Last night I had a dream that my son Kai, looking over the wreckage of the planet, asked why I brought him into the world. Upon waking, I read a quote that appears in most holy books about humans being caretakers of the earth, not masters. Both made me feel lucky to live in Northern California, where people attempt to care for the planet rather than destroy it.
A friend recently told me that the spraying of grapes in Napa gives some residents permanent coughs and yet the growing organic and biodynamic wine movement (that started in Mendocino County--more on this soon) is helping to offset the effects of a century of pesticides.
Here in San Francisco, local people are fighting to add more bike lanes and charge a fee to drive into downtown during rush hour. Every other day I get a flyer on my door about local tree plantings or house cleaners that use organic cleaning products. And the new Academy of Sciences teaches us about the planet in fun and interesting ways.
In Lake Tahoe most new restaurants serve organic and locally grown produce. Go to Yosemite at Earth Day and kids learn about why it is a good thing to care for the planet. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch list is on the menus of most evolved chefs in the country. You'll find more organic restaurants in the small town of Mendocino than almost anywhere else on the planet. The protected redwood forests of Humboldt County help our famous trees survive in spite of logging efforts. Mt Shasta City's water is some of the best in the world. And the list goes on and on.
I suppose a thank you is in order to everyone working to protect the earth rather than destroy it. But a plea is also in order. For all of us--visitors and inhabitants--to do our part to help keep this land as one of the most beautiful places in the country. I am open to suggestions that I would love to list here as a guide to helping people know where to start. Your help is appreciated.