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
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!
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.