by Steve Bivans
Hobbit Hero Awards for June, 2014
Those of us who see the evils being perpetrated on our world, have a duty to clean up our own Shires. But don’t despair that the job is too big for one hobbit. There are many hobbits and wizards already working on it! It is worthwhile to take a quick look at a few now, those thinking outside the box, in new ways, to mend Mother Earth’s wounds. They stand as shinning examples of what little hobbits—or in some cases, wizards and warriors—can do to Save the Earth. As John Lennon once said, “There are no problems, only solutions.”
This monthly list is to honor those hobbits, wizards and warriors who are fighting, walking and silently working to Save our Earth. They are innovators, leading the way to a new Shire. This month’s Hobbit Heroes stand to remind us all that the answers to our questions lie not in the Palantir, not peering into the future—which is impossible anyway—but in the present, in the Old Forest, the green, green hills of Hobbiton, and the grassy plains of Rohan. In other words, you will not find solutions by staring at the problems. That is the path of Denethor. I hope these heroes can inspire us all to find innovative solutions in our own Shires.
The Hobbit Hero Awards for the Month of June, 2014 go to:
Ron Finley: Is there anything more hobbity than food? Uhhhh, I think not. And even more hobbity than that, is planting your OWN food. Ron Finley, in that respect, is not only a hobbit, but a master, gardener hobbit, which makes him basically royalty in The Shire.
A few years ago, Ron was staring at the empty, weedy boulevard in front of his house, and the idea came to him to plant vegetables there. He figured, since the city required him to ‘maintain it’ they wouldn’t care ‘how’ he went about accomplishing the task. So he planted veggies. And then the city—Sauron—sent in their Black Riders to tell him that he couldn’t do that. He resisted, and called in his Rangers—the local media—who picked up the story and before you know it, the city was all behind him.
His motto is, “If you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta.” For Finley, gardening is revolutionary.
He has proven in the last few years, that putting a shovel in the hands of people in the ‘food deserts’ of Los Angeles, can empower them in ways that no one ever imagined. He, and his organization, are transforming boulevards and empty lots all over the City of Angels, and he hopes that other cities will catch on, and they are! Urban gardening is exploding all over the U.S., and there’s nothing that Sauron and Saruman hate more, than empowered urban peasants, planting their own, organic produce, instead of buying their chemical induced, crap. Ron says that, “Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do. Plus you get strawberries.” So for his work as a master gardener, and fighting to create a Shire in the most unlikely of places, Ron Finley is our Hobbit Hero Warrior for June, 2014. If you want to absorb some of his infectious energy–and you do–then check out his TED Talk video:
Boyan Slat: Did you know that there’s a garbage dump, twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the Pacific? And there are similar patches in every ocean and sea on Earth? Well, two years ago, at the age of 17, Boyan Slat,
from the Netherlands, was swimming in the Mediterranean. He was astonished to discover so much plastic debris floating around, and thought, “Why can’t we clean this up?” Why not indeed! So he went back home and got to work designing a solution to clean up all the plastic crap in the world’s oceans, as a science project for school. His design is nothing short of wizardry, a masterpiece that even old Gandalf would be proud of. Basically, he drew up a plan for a stationary tower, linked to the ocean’s floor, with flexible arms extending outwards around it, that would trap floating plastic debris and funnel it into one area, where a conveyor belt thingy would pick it up and deposit it all into a huge tank, which would be picked up periodically by ship, and taken off to be recycled.
He’s even discovered a way to recycle much of it back into oil! He was planning on going to college this year, but he has put that on hold, so he can Save the Earth (my words, but it’s true). He’s raising funds to build the first pilot prototypes, so if you can, and you can, check out his website, and become part of the solution! And then stop using plastics, or at least make sure they don’t end up in the oceans, like Boromir’s Funeral Boat, and the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. For his vision to clean up our oceans, Boyan Slat is our Hobbit Hero Wizard of the Month! Please check out his TED Talk video below, and consider contributing to his efforts to clean up OUR MESS.
Alexandra Scott: I’m gonna warn you up front, get tissues ready, because this story is amazing. Alex was born in 1996, in Connecticut and was diagnosed with cancer before her 1st birthday. Doctors said that if she beat it, she would probably never walk. Well, she did walk, but the cancer returned. The day after her 4th birthday, she told her mom that she wanted to open a lemonade stand,
so that she could raise money to help doctors to fight cancer, and help other kids, like they had helped her. So she, and her older brother, did just that. They raised over $2000 that first summer! But she didn’t stop there. She continued to run her stand, and her fight with cancer and for a cure, caught on. People learned of her brave fight and began running their own lemonade stands, in her name, and donating their proceeds to her cause. At the age of 8, cancer finally claimed young Alex’s life, but not her legacy. She died knowing that her cause had raised over $1 Million towards cancer research, and is still raising it today! In fact, her little lemonade stands have raised over $80 Million. Please check out the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and either open up your own stand to help out, or donate to the cause!
For her bravery and selflessness in the face of death itself, little Alexandra Scott is awarded the Little Hobbit Hero Award for June, 2014, posthumously. May her bravery be a lesson to modern hobbits everywhere, that ANYONE, can Save the Earth, no matter how old, how small, or what handicaps or obstacles they may face.
If you want to see more of Alex’s amazing story, watch the video below, but you better get another box of tissue first.
Are you a hobbit hero? Maybe you know someone who is? Let us know! Join my mailing list at stevebivans.com, and email me with your suggestions! At the end of the year, you’ll get to vote for the Hobbit Heroes of 2014!
All monthly Hobbit Heroes will receive a copy of my book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, when it’s published this fall, and are eligible to win Hobbit of the Year in December. Who knows what the prize for that will be; I sure don’t, but there will be one for sure.
Steve Bivans is the author of Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living. Visit him at www.stevebivans.com for more Shire Movement information, and fun hobbity articles.