Aesthetic improvements and a list of relevant links coming. :)


One of my mommies' groups recently showed the National Geographic film Human Footprint, which aired in April. While the film was undoubtedly interesting, I found in it what I felt to be serious failings.

Its purpose is to demonstrate, quite literally, the amount of resources the average human consumes over a lifetime, beginning with diapers and delving into food, home furnishings and trash. Appalling is the amount of resources that go into the manufacture of just one diaper--and how many of those diapers are used by each baby over the course of two or three years. Equally fascinating (and at the same time horrific) are the amounts of paper, glass and aluminum used yearly and not recycled.

On the other hand, the filmmakers also went through the trouble of pointing out how many oranges and apples we'll eat over the course of a lifetime, how many eggs, how much beef and poultry we'll consume. They didn't, though, delve into how much energy goes into growing and raising those foods for our consumption. Knowing how much chicken I'll eat over the course of my lifetime was interesting, but it didn't make me want to stop eating chicken. Now, had the film examined the amount of electrify, natural gas and other resources go into breeding and raising those chickens for my consumption and how the waste from those chicken plants can creep into other areas of my life, perhaps I would have thought differently about where my chicken comes from. Likewise, knowing I'll eat 20,000 potatoes over my lifetime doesn't make me want to eat fewer potatoes. But, if the film had included some information about how those potatoes are grown by big-business farmers versus small, local farmers, I would at least reconsider where I buy my potatoes.

Ultimately, my big problem with Human Footprint was the lack of solutions offered. Every now and then a link would pop up on the screen, directing the viewer to http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/human-footprint for more information (and the site is very resourceful), but few answers were offered in the film. It was kind of like saying, "Here are all the bad things you're doing to the planet" without telling you how to remedy your actions. In that way, I felt the film was intended more for entertainment than education.

I hope this blog will be a place for answers, a place to discuss issues of sustainability pertinent to Tulsa and to, together, come up with some solutions. I want to thank the moderators of Oklahoma City's Fresh Greens (freshgreens.typepad.com) for the inspiration to start this blog. When I heard about Fresh Greens, I started asking folks if there was anything like that in Tulsa. Someone said, "No. Why don't you start something?" And here we go.

I'm still looking for folks who are interested in contributing to the blog on a weekly, monthly or one-time basis. If you're interested, e-mail me or leave a comment. I look forward to seeing what comes of this and to, hopefully, finding solutions to some of Tulsa's sustainability problems. At the very least, I hope this blog is a place of much discussion, learning and growth, especially for those who don't keep issues of sustainability at the forefront of their minds or who have yet, as the saying goes, to "go green."