Friday, 31 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #110 Maintain Your Car

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #110 Maintain Your Car

Maintaining your vehicle will make it run more efficiently. There are several ways to achieve this: keep the tyres inflated to the correct pressure; have clean air filters that are changed at appropriate intervals; check the oil levels often; have the vehicle serviced regularly. All of these things contribute to extending the life of your vehicle and using less fuel, which saves you money.
And an extra little tip – clean out the boot (trunk) of your car and any other stuff you may be carrying around needlessly. Extra weight adds to extra fuel consumption, so extra stuff could be costing you money.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #109 Car Pool

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #109 Car Pool

Does someone else at your office drive the same route as you? Ask them to car-pool. Two or three co-workers (four would be even better) can take it in turns to drive everyone to work. This allows each person to save on wear and tear of their vehicle by reducing annual usage, uses less fuel and promotes better relationships with other human beings.
Maybe your children play sports or do some extra-curricular activity that enables you to car-pool with other parents by taking it in turns to run the kids to and fro.
Organising an event? Going to a wedding / party / nightclub? Open a conversation with others to see how you can car-pool to the venue.
You will help the planet by using fewer resources, creating less pollution and contributing less to traffic congestion, and the upside is that you will be able to interact with more people.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - installed at Manningham Gallery


1000 Flowers for the Planet - installed at Manningham Gallery

Tonight was the opening night for our exhibition at Manningham Gallery in Doncaster. Thirteen women studying the Diploma of Textile Art have their work displayed for the next three weeks. This is a photo of the installation of my work in progress. 397 flowers are combined to create this piece, with framed artworks also exhibited and for sale.
I've had a wonderful evening, shared with family and friends who came to support me in my artistic endeavours. Many thanks to Manningham's Curator, Megan, for putting together such a wonderful show and to my fellow artists, their supporter and everyone who attended and made this a magical evening. It has been a fantastic opening - the first of many more to come.
And to my blog readers, I hope you are enjoying the project.

Monday, 27 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #108 Walk the Children to School

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #108 Walk the Children to School

There are a huge number of SUVs on the roads at school drop off and pick up times – mothers driving petrol guzzling machines to take their precious cargos to school. (Other cars, too, of course.) Often the younger ones are driven merely a street or two away from their home. Stop for a minute and think how much better it would be to walk the children to school, or even let them walk themselves to school. The health benefits would be tremendous for both parent and child/ren, keeping the heart rate up and burning some calories. Walking gets the mind working and encourages those positive endorphins that make a person feel good. That would be a much better way to arrive at school – ready for a day of learning. Mum would get fitter too, and have a few minutes of silent, headspace time to chill out on the way home before getting stuck into her own work. The concept works for dads too!
Then there are the benefits to the planet – less petrol/gas consumption (less oil used), less emissions into the environment so less air pollution, less noise pollution, and fewer cars on the road means reduced traffic congestion. All of these things also increase the money in your pocket as you save on fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle.
Really – do you drive only two or three streets between home and school? Get up earlier or get better organised in the morning. Walking your child to and from school also gives you the opportunity to ‘talk’ to your child/ren on the way, listening to what’s on their minds: their struggles, their worries, their joys (provided you can leave your phone at home!). Want some quality time with your child/ren? Walk them to school.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #107 Use Public Transport

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #107 Use Public Transport

If you can’t walk or ride a bicycle to work, the next best thing would be to use public transport. Moving people around en mass is a better use of resources such as petrol/gas or electricity. Apparently the transport system in Europe is particularly good. Sadly in Melbourne, Australia it’s not so good, but it’s still a better option for the sake of the planet. Take a book, Ipod, Ipad or newspaper and learn something new during your commute, or simply sit and look at your environment and find some joy in your home town. There’s plenty to see. And if you can pluck up enough courage, talk to the person next to you – they’re only a stranger until you introduce yourself. You already have something in common! You both use public transport. Go you!

