Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - Oh Spring Where Art Thou?

It may surprise you, when you read my posts about farmers markets, local foods and community gardening, that there is an event I look forward to every year that some may consider as a wasteful use of natural resources.

It wouldn't surprise you, though, if you lived in one of the states that suffer from winter cold and snow.  This is what my flower beds look like.

Rhododendrons looked like this yesterday at sunset in the bitter near zero cold.

Meanwhile, on New Years Day, 2700 miles (about 4,345 km) away from me, there was hope. There was a promise that spring would come again to upstate New York, one day.  In certain parts of the United States, summer had never left.

Wednesday, as the weather people announced a winter storm warning for the part of upstate New York where I lived, I looked upon a parade in Pasadena, California.  There, the sun was shining, temperatures were mild, and everything was green.

Or, pink, purple, green, brown and every other color of nature.  The Rose Parade has one special rule for its floats. All their surfaces must be covered in organic materials - be they flowers, grasses, moss, seeds, nuts, or other natural materials. Nothing can be artificial.

These pictures of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California (a New Year's Day tradition) were taken off of my television set. One day, I hope to be there in person.  It is on my (what we call in the United States) "bucket list".
One float featured a garden with huge carrots.

Others had names loaded with puns - such as this one (So Close yet Safari Away).

There was a monster truck to entertain parade goers.

One city's float featured a black bear called Meatball who was caught in 2012 after repeated raids on residents' garbage cans.  This city, Glendale, struggles with co existing with wildlife in the area, as do so many communities in the United States.  Meatball's life will be a good one, living in a sanctuary.  But not all of these encounters have happy endings.
Some would say using natural resources like this is not part of sustainable living.

I say that beauty in our lives is always part of sustainable living.  Sometimes, even in the midst of winter, we need the promise of spring renewal.

Some of us love winter and the beauty of snow.

Me? I can hardly wait for spring.

What about you?


  1. Alana, yes, I'm ready for Spring! But we loved watching the Rose Parade! We watched the HGTV-hosted version, with the Property Brothers. Your opening of today's post brought back a distant memory. Around 1976, in the Poughkeepsie area, I helped the Sierra Club clean up a lake and environs. It became a park. OK, thanks for another inspiring post! And Happy New Year.

  2. I love the Rose Parade too..I was disappointed in the coverage. It use to be that they would tell us about all the intricate flowers that were used (how did they make that orangutan look so real?)..I loved seeing the floats, but I should have turned the volume off.

  3. Amen on spring! And I never thought to add one of those parades, the dropping of the ball, or an event like that to my bucket list! Thanks for the idea!!!

  4. I had heard about the Rose Parade but I thought it was something about maybe roses, or something, lol
    Those floats look amazing and I can totally understand that you want to see it in person.
    Here in Ecuador there is something similar in a town called Ambato, every carnaval time they have a feast of flowers and fruits. Everywhere there is floats and decorations made from flowers and fruits. It can be quite amazing.
    I haven't seen it in person, yet. But it is in my bucket list :)

  5. It looks soooo cold!
    I'm so relieved that we haven't has snow this winter- yet! I love the giant carrots!

  6. well i do miss spring but i also do not want to miss winter. i love the different seasons because each season has its own fun and festivals.

  7. Gosh, I don't know what happened to our winter, it is beautiful here ... STILL - I noticed daisies on my walk with the dogs yesterday! I am not complaining it has been incredible just a peaceful stillness i just hope we haven't got a shock comig!


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