E Is For Enjoying The Environment

Boulders on the Pinnacles with the blue sky above.
Boulders on the Pinnacles with the blue sky above.

Today the letter E is for enjoying the environment. People talk about protecting the environment, but I feel like sometimes that can become an abstract thing if you do not spend time in nature. If you go for walks in open areas, you will gain an appreciation for the land around you. I do believe we should be stewards of the land, and find sustainable ways to utilize it. The Native Americans viewed themselves as stewards of the land they lived in, and there is something quite appealing about this.

We do not want to cut down all the forests and clear all open lands to construct new buildings, do we really want to do that? Does this make sense when old ones could be renovated? Allowing beautiful old buildings to remain vacant never made sense, but that is just my take.  Also back when I was living in the mountains I never understood the push to create many city style parks because I always thought the point of living there was to be out exploring nature.

In Southern California there are many empty buildings that seem to have been forgotten, yet new ones seem to be going up every day. Also, I hope we do not forget the value of our open spaces, and spending time in nature. People think they have to have a gym membership to be fit, but I have got in shape and lost weight by simply being a pedestrian and bicyclist in Southern California. I make time to take more scenic routes, and to go on hikes when time allows. I want to devote more time to hiking this spring, and that is something I intend to do.

However, I do appreciate living in a part of SoCal where people still value keeping some open spaces, and I think it makes it easier to enjoy the environment around you more this way. People always say will move out of California if you do not like it, but such comments are not helpful or realistic. Some people actually like living here, and they do not want to move thousand of miles away from their family just so they can enjoy being in open spaces. I think a more sustainable approach would be to renovate old buildings and down town centers that have often been displaced when new and larger stores come into town.

People forget that in the recent past California had many open spaces, and many of the first settlers were sustained by the agrarian efforts such as orange farming. It would be a shame if we forget about this past. More than ever growing plants, or using plants found in nature is a way to connect with the environment. For instance, people are surprised to find out there are edible plants all around them. I do not advise to just start eating things willy-nilly without consulting someone who knows what they are talking about, but it just seems disconcerting to become detached from the land and lack knowledge of plants and animals in the surrounding area.

Every time a mountain lion or coyote comes down out of the hills people freak, but there was a time when they roamed this region far and wide. Wild animals do not understand they are not supposed to go into certain areas, and I just wish people were not so outraged when they do. Most wild animals are fearful of humans, and only start interacting with them when people give them food. This is why you should never leave trash out for bears or coyotes to get into.

22 Replies to “E Is For Enjoying The Environment”

  1. Hi, Julia. I enjoyed reading this post and agree with many of the things you had to say. I think most official environmentalists are not at all in tune with nature, and many naturalists, who do want to preserve natural habitats, are not in the environmentalist camp in terms of how to do this.

    Public lands should be open for the public to explore. They should not be shut off from open access, even during a government shutdown, and homeless people should be allowed to camp there for as long as they like. I don’t mean that you should have to prove you are homeless. I mean, if it is open to everyone, that includes everyone.

    On the other hand, I don’t think there should be property taxes on private land. People who want to let their land go wild should not be burdened with the high taxes that would force them to make a use of it that would despoil its natural beauty.

    A lot of things that are fueling massive industrialization are actually government sponsored, which is counter-intuitive for most environmentalists. If we leave more people free to do what they want, more people would appreciate nature and act as good stewards.

    1. I think you have made some good points, Aya. I have been bothered in the past when people get mad at homeless people for camping in a public area. I have heard people complained because their view was sullied when they went shopping. I think taxing a private land owner who want to let their land go wild is quite odd. I know you have a lot of good ideas about how to change the tax code, and that is not really my area of interest. What I do find disconcerting though is how perfectly good buildings are left vacant, but new ones are built that are not even as aesthetically pleasing as the old ones. Shopping can be fun, but it seems the need for more and new shopping malls is growing every day. What about starting a store in a vacant building first and revitalizing some of those down town areas people are always talking about. I read and article where they were talking about doing just that.

      1. I like older buildings, too. But this trend which you have mentioned is also true of single family housing. If it were not so easy to get a loan to buy a brand new house, more people would buy older houses. In this case, of malls and public spaces, too, the government’s being involved in financing, banking and the real estate market has a lot to do with this wasteful trend. If financing were not so easy to get, due to government loans and artificially low interest rates, then we would not have so many newer buildings built, when perfectly nice ones are abandoned.

  2. love your post and you hit the nail on the head! so many people do not even know the outdoors, spend oozles on gym memberships and drive their car everywhere. good luck with the rest of the challenge, i look forward to reading it!

    1. I am glad others can relate to spending time in nature. I just do not see the point in spending tons of money on a gym membership when you could do something fun like go for a walk and look at birds :). I will have to stop by your blog again as well.

  3. One of my top 5 favourite things to do is go for a walk somewhere – we have several lovely woods nearby. I also feel better, more rejuvenated when I’ve connected with the earth. It makes me very sad, and angry, to see the way we humans treat the world 🙁

  4. Great post, Sweetbearies. In my town, many of the elementary schools have introduced students to vegetable gardening. I think growing some of our own food helps promote appreciation of our Earth.

    I’m glad you stopped by my blog this morning. I wouldn’t have known you were doing the A to Z challenge otherwise. I have the RSS feed for your arts blog. I’ll now get the one for this one.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

    1. Nice to hear from you Su-siee! I am only doing the A to Z Challenge on this blog this year, but I really hope to do an updated post on my art blog soon. I think it is great so many elementary schools are having small gardens, and that would be something more communities can do in the future, I hope.

  5. HI, visiting from Su-siee’s blog! And the A to Z Challenge. I agree with you on the value of wild and open spaces. “People always say will move out of California if you do not like it, but such comments are not helpful or realistic. Some people actually like living here, and they do not want to move thousand of miles away from their family just so they can enjoy being in open spaces. I think a more sustainable approach would be to renovate old buildings and down town centers that have often been displaced when new and larger stores come into town.” Seems like everywhere is getting built up these days. We have been such a sprawling species. Our challenge is to hem our development so we don’t ruin the places we love.People move to Maui because it’s so rural and undeveloped, but it’s becoming developed because we aren’t planning well. Maui Jungalow

    1. Oh I am disappointed to hear people who move to Maui because of its rural nature want to change things. I think we need to find some half way point between development and keeping open spaces.

  6. You are so right about open spaces and urban infill. Using older buildings can be more expensive, but of course they have character and charm that no modern building can match. I was in SoCal about a year ago and I do feel there is a lot of preservation going on now that there is so little left.

    1. There is some preservation going on here, but I would like to see more. We still do have some empty buildings, and more new ones going up all the time. Some of this is inevitable, but I would like to see a happy medium. On a happy note, a beautiful old mission style school was renovated a couple of years ago, so that is one of example of preservation that should be applauded.

    1. That is true Rinzu. I guess in larger cities such as those in India there is very little room for open spaces. The true is same for New York, which only has Central Park.

  7. Hi! I enjoyed your post! Having lived (as a child) in SoCal, I remember it being just a lovely place! In my little town in Texas, there really is no place to go walking where you wouldn’t be trudging over gravel and thorn bushes or in danger of heat-stroke. It’s really disheartening. There is one place, a couple of blocks long, where you can walk near a brook, but there’s only shade deep in the afternoon. And believe me, you neeeed shade here. I wish we had more shady walks in town.

    1. I wish all cities would plant more trees. I do like how in the Inland Valley part of Southern California there is a push to plant trees and do some preservation. Down in Los Angeles and Orange County area that does not seem to be as much the case.

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