Friday, 24 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #106 Walk to Work

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #106 Walk to Work

If you’ve followed the advice of the previous Flower then you’re now working close to home. Are you close enough to walk to work? Wow! That would be great. If you can walk to work you’ll save heaps of money on petrol/gas or public transport costs, you’ll do the environment a lot of good by not emitting fumes into the air or using electricity to power the train, and you won’t be contributing to traffic congestion. Best of all, you’ll do yourself so much good in regards to your health by lowering your blood pressure, creating a healthy heart, becoming fit and getting fresh air. You may even pass people in the street and give/receive a smile – a great way to start your day.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #105 Work Close to Home

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #105 Work Close to Home

Statistics tell us that most people don’t like their jobs. If that’s the case, try finding yourself a job you’ll enjoy more, and while you’re at it, find one close to home. From personal experience I find it much nicer to work nearer where I live because I can get to and from work so much quicker. I have a four kilometre commute, which allows me to leave home later and arrive home earlier. More time at home with my family makes me happier. It also saves a lot of money on petrol/gas costs for my car, less wear and tear on my car and less wear and tear on me as I don’t have to sit in traffic for hours every week. Using my car less is better for the planet too. Having a happier home life from being content with one’s job also saves the community in mental health costs and doctors’ expenses, creates happier families because you’re home more to nurture your children and your relationships, and probably helps you to be a better employee as well.
Looking at the bigger picture – if more people who live in the metropolis of a big city work close to home, fewer people need to clog the roads for long distances, resulting in less petrol/gas being used, saving resources and reducing carbon emissions.
But wouldn’t it just be ‘nice’ to work close to home?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #104 Install a Water Tank

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #104 Install a Water Tank

This won’t be possible for every household – many people live in apartment blocks – but for those who have a bit of outside space, install a water tank to collect rainwater and use it to water the garden. My neighbour has his connected to the toilet system, which uses the rainwater for flushing and when the tank is dry it reverts back to the regular water supply. Tank water can be used for hand washing your car or scrubbing down the patio. Whenever you have a need for water outside the house, think about using the water from your tank, increasing your self-sufficiency and looking after the planet.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #103 Install Solar Panels

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #103 Install Solar Panels


If you can afford to install solar panels it will provide many benefits to your budget and your planet. It is one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. The energy collected from solar panels is clean, efficient and (initial costs aside) free. By using solar energy you will: save the planet from the draining of resources e.g. coal, uranium; avoid creating carbon emissions as produced by coal/uranium based energy production; have the ability to contribute to the supply of electricity by selling your excess energy back to the grid; you’ll be more self-sufficient. Your energy will be clean, quiet and free.

Monday, 20 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #102 Buy Food in Glass

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #102 Buy Food in Glass

Glass is better for you because it is made from natural materials that do not leach into the food contained within it. There have been many claims made about the evils of plastic containers for food storage, which I won’t even attempt to go into here. If you buy foods that come in glass jars you have improved your life by avoiding the possible plastic issues and you’ll be able to reuse the jar for preserving your own foods, freezing foods or storage of almost anything else. Furthermore, you’ll be helping the planet by not putting plastics into landfill (or the water system), and by putting the jar in your recycling collection. And the final joy is that all glass is able to be recycled.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #101 Own Fewer Clothes

