I think of how I spent this whole week on the Kudzu blog writing about the Super Bowl, pretty much from a non-fan perspective. Yet here's something of which I am a fan--this year's Super Bowl will be the greenest NFL championship on record. Okay, perhaps that's not saying a lot, considering the air travel involved and the upkeep of fields and the sheer consumer waste. But Cowboy Stadium, which was the first to be recognized in the EPA's National Environmental Performance Track program, targets cutting solid waste by 20%, water consumption by 1 million gallons, and energy use by 20% each year. And those are steps in the right direction, which, to me, is something for which to cheer. What's more, this year kicks off the Super Grow XLV program ("Touchdown for Trees"), which is the biggest tree-planting yet in communities near Super Bowl locations in order to provide carbon offsets for Super Bowl events.
I pour Farmer D compost in the two holes I dug. I spread out the roots and plant the pomegranate trees that I bought at the Atlanta Local Food Initiative's fruit tree sale a few weeks back. And I think about how super my garden is becoming, the tomato cages ready to host pea plants, the juniper bushes about to come out to make room for muscadines, the hooped beds filled shoulder to shoulder with mustard greens, arugula, tatsoi, lettuces, cilantro and French sorrel. I think about reduced water consumption at the Super Bowl and still can't believe I just converted our toilet to dual flush with a simple $15 kit I bought at Costco (took less than ten minutes and involved no tools). And, Farmer D's bright green logo staring back at me, I think of the super news I just received that, during an African sunset with champagne in hand, Daron "Farmer D" Joffe, founder and owner of Farmer D Organics , and Stephanie Bernstein, founder and owner of To-Go Ware , became engaged.
I tell my daughters it will take three years for pomegranate trees to fruit, and we quickly compute when that will be in their lives. Adding three little years to their current ages makes them impossibly old, ages I can barely conceive of them being. Yet time passes, children grow up, and pomegranate trees eventually bear fruit.
This talk about children and looking ahead, and about sunsets in Africa, and about the Super Bowl (specifically the story I read about how Green Bay Packers' wide receiver James Jones grew up homeless ) somehow makes me think of two documentaries I just viewed, the first about how three young, rudderless travelers went to Africa several years back and fell upon a story which they turned into a documentary, which then turned into a movement called Invisible Children . The second film, Go, is about how a handful of high school students across the U.S. who were leaders in their Schools for Schools campaigns (U.S. students helping former child soldiers in Uganda) won the opportunity to go visit the people they are helping, and what happened next. Go is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. A key line from the movie has been reverberating in my head ever since: It doesn't matter where you're from. It matters where you go.
And so I hack. And I plant. And I write. And I share in the joy of: a national sport trying to lighten its load (and lighten global worries for just a few hours today), a movie that makes a difference, and an international marriage that will no doubt change the world.