As I have been visiting the amazing sites of Washington DC, I have been absolutely thoroughly impressed by the amount of human ingenuity that it has taken to build everything--the National Cathedral, the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument are spectacular. And while I realize the value of buildings, I became a little disheartened, because I wished that the ingenuity used on these structures could have been used to help solve the problems of poverty, war, environmental destruction. And then I stumbled upon these globes outside of the US Botanic Gardens.
Each globe represents one thing that we could do to make our world more sustainable. One covered with windmills encourages us to push for more wind power. Another covered with all kinds of colorful trash asks that we simply consume less. And one lined with bottle caps encourages us to buy recycled products.
The exhibit consisted of 40 globes created by Chicago artists. The most inspiring globe for me was one that featured environmental heroes from around the world. It featured people such as Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Green Belt Movement, which has planted over 20 million trees! And Carl Pope, the director of the Sierra Club in the US. And Silas Young who is the leader of the Forest Peoples' Congress, which works with the government of Liberia to create sustainable timber practices.
The exhibit at the Botanic Gardens offered 7 ways that we can join these heroes in creating a more sustainable world: 1) Know your carbon footprint, 2) Eat locally, 3) Downshift your driving (bike instead!), 4) Break the bottled water habit, 5) Beat the heat, wash in cold water (your clothes that is), 6) Junk your junk mail (call and ask companies to stop sending it!), 7) Bring your own bag.
I want to add an 8th- Join over 1,400 members and sign up for the Outreach International for Sustainable Good Facebook application. For every person that adds the application, a tree will be planted in a poor community in Bolivia or Malawi.
Big changes start with small steps, but with our ingenuity and effort, we can create a more sustainable world!