An Act of Eco Consciousness

By Kori Bubnack

“In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage,states US Ecologist Gary Nabhan in a recent interview. Nabhan is a ethnobotanist/gardener whose promotion of biodiversity has caught the attention of many over the years. He is known for his work in biodiversity as an ethnobotanist. Since Coming Home to Eat was published in 2001, igniting the local food movement, causing a worldwide green epidemic.

The dramatic rise in the number of organizations and businesses that have contributed to the promotion of sustainability through conservation has been very impressive. The Earth Day Network has been playing a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiasts together, sharing ideas and discussing new ways to support the planet. Other large organizations and non-profits like Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working on successful emission reduction projects in the San Francisco Bay area. While climate control has continued to worsen, collaborative and individual acts are vital for any successful green campaign. As human beings, we’re constantly told to reduce our carbon footprint, consume less unhealthy foods, and spend less time in the shower! But let’s take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan strongly suggests.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization states that only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and that a dozen species now gives 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just 4 crop species supply half of plant based calories in the human diet.

By eating home-grown foods, Nabhan suggests, you will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. Otherwise known as “eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory in that by eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save, we’re promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.

Agriculturist Marco Contiero also mentions that “biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.”[1] According to Conterio’s theory, individuals should tend their own crops/plants and purchase localized farm products at supermarkets and groceries. There for condensing export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.

Nabhan and Contiero’s theories heavily are dependent on an action oriented approach at conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, organizations and individuals have taken a stronger following to expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists. So remember, as the fall season approaches, be sure to visit your local farmers markets to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, as eco-conscious individuals, don’t hesitate to stop the next time you drive by a yard stand with fresh crops. Promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.