycled fabrics? Its “R” value is comparable to fiberglass; it’s easier to work with, and best of all it doesn’t itch!
The local press ran an article about recovery programs for “ghost gear” (fishnets and the like). And a tidal-turbine pilot project uses Mr. Moon’s gravitational pull to generate electricity. The tides provide a consistent, predictable, free source of energy. What’s not to like?
Penelope and Anne’s world is full of challenges. But so too, there are many promising signs that our civilization has the where-with-all to design and incorporate sustainable practices to keep their future secure. Because we really have no choice, Earth is their only home. These two beautiful young ladies will forever be…Earthbound.