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #101 Own Fewer Clothes

If you surf the Internet you’ll come across different ways in which people deal with fewer clothes. There’s the 30-for-30 challenge, which is to only wear 30 items of clothing for 30 days. I’ve also heard of this twisted to only owning 30 items of clothing per season (which in my case would mean going out and buying lots more clothes – not the idea, I know). Some challenges revolve around not going shopping for clothing for a certain time frame. I’ve read about a person who wore only one outfit for an entire year, which was completely fascinating and led to a whole bunch of personal revelations for that person.
For this Flower all I want to suggest is that you own fewer clothes. Whether you choose one of the aforementioned ideas, or simply reduce your wardrobe by donating unwanted clothing or seldom used pieces, or maybe refrain from buying any new clothes, the choice is yours. I’d just like to encourage you to give it a go. It will create more money in your pocket for other things (perhaps an ‘experience’ rather than buying ‘stuff’), it will create less landfill of non-biodegradable fabrics (how many items do you have that are made from pure natural fibres?), you’ll have less storage issues, choosing what to wear will be easier, less resources will be used to manufacture what you’re wearing, you’ll get more use out of carefully selected clothes and you may even realise that people of importance don’t really care much about what you’re wearing.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - milestone celebration

1000 Flowers for the Planet - milestone celebration

Today I'd like to celebrate a milestone. I've posted 100 flowers with ideas for how each of us can make this planet a better place in which to live, and a better place for future generations. This puts me one tenth of the way through my project and my art installation. This photo is a tiny peep at how the installation might look with lots of flowers put together. It is only on my kitchen table but the real deal will be on a wall, in fact the first 300 Flowers will be installed at Manningham Gallery, Doncaster Road, Doncaster, Melbourne (Australia) from 29 January to 22 February 2014. You may like to visit the gallery and have a closer look.

Friday, 17 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #100 Reduce World Population

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #100 Reduce World Population


This is the Biggie! This is the absolute bottom line. This is the elephant in the room.
There are too many people on this planet.
And we need to reduce the world’s human population.
I know I’m going to be really controversial with this flower, but I’ve done a lot of reading on this topic over the last couple of years and it’s a HUGE topic that needs to be acknowledged and needs to be discussed. Furthermore, we need plans and we need to implement them. NOW.
Experts have been discussing this topic for over 150 years. That’s a long time to be talking about it. In my lifetime alone the world population has doubled. Every human on this planet is using resources, contributing to deforestation, pollution, landfill, extinction of species etc, and using more and more and more and more. It cannot go on like this forever; in fact it cannot go on like this for much longer at all. We are using the world’s renewable resources in the first 8 months of the year, meaning we are borrowing from the future for 4 months of every year. This equation worsens each year though, so soon the planet will not be able to produce for us at all. Then what good will all your stuff be to you?
Solutions have been sought and tried. China’s One Child Policy has been a sad chapter in the history of mankind. Measures for population reduction in India have been another difficult chapter. Let’s take those attempts and learn from them, see what went wrong and what we need to change to make our efforts work.
I come from a large country with a small population. Australia is a huge continent with 23 million people so many other countries think that we can handle millions and millions more. But we’re a dry continent, recently come through a drought that lasted ten years. We don’t have the water resources (without destroying ecosystems). Thirty years ago, scientists stated that Australia could only support a population of 10 million. We’re already beyond double that and it’s predicted to be 50 million by mid century. Australians are the best at understanding how many people our land can sustain and with this in mind, the only suggestion I can make towards the resolution of this difficult topic is the closing of all borders, everywhere, with a policy that each country must look after its own overpopulation issue according to its own culture, beliefs, rites and resources. If any country needs help, then we must help when asked, to the best of our ability. (Travel and tourism would still be permitted in this plan.)
I know it doesn’t address the refugee problems, I know it’s an over-simplified view, and I know it will outrage a lot of people, buy hey! What’s your suggestion??
A final word can go to Sir David Attenborough, who is far more educated than I. An interesting article interviewing Sir David was published 18 September 2013 and can be read at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10316271/Sir-David-Attenborough-If-we-do-not-control-population-the-natural-world-will.html

Thursday, 16 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #99 Plant for Bees

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #99 Plant for Bees
 Guest Writer:
This project was originally inspired by saving the bees (refer to 1000 Flowers for the Planet - #1 Care for Bees posted on this blog). As such, we should also plant things that encourage bees to come to our gardens, and assist them in thriving so that we can be populated with more bees! This website has some suggestions on plants to put in your garden to attract bees;
Remember, bees are an integral part of our ecosystem! They are vital to at least 30% of our total food production. Let’s make sure these cute little guys stick around.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #98 Illegalise Rodeos

