Jordan's Green Guide #halloween
This lil Arachnid kinda looks like a 🎃, right?
This post is already🔥
What’s the scariest thing you can think of? The scariest thing I know -- biodiversity loss. It is the scariest thing I know, because diversity is strength and humans are frighteningly frail. Think about your immune system as a bunch of soccer players. Now think about a team of soccer players who all have exactly the same strengths and weaknesses. That is, they are all the same type of player. Are they an easier or harder team to beat than a team with many different types of players with all different strengths and weaknesses? This illustrates the idea of resilience. A system or team is stronger when it can handle a variable array of assaults. If the opposing team or incumbent virus is only met with one type of defense, however strong the team or immune system may be, it will break if the opposition hits a weak point.
The same is true of life on planet earth. She (life) exists in great abundance and form and is therefore incredibly resilient to shock, buuuuuut we have been decreasing her diversity and numbers at an extravagant rate for some time now, and with no reprieve. Remember, the bigger and more diverse the team, the healthier and more difficult it is to defeat it. I am not suggesting that life on earth will be defeated. I am suggesting that a degraded system of life on earth produces a future I would like to avoid. The breadth and innovation of life’s manifestations are bewildering and beguiling, but are unfortunately not bottomless in number. So how’s she (life) doing?
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird, and mammal become extinct every 24 hours and in the last 40 years, the Earth has lost half of its wildlife…………..HALF! If this isn’t the most unfathomable fright, I don’t know what is. Most importantly, how will we find inspiration for our ghoulish gowns and creative crafts without the splendid strangeness of nature’s forms?
So what is causing this undead zombie-pocalypse (biodiversity loss)?
Habitat loss and Degradation
Invasive alien species
Over-exploitation of natural resources
Pollution and disease
Human-induced climate change
Both ironic and humorous is that the dystopian, zombie-infested fictions that abound this time of year, would be in fact realized only through biodiversity loss. Remember, biodiversity loss includes your person. That is, the trillions of parasitic homies and aggregates of homies who man your internals and defend your external. These microorganisms digest your food, insulate your brain, repair your wounds, and defend your skin and orifices from intruders, among countless other fundamental actions. Without them, you would not live. Rather than conceiving of a human as one discrete package, it is more accurate to think of ourselves as a walking, talking legion of symbiotes orchestrating what is, to me, the most incredible symphony - human life.
Still unsure if biodiversity effects you? Let’s chat zombies. You read an article about the last West-African black rhino being shot by poachers; the species is now extinct. That rhino required certain grass for food, which required certain microbes in the soil, which required certain feces (possibly from the rhino), which depended on the certain larvae, which depended on the fly-eating bird, which depended on the bird-eating bird, which is the bird that landed in your yard in California and was eaten by your cat. Your cat contracted some type of virus, snuggled with you, and now, BOOM, you’re a zombie! And now you’re friends are forced to hunt you just like the rhino. All life is interconnected and interdependent. That lil' fecal-consuming bacteria in Africa, you need him. That terrifying tarantula, you need her. That black crow waking you up at night, yep, you need him too.
To remain on the side of the living, we require nature’s robust numbers and diverse forms -- all of us. So, if this all-hallows-eve you still fight for the living - do so. Here is uncle Jo-Jo's comprehensive guide to reducing biodiversity loss. Here are some simple actions you can take to fight for the living.
Purchase those ghost-shaped candies without refined sugar. It requires energy and resources to refine that sugar, so elect the sweets without it.
Replace the little plastic-wrapped candies with bulk candy from bins. Take a bag from home, record the PLU # of the bulk candy, and voilà. Those plastic wrappings and packages are not recyclable and will end up in as microbeads in our oceans, and eventually in some poor creature’s stomach. That creature could be you! What a fright!
Have your PSL at the coffee shop or take it in a mug. PSL stands for Pumpkin Spiced Latte, not Plastic Spiced Latte. Not only is plastic ecologically troublesome, it imparts flavor, so if you’re into the PSLs, get em in a mug, yo.
Be creative. Make a costume instead of buying one. That store bought costume comes packaged in plastic, is most likely made of polyester(plastic), is chemically dyed at the expense of local watersheds/ecosystems, and doesn’t look very good either.
Ditch the Purell. Remember those little homies that protect you from viruses? The ones who cover your skin and digest your food? Hand sanitizers kill em. Anti-bacterials kill em. You wouldn’t kill a friend who saves your life every day, would you? No, you wouldn’t.
Use a pillowcase. If you are going trick-or-treating, use a pillowcase. Don’t buy some plastic bag with tombstones on it -- it will undoubtedly end up in a landfill and, eventually, in your children’s stomachs in micro-plastic form. How scary!!!
Paint your face, but don’t buy a plastic case filled with little-colored chemo-sticks. Buy a decent set of natural face paints, preferably in a plastic-free case, that you and your friends can use and share for years. I guarantee it’ll be cheaper than running to Party City once a year to buy some crummy face paints that disintegrate in your hands for 8 bucks.
Booo for plastics and unnecessary consumption -- Halloween party on for making it yourself and conscious consumerism!