April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

"The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy and sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. the rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family. The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The waters murmur is the voice of my fathers' father. The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother. If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So, if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers. Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, his is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself. One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted by talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone? Where will the Eagle be? Gone! And what is it to say goodbye to the swift pony and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival. When the last red man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left? We love this earth as a newborn loves its mothers heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all. As we are part of the land, you too are part of the land. This earth is precious to us. It is also precious to you. One thing we know: there is only one God. No man, be he red man or white man, can be apart. We ARE all brothers after all."

      -Chief Seattle

The nature Conservancy Earth Day Ideas
Take action for climate crisis solutions at we
Recycle old computers, cell phones and other electronics
Earth Day official events and activities
Professional advice for business sustainability initiative
Earth Day Facts from Rochester, NY plus more links
Make every day Earth Day from Madison, Wisconsin
Adverse effects of palm oil by Dove from Greenpeace
We can do it! from Sierra Club
The Rainforest Initiative
Whitefeather Forest Initiative
The African Conservation Foundaton
Long list of intragovernmental, governmental and private (NGO) environmental orgs

That ought to keep us busy.

Happy Earth Day! from all of us at the aromaconnection group blog.  

Posted by Marcia on April 22, 2008 in Conservation, Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Events, Human Rights, Organizations, Politics, Regulatory Issues, Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 04, 2008

Notes and News

  • P&F has gleaned statistics from Datamonitor on the growth of  the Fair Trade market, stating that "ethical consumerism will increasingly come to the fore as people shop for products they feel akin to politically, ethically and aesthetically."  Aromatic extracts such as essential oils, CO2's and absolutes are not even on the radar screen with the  regulators such as Transfair  and flo-cert.  My report on Cote d'Ivoire cacao production revealed that determining abuses will not be an easy job. The P&F article predicts a 15.7% growth through 2012 for the countries covered, concluding that "transparency and trust will become increasingly important currency in the emerging  'green'  marketplace." 
  • Insect repellent products made with  Nepeta cataria should carry a warning to caution people not to use when hiking in areas where Cougars, Lynx, Bobcats or other large cats are present.  All cats (even those big guys) are attracted to catnip, and forest rangers have begun using it to attract Cougars for tagging and research.  All cats will have a physiological reaction to the chemical compound nepetalactone in catnip which has been found to induce a psychosexual response in both male and female cats. One might say that catnip has an aphrodisiac effect, however some cats can be very possessive of their catnip, and some cats have been aggressive after use.  We highly recommend that product manufacturers alert their customers of this potential danger. 
  • As reported by Jennifer Minigh, PhD, in ABC's (American Botanical Society) Herbclip, a recent double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial published in BJOG (British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2008) shows that saffron Crocus sativus L. looks promising for treating PMS (premenstrual syndrome).   Using the dried stigma encapsulated, saffron was effective in treating mild to moderate depression via serotonergic mechanisms.  This is likely the first study of saffron's effects on PMS, with 50 women participating ages 24-50 and comparisons to other studies are therefore probably not possible. 
  • An upcoming Sandalwood Conference to be held in Kununurra, WA  promises to  "Revolutionize the Global Indian Sandalwood Supply."  Rob blogged about this briefly when news of the crop development and establishment of a production plant in Kununurra came out in December.  This news is creating new excitement, as expressed by Georges Ferrando, from Albert Vieille, who says with a processing plant due to be built in Kununurra next year, the region will become a world leader within five years.  "India is number one in supplying sandalwood oil, but I think very, very quickly, Kununurra will become the supplier number one in the world".  The growers are expecting the first harvest in 2014.  The conference will  present comparisons of plantation-grown Santalum album to that grown in the wild, an overview of the international fragrance market, the uses of naturals in fragrance, setting standards for a reliable supply, as well as cover issues of indigenous participation and environmental responsibilities.  In addition to featured presentations, there will be round table discussions and plantation tours.

Posted by Marcia on April 4, 2008 in Aromatherapy, Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Events, Notes and News, Oil Crops, Research, Safety/Toxicity, Trade Issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2007

Silence Of The Bees

NATURE's "Silence of the Bees" premieres Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). 

You can look at the trailer and some excerpts on line here: Video NATURE | Silence Of The Bees | Online Exclusive | PBS - PBS, Nature, WNET, Thirteen, pollinators - Dailymotion Share Your Videos

In this online-only video, scientists and bee experts featured in the program discuss the crucial role that honeybees, a "keystone species," play in our economy and ecosystems, as well as bees’ fascinating social organization and what we can do to reverse the decline of nature’s pollinators.

Posted by Rob on October 25, 2007 in Book/Movie Reviews, Events, Notes and News | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 13, 2007

Magic Soapbox

A documentary movie that should be of interest to aromatic and herbal fans opened in New York on June 29, and will be opening in a few theatres across the country starting tonight.  Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox, a documentary film by Sara Lamm, tells the story of the peppermint liquid soap with the cosmic message on the label and the man who made it.  It may well be the first aromatic product that many of us used.

It's opening tonight (July 13) in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Hudson, NY with a one night stand in Sedona. Future firm dates are July 27 in Portland (OR) and Boston, and August 27 in Seattle. It's previously shown at several film festivals, including Mill Valley, Hamptons Intl, and Seattle Intl. It seems to be playing in small art theatres, so check the movie website listed above for details.

Posted by Rob on July 13, 2007 in Aromatherapy, Events | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack