Earth Week Excitement

It’s Earth Week in Bloomington and there are tons of activities going on in Bloomington.  Yesterday, Will and I went to see the new film “What’s the Economy For, Anyway?” with filmmaker John DeGraaf.  We both thought the title of the film was kind of weird (can you imagine a film “What’s Physics For, Anyway?”) but his major point was that we need to acknowledge that a strong economy doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy community.  His larger vision is to create a society where people spend more time doing the things that make them happy (caring for family, volunteering, recreating) and less time working long hours to buy useless stuff.  I love that idea but the film was more of a rambling treatise on why GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is not a good thing to be harping on about.

Today I tabled for Sycamore Land Trust at a little informational event in People’s Park.  (Will refuses to classify it as a park since it’s only about 4000 square feet, mostly concrete, but it’s right downtown and gets a lot of foot traffic.)  The concept of the event was excellent but alas, it’s April in Bloomington so the weather was cold and rainy and windy.  Most of us had our tabling material either soaked or blown away and the foot traffic was pretty sparse.  The Parks & Rec Department apparently has been celebrating Earth Day in June for the last few years in order to increase the probability of decent weather.  Maybe April weather is nicer in California where Earth Day began.

This evening, I spoke on a panel about how to get healthier food to low income communities.  There was a lot of good discussion from a nice diverse panel of speakers representing a variety of groups (IU, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Local Growers Guild, Center for Sustainable Living, Latino Cultural Center).  I noticed that we were all women but didn’t think a lot about it since I seem to frequently be on panels with other women.  However, one of the audience members asked why there are so many women leading the local food movement and we all through around ideas about women being traditionally the nurturing type and responsible for food purchases in the family while trying to also emphasize that it’s the 21st century and by golly, women can do anything they want!  That was the awkward part of the discussion; the rest was a lively discussion about how we can restructure our food supply to make everyone well-fed.

Tomorrow there is a Green Drinks event, an informal evening of sustainable social networking.  This will be the third one in Bloomington and I keep meaning to go but I am not a big fan of networking events.  Stephanie has told me that I’m too well-connected in Bloomington to say that I’m not a networker but I think I can still safely say that I hate going to parties and introducing myself to strangers.  I am also feeling like my schedule is way too full and I need some breathers between activities.  You know, for things like eating dinner.

What are you doing for Earth Day?  (And I won’t be offended in the slightest if your answer is “Not a damn thing; every day is earth day.”)

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Gini said,

    April 23, 2009 @ 7:11 am

    I thought about all you folks in more northern regions as my class worked in the class yard with their parents yesterday morning. The weather was beautiful (low 60’s) and sunny. We dug, planted, trimmed and put borders around some of our garden beds. The children watered so much that there was a swampy area near the rain barrel that we had to avoid during the picnic that followed. We did our best to all bring trashless lunches, and after lunch, the 5 & 6 year olds discussed where all the stuff goes. The older afternoon group also celebrated a day early by hiking over to Ben & Jerry’s for free scoop day!

    Today we start the day-to-day work of keeping everything watered and weeded.

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