Category: Nature

Litter in Runyon Canyon: An Update

One year ago we began picking up litter in Runyon Canyon and the Hollywood streets near it. For three-days-a-week, for more than 52 weeks, we’ve collected anything we see (and can reach) that doesn’t belong on the ground — or in a tree or on a bush. SINCE PUBLISHING THE ORIGINAL ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000...

Enrich LA

Certain simple ideas have the power to transform humanity (for the better). Creating an organic community garden is one of those life-changing concepts. The forward-thinking nonprofit, EnrichLA, builds gardens at schools, using students, parents, and community volunteers to construct irrigated planting beds, trees, flowers, and vegetables. In the tradition of Habitat for Humanity, it all happens...

Bottled Water is Amazing!

Were you aware that bottled water is “bad for the environment,” “bad for public water sources,” and “bad for your wallet”? Neither were we! It’s pretty funny to think of something so obviously good – so amazing, when you think about it – as inherently evil, or something. Bottled water is, like, one of the...

Sticking Up for Society’s Most Unloved

We’ll never win a popularity contest, that’s for certain. We’re OK with that. To us, it’s more important to do what’s right than to be liked and admired and affirmed. That’s why we feel comfortable sticking up for society’s downtrodden, the friendless, powerless folks who bear the daily aspersions and derision of those who think...

In Praise of Barry Commoner

He had a name that you might call Dickensian, except Barry Commoner, who died this week at 95, was anything but his nomenclature. A man of the people, yes. Common, no. Barry Commoner was uncommon. Today, millions of Earth’s inhabitants believe that overpopulation, increased affluence, and advanced technology are the root causes of environmental degradation....

Litter Forensics

SINCE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHING THIS ESSAY, WE’VE COLLECTED NEARLY 3,000 PIECES OF LITTER IN RUNYON CANYON. The results are in! After nearly one week of highly un-scientific sampling, we’ve collected and analyzed the data. Literally. During the test period, we visited Runyon Canyon, Hollywood’s celebrated nature area, and collected as much trash as we could carry –...

Madikwe Safari Lodge

There may be places in South Africa that offer a higher density of game than the Madikwe reserve, near Botswana. But few offer as low of a humans-to-wild-animals ratio as you’ll find at Madikwe Safari Lodge. This sense of solitude helps connect visitors to the rhythms of the bush — that and a terrific staff...

Poem: The Loneliness of the Orchid

When you walk into a room, the dining room let’s say for the sake of useful metaphor, her solitude is silent, screaming mutely and crying in the quiet. The loneliness of the orchid. The stillness of the table. The gentle droop, a swan’s neck, a dancer’s bow to the enveloping sound of love. Cursed with...

A Simple Plan to Save the World

Here’s how we feed everyone, repair our environment, and provide meaningful work: convert lawns into organic vegetable gardens. Imagine if all the property owners currently pumping water and fertilzer into their grass carpets used our precious natural resources to grow food — healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich vegetables. Imagine if vast swaths of public land currently serving...