This past Monday, September 10, I was privileged to be a guest on the Sustainable Living WMNF radio program, which is hosted with grace and skill by Jon Butts and Tanja Vidovic. I’ve been on this high-quality radio program before with fellow Florida permaculture designers, but this time I was on to talk about my book.
Synchronistically, the segments before me were 1) Tanja talking about her recent incident of being “trespassed” from her local park for (peacefully) objecting to application of toxic weed-killer; and 2) an interview with Joseph Romm, author of the book Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know.
I say “synchronistically” because both of these segments underscore very strongly the importance of reducing the human footprint, which is the core message of my book.
1) The human compulsion to label certain plants “invasive species,” and eradicate “weeds,” is ironic given that we humans are the most invasive species of all. If we would just rein ourselves in, and not insist on exercising total control over so much space on this planet, it would go a long way toward solving our problems. This is a key point of my book. Personally, I think our parks, and the planet as a whole, would be better with far more forest and far less human-maintained turf-grass.
2) Another key point of my book is that climate change (and pollution) are hard to wrap one’s brain around if we focus only on the planetary scale, and on trying to mandate behavior change on the part of corporations and government. But if we focus on our own daily actions (which, added up over the course of our lives, and multiplied by the millions and billions of other people doing those same actions each day, most assuredly add up), we will naturally influence corporations and the government through the power of demand (or removal of demand).
On “my” segment of the show, I was interviewed along with fellow guest Anni Ellis, of Anni Ellis Garden Design Inc. With a background of fine art and interior design, and drawing on feng shui and minimalist concepts, Anni creates outdoor spaces that entice people outdoors to enjoy their gardens in ways they never had before.
This is also something I emphasize in my book: Many of us humans have become so removed from nature that we are afraid of it. It’s a vicious cycle: The more afraid we get, the more removed; the more removed we get, the more afraid. Outdoor spaces that are comfortable and attractive to their intended users entice people outdoors and help break that cycle of disconnectedness with nature. Which makes people and the planet happier and healthier.
If you didn’t catch the show with me on it, don’t worry. All of WMNF’s shows are available on their show page on WMNF.org for at least a week after they air; through the WMNF app, and many are on Mixcloud. These shows are also available by podcast. Visit WMNF’s home page and podcast page to tune in.