Daily Archives: October 1, 2011

Buzz About Bears

A bear mauled rubbish bin outside of the dining hall...

The buzz up here in the Sangre de Cristo mountains is all about bears.  You can hardly go anywhere without seeing their tracks, claw marks or ripped open garbage bags. 

They seem intent on getting a free meal rather than bothering with us, but it still makes hiking a bit more of an adrenaline rush knowing a large hungry bear may be watching you.

This is the first time in 10 years that we have seen bear warnings up here and the most bear activity I have ever seen at all.  The combination of drought and human encroachment have sent them into what we consider our territory.  With the average brown bear weighing 660 pounds or more I think their territory is really wherever they decide it is.  They have been content to let us have our retreat in their woods… until now.

Bears aren’t the only creatures that have decided that they want to get in our space.  Recently a group of researchers got a surprise when a half ton great white shark decided to hop in their boat with them.  Another recent animal oddity was the house that was infested by hundreds of snakes. 

There are a number of similar stories circling the internet right now, but I think what it boils down to is too many people and not enough natural habitat left for the animals.  If things continue as they are, one of us will have to go; a bad option for everyone involved. 

The only other choice we have is to learn to cohabitate.  Instead of making our environment bend to our will we could learn to exist in it logically.  Take these houses in Taos, New Mexico for example.  Called “earthships”, these houses are “radically sustainable” homes built from recycled materials.

I’m not saying we should all move into houses built from rubbish, but the idea of living with the environment instead of against it makes sense.  Unless you are buying all the crazy-expensive eco items that are designed more to make you feel like an earth conscious inhabitant rather than actually be one then you’ll find that living green usually saves green.

Below are a few posts I’ve written in the spirit of easy ecological living.  We have learned that living frugally and living green are pretty much the same thing… unless you go and buy a $69,000 electric motorcycle.

Read more…

Fighting Bugs Without Poison (or spending a fortune)

Let the Sun Do Your Laundry

Why Pay to Throw Away?