Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

by Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy

Near the start of the 20th century William James wrote that “an education in attention would be the education par excellence.” That was then.

Today, a century after James, I argue that the most crucial education would be in ecological intelligence—and that this demands rethinking and updating curricula in ecoliteracy in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to business and psychology.

Let me explain what I mean by ‘ecological intelligence’.  For the 10,000 or so years of human history before the Industrial Revolution—what geologists call the Holocene Age—survival for the vast majority of people depended on each group’s keen understanding of the ecosystem it inhabited, whether the Kalahari or the Siberian tundra. Failure in this basic ecological knowledge meant death. (more…)

Plenty

Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

by Alisa Smith, co-author with J.B. MacKinnon of Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet (First 10 people to post a comment will receive a FREE copy of the book. Simply post a comment and then email us with your full school mailing address).

Who would have thought that a totally local concept could travel around the world? James and I wouldn’t have believed it when we began our local-eating experiment in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2005. It was a private, personal thing. We deprived ourselves of rice, olive oil, sugar, and all packaged foods for a whole year because of what people are now calling our  “carbon footprint.” We had just learned that even a simple turnip or apple travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate. An entire supermarket-sourced meal could have enough air miles to span the globe. Already, we were worried about the amount of fossil fuels consumed by our modern lifestyles, so we figured our daily bread was the perfect place to start cutting back. After all, couldn’t you grow lettuce in your own backyard? (more…)