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #98 Illegalise Rodeos

Guest writer:
When I was perusing various websites about rodeos, I discovered something quite unsettling. Now I have always been against rodeos, but I am now finding out that pro-rodeo websites seem to think that an animal bucking is something natural and fine – to be encouraged. But there's nothing natural about putting a flank strap on an animal which irritates so much it causes the continuous bucking action. The strap can also rub and cause contusions on the skin, as well as putting pressure on the flank.

I think it’s quite clear that in rodeo conditions the animal is irritated, and potentially afraid. To say that they would like to encourage bucking in an animal is concerning – it has been proven that bulls and horses post-rodeo usually have some forms of injuries. To buck that hard and for that long puts strain on their backs (not to mention the added burden of the rider) as well as to their legs from repeatedly slamming down on the ground. There have been cases of horses / bulls with broken backs left to drag themselves away. And why would anyone want to actively incite irritation in an animal? Is this not purely and simply animal cruelty? Why torture an animal for absolutely no reason except for perhaps a trophy for making the animal suffer for the longest?

Another shocking aspect of rodeos is calf roping. To jerk a small calf to a stop with a rope around its neck, throw it to the ground and then tie its legs up – all in front of a cheering crowd? Would this not be an intensely terrifying experience for an innocent young calf? What do these animals do to deserve such treatment? To be used simply for grotesque human entertainment is a complete and utter disgrace.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #97 Protect Tigers

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #97 Protect Tigers

Guest Writer:

Tigers are majestic and beautiful creatures. And they’re well on their way to becoming extinct. In 2010 there were just 3,200 tigers left in the wild – 100 years ago there were 100,000. Tiger parts are mostly used for, I have discovered, ‘magic’. Now that we’re in the 21st century though, we have science and medicine behind us with proven cures for things so I don’t see why this practice needs to continue. It’s not saving lives that science couldn’t. And face it, gentlemen – if the ladies don’t want to jump into bed with you, consuming a tiger penis isn’t really going to help your cause (as it is used for its ‘aphrodisiac powers’).

Tiger bone wine – now this is a new thing to me. Apparently it’s become trendy among the Chinese middle class to drink this as a sign of wealth. You know what else is a great sign of wealth and DOESN’T contribute to the decline of the ecosystem? An expensive watch. It, unlike wine, can be worn upon your person and seen by all! Maybe that’s a better alternative to causing the slaughter of an essential creature.

Lastly, tigers as pets! Apparently there are as many as 5,000 tigers in captivity in the US. Now some of these are in zoos and places where you’d expect to find a tiger, but some of these are pets. Such a large and potentially dangerous animal should be left to roam the wild, not be confined to someone’s home. And de-clawing is NOT an answer.

We need to change the thinking of everyone to ensure a future for these amazing big cats.

http://www.savetigersnow.org/

Monday, 13 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #96 Protect Rhinos

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #96 Protect Rhinos
Guest Writer:
I must say, I have always loved rhinos. They are amazing creatures, and I once had the opportunity to be up close and personal with some at Melbourne’s wonderful Werribee Open Range Zoo during a careers day back when I was in high school. So I definitely want to make sure that rhinos stick around on the planet for all of our descendants to enjoy.

