Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Carnival of Nature

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.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Carnival Is Up

Come see what mind games we APLS like to play.

Monday, January 5, 2009

(Belated) January Carnival

Happy New Year from snowy Vancouver!

There's always one bad APL in the barrel, and this month it's me. I am being a terrible host and forgot to post the topic for the next carnival. Many apologies. Ruchi has suggested that we move the carnival to January 22nd, to allow everyone more time to write their posts; if you could email me ( a link to your post by the 19th, I'd really appreciate it.

So! The topic!



As an APL who is at a much earlier stage of going green than most of our other contributors, I am shamelessly using this edition of the carnival to pick your brains! I've already learned a LOT from you guys, but I need a little extra help to get me up the next section of the learning curve.

See, I need some better mental tricks to help me make the right decisions. I know I shouldn't be eating red meat, I know I should be buying local, organic food... but it ain't easy being green, and sometimes, when I'm staring at a restaurant menu and craving a steak, or when I'd really rather go to the local supermarket than cycle a very hilly 5 km to the farmer's market, I need a little help.

What mental tricks do you use on yourself to help you make the right choices, even when they make life a little harder? Or, conversely, does your mind play games that trick you into making the wrong decisions?


Can't wait to read all your posts!