These are astonishing. WARNING: Some may be difficult to look at. Plastic is horrifying. There are many worlds that we are so privileged to not have to endure.
- I found the discussion of nature as a “frameless scape” or a composition of sensory stimuli that have not been deliberately crafted for a specific purpose very interesting. This, of course, is why people go to nature to think — walking, hiking, camping, backpacking — the immersion and the perceived solitude — being away from it all, this is what people are after. We are constantly bombarded with images that have been carefully designed to trigger certain reactions within us as a product of consumerism and politicization. In a way, we lose certain freedoms without even knowing it; the freedom to imagine, to wonder, to assume or create. But, there is vast freedom in nature — one can project or derive whatever it is they want/need from a landscape, in the absence of the artificial.
- I enjoy reading through the discussions of how Western cultural values have been superimposed onto nature — through our texts and our politics, we have constructed nature in our own framework and made the understanding so strict that there is no room for alternative thought. What are we missing when we do this? What is nature really? How else could we be living? And try to answer these things without using images and language associated with the romanticization of Native peoples. Tough shit man.
- Also I hardcore fall for the naïveté of writers like Emerson and Thoreau. I need to work on this.
- I’m excited to hear the class discussion about the final chapter. I think that there are a lot of interesting points made that directly tie to current climate thought and issues.
Project Title: Green Roofs at OWU!
Project Participant(s): Mahnoor Ansari, Kayla Adolph, Janelle Valdinger
Description & overview of project: The aim of this project is the install one to two green roofed bike shelters (as pictures above) on the Ohio Wesleyan campus (440 sq ft), as well as possibly install green roofs on top of the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center and the Schimmel-Conrades Science Center (~4500 sq ft). The two locations being considered for the bike shelters are: in front of the Entrepreneurial Center and close to the future senior apartments.
They are beneficial because they:
- Add more green space to the campus,
- Eliminate non-point source pollution,
- Filter and slow down storm water runoff and surges to protect ground water, lakes and streams,
- Extend the roof’s lifetime by 200-300%,
- And absorb carbon dioxide from the environment.
They can serve as a symbol of OWU and the City of Delaware’s joint commitment and effort to promote sustainability and collaboration in our community. There will be a sponsor recognition wall (see annotated bibliography) along the sides of the bike shelters to list any local business that donate to the project.
Working Title: Integration of Interpretive Ecological Materials in a Developing Wetlands Park
A project by Anna Scholle in collaboration with Ted Miller
Description & Overview:
My original idea was to implement pedestal-type interpretive signage in one or more local parks depicting each of their major ecosystems and habitats as well as the flora and fauna that may be found in each. After speaking with Dr. Krygier, I have been in contact with Ted Miller, the director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Delaware, and settled on one park in particular to implement my project. After speaking with both Dr. Krygier and Mr. Miller, I have also expanded my project to consider other forms of interpretive materials, such as brochures.
The City of Delaware Ohio is planning to expand its Wetlands Park on Mill Run Crossing behind the strip mall containing Pet Supplies Plus, Kohl’s, Sally Beauty, and other stores. The current park is 45 acres and includes a 0.8 mile loop trail around a wetlands as well as a fenced dog park. Tentatively, the expansion would include more environments in the surrounding area (such as woodlands and a small lake) and more trails.
Interpretive materials can include signs, maps, pamphlets or brochures, audio recordings, videos, kiosks, journals, and many other items. They are found in a variety of places including but not limited to parks, zoos, museums, and galleries. They inform the public about what they are viewing in an exhibit or natural point of interest.
The goal of interpretive ecological materials is to engage the public with the nature they are experiencing by educating them about habitats, wildlife, plants, and/or environmental history of the park. The public should not be overwhelmed with information as too much info may quickly bore them and clog the park with man-made products that obscure the natural beauty of the park and are ultimately ignored by visitors. Instead, the materials should provide a combination of easily understood text and images that is just enough to get the point across.
I am passionate about this project because I want to increase public awareness of the amazing facets of nature they may not realize they share a space with. Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved exploring parks and learning about wildlife, and I want to instill a similar passion in others. I especially value environmental education for children, because they are the future of this world and its shrinking ecosystems and diminishing species.Read the rest of this entry »
The book opened up with defining nature. It spends whole chapter on it in fact by describing in great detail all the ways we use the word nature. It reminded me of our first class at the beginning of the semester and part of the Meadowlands. We defined nature form our point of view but it has been used in so many different ways that it’s rather ridiculous. It was fun to read all the different ways we talk about nature and it really shows how it is a word used in both good and bad ways, and how the term has changed over time.Read the rest of this entry »
- “If ants had a language they would, no doubt, call their anthill an artifact and describe the brick wall in its neighborhood as a natural object. Nature in fact would be for them all that was not ‘ant made’. Just so, for us, nature is all that is not man-made; the natural state of anything is its state when not modified by by man” (9)
I thought this was an interesting take on it. We’ve had a lot of back and forth what is nature and wilderness and this argument hadn’t come up.
I’m really not a history or religion kind of person so I found this book kind of boring so far (sorry).
