Botany is an exciting field. Plant life has been cataloged, drawn/painted/photographed, distilled, and used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes for centuries. However, overharvesting and pollution have caused many varieties to suffer and/or become extinct. Among our goals to save the planet, plant life takes a high priority.
Read about studies taking place in South Africa to capitalize on the health-giving properties of indigenous plants. This research could bring about economic as well as life-saving benefits!
And make a visit to the website for Stellenbosch University, where this research is taking place.
You may have heard that the Monarch butterfly is endangered. I fondly remember seeing many of these beautiful creatures while growing up in suburbia.
One threat to the Monarch butterfly population results from the deforestation occurring in their over-wintering locations – specifically in the mountains of Mexico. Last year, the Monarch population dropped to the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993, covering just two-thirds of a hectare (1.65 acres) in the pine and fir forests west of Mexico City.
Many petitions have been signed to protect the habitat of the Monarch butterfly, but until we can develop more sustainable sources for the products currently using the trees that are being harvested, the Monarch butterfly is in jeopardy.
Just because wood is natural doesn’t make it sustainable. There are multiple alternatives for wood. There are lists of products approved by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Woods Network, as well as salvaged wood and wood alternatives.
I was pained by reading the article linked below about blast fishing off the coast of Africa. (Yes, you read that correctly – blast fishing: fish being caught by being blasted out of the water with explosives). It is a very real scenario and needs more Smarter Planet minded folks to come up with alternatives that will help provide financial stability for the fishermen as well as keeping them uninjured and out of prison…
Thankfully, the damages suffered by the marine eco-system and the humans injured by engaging in this dangerous form of fishing have not gone unnoticed. Read about how Smart Fish is working to combat the problem. SmartFish is one of the Largest Regional Programmes for fisheries in Africa covering 20 bénéficiaire Countries in the Eastern, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) area. Funded by the European Union and Implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Jointly with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
A statistic that put things into greater perspective:
- Each blast kills all fish and other living organisms within a 20m radius, completely destroying the coral reef habitat and there is no natural recovery Source: SmartFish
Ponder that! And consider what will become of the Indian Ocean if blast fishing is allowed to continue… Will you make a difference with your work now and in future?
An Icelandic tannery, Atlantic Leather is taking perch, salmon, wolffish and cod skin, a by-product of the fisheries industry and turning it into leather for luxury fashion.
The fish leather produced at Atlantic Leather is environmentally friendly, in two different ways:
- it is a by-product of the fisheries industry, utilizing raw material that would not otherwise be used
- the production process makes use of renewable hydro and geothermal energy
to wall covering, this very durable, yet flexible product is an innovation whose time has come!
The next time you go shopping for clothes or decor, you might want to check out this new product.
This idea grew out of someone’s imagination and with some innovative thinking, turned into a thriving business. Do you have any eco-friendly ideas that you’d like to see come to fruition?
I have to admit – I stole the title for this post (’cause it made me giggle and want to say “what the heck???!!!”)
Maybe your future lies in studying the creatures of the sea and the benefits they bring to us. They both fascinated and frightened our ancestors – perhaps you find them mysterious and enticing, too!
Hey to Duke University for the part they play in this research!