Things to be Excited About at Work


I don’t usually discuss my work or my workplace usualmente aquí, pero tengo que porque I am very excited about some things in the year which are manifestly about to occur. After a period of personal study in the matters of permaculture and sustainable ecological design, I suddenly thought, why not attempt to apply these concepts to the beautiful environs where I am employed? It was one of those moments, wherein a horizon is unveiled that had never before been perceived, that is wider, deeper, and yet still inclusive of all of what has come before. Why not actually attempt to unite what I am actually deeply interested in with where I work?

So here are the coming attractions: I have made 2 bathouses in which to provide penthouse suites for bats, because during the summer mosquitoes are an everpresent nuisance: one bat can consume 1,200 mosquitoes within an hour. Much more effective than a zapper. Here’s me standing next to one of my bathouses:

Me and me bathouse

Also, I have built 8 birdhouses, specifically built to house native birds to the region: chickadees, bluebirds, nuthatches, swallows, and northern flickers. I will mount these next week in the surrounding forest to further encourage birds to populate the region.

Throughout the year, in conjunction with these actions, I will plant native pollinator attracting species, such as phacelia, pennyroyal, lupine, larkspur, columbine, aster, goldenrod, and penstemons; and also plant bird attracting shrubs, such as thimbleberries, serviceberry, chokecherry, elderberry, and mountain ash.

The idea is to condense and enhance the natural wildlife of the area. To further the biodiversity. To foster the interrelationships of insect, bird, bat, plant, and man. To educate and enlighten those who come to visit on the deep webs that interlink all species into verdant existence.

Also on my agenda is the goal of eventually building a compost system to compost all of our food waste, and thus to have a wonderful medium to build up the soil of the area with—currently, our soil is just thin residual soils from glaciation, with a lot of exposed granodiorite rock, and dense pine trees and some dry shrubs like tobacco brush (great tinder for forest fires, those). My eventual goal will be to build up a moist, nutrient rich soil, with dense interplanting and abundant wildlife, even in the midst of invasive humanity.

In my particular department, I am also converting completely to all non-toxic solutions. There is absolutely no reason, I’ve discovered, to use a solution that is even remotely toxic. Vinegar is the most toxic you need to get. I am also converting all of our lighting to Energy Star rated compact flourescent lighting.

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that projecting a “green” image is fast becoming trendy amongst businesses. It’s not because there are more hippies in upper management, or because suddenly corporate humanity is growing a conscience. Rather, it is because sustainable business practices not only work to benefit the environment, but because sustainable business practices save more money after initial investments, foster positive employee and guest and community relations within the business, and push the business to the forefront of a new market and economy. It just makes sense, basically.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

4 thoughts on “Things to be Excited About at Work”

  1. Whew. And here I was feeling all smug about recycling on a regular basis.

    I do like the bat idea very much, though. Also, you’re 100% correct about the business world becoming more environmentally conscientious–but it makes me a little sad that financial gain seems to be their main reason.

  2. Great projects, Mark. Enriching the soil for natural abundance (as opposed to human crops, monoculture, which often ends up with barren soil) is especially inspiring. Jenny wouldn’t like it, she gets bothered when humans micromanage nature. But we really can do a lot of subtle things to give nature a nudge.

  3. i am intrested in your bat house. do you have many visitors and is your house ventilated?? i am intresed as i will be having one made to raffle off at my work. tracey

  4. I have not had any visitors yet, unfortunately. I believe it may be due to having situated them too fully in the sun, and they have been getting too hot (it’s been extremely hot here this summer). You want them to be about 80-100 degrees inside the house. It can also take up to 2 years for the bats to discover the bat-house. I’m going to consider relocating them to a partially shaded location if the houses are still unoccupied by next summer. I think ventilation is a good idea. Depending on how tightly you’ve constructed it, or if you’ve caulked it, it may already have enough ventilation. It also may depend on how warm or cold it is where you live.
    The design I ended up using was made based on a synthesis of different designs that I had found on-line. Basically, all you really need is a chamber or two (I made several on each house, to house potentially vast amounts of bats), and a landing space beneath them with grooves for the bats to climb up into the chambers. Also, make sure to situate the chambers with only the amount of space for a bat to climb into, to avoid predation (I believe this was a 3/4 to 1 inch). Good luck!

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