- “The Americas were not conquered, they were infected.”(102)
The author posed the thought: imagine how different the demographic profile and history of Southern Africa would have been in the region’s indigenes had been as vulnerable to imported disease as their American counterparts. Another interesting thought and something I had never considered before.
- “Attempts to restore past environments may be psychologically soothing and emotionally satisfying but they are vainglorious and fatuous from an ecological standpoint. Elk currently make up over three-quarters of ungulates in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. recent archaeological investigations, however, suggest that elk were practically non-existent in 1492, when aboriginal hunting and animal predation was part of the ecological equation. We can never know what the natural world of the Americas would be like today had the Europeans never appeared, not least because Indian populations would have kept growing.”(93)
It is crazy to think that the places in which we live today could/would be totally different landscapes with totally different plants and animals had the Europeans landed somewhere else or at a different time in history.
The writing style for this book is very approachable. I appreciate the balance between text-book qualities, i.e. density of information, and casual writing which is oftentimes sort of poetic. Reading about the deep histories of environmentalism has been interesting so far. I was seriously struck by the discussion of Christianity and our culture of environmentalism — I knew that there were elements, but I hadn’t totally considered just how deeply affected it is. The ways in which we perceive nature as a god-given plethora of resources meant for us to use up is direct from the Bible — but also the ways in which we secular environmentalists view nature is derived, in part, from the Christian perspective. Nature is divine and perfect, us humans have soiled it…and like we talked about early in the course, environmentalism has sort of replaced the role of religion in a lot of people’s lives.
Project: Beefless Mondays
What is it? Why?: Beefless Mondays are a single day in the week where we opt out of offering beef and instead offer the Beyond Meat Burger. I chose this project because of my love for animals and because of the negative environmental impacts caused by agriculture, especially cattle farming. People have a really hard time cutting meat out of their diet, and understandably so. Instead of expecting everyone to go vegetarian (because we all know that’s never going to happen) we can encourage them to try a plant based alternative that does not have as much of a negative effect on the environment. As I mentioned in my original proposal of this idea, if the university cut back on meat consumption for just one day of the week for roughly around 1,600 students and faculty members that likely eat about 2 meals a day that have meat in them, it would reduce OWU’s ecological footprint dramatically. I don’t expect all OWU students to go completely vegetarian for the day, but maybe have the university only offer fish, chicken, pork, etc. for Mondays. (the link to the stats: https://sites.psu.edu/math033fa17/2017/10/08/meatless-mondays-do-they-really-help/)
Who is involved?: Currently, Jim Pearce and I.
Why are Beyond Meat Burgers a better substitute than the veggie burgers we have now (for vegetarians, vegans, meat eaters, etc.)?: Beyond Meat Burgers are vegan, gluten-free (our current veggie burgers are not), kosher, and have no GMOs. Beyond Meat has also gone above and beyond (haha) to make a plant-based burger that resembles, smells like, and tastes like a meat patty. Some ways they have done this are:
- “Juicy marbling”- To mimic white flecks of fat, this is achieved by plant-based fats like coconut oil and cocoa butter
- “Fleshy red –> Barbecued brown”- To mimic the cooking process, achieved by apple extracts which oxidize/change color when exposed to heat
- “Differentiated bite”-To mimic how animal fat is processed, some pieces are harder to chew than others
- More protein- 20g of plant-based protein per 4 oz. patty
Critiques of the Beyond Meat Burger: high sodium content, sometimes there’s a ‘coconutty’ aftertaste
*Beyond Meat discontinued it’s chicken strip line because the CEO wasn’t satisfied with the taste and he states that they don’t sell products that aren’t as close to meat as you can get without being meat.
Growing market for veggie burgers, and more specificly, Beyond Meat Burgers:
- Over 2 billion dollars invested in plant-based industry in the past decade – more than half of that was in 2017 and 2018 alone
- The Beyond Meat debuted on the Nasdaq at $25 a share and shot up to $65.75 by the end of the first day.
- Beyond Meat had the biggest IPO pop for a company with a market cap larger than $200 million that Wall Street has seen since 2000.
- The trend continued through the first quarter and revenue increased by 215% (next year’s predicted revenue will be 2x more than 2019’s)
- Plant-based meat sales are up 23% and Beyond Meat sales are up 70% (meat sales are only up 2%)
Mainstreaming of Beyond Meat Burger: As of July 2019, Beyond Meat was found in more than 35,000 restaurants, grocery stores, universities, hotels, and stadiums
- Carl’s Jr., Burger King, Del Taco, TGI Friday’s all have Beyond Meat Burgers
- Little Ceasars and Subway will be featuring it soon
Plan for Beefless Monday/Beyond Meat Monday: I would like to have the burgers in both Smith and Ham Will if possible. Today there was a “burger bar” in Ham Will so I envision something like that for the Beyond Meat Burgers also. I figure I can make an informational electronic “flyer” that is featured on one of the tvs in both Smith and Ham Will that will explain what is being offered, why it’s better, and how you are positively impacting the environment by choosing to try this burger.
Offering Beyond Meat on a regular basis: I’m hoping that if we see success with this and that people have a positive response to the Beyond Meat Burger then we can scale up to offering it everyday. An issue I see with this may be the price to do so.