The Snake Charmer

black-mamba snake

Swaziland is home to many different species of wild land animals. One such species is the black mamba snake. This is one of the most fascinating snakes in the world, boasting venom potent enough to kill an adult person in less than an hour. The attitude towards snakes in Swaziland has been that if you should come across a snake, do whatever you can to get it killed. Fortunately, a lady by the name of Thea Litchka-Koen is changing perceptions and saving snakes, in particular the black mamba, from systemic annihilation. Snakes have been vilified from time immemorial, religion has… read more

Could You Live Without Plastic Bags?

Plastic Bags Piling Up

What started as a friendly contest between two Colorado cities has now become a documentary on the hazards of using plastic bags. In October last year, I attended a film screening at Oregon State University.  All in attendance learned something new that day and left a little more aware of why not to use plastic bags. The film screening was for “Bag-It: The Movie”.  It follows an average Colorado man named Jeb Berrier, who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags.  This decision leads Berrier to start being more conscientious of plastic bag consumption, how the bags are made,… read more

Don’t Give Up The Fight

Don't Give Up The Fight

What do you reckon? Is the cause of today’s environmental challenges over-population? Over-consumption? Apathy? Greed? Various writers claim that our industrial system of economic development is the reason for our planetary malaise. Is the economic structure of the so-called democratically “free” world guilty? If so, how on earth can we transform a system whose global reach is ever-expanding? If poverty, like population, is a key player in our environmental challenges, surely a system established to generate prosperity is more of a help than a hindrance? Surely…not. The bad news is when you dig below the surface, the values and ideologies… read more

Top 5 Must-See Films With An Environmental Message

Poster from the film

Every now and again, we need to be reminded that the earth is still worth saving. Sometimes we need that message to come via a medium we all know and appreciate: the movie theater. Once in a blue moon, a film will come through that we’d hardly consider an “environmental film”, because in all honesty, unless it’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, we probably wouldn’t pay to see it. This is why some filmmakers insert a slightly undertoned message about saving the planet. This list represents those silent voices, and are definitely worth viewing for both the entertainment value, and the message… read more

Let’s Change Our Thinking For Good

Change Our Thinking For Good

For years, people have talked about “Subverting the Dominant Paradigm”. For years, it seems people have instinctively understood these words and what the alternative paradigm looked like. Like “sustainability” talk, it was a trendy expression that steadily gained traction within the non-mainstream quarters of the “developed” world. Great – except that nobody could really agree on what it was, let alone how to get to the other side. Subvert the dominant paradigm?  What on earth does this mean? We can hazard a guess that the dominant paradigm pre-dates the Industrial Revolution. Chances are a “genius” called Descartes had something to… read more

Ecopsychology: A Reminder to Balance

Ecopsychology: A Reminder to Balance

With the onset of the needed and welcomed green movement, we are finally coming to the realization that we cannot continue to live in a man-made state of perpetual convenience at the expense of the environment. The field of ecopsychology reminds us that our mental health is on the same plane as our outer surroundings, and they are both in need of balance. One of the fundamental premises of ecopsychology is the unison of the state of mind with the environment. According to this school of thought, many ecological issues in the world can be traced back to our unhinging… read more

Unbelievable Battle between Killer Whales and Sperm Whales Caught on Camera

Whale attack

Photographer Shawn Heinrichs risks his life to capture incredible footage of a group of orcas attacking a pod of sperm whales

Is it Better to Reuse or Recycle?

Reuse vs Recycle

Despite the assumed similarity inspired by their names, there are many distinctions between the act of  reusing a material to that of it being recycled. Both acts can be distinguished by their definition as well as the inherit impacts resulting from each one. For starters, reuse can be viewed simply as using an item on multiple occasions, rather than disposing of it prematurely after a single use. Reuse can also include employing a material for multiple purposes. Recycling, on the other hand, involves the melting down and re-manufacturing of a material. This requires significantly less energy than manufacturing virgin materials;… read more

Green Gone Wrong

Green Gone Wrong

Reeling in customers with false representation or misleading claims are techniques some companies use to market their products. Trying to make labeling appear greener may fool some, but smart buyers are capable of being label aware. Some organizations have attempted to uncover the tendency to use greenwashing to sell merchandise, and it may be surprising how prevalently used one study found it to be. TerraChoice conducted an initial study in 2007 to uncover whether or not merchandise that was marketed as green was in fact an ecological choice, and that the products reviewed met their claims. What they found was… read more

Lunar Planting

Lunar Planting

Wise farmers and biodynamic growers have long understood that you can use the moon as an agricultural implement. Numerous cultures still use forms of lunar gardening and abide by its guidelines for planting. Whether harvesting crops by the moonlight or growing by its phases, the natural rhythmic combinations of the earth and moon can be used to a gardener’s advantage. According to this form of planting there are different progressions similar to calendars that revolve around the moon’s cycles. These are the synodic, or waxing and waning phases, ascending and descending phases, and the sidereal and apogee-perigee cycles. Each cycle… read more