Archive for June, 2009
When Jon Bowermaster isn’t writing for us here on Earthkeepers, he’s documenting his travels for other publications and in his own films and books. His latest book, Wildebeest in a Rainstorm is a fascinating compilation of stories and observations from some of Jon’s greatest adventures with such notable companions as Wangari Maathai, Richard Branson and Bobby Kennedy, Jr.
“I’ve never been interested in anything but the outdoors,” he confesses. Today he insists his primary goal is to help alert the public’s attention to a global “century of destruction” in which he believes that humans are destroying natural resources, particularly plants and animals, at such a rate that mankind will ultimately be threatened. Though hardly a typical tourist, Schaller believes the current boom in ecotourism – if done properly, by skilled and committed companies – is one avenue for preserving both wilds and wildlife.
“For many areas of the world good tourism – which means limited numbers of strictly controlled people that are aware of the environment, that are knowledgeable about what they are up to, that don’t litter, that don’t disturb the animals, that treat the local people with respect – can have a real benefit. Otherwise such regions might just disappear. In an area has foreigners coming and looking and the money from their visit stays there, local people will be more likely to protect it. If nobody ever visits, say the rainforest, the more likely it will be logged.”
In honor of Father’s Day … or for any special Earthkeeping guy in your life … check out these green goods to make the most of his day in the sun:
The TING “sling” is a handwoven hammock made of reclaimed and repurposed seatbelt webbing that otherwise would wind up in the waste stream.
Our Earthkeepers™ X-Band sandals feature organic canvas in the uppers and recycled rubber in the outsole and midsole. Burnished nubuck leather comes from a silver-rated tannery (one that has received a silver rating for its reduced energy use, reduced waste and quality water treatment).
Burt’s Bees chemical-free sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection and helps keep skin hydrated without using chemical sunscreen actives like octinoxate and oxybenzone. Instead, titanium dioxide (a naturally-occurring mineral) creates a micro-fine barrier to reflect the sun’s harmful rays from Dad’s most sensitive spots.
When Father’s Day turns into night, Ikea’s Solig solar-powered lanterns keep the celebration going. These lights run on solar cells that transform sunlight into electricity, requiring no electrical connections and saving energy.
The bus itself is new and improved. The specially-modified 1989 MCI coach boasts wireless internet and surround sound, solar panels and bamboo hardwood flooring … and runs on waste vegetable oil.
Most exciting, the Big Green Bus contains 14 Dartmouth College students bound and determined to spend their summer changing the world. Over the next few months they’ll travel through 30 states coast to coast, making more than 40 educational stops along the way to show off their green mobile classroom and spread the good word about alternative energy and sustainable living practices.
The Bussers kick off their cross-country tour this week, and may well be rolling through a city near you; check out their tour schedule at thebiggreenbus.org. And, to follow their travels and travails anytime, you can find them on Changents.com.
Our Earthkeeper Hero Christopher Swain is gathering an unusually passionate fan base … in solidarity with his own swim journey through dirty water, check out how others are pledging to “get dirty for Swain:”
You can follow Christopher’s progress in his 1,000 swim for clean water on Changents.com. And, stay tuned for regular updates on Christopher – and news about our other Earthkeeper heroes – here on the EK blog.