We keep on hearing, in response to climate change, that "they will do something about it"- who are they? We are the they - everyone is a they if they want to be.
This newsletter raises awareness about two dates coming up later this month: one celebrates Pollinators and the other, Localization. But before reading about them, you will learn some good news, the kind that made me hopeful for the future. Followed by the blessed pollinators, which then has a story I pulled from the LOLA archives (the former newsletter I published as I wrote my book LOLA a few years back), because I still think it’s a really great idea, as are the two tech stories. Which one of them do you like the most? And finally, learn what World Localization Day is and why it matters. Hope you enjoy this issue!
#1- Some Good News
The U.S. Government has cancelled oil and gas leases in Alaska, stopping drilling of oil in 1 million acres, preventing future oil spills and helping to protect endangered animals.
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste has launched a $500 million fund to support collection, recycling and design solutions to tackle plastic waste.
California is nearly 100% powered by renewables for the first time
Ecuador has become the first country to give legal rights to wild animals. The high court said that wild animals have the right not to be hunted, fished, captured, collected or traded.
New Jersey’s last two coal plants are set to close within a few months as the state shifts away from fossil fuels and into renewables.
#2- Feeding the Pollinators
June 20-26 is National Pollinator week!
Planting for beauty is satisfying and some would agree that ornamental plants are soul food that help make us right somehow. When the show-stopping plants also play a role in the ecosystem and have actual jobs, even better!
Many food plants depend on visits from the birds and the bees to transfer pollen and ensure good crops. We can do our part to correct declining pollinator populations by choosing their favorite plants and eliminating insecticides in our landscapes.
The shape of a flower, the scent, the colors and even the time they bloom are all strategies that have evolved to attract specific types of pollinators. For example, because hummingbirds have long pointed beaks and long brush-like tongues, they prefer deep, tubular flowers. Hummingbirds also prefer red, orange and white flowers. Butterflies like bright-colored flowers, including red and purple. Some species like a place to land so they prefer broad, flat flowers, with a faint but fresh scent. Bees like bright-colored flowers, including white, yellow and blue, with sweet scents. As for flower shapes, bees can access pollen and nectar from flowers of almost any shape.
- red clover is beloved by pollinators but also improves the health of the soil by adding nitrogen to it -
When planning you garden, choose plants with overlapping bloom times to provide flowers throughout the season.
Plant in clumps, rather than single plants, and whenever possible, choose native plants.
Pollinators love goldenrod
Include night-blooming flowers for moths and bats.
Avoid pesticides, even so-called “natural” ones, which can be toxic to butterfly larvae.
Bees love daisies, asters, sunflowers, salvia, mint and lavender
Hummingbirds love trumpet vines, coral honeysuckle, hollyhocks and sages.
Butterflies love zinnias, purple coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and coreopsis.
In my garden, I have found that some of the easiest flowers to start from seed are Cosmos, Calendula, Sunflower, Zinnia and Borage.
The only flowers blooming at the moment are yarrow, forget-me-nots, comfrey, poppies and lupines. I also planted black-eyed Susans, lots of borage, cosmos, cleome, coneflowers, phlox, lots of bee balm, cup plants, echinacea, milkweed, Joe pye weed, ironweed, woodland nicotiana, Mexican sunflower, zinnias and sunflowers.
Over the summer, it’s buzzing with activity! It’s wonderful to witness.
**The first few paragraphs of this piece are excerpts and notes I saved years ago, and I don’t remember the source.
In addition, I came across this piece:
“If pollinators designed gardens, what would humans see?” That’s the question multi-disciplinary artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg spent much of lockdown researching, when she was asked to propose an artwork that brings attention to the plight of native pollinators for the Eden Project in Cornwall. “As I started to research pollinators and understand how they see and perceive the world, I ended up with this idea of creating a computer algorithm that could design the garden from their perspective,” she explains.
The result is Pollinator Pathmaker, a one-of-a-kind, 55-metre-long installation, which seeks to challenge who a garden is for and the role plants play.
To learn more about this project, click here
Also, you can click on Pollinator.art and design a garden for pollinators (I’m going to do this!). You do need to open the page up in Google Chrome.
