In a follow-up to our recent post, "Place Matters" on place and health inequality, we bring your attention to last night's global frontline story, "The Digital Dumping Ground" based on research by producer Peter Klein and a group pf UBC graduate students. The Digital Dumping Ground reports on the route of e-waste from the U.S. to some of the poorest communities in Ghana, China, and India. Watching the footage and its images of roads, fields, and workshops full with the industrialized world's waste is frightening enough, but to see the people forced to eek out a living "recycling" this waste is downright horrifying. While the story depicts an environmental crisis of waste, it also painfully reveals the disproportionate burden of exposure to contaminants among the world's poor and vulnerable (as a reminder watch the video series Unnatural Causes on Health inequality). Although the health consequences are already felt by those working in this unregulated disparate economy, the extent of the exposure is largely unknown to them. The story demonstrates the importance of thinking globally as we work to create more sustainable local communities.
Mary Mattingly is an artist with a unique vision for a self-sufficient community on the water. By "on the water" we don't mean waterfront, but literally floating on the water. She is building a sustainable, navigable living space on a barge called "Waterpod". Not quite ready yet, the barge already contains a windmill and will include gardens for food growing, chickens, the capability for composting waste and will secure drinking water through purified rainwater. Check out today's story in the New York Times and be sure to go to Mary Mattingly's website for a glimpse of her amazing work including her "wearable homes".
We had a great time last night celebrating the publication of our book, Living Green, at the San Francisco Center for the Book. It was a thrill to see the book in print and to have so many of our friends show up to mark the occasion. Margaret Fabrizio was our honored guest and we were thankful she was there to talk about, and show images of, the amazing land and art featured in the book.