“Once you begin watching spiders, you haven’t time for much else.” ― E.B. White
I have a love-hate relationship with spiders. They are a mess to pick up after, leaving droppings on my floors and the outside of my house. They build webs in every corner and under chairs and furniture. And Spiders are scary.
They do so much good for the earth and are one of the most interesting living things on our planet. Spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined, and they are valuable food source for birds and bats. Hummingbirds use spiderweb material to build their nests. The most fascinating thing about spiders are those incredible webs, and famous stories in literature are Charlotte’s Web and Arachne. Some spiders build a new nest every day, and in Ukraine Christmas spiders are good luck. Factretriever.com has put together 83 amazing facts about spiders. Read them here.
I have just returned from a three weeks of travelling by trains, buses, trolleys and trams through Romania, Ukraine and Moldova. Because recycling, climate change, and pollinator plants are our interests, we do our own environmental travel. and watch for best practices as something we can all learn from. This is our 6th trip to Eastern Europe in 7 years.
The best practice for our earth I observed is their farming. The patchwork and DIVERSITY of crops: Corn, wheat, sun flowers, cabbage, potatoes, and animal grazing all work together. This is so much healthier for our bees, birds and butterflies. One person told me they didn’t need to use chemicals because of the diversity of their crops! They also still use lots of hand labor and horses to pick crops.
The streets often have many pedestrians, and I love these great crosswalks.
Garbage cans are small and they generate less waste per person than most countries. We went 3 weeks using real plates, cups and the napkins are tiny. Often the toilet paper is made from recycled paper.
Recycling is dismal and plastic pollution is a serious problem. These countries lack the resources to educate and recycle like they know they should. The young men we meet are frustrated with their job opportunities and futures. With some resources Eastern Europe could be a perfect opportunity to create new green industries and jobs to recycle plastic.
The brain drain of the young is serious. Many we talk with think success is leaving their homes and moving to the United States or EU countries. Loans should be available to generate new industry around green issues. We met environmental scientists helping Moldova on energy efficiencies because of a loan from the World Bank…Perfect!!