4 CD Prana's on a mission - Lake Superior

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What a GREAT video documentary of an adventure of a lifetime for these paddlers. Informative presentations that comprise a heartfelt plead and invitation to “stay connected” to mother earth.

At the end, as one of the paddler asked, “Where did the time go…?” Yes, time flies. What is truly important in our lives? Live fully, ethically and gratefully in connection with each other and with mother earth.

Mahalo!

sing

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This came out a few years ago so it was great to see it again.

I’m still bothered, though, by people trying to bring attention to the over use of plastics yet still package each of their meals in a single use zip top plastic bag. There are other ways to pack food. Then there’s the Anishinabe woman who was interviewed about Lake pollution….while holding a single use plastic water bottle.

Several environmental studies have shown that even though you faithfully drop your recyclable plastic into a bin, only 5% gets recycled. Film plastics and laminates are even worse. Unless you live near a big city, only #1 and #2 plastics are accepted for recycling. Bags, packing pillows, cling film and vacuum food bags (that dang sous vide stuff included!) rarely go anywhere but the landfill or somewhere overseas to blow around a giant trash heap.

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Relatedly…

Jean Hill, the woman who had started this fight was villified and was accused of taking away people’s “liberty” in buying plastic bottles of water and soda… Of course, that “liberty” imposes environmental and social costs on everyone and on the animals and fish that walk or swim this earth…

Jean Hill did what she could until she passed in 2017. As a MA resident, I remember that.

sing

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Also, it’s not just about the plastic in the ecosystem, it is about the “privatization” of water - to make profit of from what belongs in the public good.

Poland Springs bought out much of a watershed over the mountain from my camp in western ME. I obviously don’t feel much of the impact since I am seasonal visitor, but local residents have noted concern with the dropping watertable and depleted wells, especially during the drought conditions of the last several years in the NE.

sing

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As in the movie Promised Land, I’m sure owners sell the rights without full understanding of future consequences, but they bear some responsibility for selling in the first place. How many would turn down a multimillion dollar deal for something that didn’t seem to impact their life at the time, especially since they retained ownership and use. While bottled water was first sold in the 1700s at spas and holy water sites, who would have thought that people would embrace paying more for a gallon of bottled water than for a gallon of gas? Fifteen BILLION gallons of bottled water were sold in the US in 2021.

But this documentary wasn’t about that per se. Although there were important points made about the water belonging to all of us it was in the sense that we all should be taking care of it. It’s about water quality being impacted by plastics and the development of mining along the shore - the water samples they took showed microplastic and mercury contamination. The epilogue said the group recovered 400 pounds of trash on their trip.

I admire the individuals and organizations profiled in the documentary. They are the relatively few on the front lines doing something. But we keep re-identifying the same problem without the greater public taking action. We are just too good at justifying how this one thing we do isn’t that significant and that others are doing far worse things. Don’t know about y’all, but that didn’t work on my Mom growing up and it shouldn’t work now. “If all the other kids jumped off a cliff….”

Greta Thunberg just did a NYT interview wherein she admitted great pessimism about whether we can change our habits. I’m with her. Every time I read another blog about some through hiker using single meal boil-in-the-bag food, I shake my head. Every meal like that generates trash. EVERY meal. How can those who spend time outdoors and say they want to preserve it, not see their contribution? Mountain House is one company trying to recycle their packaging but the laminate used in those meals is tough to re-use.

I raised this issue with a very well known kayaker/canoeist blogger. Obviously irritated, his terse reply was: ‘It’s not up to me; it’s the responsibility of the companies making the product to come up with recyclable packaging.” Oh well.

At least the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution ‘Prevention Act (H.R. 668) passed and gives the area 20 years of respite.

Sad that Jackson and Flint didn’t have safe drinking water. American cities?

It’s not just American cities. Canadian First Nation communities have suffered poor drinking water quality for some time.

I worked as a water/waste water chemist for a small municipality back in the 80s and I’m here tell you that what comes out of most taps isn’t as safe as you may think. Given that the average American uses 80 - 100 gallons of water each day, think of how hard it must be to treat and filter that much volume.

I left the industry some time ago and I’m sure things have evolved but I don’t drink tap water. The problem is new stuff comes along all the time that you don’t know to test for….until there’s an issue. Aging waterline systems can allow groundwater infiltration or old pipes in your home can leach contaminates. Planners consistently approve railroad tracks and wharehouses for solvents and toxins next to rivers. What could go wrong?

I bring well water with me when I travel or bring a filter (keeps me from needing bottled H2O). Our well is tested annually for dozens of different things and so far we’ve been OK. That’s due in part to careful choice of homestead - out in the country, no EPA Superfund sites close by, no livestock operations and little manufacturing. Of course there’s that pesky natural gas pipeline they are trying to build through my state so that Virginia can have more petrochemical fuel to burn.

We are the dumbest smart species on the planet.

Too many people! Instead of natural gas, burn wood?