Rhinos are poached for their horns. It is believed that they contain medicinal properties, which are entirely false. They are made up of keratin, the same thing our hair and fingernails are made of. It’s even a key component in the outer layer of our skin. So knowing this now, why does poaching of rhinos still occur? What is the point anymore? You’d be just as well off if you ate your own hair as if you drank some concoction made with rhino horn. Part of the problem is the poor enforcement of laws against poaching or selling goods made from rhino horns. Without the threat of consequence, why would people stop? I believe that education is key, and getting the laws to be properly and fully enforced would be a good start to preventing the unnecessary deaths of rhinos. And if ever you come across something made from rhino horn, report it.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #95 Refuse Foie Gras

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #95 Refuse Foie Gras
Guest Writer:
I will clarify firstly that not all foie gras should be refused. But the majority of it should be. Geese and ducks used to create this supposedly alluring dish are force fed food via a tube down their throats. This causes their livers to become nice and fatty, and grossly enlarged far beyond the normal or healthy range. Why? Supply and demand. It is cheaper for them to get a larger liver from one goose / chicken than to invest in getting multiple livers from multiple animals. Animals studied have been found to have lacerations in their throats among many other horrendous things. Not to mention being stuck inside sheds all of their lives, unable to do anything that is natural for them. The health problems caused by this over feeding cause the deaths of many of the animals also – ‘premature’ even by the standards of this industry.

But there are people out there creating foie gras in an animal friendly way! I encourage you all to always know where your food comes from, and understand the processes that go into creating what we eat. I believe we are designed to eat animal products, but this doesn’t mean we can’t go about doing so always ensuring that the food that sustains our happy lives initially had a happy life itself.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #94 Discourage Circus Animals

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #94 Discourage Circus Animals

Guest Writer:
Animals kept at the circus are trained to do unnatural things. A monkey wasn’t born to ride a bicycle. Horses weren’t made to do tricks. Elephants certainly weren’t created to perform. Animals are not here on earth for our entertainment, and we should not force them to become objects of our pleasure. We should find joy in their natural behaviours. In the cuteness of a pair of otters holding hands while they sleep so that they don’t drift apart in the water – not in an animal being beaten into submission to perform tricks to keep us amused for half an hour.
Elephants are huge animals. It’s not right that they should be made to remain in confined areas. They can cover distances of up to 80km in a day when in their natural environment. Within a circus, I’m sure they’d be lucky to cover 2km in a day. This would lead to boredom, and if alone, loneliness. These creatures, the monkeys, tigers, horses, elephants – all of them – are meant to be out in the wild, finding life partners and having families.

There’s also the danger of an elephant snapping. There have been many cases of circus elephants finally rebelling against their trainers when they’ve had enough abuse, and they have killed spectators and then been killed themselves. None of this is acceptable, and it is COMPLETELY avoidable if we just leave all of these animals where they belong – in their native countries, out in the wild.

There are many amazing circuses that use only manpower! Cirque du Soleil are an incredible team of performers, and I can tell you I would much rather marvel at their abilities than watch a tortured animal do unnatural things.

Friday, 10 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #93 Protect Bears

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #93 Protect Bears

Guest Writer:
In some areas of Asia, there are bears being kept captive in tiny cages so that their bile may be harvested and used in traditional Asian medicines. Bile is a substance produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder, and it aids in digestion, making it an essential bodily function. The bears are kept in cages in which they cannot stand up, or really move around at all. They need to be restricted like this so that the bile can be extracted which may be done in several ways. A tube may be inserted permanently into the gallbladder to drain out the bile, or a long needle may be used periodically. In some cases, the bears are raised to a young age and then slaughtered so that the gallbladder may be removed. They may have their teeth and / or claws extracted to minimise harm they can cause to their captors. The bears may also suffer from hair loss, malnutrition and lack of muscle due to their restriction. They also suffer horribly mentally.

Captive bears can usually live for up to 35 years, but in this environment they are lucky to reach 10 – 12 years. Bears are beautiful creatures, and black bears, which are commonly used in this practice, are endangered. Let’s work together to re-educate these farmers into a new trade – we cannot simply take away their livelihood and tell them what they’re doing is wrong and leave them unable to feed their families. We must show them that there are other ways, and that we are willing to help them to change their practices.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #92 Ban Canned Hunting

