April 25, 2011

Our topic tonight is “Serious Fun.”  It’s taken from the title of a book by our first guest, Berkeley author-environmentalist Carolyn North, who argues that doing the right thing for the planet can also be amusing, entertaining, and highly creative.

And in the second half of the program, we’ll extend that idea by talking with Marley Zalay and Desi Hatton, of the RARE project of Butte County, a demonstration center shows people imaginative ways to engage in recycling.

Listen to the Program

Our Conversation with Carolyn North

With us on the phone is Carolyn North from Berkeley, who has written a book from Findhorn Press that talks about imaginative ways of being sustainable on such topics as food, waste, water, and money. She is a longtime activist and the founder of the Daily Bread Project in Berkeley, which helps surplus food into the hands of people who need it by way of a network of volunteers.

  • Let’s start with the title of your book.  How, in an age of doom-and-gloom about the earth’s future, can you propose that we have “serious fun”?  What’s your philosophy here?
  • Please explain your argument that working for environmental sustainability is analagous to natural adaptation in the plant and animal worlds. [Do you think humans can adapt their ways fast enough to avoid planetary disaster?]
  • We don’t often think of money in terms of “sustainability.”  Please give us your take on money and how people can use it (and alternative forms of exchange) in creative ways:
    • What is “slow money”?
    • Where does generosity fit into the picture?
    • Can people find employment in ways that are environmentally sound but still bring in the necessary funds for survival?
  • We can’t possibly talk about all the topics in your book.  But we wonder if you could give us an example or several of imaginative approaches to:
    • Food: We’d especially like to hear more about the Daily Bread Project. Also your advice to “play with your food.”
    • Water:  Maybe tell us about the water collecting gadget on the cover and how it serves multiple uses.
    • Waste:  What should we be doing with animal and human Sh–FCC euphemism?  What might we be doing with corpses?
  • The final topic in your book is about Home.  One doesn’t usually list that among environmental topics. Why is home–the structure, the community–important?
  • You are about to launch a new Serious Fun website through your publisher, Findhorn Press.  Please tell us about that.

Our guest has been Carolyn North, author of Serious Fun, published by Findhorn  Press [www.findhornpress.com] on recycled paper that, according to the publisher, saved five trees and 519 pounds of greenhouse gases.  She is at work on a sequel to the book called SHIFT HAPPENS: How Changing Your Mind Can Help Save the World. In addition to the forthcoming blog, she also has two websites that you should check out:  www.healingimprovisations.net and carolynnorth.blogspot.com.

Our Conversation with Marley Zalay and Desi Hatton

In the studio with us now are Marley Zalay, coordinator, and Desi Hatton, assistant, of the RARE project at Chico State.

1. Your project is the Recycle and Rubish Exhibit. Tell us a little about its history.

2. Who sponsors RARE?

3. What is the purpose of RARE? What are each of your roles?

4. Describe the tours you do. What do the exhibits consist of? What
are some of your favorite exhibits? Are they open to the public?
Where are the exhibits?

5. You also do workshops in the schools. Tell us about those.

6. How do teachers sign up to participate? Do you still have spaces
for the spring?

7. What ways are there for community members to become involved?

8. How can we contact you?  http://www.aschico.com/recycle/rare

Playlist for Ecotopia #135: Serious Fun

1. Recycle Reuse Reduce        2:46        Heidi Howe        Give a Hootenanny!
2. reduce, reuse, recycle        3:35        The Junkman (Donald Knaack)        Junk Music 2
3. The 3 R’s        2:54        Jack Johnson        Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies For The Film
Curious George
4. Worms        2:05        Stanley Schwartz        Looking for the Perfect Bagel
Children’s Music
5. Weave Me the Sunshine        4:28        Peter, Paul And Mary        The Very Best of
Peter, Paul and Mary
6. Worms        4:07        Yeasayer        All Hour Cymbals
7. Trash Can Rap        2:41        Jeremy Roske & Karl Anthony        Strike-A-Chord #1
8. Worms        7:23        Dino O’Dell & the Veloci-Rappers        Dino O’Dell & the