|OK In Health - Environmental Care|
Plant Blindness - May 2012
Green vision offers cure for plant blindness
A colleague told me his toddler was wandering through a neighbourhood park picking up twigs and sticks, brandishing them as tools for digging, poking, and tapping. Suddenly the boy stopped and pointed excitedly to the canopy of branches above. “Look papa. Sticks come from trees!”
Mentally reconnecting fallen branches to their home on the trunk is obvious to an adult, but many of us have lost our profound sense of wonder about the interconnected web of life that surrounds us. This is especially true when it comes to the plant world.
Green vision offers cure for plant blindness
we cannot see the forest or the trees.
In 1998, American botanists James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schussler defined plant blindness as “the inability to see or notice the plants in one's own environment,” which leads “to the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs.” This prognosis rings true in an age when most youngsters can identify hundreds of corporate logos and branded products but can’t name the plants and trees in their backyards.
Why are we suffering from a nagging case of plant blindness? There is no simple scientific answer, but Wandersee and Schussler argued that plants don’t capture our attention like animals and other stimuli. To the human eye, they are largely static. Thus we tend to lump plants together into a green backdrop, failing to distinguish between the millions of blades of grass or multitude of plant species.
Show someone a photo of a lush forest with a grizzly bear and ask what’s in the picture. Most will answer, “A bear.” Add a spotted owl to the scene and the response might become, “A grizzly bear under the watchful eye of an owl.” What you are unlikely to hear is a description of the flora accompanying the charismatic fauna.
Part of the problem may be related to the overwhelming amount of data our eyes send to our brains. Danish author Tor Nørretranders estimates that the human eye generates more than 10 million bits of data per second. Our brain extracts only about 40 bits of data per second, and only 16 bits reach our conscious vision and attention. Unfortunately, nature’s greenery tends to be drowned out in a visual flurry of noise and shinier items of interest.
Nørretranders also found that people who have had meaningful educational and cultural experiences with plants are more likely to notice greenery.
How do we reconnect with nature and learn to give plants their due? The answer is simple. People, especially kids, need to connect with nature in their everyday environment, and we need to bring more to our neighbourhoods, public spaces, and backyards. It might surprise you, but most urban spaces are already jam-packed with natural wonders.
After volunteering in an urban apple orchard at the Spadina Museum in Toronto, Laura Reinsborough began seeing the world through “fruit goggles.” Once she became familiar with fruit-bearing trees in the city, she suddenly noticed them everywhere – cherries, plums, crabapples, pears, grapes, and walnuts. This largely untapped urban bounty spurred her to found Not Far From the Tree, a group that has organized volunteers to help harvest more than 14,000 kilograms of fruit from hundreds of backyard trees over the past four years.
If you want to help bring nature to your community, join one of the many groups working to enhance it. Local efforts to restore wetlands, forests, parks, and public spaces provide great opportunities to get hands-on outside time and boost your community’s natural wealth.
Environment Care's Bio: OK In Health started a GREEN wellness e-Magazine in 2004. We wanted to start a magazine that was completely green with a zero footprint.
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|Size matters! |
|Don't forget about portion size when dining out. A 3.5 oz. hamburger made with extra lean ground beef, cooked to medium, contains about 250 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat and 82 mg of cholesterol. Upgrade that to a half-pound of meat and you are looking at almost 600 calories, 36 grams of fat, 13 grams of saturated fat and 185 mg of cholesterol. What a whopping difference! Stick with smaller portions of meat. Three ounces is about the size of a deck of cards. |
|Ashley Piderman ~ Registered Acupuncturist ~ Vernon, BC|
|Specialty: Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine|
Ashley Piderman is a Registered Acupuncturist with the CTCMA and works out of the Vero Health Naturopathic Care in Vernon, BC.
|“Navigating the New Normal” Up Close InnerActive Workshop with Lee Carroll, KRYON and Dr. Amber Wolf|
|Date: Feb 28, 2016|
Location: Kelowna & Central Okanagan
Kryon tells us that change is the new normal.
Lee teams up with Dr. Amber Wolf for this interactive workshop that can help you stand steady on shifting sands. A rare Q&A with Lee too!
|Creating New Vows|
|Many of us have been carrying current and past life conditioning that can profoundly affect how we feel about ourselves and affect our lives in the form of vows taken especially in past lives of religious conditioning. I feel it is now time to form new vows.|
|Category: Vegetarian Entrees|
Description: Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) is a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970s.The standard mixture typically contains savory, fennel, basil, and thyme flowers and other herbs. The proportions vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture. Lavender is only added in American mixes but is not used in French traditional mixes. Herbes de Provence are used to flavour grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews. The mixture can be added to foods before or during cooking or mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavour into the cooked food. They are rarely added after cooking is complete.