Have any of you caught Earth: A New Wild, PBS's latest documentary by National Geographic Studios and Dr. M. Sanjayan? It has literally set my brain on fire (picture little fireworks of thoughts and inspiration exploding in there). I love a good nature documentary, but this one goes above and beyond with a message I find incredibly encouraging. The premise? That humans and animals are meant to live together and in fact can thrive in close proximity to each other. While other nature documentaries I've seen outline grim facts or suggest that we take a hands-off approach in order to protect the environment, this documentary is telling us to take an entirely new approach: to intertwine our lives with other species consciously in more mutually beneficial ways (and not just livestock!). It used to make me sad to think that we needed to partition ourselves from the world in order to preserve it. That's why I find this message to be one of incredible hope.
Last year during Factory45's sustainable product development program (applications open next week btw!), I choose to change my brand tagline to the phrase, "we're designed to be outside." This phrase came out of a month-long brainstorm session about why I create what I create, what I want to create in the future, and all stems back to one concept: I believe we need to participate in the world around us and I want to create little reminders or design products that make it easier to do so. Living and traveling on a sailboat was a life-changing experience for me, that connected me to plants, animals, and natural elements, which I felt distanced from in my old land-based life. It was the trigger that set off Forest and Fin and more recently my pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. I've been striving to reach that Earth-life balance that I felt when I lived on the boat. It's all because back then, I had this epiphany: we are not separate from the world; we are a part of it. I discovered that nature makes me very happy: not only that, it's beautiful; it's necessary for our health; and it's crucial to our survival. So check out the new show and let's talk about it!
BTW did I mention that the first episode has the most adorable footage of baby pandas - not just one, lots of them - many many panda babies all together? It will melt your heart - it might just be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. :)