Letter from the Publisher, April 2017

April—within which April 22 is Earth Day. My recollection of that day is marked by the classic “crying Indian” commercial, speaking to the effects of litter and pollution on the natural world. That was in the early days of plastic. Its alarming impact on the planetary system has taken its toll. As each individual eco-system is interconnected, what happens in one affects the all, for better or worse. On an upnote, the frequent sandstorms from the great dunes of the Sahara, Northern Africa, replenish phosphorus via dust to the Amazon rainforests, and so forth. Nature wastes nothing.

IMAGE: Seven Natural Awakenings territories were represented on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise, March 2017. This pic of the happy group of publishers and (in some cases) their +1 was taken post-dinner one evening.

Plastic, which comes from the test tube world of man-made materials, is not breaking down to enhance or benefit the living plants and animals. It is, however, a great money maker for those in the industry. What I am expecting from those in the industry is to continue the research and find alternative, supportive “plastic” that will naturally break down once its purpose has been served —like the brewing company in Delray that developed the “six pack rings” to not only be biodegradable, but edible for turtles, fish and birds. I love science, research, and innovations. We need to be very responsible and forward thinking about how our products are interacting within our natural systems for future generations.

My sister and I went on the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruise in March, during which time she mentioned that research is now indicating 50 percent of the fish coming out of the oceans have plastic in their stomachs. I talked about that in a previous letter. The last figure I remember seeing was 35 percent—and that wasn’t long ago.

During the cruise I unplugged from emails, phone, social media and television. I was surrounded by people. My experience in observing others was that cell phones were primarily being used to take pictures. During meals, it was a pleasure to really focus on other human beings without interruption, making new acquaintances, discovering who they were and what brought them to the cruise.

One of the women we met on the beach in Nassau had placed a series of plastic bags for depositing trash along the space occupied by tourists. Since I had my own gloves and bags I happily emptied out the collected pieces I would not be bringing back to the states (which I would normally upcycle into artwork). She and I talked about signage and what it might say that would speak in a manner to bring about positive outcome in keeping the beaches litter-free. I gave her my contact information and invited her to share her successes with me. The Global TRASHformation movement is now international.

As a speaker, I share this information with others and am always encouraging the younger set to think about what big problem they might want to solve, how they want to live their lives, having fun and making a difference.

I enjoyed seeing some new styles of artwork created by the locals on a number of the islands and am percolating ideas for a sculptural wall hanging using select material recovered from the beaches.

Coming back to shore was a time for reflection and inner work, re-grounding myself with terra firma.

Earth Day is celebrated every day and I invite you to celebrate with me.

Balance within and without; plan on it.

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