Here are many of the things I’ve found helpful in my quest to promote regeneration and sustainability at all levels. Please continue to visit this page, as I will continue to add to it as I learn about more resources.
Note: This page is focused on resources local to Southern CA residents; however, I will also include national/international resources.
HOPE AND HELPFUL ACTIONS:
Navigating the Mysteries, by Martin Shaw: Mr. Shaw is a professional storyteller from the United Kingdom. He delivers his brilliant and very helpful critical thinking from the perspective of one who deeply understands myth, story, archetype, and human nature. Read the article or (better yet) listen to him read his own words aloud by clicking on the link in the article.
In The Ground of Our Unknowing, by David Abram This is a brilliant article on moving through the terror of COVID-19 with the help of the earth, and our deep fundamental connection to it.
“We can turn to the more-than-human world to empower our empathy for each other.” And, I would add, to deepen our connection with beauty and the very essence of life itself.
Unruly Edges: This essay by Anna Tsing is one of my favorite reads EVER. She provides a completely different view (backed by science!) than the conventional dullness many of us grind away within on a daily basis. Few academics I have encountered write both experientially and at the same time conveying fascinating new facts that only grow one’s love of the natural world. “”This essay opens a door to multispecies landscapes as protagonists for histories of the world.” PDF version
Sir David Attenborough on the need to act NOW: He advocates an immediate changeover to clean renewable energy sources, to stop our poisoning of our biosphere; and rewilding the planet, to allow our ecosystems to recover. There is hope We must be optimistic, because the only other choice is to give up on everything that truly matters. We can no longer deny our rampant destruction of our only home.
Navigating The Coming Chaos, by Carolyn Baker: This book is about exactly what you would think by reading the title: It is a handbook for how to cope with what’s happening in our world now, as well as what is likely to be coming next. She begins by helping the reader navigate the inner shifts that will be required, and then how to adapt to a world turned upside down by climate change and the collapse of the economy as we know it today. I completely agree with Carolyn Myss, who is quoted on the cover as saying “I not only recommend this book, I urge you to it.”
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides education and support for creating circular economies: systems which sustain people and ecosystems with minimal waste/damage.
Kate Raworth has proposed a large scale circular economic model called Donut Economics: a road map to get us out of these messes we have created.
David Treuer writes compellingly for The Atlantic about the story of National Parks in the United States. Native peoples have been the stewards and shapers of lands for many thousands of years, until the colonization and genocide which reduced their population from 6 million to 250,000. In this process the National Park system began, without regard for the people who depended on and cared for the land for ages. He presents compelling reasons for returning stewardship of the parks to the people who originally belonged to the land. This is a difficult and very worthwhile read.
RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE’S HOMES:
City of Long Beach Sustainability: This web page links the viewer to many sustainability options offered by the City of Long Beach, including the Green Business Program, sustainable home practices, and more.
ChipDrop! This innovative program allows gardeners to register to receive free deliveries of wood chips. As you may know, using shredded woodchips/mulch as ground cover has several advantages. It’s a tremendous soil builder, reduces waste and recycles organic matter.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens in Claremont, CA, includes a large botanical garden with areas dedicated to different plant communities. It also includes a wonderful native plant nursery.
Tree of Life Nursery is a native plant nursery located in the foothills of Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano. It’s just next door to Caspers Park, a savannah/oak woodland park, and the beauty of both of them makes the pilgrimage worth it.
Rain Barrels International provides support for rainwater harvesting and storage–an excellent solution in our overstressed watershed. Their barrels are recycled food grade barrels that are diverted from landfills. The barrels are vector (insect control) certified and are eligible for rebates.
BYO Long Beach provides reusable options that you can use instead of all that plastic and styrofoam. Hurrah!
The Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards are specialists in local sustainability. They support many ecologically sensitive areas in our great urban sprawl, specializing in wetlands and coastal sage scrub ecosystems.
TreePeople !! This wonderful group of urban arborists has been around for over 40 years. They offer nature education for people, as well as support and care for local urban trees. They point out that trees produce oxygen, cool our city, help with water management, provide food, habitat and shelter for wildlife, and generally make us feel better.
The California Native Plant Society is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of California’s precious native plants, and the biomes they define. I can’t say enough about how vital it is to support CNPS, as we are a biodiversity hotspot here in California; our plants are fundamental to this and they are increasingly threatened by development and other human encroachments.
SomaticWise is a proud member of Long Beach Environmental Alliance, which provides environmental education, outreach and organization for local events including beach clean ups. Go Long Beach! Go LBEA!
PLASTICS: Captain Charlie Moore was the first (human) discoverer of what’s now known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. He founded Algalita to educate the public about plastic, its toxicity, and other related environmental issues. Algalita’s Wayfinder Society offers FREE environmental lesson plans for busy teachers who want to introduce environmental education into the classroom. These free lessons and videos are designed to be appropriate for grade and developmental levels. These lessons are uninfluenced by corporate sponsorship.
