This week Awesome Stories brings you seeds of love, reducing food waste, yard farms and healing with nature.
In honor of Earth Day, all the stories this week are focused on how we can live more in harmony with nature. I know it was yesterday, but decided to stay with the regular publishing schedule. 🙂
Norway has an amazing collection of seeds to help protect humanity. The Global Seed Vault lies buried in a mountain in the Svalbard islands halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Norway built, stores and maintains the seeds all on their own as a humanitarian effort to protect our world’s food production capability. There are many seed banks around the world, yet most are at risk due to manmade or natural disaster. Norway decided to build and fund a disaster proof vault of seeds from around the world. The vault already holds the largest variety of seeds in the world with 864,309 samples and the capacity to store 4.5 million seeds.
Yardfarming is a fun variation on the urban farming movement that is spreading across the country. Yardfarmers is an upcoming reality TV show that will track young Americans who are growing crops in yards. The premise is that what we do with our 40 million acres of lawns might be the key to a resilient America. Many people are realizing that local regional food production is more sustainable and resilient. I’m not normally a fan of TV or reality shows, but I like that the show is based on a desire to help America be more sustainable and created in partnership with WorldWatch Institute, an organization working to create a more sustainable world through research and innovative solutions.
Europe Moves to Reduce Food Waste
Italy is the second European country to enact legislation to help reduce food waste. Similar to the US, Europe has massive food waste with an estimated 100 million tonnes of food wasted each year. In Italy alone, that translates to about €12bn in financial loss, millions of people going hungry and too much food thrown away. The idea is to make it easier for companies to donate food and feed more people. Last month, France passed legislation to outlaw supermarkets throwing away food. Denmark has the first European market selling food donated from growers and other stores. As I’ve written about before, various groups in the US are working to address the food waste problem too. I volunteer at a food pantry that collects food from various supermarkets, farmers and groups that donate food to help feed the hungry.
Healing with Nature
People who are exposed to natural scenes aren’t just happier or more comfortable; the very building blocks of their physiological well-being also respond positively.
Most of us have experienced the peace and good feelings that come from time spent in nature. Medical researchers are finding that even having a view of nature can greatly help a patient’s health and wellbeing. This Atlantic article called How Nature Resets our Minds and Bodies explores the growing body of evidence that nature does indeed heal. The researchers were surprised by how much simply having a view of nature helped in healing as compared to almost any other kind of medical intervention. I know my garden view brought me countless hours of joy and healing. Maybe doctors of the future will prescribe daily doses of sunshine and gardens! 🙂
May we appreciate, preserve and celebrate our beautiful planet every day!