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The Environment — Right at Your Fingertips!

So much of my life is spent in the role of sus­tain­abil­ity coor­di­na­tor — work­ing to reduce our foot­print on this fine planet of ours — that some­times it’s easy to for­get the under­ly­ing pas­sion for nature at its simplest/best.

Last week, my extended fam­ily spent a week at a rented farm­house in rural Penn­syl­va­nia. We were rein­vig­o­rated. The vaca­tion was spent with no cell ser­vice, no inter­net, and no tele­vi­sion, and we were not bored for a sec­ond! And we’re talk­ing about a group of peo­ple rang­ing in age from 3 to 77: kids, a teenager, a col­lege stu­dent, par­ents and a grandfather.

Right out­side this lazy sum­mer home…” is my nephew, Calvin, age 10.


While many of us talk a good deal about our love for the envi­ron­ment, when was the last time we hunted for cray­fish or closely observed a dozen dif­fer­ent kinds of wild­flow­ers? When was the last time you (or your chil­dren) chased a fire­fly? THESE are the sim­ple plea­sures in life, pro­vided at no cost to you. Our July 4th fire­works (lit­er­ally, on July 4th) con­sisted of watch­ing a light­ning storm the likes of which I had never seen before. The canoe on the pond gave us access to areas where we watched pol­li­wogs and minnows.

And for dra­matic effect, on our last hike as we slowly made our way back to the house we spot­ted a large pile of…drumroll please… fresh bear scat.

So while I still strongly advo­cate double-siding if you have to print some­thing, and recy­cling your soda can if you hap­pen to drink that stuff, please con­sider spend­ing some time watch­ing but­ter­flies or hik­ing along a creek. You can pro­tect *and* enjoy this planet!

Laura A.T. Miller
July 2012

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