Earth Beat, 11 March 2011. This week, we’re doing a big spring clean. From what garbage tells us about ourselves, to why a winter thaw might not be a good thing in some parts of the world, we emerge from the long, dark winter with some of the sounds and rituals of spring.
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With our consumption ever-increasing and landfill space ever-decreasing, it’s good to ask exactly what trash is to us. What does it mean? Robin Nagle is anthropologist-in-residence at the Department of Sanitation, New York City. And if anyone knows the consequences of that big spring clean or waste in general, it’s her.
In the US, spring break often conjours up images of drunkenness and debauchery (often in Florida) but for students who fancy something a bit more meaningful from their holiday there’s an alternative – eco-spring breaks. Chad Pregracke organises clean-up missions on the Mississippi and talks to host Marnie Chesterton about the things his teams find – and the world’s largest collection of messages in bottles.
Link - Living Lands and Waters website.
Pre-Easter egg hunt
It’s all very well talking about "spring" – but how do we actually know when it’s here? According to Dutch tradition, this season officially starts when someone finds the first egg laid by a lapwing. Although the custom has changed over the years, bird-watchers still take the search extremely seriously. Marijke Peters went out in search of an egg.
It regularly reaches -30 Celsius in southern Canada during the winter. This all means that when spring comes – it really is manna from heaven. But spring also comes fast. Earth Beat producer Anik See knows all about that. She’s written an essay about it – and she’s called it ‘Spring Yawp’.
Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting more quickly than normal. The mountain lakes are filling up and threatening to burst. In Bhutan, 350 volunteers spent three months by one of them trying to bring the water level down. It was backbreaking work. They were caught on camera and the subsequent film is called 86 Centimetres which is the amount the level dropped. Two of the film’s makers tell Marnie about the experience.
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