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #92 Ban Canned Hunting

Written by Margaret A Rowe
I’m actually not against hunting at all – provided it’s done for one reason only – to eat. If a person feels the need to enter the wilderness and track down an animal in a legal place using legal methods, for the purpose of taking that animal for food, then I have no issue with it. It is a practice that reflects man’s basic instincts of survival, and I think that should be acknowledged. There are still many tribes-people who hunt for their food, and in developed countries the ‘sport’ of hunting develops many useful skills.
However, canned hunting is a totally different thing, involving physical constraints of the animal (fencing) and/or the hunting of animals that have been raised tame. Tracking down an animal that has no chance of escape is a cowardly act. These hunters pay big money to hunt in this type of environment for the sake of taking home a trophy – not to eat the animal, but to stuff it and hang it on the wall. How can there possibly be any sense of achievement in killing a creature in this way? There is no sense of honour in this outrageous practice. It disgusts me, and should disgust most people on this planet.
For fantastic information presented with well-researched facts, by people with personal and hands-on involvement please take the time to read www.cannedlion.org

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #91 Fight to Save Endangered Animals

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #91 Fight to Save Endangered Animals

For the next week I have a guest writer sharing ideas about animals and their treatment. The writer wishes to remain anonymous.

http://www.earthsendangered.com/list.asp
The complete list of endangered animals (including critically endangered, and vulnerable) is simply incomprehensible. And that list is only the animals – not even the plants!
On this planet, we need every single organism, from the tiny single celled amoeba to the largest of elephants. All of them, and us, are meant to work together to form one cohesive chain of nature. Everything contributes to the Earth in some way. If you take out one of these creatures, the chain is broken. So when an animal becomes extinct, even if you don’t hear about it because it’s not something cute and cuddly that people love, the planet is affected in a negative way. As the so-called ‘most intelligent’ creatures on this planet, we as humans have a responsibility to look after the Earth, and make sure each and every creature is nurtured and kept from extinction. As an example very relative to this project – bees. Without bees, we will not survive. So let’s all take heed of this amazing project and care for our planet, and keep all of our wondrous creatures living upon it thriving!
http://www.iucnredlist.org/

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #90 Respect Animals

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #90 Respect Animals

Animals have not evolved on this planet simply for the pleasure of mankind. Each and every one of them is here as part of the BIG picture, the picture that is far greater than you or I. They deserve our respect, and that can be displayed in many different ways.
If you are a pet owner, be a responsible pet owner. Allow your pet to be the animal that it is and remember that it is not a human. It does not deserve to be dressed in clothes like a doll or carried around in a handbag as an accessory, or simply carried around all day like a baby that can’t walk.
Farm animals deserve the respect of a healthy environment and a good life where they are given appropriate space and cared for as living, breathing creatures, and not seen as ‘product’. Then they deserve a quick and humane death before butchering.
Wild animals deserve respect in the form of maintaining natural habitats, banning hunting other than for food, being free from traps and other human hazards, and not treating them as objects for private display and entertainment.
The planet needs all living creatures to live in freedom in their natural environments, and we need to learn how to respect that.

Monday, 6 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #89 Respect Other's Religions

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #89 Respect Other's Religions

Mother said “never talk about sex, politics or religion.” But maybe we should talk about religion.
Take a look at history and you’ll see that so much of the world’s unrest, so many wars, have been fought in the name of religion. Usually people are frightened of things they know little or nothing about, and that creates tension which can erupt into war. Maybe it’s time we all learned a lot more about other people’s religions – and maybe it’s time a few religions opened up about what they truly believe, too.
In the middle of the city where I live, there is a street corner on which a handful of Muslim men stand and quietly hand out brochures explaining various aspects of Islam. On the opposite corner there is a man standing on a soapbox shouting with all his might about the virtues of Christ and the sins of mankind. As I stood on the corner, waiting for the traffic lights to change, I wished I could get the two groups together in the middle of the street to shake hands with each other and say “Hello, would you like to sit and share a meal?” Maybe if they broke bread together and started talking to each other, there would be less need to stand on the corner.
But I think the Muslims got it right.
Nonetheless, we ALL need to take some time out to show some respect for other people’s religions. We don’t have to convert. We don’t have to agree. We don’t have to disagree. We don’t need to fight. We just need to show respect.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #88 Respect the Future

