My Earth Day Breakthrough

Earth Day is on April 22, one day before my birthday. Growing up, I always felt a connection to Earth Day; it was like my own special holiday. My young mind seemed to think that Earth Day was actually the Earth’s birthday and so close to mine – it made me feel like I was “birthday buddies” with the Earth. Of course I eventually knew the real story behind the day but it hasn’t taken away this odd sense of kinship with my “birthday buddy”.


Getting Back to Our Roots

Living in Honolulu, it’s so easy for me to forget that I live on land that is still very much alive. This past December, a group of thirteen Down to Earth team members (including myself) dedicated some time to volunteer at a special place tucked deep in Kalihi Valley. Ho’oulu ‘Aina is a beautiful nature preserve and organic community garden -- if you haven’t been there, it’s truly breathtaking! Every Thursday, Ho’oulu ‘Aina invites the public to their Growing Farmers community workday from 9:30am to 12:00pm.

Make a Difference this Earth Day!

Although Earth Day is officially April 22nd, Down to Earth will be celebrating it on Sunday April 27th with a special day of fun and music. Proceeds from tickets sold will go towards supporting an awesome new sustainability charter school in Kaimuki, the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS). Here's a great opportunity to support a worthwhile cause and have fun doing it! Learn more about Down to Earth's Earth Day Celebration

Your Health and the Environment

What we eat can cause or worsen diet-related illnesses and thus has a significant impact on our quality of life.

Virtually all the major scientific and medical institutions in the world agree that the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, obesity, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes, among other diseases is linked to a meat-based diet consisting of highly processed foods laden with fats and artificial ingredients. These institutions further agree that the risk is greatly reduced by adopting a healthy low-fat, high-fiber diet.

It's Green to Adopt a Vegetarian Diet

What we choose to eat is one of the most significant factors in the personal impact we have on the environment and the fastest path to climate change. A recent study examining the impact of a typical week’s eating showed that plant-based diets are better for the environment than those based on meat. A vegan organic diet had the smallest environmental impact while the single most damaging foodstuff was beef. All non-vegetarian diets require significantly greater amounts of environmental resources such as land and water.

Another Alternative

An article in the Honolulu Advertiser today talks about aquaculture in Hawaii, and how various environmental groups are opposed to it on the basis that it is harmful to the environment. Aquaculture is another way of saying a fish factory farm, a large number of fish concentrated together in a small area. The concentrated fish population releases huge amounts of excretment into a very small area of the ocean; antibiotic use by the farmed fish is also a concern, both for native fish populations, and for the human consumers of the fish.

Q: What can you do with 87,000 pounds of shit? A: I don't know, but think fast, factory farms produce that much every second

In this chapter of Eating Animals, Foer pulls back the curtain to reveal the end product (literally) of the factory farming system: shit. Boatloads of shit. Communities surrounded by shit. Landscapes overrun by shit. Shit in the air, shit in the water, shit in the food.

Locavorism: Elitist food snobbery or practical solution to global warming?

Locavorism, for those who haven't heard the term, describes the practice of buying food grown within a 100 mile radius of where one lives, in an effort to cut back on one's carbon footprint. Once upon a time, access to imported, specialty items was reserved for the rich or well-connected connoisseur. Now, however, the committed locavore has to go far out of his or her way to forage enough food from their local region to survive. This is especially true in Hawaii, where most of our food is shipped over thousands of miles.

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