Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I love a happy ending

Otters are back in every county in Britain after being close to extinction due to polluted water quality. But great efforts have been made to clean up rivers and they are back!

Above is the trailer for "Ring of Bright Water".....

The BBC has a report with some great footage of them as well.

Monday, August 22, 2011


The world is where we live from WWF on Vimeo.

Not that I want to personalize animals but this a great video....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the color of........... blog. Link.

The Learning Lab

The Learning Lab is a Dutch independent studio and think-tank focusing on "experimental deep learning ecologies for personal growth and social impact at the crossroads of academics, art, and social entrepreneurship."

They work with universities and high schools because as it says on the website:

Does today’s educational system provide the tools, opportunities and enough chaos in order for tomorrow’s pioneers to emerge?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to school waste:infographic

By Column Five Design this great infographic shows, for example, that 50% of school kids who live less than a mile from school are driven there, almost 80% of all waste could be recycled or composed.....

This reflects American statistics but how different is it from other countries?

Cute as a button

I don't think I need any excuse to post this photo....

Via the Guardian.

"Broken Britain" article about the looting and more.....

".......I think it has also led to daily lives built around the satisfaction of trivial desires. From the punctuation of the day with endless snacks to the burning desire for an expensive car to the instrumentalisation of education so that qualifications are a route to higher earnings rather than clearer thought and knowledge, we seem to have lost a sense of what it really is to be endlessly vigilant with ourselves, so that we can choose and create lives based on fully free consideration of the best way to live rather than the most satisfying way to live."

Quote from an interesting article by Adam Lent on RSA website.

Common Good

I have posted about Phillip K. Howard's website Common Good before but it has a whole new look, a blog and a recent interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show (above). Well worth checking out again.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I want one

A roof top vegetable garden, I mean. What a fantastic, creative way to get kids outside and in nature when they have little or no access to the outdoors. Every school, building, house, block of flats etc should have one.

It would take some retrofitting on existing structures but imagine the savings on heating, cooling, groceries, petrol to fetch the groceries.... and then your garden, if you are lucky enough to have one, could be a wildlife retreat, attracting all the birds, bees and insects that help with the vegetable growing. Ooooh, the possibilities.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Imagine Your Los Angeles Street Beyond Cars

Over at Good there are some great submissions in their "Imagine Your Los Angeles Street Beyond Cars" project. Having lived there and knowing how car based life is, it's hard to imagine but these illustrations are really imaginative.

Note: no cars = more people outside in nature......

(Photo by Ansel Adams)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The School of Life

Interesting premise and equally interesting courses at The School of Life.

Maybe we need a separate School of Life for kids where they hear about subjects other than the typical ones at school, where they can develop skills they are missing out on i.e. self reliance, independence, creativity...... oh, and it would be outside, of course.

I cheated with the photo but couldn't resist it.


Sorry to keep banging on about stuff happening in the UK, but it seems that exciting things are gaining momentum at the moment.

Sustrans is a UK charity making " smarter travel choices possible, desirable and inevitable......... We work with families, communities, policy-makers and partner organisations so that people are able to choose healthier, cleaner and cheaper journeys, with better places and spaces to move through and live in."

They just launched a website called Free Range Kids which speaks for itself.

Play England speaks out

Adrian Voce from Play England writes over at the Guardian about the lack of commitment to children's outdoor play from the new government.

"There is ample evidence that playing is a primary need for children, the lack of which renders them less able to concentrate, innovate, create, respond and negotiate: all crucial life skills, not least in the advancement of their formal education. Worse still, play deprivation can have profound implications for children's health: obesity, attention deficit disorder, rickets and depression are just some of the conditions linked to the sedentary indoor lifestyles that are an inevitable consequence of children being denied access to outdoor play."

These problems won't go away.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kindergarten in Japan

For a way to connect children to nature on a daily basis this Kindergarten by Kezuka Architects is seriously fantastic. Wouldn't it be great if trees were incorporated into all forms of buildings, creating living and breathing spaces, that are calming and peaceful.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

News from Ireland

It's always nice to hear about another country getting on board with the nature/play movement. Here's a link to an article over at the Irish Times titled "Let those angels get dirty faces". Just to wet your appetite:

"For a child, Ireland should be one big green playground, yet it seems increasingly our children are sidestepping squelching through our country’s glorious woods, beaches, lakes, parks and mountains for merely interacting with metal, rubber and man-made locations. They are climbing play frames instead of trees, swimming in pools instead of the sea and clambering over soft play obstacles instead of rocks.

Ireland has one of the highest birth rates in Europe, but also one of the highest obesity rates. With 22 per cent of all five to 12 year olds overweight or obese, the long-term impact on our health system has been making the headlines."

Found via Children and Nature Network.

The HeArt Project

"The HeArt Project combats the epidemic high school dropout crisis with a long-term, sequential arts program offering a pursuable life path that inspires students to stay in school, evolve as unique individuals and flourish as creative adults."

Fantastic. I went to school at a time when art was still an integral part of the curriculum, luckily, otherwise who knows how I would have turned out......

Found via Good.

Celebrate Playday

If you're in the UK it is officially Playday today, the national day for play.

"On Playday thousands of children and their families get out to play at hundreds of community events across the UK.

As well as a celebration of children's right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives."

If you're not in the UK, maybe get your kids and/or yourself outside anyway and play. Go on....

The Nature Principle

I just received my very own copy of Richard Louv's new book and it's unputdownable (is that an actual word? Just googled it and it actually is..... who knew?). By the end of the introduction I was hooked, it's time to redesign the whole world so that everyone gets to feel the benefits of nature, I'll start today.

Get your copy and spread the word.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Your yard is evil

Great video for all you lawn obsessed people in America.

Not that I didn't practice what I preach..... I removed my front lawn when I lived in Los Angeles and replaced it with California natives and drought tolerant Mediterranean plants. It attracted so many birds, insects and bees we couldn't believe it. I have a feeling that our garden was the Whole Foods Market of the neighbourhood for the local wildlife.

Just do it.....