VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Category archives for Green Living

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

Reframing Ocean Conservation in this Post-Election Era

Given the election, it seems wise to relinquish expectations of US federal leadership on ocean or climate policy. Our anti-science (among other deeply concerning antis) president-elect and his appointees have sent clear signals about their disregard for our environment and the ethos of sustainability. Yet, a healthy ocean is critical to food security, a stable…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Jeetpal Negi, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Negi bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

Apocalypse Paused: Scenes From Soviet-Era “Ghost Farms”

Picture two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).   The 250,000-acre Chilinka Collective Farm, in northern Kazakhstan, was once known as an oasis on the steppes. It was home to 500…

Kikeo and The Whale

Kikeo and The Whale is a bedtime story that submerges the young reader in a sea of dreams. Hand-in-hand with National Geographic Creative photographer Kike Calvo, the reader discovers a beautiful story of an encounter between Kikeo, the main character,  and a baby whale and her mom. “This children’s book comes at a time when…

Sustainable Seafood Businesses Tackle Food Deserts with an Ancient Farming Technique

One of the most interesting trends to emerge from the Fish 2.0 business competition is the increasing use of aquaponics, which combines fish farming (aquaculture) with growing plants in water (hydroponics). This is nothing new—people have been practicing aquaponics for centuries, in the Aztecs’ floating crop islands, the rice paddies of Asia and elsewhere. What’s…

The Microbeads Dilemma: Does your facewash harm wildlife?

The Society for Conservation Biology’s North America Policy Program The world’s oceans are facing an unprecedented plastic crisis, and your morning routine may be inadvertently adding to it. Plastic in the ocean is hard to track and quantities are growing every day, but scientists have estimated that concentrations can be as high as 580,000 pieces…

Island Businesses Succeed with Strong Strategies and Partnerships

Are the rules for successful island entrepreneurs different from the rules for entrepreneurs globally? I don’t think so. People often tell me that you have to evaluate island entrepreneurs by different criteria, but based on our experience with the Fish 2.0 competition for sustainable seafood businesses, that is not true. We have many small-scale companies…

Surge in Fish 2.0 Applications is Good News for Oceans, Communities and Investors

When I started Fish 2.0, many investors, foundations, and even seafood experts said it would be difficult to get more than 50 entries in a competition for sustainable seafood businesses. They were not seeing many innovative seafood businesses, and they believed most of those they did see were not looking for investment. The inaugural competition…

Women Lead on Conservation in Nepal

“Women do most of the work in rural communities, they are the ones collecting firewood or fodder from the forests or fetching water from the faraway spring. Given how connected women are to nature, they are the most knowledgeable about natural resources and their connection to better livelihoods. Communities without empowered women are missing the backbone that strengthens them and helps them climb out of poverty.”

March 8, 2015: Bee Stings, Tiger Farms, Deadly Sugarcane and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they survive moose and cold temperatures to win the Yukon Quest, live in the wilderness for 8 months with moth-eating bears, photograph bees, learn about Mayan achievements, investigate China’s tiger farms, understand Nicaragua’s sugarcane worker health crisis, study the sunset’s colors, myth-bust “clean coal”.

March 1, 2015: Photographing a Revolution, Collecting Subway Bacteria and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they swab New York’s subways for bacteria, plan the perfect surf getaway, photograph a revolution, study the world’s most important fish, meet a glow in the dark shark, leave and return to a beloved homeland, learn the best way to eat a banana, and plan for sea level rise.

February 22, 2015: Discovering AIDS’ Animal Roots & Discovering Morocco’s Ancient Markets

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they dangle from a hot air balloon over pristine forest, walk from Russia across Australia, protect Italy’s wildlife in a national park, share a language with chimpanzees, document Alberta’s tar sands, track the evolution of HIV, climb China’s mountains and bird watch, visit Morocco’s ancient bazaars, and ski New England’s unusually deep powder.