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Hi, welcome back everyone, I’m your host Sarah Southwell, founder of GroWise Be Well, a holistic and inspirational lifestyle company for families of all shapes and sizes. GroWise Be Well, empowering you.
[0:00:25.1] SS: Hi everyone, it’s Sarah here. Coming back out to you on a snowy Montana day. Happy to report, I love the snow. The snow makes me think a lot about this planet and living on it and what experiences we have. I also am teaching my boys right now, the planets, the solar system, the galaxy, our earth. It’s been a wonderful journey so far in talking about planets that are hospitable for life and planets that are not and the rarity of ones that are and what that is like to live on one of those planets that can sustain life.
It’s also been something that I have looked at my entire life at the amazing diversity of color and function and beauty and savagery of our world. How a hummingbird was designed with iridescence, why? I love it, I’m not complaining. I’ve just always been in awe of it. At the awesomeness. To me, it truly is awesome and it’s beyond huge, beyond what I can imagine even as the colors unfold in the – and the way that animals interact with one another and how we are designed to interact with the animals and with the plants that grow on this planet.
Part of teaching earth to my boys is making them aware of the elements that the universe is made of and what we’re made of as humans and drawing that correlation for them to awaken to, that we are made of the same stuff that our universe is made of, we are made of the same stuff that our planet is made of.
[0:03:05.8] SS: That there is synergy between humans and this planet. Therefore, we should really look at our connection with this life-giving planet that we live on. We recently watched the documentary by David Attenborough.
I don’t know if – I know there are a lot that he has narrated, he has narrated Blue Planet and several other nature documentaries and when you watch this latest one which is called A life On Our Planet. You can view it on Netflix and I highly recommend it.
I have watched a lot of documentaries in my life, I am certainly a curious person and I tend to shy away from the documentaries that are all doom and gloom that just paint this most depressing picture of where humanity is. Because I’m a very hopeful person and I always like to say, if there’s breath left in me, I can find a solution. I don’t like the word “can’t”. I generally say it is not in my vocabulary and I don’t tolerate it well in others, honestly.
[0:04:31.6] SS: I always feel as if there is a way. We are so amazing, our species, humans. We were given the ability to think outside of our natural patterns and therefore, we’ve ended up of course, where we are, maybe a slight diverted from where we probably should be but we can come up with the answer.
The documentaries that always seem like, “It’s over.” Believe me, a few years ago, I watched so many of them that I was like “Okay, well that’s it, I guess I’ll just go dig a hole in the backyard and just jump in it, you know? Cover me back up because it’s all over. There’s just nothing we can do so we might as well just call it quits and be done.”
Said, “Okay, that’s it, moratorium on documentaries right now, until I can find a positive solution for what has been introduced into my mind.” That’s of course, what led us to buy the farm and create a permaculture homestead and really start to think outside the box of what we had always been taught and told.
Realize that we wanted to create a better life for our family and humans, humankind. After watching David Attenborough’s, A Life on Our Planet, you know full and well, without a doubt, there is hope, we can rehabilitate our practices on this earth in enough time.
[0:06:16.6] SS: It will require difficult decisions, maybe not as difficult as we think. What’s more difficult, knowing that a future generation is going to starve and die or making a decision we need to make today?
It’s really weighing out those different scenarios. You also know – you’ll also learn, if you don’t already know, that the planet will survive. We’re not trying to save planet earth, we’re trying to save humanity.
We’re trying to find a way for there to be enough biodiversity on this planet that we can survive as a species on it. That planet earth will take care of itself. It will find a way to eradicate species that are negative, detrimental to it and it will simply outlast all of us and regrow when we’re gone.
I’m having to change my vocabulary a little bit lately. I had been saying, we need to do what’s right for the earth. Yes, yes we do because in the roundabout fashion, taking care of this planet that we live on, that we borrow time from and space from.
We will benefit ourselves, our species and other species on this planet. If you love wild jungle cats or elephants or dolphins, whales or snow leopards or toucans, orangutans. If you love any wild animal then you’ll need to watch David Attenborough’s latest documentary, A Life on Our Planet.
[0:08:24.4] SS: I’m just going to say it so many times that you don’t forget it and that you remember the name of it and that you go to Netflix and you watch it and that you invite your friends over and your family over and you watch it with them.
You discuss it with them because it’s not one of these documentaries that you just watch and not make a plan afterwards. I watched it with my family, boys included. At first, I thought “Gosh, I don’t know if I want them to know some of the horrible things that humans do on this planet.”
