As a famous frog once said, “it’s not easy being green.” In other words, it’s not easy to change your habits, customs, routines, or company policy, but it is necessary. We live on a planet that requires all of us to think about how our actions impact the air, soil, water, and natural resources. (Check out “It’s Easy Being Green” by Julia Johnson)
Did you know the earth is facing its largest mass extinction since the disappearance of the dinosaurs? From one-third to one-half of the planet’s 6,000 amphibian species – frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians, which have thrived for 360 million years – are in danger of extinction. To mitigate this crisis Amphibian Ark (www.amphibianark.org) and the world’s leading conservationists have joined together to name 2008 “The Year of the Frog,” in hopes of raising both awareness and the critical funding needed to address the crisis.
Amphibians have been likened to canaries in the coal mine: just as miners used sensitive canaries to warn them of toxic gases in the mines, amphibians might be warning us of unsafe environmental conditions that could eventually seriously impact our health. Amphibians feed primarily on insects and other invertebrates. It’s estimated that a single population of 1,000 cricket frogs could consume almost five million invertebrates in one year. In areas of the world where amphibian populations have declined, there have been increases in invertebrate pests that damage crops and carry human diseases.
Amphibians profoundly enhance our lives and our world in countless ways. They provide vital biomedicines, including compounds that are being refined for analgesics, antibiotics, stimulants for heart attack victims, and treatments for diverse diseases, including depression, stroke, seizures, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. The Australian red-eyed tree frog and its relatives give us a compound capable of preventing HIV infection, the cause of AIDS. The 2008 Year of the Frog global campaign will achieve its goal of helping keep threatened amphibians alive and thriving through the amazing and dedicated efforts of individuals, institutions and regional zoo associations from all around the planet.
Just remember, an increase in those pesky insects at your next outdoor event may be a direct result of fewer frogs in the world to eat them. As you decide what organic foods should be placed on the table at the outdoor event you’re planning, make sure you’ve read “Catering Green” by Rob Schaefer. Rob provides 100% USDA organic help in his article.
The PLAN it GREEN Expo, March 24-25 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark is exploding with expert advice from Maritz and others, and will offer some of the best guidance on planning greener meetings. Why, in producing or attending your next meeting and event, do you need to know the difference between “Styrofoam” cups and “plastic” cups? Robert J. Bockserman will be on hand at the PLAN it GREEN Expo, and after his session your understanding and impact on this earth will be GREENER! Get a glimpse of what we have in store for you. If you don’t know what a carbon credit is, you will after the opening reception with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, March 24.
Now repeat after me… “it’s EASIER being green after reading this issue.”
MM&E will donate 10% of all planner registration fees to Amphibian Ark.