ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raising Awareness

When I began to find my feet...I worked for an organization called Citizens for a Better Environment, (CBE) That was in the mid-to-late eighties. The way Eco-education was taking place back then was for an army of canvassers to descend on neighborhoods across three states, raising donations, educating the public about salient environmental conditions that existed in their area, and doing something about it in state politics. We acted as a watchdog organization and funded environmental research. It was CBE who first documented the application rate per acre of most "popular" lawn chemicals was an order of magnitude more than typical application rates when the same chemicals were used in conventional agricultural practice. Learning that a typical suburb is far more damaging than the typical local farmer focuses attention and energy to where it will do the most good. I talked to over one-hundred thousand folks over the years, about 80-100 per night, now, 100,000 could access my pitch on a given morning before breakfast.

"Hi, I'm Tony, with Citizens for a Better Environment." Sometimes, especially if I went into the same neighborhood year after year, I would know that folks "knew" me and would just say CBE. We offered to let them sign a support statement, even if they did not want to donate, it went something like...We the undersigned support and encourage CBE and it's ongoing programs of public education, research, political and legal representation to protect our land, air and water resources. While the person was reading, I would say, painfully SLOWLY, "We're on our annual fundraiser and count on your support."

By watching their eyes, you would know when they stopped reading and I would continue at regular speed after that. With my readers, I cannot see your eyes, so continuing at pace, it would go something like..."We helped draft statewide groundwater protection laws that enable your well to be tested free if your neighbor has contamination issues. Good sense regulations designed to protect public health." Or, "We defended our right in court, to clean air when a local utility attempted to build a thousand foot stack rather than clean up their emissions, which would have just spewed their dangerous fumes over a larger area. This in turn allowed the generators to run more efficiently, reducing the emissions at their source, saving on maintenance costs & down time, ultimately saving money." We had about thirty of these sorts of issues that we could speak on cogently, from tighter restrictions on dry cleaners and print shops (frequent offenders contributing carcinogenic solvent emissions), to our first-ever Clean Sweep, which allowed homeowners and renters to drop off household hazardous wastes for proper disposal. Sometimes, I would ask if the person had a specific concern and be able to tell them about our efforts on "their" issue. The actions of hundreds of people each night, giving five or ten dollars, perhaps a few giving fifty or a hundred funded a Quarterly "Review" which was our way of staying current with members.It detailed current research, up and coming policy changes and specific ways that the public could participate.

However we share what we have learned, raising awareness is a lifelong duty that we all have to one another. We can see what not educating others can lead to...

To reach out more successfully, I encourage everyone to learn about the Environmetal Working Group. They are making available a lot of research about products that some of us use every day and their relative risk to health and the environment. If you want a more comprehensive understanding of climate change, check out this source of info.

If you want to continue to hear about what ECO-Tours of Wisconsin is doing to create a carbon negative society, stay tuned and donate.

Other sources for information on herbs for health, healing the rift between humankind and the planet and survival in an age of mass destruction can be found at any of my blogs, or I am also available for consulting services. Contact me through snail mail at: 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301-3334 USA or by e-mail

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