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10 tips for living gracefully in the desert

By: Gary Nabhan Special To The Arizona Daily Star
Published: January 3, 2010

• Each time it rains, follow the flow of water through where you live, and see how it can be encouraged to nurture the most life.

• Find what is edible within a quarter-mile of where you live, track its seasons of edibility, and incorporate it into your diet.

• Make an interspecific peace pact with the wildlife that lives closest to you to “do no harm.”

• Reduce your carbon footprint by sun-drying all your clothes as well as all the fruit that you can’t immediately eat when it is ripe.

• Talk to the oldest person in your neighborhood to learn what the place used to smell, sound, taste and look like.

• Talk to the youngest people in your neighborhood and ask them what they’d like the place to be like in another 10 to 20 years, then help them achieve your common goals.

• Make a list of major environmental or cultural mistakes made in the Southwest over the last century, and promise not to let history repeat itself.

• Make an artistic monument in a nearby public space to all that has been lost in the Southwest – or your neighborhood – and host a day of grieving and a festival of repentance.

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