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #88 Respect the Future

We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors, we have borrowed it from our children.
An Internet search for the origin of this saying has attributed the idea of it to my very own Australian Minister for the Environment, Mr Moses Henry Cass, in 1974.
It’s a wonderful statement. It bears the truth of the matter, and should remind us of where we stand in the scheme of things. We are none of us here for our unadulterated pleasure. What has been made available for us is a valuable gift, one which should be used wisely. We cannot continue to use resources and disrespect other species as we do now. We must learn to plan for the future, respect the future, or there will be no future. And what would be the point in bearing children?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #87 Respect the Elderly

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #87 Respect the Elderly

In Australia we can learn from the Aboriginal peoples whose culture is based on respect for the land and respect for the elders. The elders teach the young in stages as they are initiated into different levels of learning. In this way they pass on traditions, culture, beliefs, stories and knowledge.
In England they have recently made official a ‘Dignity Code’ which sets out expectations on how  people should treat the elderly. Within this wonderful document it states that it is unacceptable to be abusive or disrespectful in any way. It also calls for the use of formal spoken terms of address, unless invited to do otherwise. This is a core belief of mine – that respect of one’s elders begins with the form of address. As a child I used to look forward to the day when children would call me “Mrs” (insert surname). But it never happened. I’m lucky if the younger generation call me anything at all! Show respect. Begin by being polite in all ways, allow the elderly to speak for themselves, make their own decisions, keep their dignity, be surrounded by their possessions, choose how and where they live and help them in any way possible. By respecting our elders, we can then reasonably expect the same ourselves, in due course.

Friday, 3 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #86 Respect Tradition


1000 Flowers for the Planet - #86 Respect Tradition

Tradition is everywhere. Some traditions have been in place for centuries, others for only a few years. Most of us have a tradition of some kind – it may be a Christmas tradition that Nanna always makes the Christmas pudding, or that you go to the cricket every weekend in summer, or the same place every year for your annual holiday. Other traditions are part of religious practice, like the pilgrimage to Mecca, the spiritual bathing in the Ganges River in India, or the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross. Monarchies have traditions, done with great pomp and ceremony, for example, the coronations of kings and queens at Westminster Abbey in England. Tradition is not compulsory, but for those who are involved in a tradition it has importance, and should never be tampered with by outsiders, as long as it does not contravene human rights (e.g. the sacrifice of a virgin to ensure good crops would be something we should probably have evolved beyond). We should allow people to continue their traditions, so long as they are done in peace and harmony with others and with the planet.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #85 Respect Heritage


1000 Flowers for the Planet - #85 Respect Heritage

Heritage is what we pass down from one generation to the next. It can be verbal, cultural, traditional, tangible or intangible. It can vary from culture to culture, country to country, or within religions. Another person’s heritage may be of no interest to you whatsoever, or you may disagree with it entirely, that’s your choice, but whatever form it takes, it has value, and needs to be respected.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #84 Respect the Planet

1000 Flowers for the Planet - #84 Respect the Planet

I’d like to start the New Year by suggesting we learn ‘respect’. The word ‘respect’ can be used as a verb, which is a doing word – it’s something we do. It’s meaning: to feel appreciative, often deferential regard for something; to esteem something; to avoid violation of something; to avoid interference with something; to relate to something; to refer to something.
Now let me replace the word ‘something’ with the word ‘planet’: To feel appreciative, often deferential regard for the planet; to esteem the planet; to avoid violation of the planet; to avoid interference with the planet; to relate to the planet; to refer to the planet.
It is only by replacing our current disregard for the planet with respect for the planet and ALL things therein, that we can reverse the damage we have done and provide a better future.