The City of Long Beach has a wonderful Department of Sustainability! They offer monthly native plant classes, gardening classes, the Green Business program, and more! Please check them out!
Long Beach also has a wonderful Recycling Program within their Public Works Environmental Services bureau. They offer a lot of free education and support for Long Beach residents and businesses who are trying to operate in a more sustainable fashion. I recently completed the pilot version of their Master Composter and Recycler program. Check it out when they offer the next series of classes!
I am a proud member of the California Green Business Network. This program is run through the Long Beach Office of Sustainability. It’s a certification program to help guide businesses into making the cleanest, greenest business decisions possible for each individual business.
Become a certified California Naturalist! This semester long course provides a broad but thorough overview of how natural systems work on our planet. This is a well respected, science based program through the University of California. They also recently began offering a Climate Stewards program to “communicate and engage in local solutions to advance community and ecosystem resilience.”
I am a graduate of the 100-hour Ecopsychology program offered by Holos Institute. I am very satisfied with my experiences as a student at Holos Institute.
I have also had the pleasure of training with Ariana Candell, LMFT, Hakomi practitioner and founder of the EarthBody institute.
I am a current doctoral student of Ecopsychology at Viridis Graduate Institute. This is a wonderful cross discipinary program with a focus on mending the relationships between humans and the other members of our beautiful biosphere.
LOCAL NATURE SITES:
The El Dorado Nature Center is an oasis, an opportunity to lose yourself in nature in the middle of our large urban sprawl. It includes examples of several local biomes and restoration efforts.
Madrona Marsh is a former oil field, restored to a vernal (seasonal) wetland. Like the El Dorado Nature Center, it serves as an urban refuge for humans and wildlife alike; and includes a lovely nature center.
Willow Springs is a fascinating place, historically and currently. This beautiful place is Long Beach’s highest point. It was the site where an artesian spring came up from wetlands and underground aquifers to the surface. As such, it was the site of a Tongva (local indigenous) village, Ahwaanga. The freshwater spring also was the water source that early Long Beach needed in order to form the city. Currently, it is the site of the Sustainability Department’s native plant habitat restoration. It is home to so much biodiversity, and it continues in the restoration process. This is also the site of Farm Lot 59, Long Beach’s urban farm. Farm Lot 59 is a teaching farm and provides fresh veggie boxes and cut flowers to interested folks in the community.
Here is a fascinating video featuring Blanca Diaz and Larry Rich, explaining the geological, geographical and cultural history of the Willow Springs site. I would really recommend watching this video!
The Dominguez Gap wetlands is a restored wetlands site along the Los Angeles River. It’s a brief hike but gorgeous, with a lot of biodiversity. The site is vital for migratory water birds as well as rabbits and other wildlife. There is access to the nearby Los Angeles River bicycle trail (the river is currently still encased in a concrete channel).
The Los Angeles Natural History Museum has published the best local nature guide I have seen yet! It’s called Wild LA and is available for purchase via the link, as well as local stores (I got my copy at REI). This beautiful guide features locally native plants and wildlife, as well as writeups on many of the nature areas local to Los Angeles.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is a local land preserve staffed by many dedicated people from four different local cities. It offers nature, education, hiking and hope.
The Irvine Ranch Conservancy works with conservation, stewardship, and propagation of native plants, for the local Irvine Ranch area.
The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is dedicated to conservation and public education regarding the wetlands and its native species. There are miles of walking trails, and I’ve seen beautiful flora and fauna each time I’ve been out. Please be careful and watch out for rattlesnakes!
Saving the planet with relentless, stubborn optimism, which brings us out of despair, overwhelm and immobility.
Greenhouse gases are still increasing–there’s a lot that corporations and individuals need to do.
The link between racism and environmental destruction: life threatening to all creatures everywhere, although disproportionately:
Racism Is Killing The Planet
The Environmental Cost of Smoking: If you smoke, please click on this! Come on. We all–every one of us–need to know: What are the hidden effects of our behaviors? If we don’t know, if we continue in our ignorance, then, the damage just continues.
Try ecochallenge.org for behavior change! The Eco-Challenge website uses social engagement to help us motivate ourselves to make lasting changes in our consumption habits. The website explains, “EcoChallenge.org is a social change platform designed to positively shift the values and decisions individuals and organizations make about transportation, food, materials, energy use, and other lifestyle choices that drive emissions and environmental degradation.” Check it out!
climateinteractive.org “En-ROADS is a fast, powerful climate simulation tool for understanding how we can achieve our climate goals through changes in energy, land use, consumption, agriculture, and other policies.” It’s apparently launching soon and this link includes a sign up to be notified when it launches.
The Story of Stuff is a brief (21 minute) film. It examines the hidden impacts of our modern systems of consumer production and consumption: environmental, energy, economic, human, health, intercultural, toxins, etc. It’s made in 2009 but still sadly relevant.
Plastic Wars: This describes the history of our plastic use, the industry, and the massive waste problem. I believe this is vital information for all consumers.