Did I Mention Football?
As we breeze (or should I say sweat) into fall, there’s excitement in the air, because in North Texas, fall means three things: football, football and football—more specifically, high school football, college football and the Cowboys. No wonder local newscasts have to add an extra 30 minutes on the weekend. Then there’s my favorite fall event, the State Fair of Texas. I usually visit three times: once for shopping, once for arts and crafts and other exhibits, and once just for the food, a gastronomic assault of fried, weird and delicious and sweet and gooey. I know it’s bad, and I can’t help it; it’s a years-old habit from taking my daughter to the fair every year when she was young.
Yet as I feast my mind and my senses, I feel a gnawing worry about all the food waste, plastic packaging and bottles, paper and other resources that are consumed and expended during our fall orgy of events. I have to wonder:
What are the environmental and attendant health impacts?
How many people care?
Would more people care if they understood the impact on their lives?
When a commercial or large residential real estate project is proposed, the developers are usually required to make an Environmental Impact Assessment indicating how the project would affect nearby resources such as trees, water and air. If the negative impact is too great, the project may not be allowed to proceed. In most cases, however, the result is a well-honed mitigation plan. Over time these plans have produced some useful and even outstanding conservation and environmental protection standards—although much, much more is still needed.
What if we required a Environmental Impact Assessment—or even a Health Impact Assessment—for certain events, such as those attracting crowds of 100 or more?
Just as Environmental Impact Assessments can mitigate the negative effects of development, this type of model, when applied to events, could result in useful and far-reaching practices and standards that would conserve our natural resources for future generations, protect the well-being of current and future generations, and—most important—make people care about the environment by showing them how it affects their health and everyday lives.
Here at Natural Awakenings, we see this idea as a new opportunity fall is presenting us with—another opportunity to educate, empower and inspire our readers to take action for the good of our planet. Stay tuned!
In this month’s issue, the health of Planet Earth (and earthlings) is front and center in writer Yvette Hammett’s article, “The Re-Use Revolution: Plastics Peril Drives New Strategies.” The growing plastics crisis has some people yearning for the days when soft drinks and beer came in reusable containers that required a deposit, and milk was delivered to the front porch in quaint glass bottles. Some states, municipalities and private companies are taking us back to the future in innovative ways that maybe we can all adopt.
On pages 23 and 24, read about some local folks who doing their part for the planet. Amanda Morrow, of Plant Set Meals, makes delicious, affordable, 100 percent plant-based dishes, while Thomas Edds at EDDS Solar helps residential and commercial customers throughout the metroplex and the world save money and the planet through solar and other renewable energy options.
In every issue of Natural Awakenings, we seek to impart the simple but important message that green living is healthy and healthy living is green. The Creator has given us all we need to survive and thrive, and an instruction manual as well. Our job is to be good stewards of what we’ve been given—to respect the sanctity of nature and to be informed about how our actions (and inactions!) can affect its self-sustainability. Let Natural Awakenings be your ally in making our world a healthier place.
Blessings until next month.