They’re at an age where they need to now be aware of what we have done and what we continue to do, unfortunately. I honestly, I cried. I bawled like a little girl in my chair and I’m one that I have a hard time crying. I have a hard time expressing those softer emotions and I just couldn’t help it.
There were some parts that I couldn’t watch, I have to be honest with you. I’ve seen the documentaries, I know what goes out there and I don’t particularly like most of it when it comes to the eradication of rainforest or the extinction of animals and so, it’s hard for me though.
[0:09:54.9] SS: I feel that pain and suffering and frankly, I think in today’s day and age where our television commercials are so ridiculously amped up on fear and these shows that they’re doing commercials for that are all about violence and death.
I think, you know, maybe we need to see some of this awful footage of animals dying, habitats being destroyed because maybe we’re at a place in humanity where we’re so numb to death and destruction just by watching the television shows we do.
That we have to get shoved into it, you know? Our nose needs to be rubbed into the poo on the floor, you know what I’m saying? I mean, sorry, that’s a little bit crass but honestly, I think we’ve just – we’ve ignored it for too long and I’m not – listen, I’m not a peace corp person.
I’m not a PETA member, you know? I just need you to understand that when I say that it’s time for us all to make decisions and take action, it really is. It is time and I’m one that tends to throw things in the garbage, rather than go out of my way to try and find a recycling facility, which I will admit in Montana, they are few and far between.
[0:11:41.1] SS: I just called a recycling facility, a four-hour drive from here. Telling them that we would love to somehow collaborate with them and collect our recycling on our farm and we will rent a truck, we’ll rent a tractor trailer truck and we’ll have our recycling driven to them once a month and drop off our recycling.
Of course, this comes after watching the film but before that, there are no recycling facilities in our valley that take glass, that I am not even sure they take plastic’s one and two. Some of them say they do but there’s been rumor that they haven’t been able to find a market for them and so they’ve been throwing them in the landfill after people donate them. Which is just awful.
I just got in a habit recently of just throwing things in the garbage but I can tell you right now, after watching the David Attenborough, Life on Our Planet, I don’t do that anymore. I am looking at the numbers on the bottom of all my plastics. I am getting rid of Ziplocs. I am getting rid of plastic wrap. I am trying to conserve all of the food that we make and eat. I am making a plan for literally making more things from our farm because we have the land.
We have the ability to grow things, therefore we should. We do already, we do preserve a lot. I mean I’m talking about going an extra step because we can. We own 80 acres and the reason why we bought the 80 acres was because we wanted to offset carbon as much as possible. We didn’t want to buy a small plot of land even though we talked about it. We said, “You know, we can do permaculture on a five-acre lot, maybe we should do that.”
We had very little kids, we had babies at the time and honestly, one of the comments we made literally was, “Well, the more land that we can rehabilitate into a food forest for the animals and humans, then the more carbon we can sequester.” I will say that that was a nice kind of twist to being able to have that conversation with our children after the show is telling them, “Look, we’ve already started taking some of these steps years ago and we need to do more though.”
There is even this brand that I use and I won’t name them yet, maybe in a future podcast I will because I’ve just recently reached out to them and I’ve asked if they would please offer a bulk shipment. It’s a multi-grained vitamin and they send their tablets in plastic tubes and this is the second time I’ve reached out to them but this time more fervently saying, “Look, I cannot continue to throw the plastic tubes in the trash,” and their plastic is a number five. It’s not a one or a two.
[0:14:42.7] It is actually impossible for me to recycle them in my area. I would have to spend more fossil fuels to get them someplace else to get them recycled and so I called them up saying, “Look, can you just sell to me in bulk.” That’s one step that you could take because you could start to see what you use a lot of, what do you throw a lot of containers away, what is that product and can you buy that product in a very large quantity that you could just put into your cupboard and use over the next year.
The company unfortunately their response was very much by the book and said, “No, I’m sorry that’s the only way we sell our product right now,” and I said, “Well, you know the story of your brand is so compelling that this woman created these vitamins so that people could live a healthy life after she had overcome an illness. She created this,” and I said, “You know, I really think she would want to know that I am going to have to stop using her product if she can’t find a way to either sell in bulk to me or change the packaging to a cardboard tube.”
That I can recycle cardboard, everybody can so I can put it in my soil actually and it creates more soil. Cardboard would be a great idea to switch over to. I even offered to the woman, I said, “Why don’t you take all of your tubes of tabs and why don’t you just dump them into a box and ship the box to me and you can keep all the tubes and recycle them in your area if you are saying that you’re able to recycle them?” It is about becoming a very active participant in your practices in your life.