#3- From the LOLA Archives
I still think this is a great idea: Several years ago, to raise awareness and encourage more recycling in Hong Kong, Saatchi & Saatchi installed a machine that can transform old newspapers into Chinese New Year-themed wrapping paper in just 30 seconds.
The aptly named “Instant Newspaper Recycler” was installed at Sun Hung Kai’s East Point City shopping center to allow passersby to try out the machine. After feeding their papers in one end, shoppers only had to wait 30 seconds before they received their wrapping paper. There are three different festive designs, each of which features a recycling symbol to make sure the message about environmental protection hits home.
It’s an idea that could translate well to countless other countries and times of the year.
Source: the former LOLA newsletter
#4- Tech News
- which one do you prefer?
A wind turbine that generates energy from passing cars
The latest clean energy breakthrough to appear on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, is a wind turbine that generates power from passing traffic.
The vertical devices, known as ENLIL, can harness air currents created by moving vehicles to generate energy while also absorbing solar power.
The roadside mechanism was developed by researchers at Istanbul Technical University in collaboration with a team from the technology firm Devicitech.
The breeze generated by passing cars may appear insignificant, but ENLIL’s long, unobtrusive, upright blades are powerful enough to produce one kilowatt of energy per hour.
A single turbine with an additional solar panel on top can produce enough electricity to power two Turkish households for one day.
Standard wind turbines have a life expectancy of 20 years, which ENLIL may one day exceed due to its simplicity and durability. Each turbine has a simple design that makes it simple to assemble and repair.
The apparatus is small enough to be placed next to moving vehicles without causing any disruption, and it occupies a small amount of surface area no matter where it is. This allows for simple transportation and assembly in places where traditional wind turbines would be impractical, such as city streets and buildings.
However, the environmental benefits of ENLIL go beyond that. The turbines also use a number of smart technologies to monitor the surrounding area’s temperature, humidity, carbon footprint, and earthquake activity.
A South Korean 20-mile solar 'bike highway' that generates electricity
A 'bike highway' running between Daejon and Sejong in South Korea is a concept. It stretches for 20 miles (32 km), and it not only shields cyclists from the sun but also generates power at the same time.
It's true that a bicycle lane in the center of a highway is an unusual location for one, especially with three lanes of traffic on either side of it, yet it works. Much like the $3.7 million SolaRoad in the Netherlands, a 230-foot road replaced by solar panels, which powers the highway's lighting system, this bike highway is a win for green energy. Its lanes produce more than enough electricity to power the lighting of the highway and the electric vehicle charging stations.
Wind Turbine or Solar Bike Highway?
#5- World Localization Day
- community, connection, and place -
Did you know that June 21st is World Localization Day?
Localization is about returning power to communities.
In June 2022, for the third year in a row, people all over the world are coming together to explore the power of localization, and to honor the many efforts and initiatives – old and new – that foster ecological economies, thriving communities and healthy local food systems. World Localization Day on June 21st celebrates the worldwide localization movement – not only on the day itself, but during the entire month of June.
To learn more, click here
In addition, on June 21st, join me in watching the premier of the film Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution (it will be available as a free download), featuring dozens of people building a more beautiful world. From speaking out against trade treaties, to rebuilding topsoil, to sharing traditional knowledge and innovating new ways of supporting local businesses, their insights help forge a new path forward for humanity.
As people work to protect and restore their local economies, their communities and the natural world, countless diverse initiatives are demonstrating a new path forward for humanity. It’s a path that localizes rather than globalizes, connects rather than separates, and shows us that human beings need not be the problem – we can be the solution. Featuring activists from every continent alongside figures like Russell Brand, Noam Chomsky, Vandana Shiva, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Naomi Klein, Jane Goodall and Gabor Maté, Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution is a timely and compelling call to action.
Download the film here on June 21st
There will be a post film discussion.
To join, click here:
Join author Jeremy Lent, deep ecology activist Joanna Macy, and Planet Local director Helena Norberg-Hodge for a 1-hour session discussing the film, localization, and more. Register for free and bring your questions!
June 21st, 8pm New York
As always, thank you for your continued support of my newsletter!
Stay well and take care,
See you soon again,