We need to be aware of where the products come from, are they environmentally produced? At GroWise Be Well, it opened up an entire I guess subject and a pool of discussion where the team now really researches every brand that we sell, every brand that we want to stand behind we want to make sure that they are using environmental practices. I don’t want to just know that your packaging is recyclable. I would prefer that your package is made of recycled material.
[0:17:09.8] I don’t want to just know that your product is organic, I need to know that maybe your production facility is using sustaining energy practices. There is so many ways that we can become advocates for our future generations because we’re again, I need to really make it clear that we are not trying to save the planet earth. We are trying to save humanity and the number one way to save humanity is to stop cutting down trees.
We need to start realizing that every time we cut down trees and use non-recycled paper and non-recycled content, then we are part of the problem and when we decide to throw things away and not become part of that chain of taking care of the planet, then we’re part of the problem. It’s being aware, very, very aware because no, you, me, our kids, are we really going to see the end of humanity? No, no we’re not but I’ll tell you what?
My children’s children will. They will start to see that there are zones in the world that are inhospitable that they can’t go to because it’s too toxic and that is a crying shame because we are standing here today. David Attenborough is yelling it from the top of the mountain and hoping that enough people finally pay attention because we can reverse this. We can reforest the Rainforest. We can sequester all of the carbon that we use if we reduce the carbon output, which we need to do.
We need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We need to switch over to sustainable energy practices. The number one sustainable energy is the sun, so let’s switch things to solar power. We need to be aware that our species is procreating at a rate that is unhealthy for our species and every other species in this planet does not procreate like we do. They do not, they are not as prolific as we are and we’re taking over the planet.
[0:19:44.0] Unfortunately, our needs for living are costly to this planet and all the other animals on it and so we need to reduce our population. No, I don’t mean get rid of people who are already here. I am saying that in the future starting next generation, committing to only having two children because we can’t continue to have more than two children as a family.
That breaks my heart because it means one of my children wouldn’t be here today and I can’t imagine not having that child in my life but I will tell you that if I had known what I know today before I had my third child, I don’t know that I would have gone through with that. I think I would have taken steps to stay within the two-child maximum because I would much rather not ever had known or met the third child than watch it perish.
Watch it have to live some kind of partial life or bees or suffer because of the conditions of the planet that I’ve created for it to live in. I know that’s a difficult topic and I think that that requires a lot of discussion and heartfelt discussions because it’s very, very important but nobody says it better than David Attenborough. I can definitely tell you that. I’m sure the way I said I just butchered it and everybody is just like, “What? You’re crazy lady.”
“I’m not going to listen to a thing you say,” which is obviously fine. Please use your intuition, please follow what feels right to you, knowing that if you dig down a little bit deeper, you could probably find a few things that you do that you could alter just a little even and it would help tremendously. Anyway, there is my soap box. I’m going to get off my soap box now about how to save humanity, how to bring back biodiversity on our planet and allow it to thrive.
[0:22:01.3] How to stop cutting down the Rainforest. Oh by the way, palm oil. Palm oil is taking over the Rainforest. They care cutting the Rainforest down to plant palm oil plants. If one thing you do, check the label and make sure you don’t buy palm oil, okay? I understand that there are a few manufacturers of palm oil that are Rainforest-certified but definitely make sure that that’s an accurate fact before you consume their products.
Let’s get the Rainforest replanted and there is hope everyone. There really is. I think that’s one thing I love so much about this documentary is that yes, he spends over half of the documentary talking to you about what we’ve done and how we’ve gotten here but then he switches and says, “But there’s hope and we can do this.” Again, if there is a wild animal that you love, whether it be a giraffe or a narwhal, which is my favorite, or a tortoise, a giant tortoise.
Any of them that come to your mind, if you love seeing or watching videos of or traveling to engage with wild animals and their habitats, then you’ve got to watch David Attenborough’s Life on Our Planet. There you have it. I hope everyone has some hope in their heart and that they watch that show and they have a discussion about it and they make a plan of what they might be able to do to make a change for the better for all of our planet for all the humans on our planet and the animals as well.
Listening to me, go on but I really appreciate it and I think it is going to all turn out wonderful if we work together on this initiative. Please take care of yourselves and stay healthy and positive. Always positive. All right, have a fantastic afternoon.