The Paper Crane is always looking to work with like minded people who are genuinely concerned about the effect of human activity upon the earth. Those that are extremely conscious of ethical and environmental issues and the need for sustainable solutions in all aspects of business and society.
Working mainly within the creative and environmental sectors, The paper Crane is helping to promote companies and organisations that are looking to enrich our lives without costing the earth.
We are continually making efforts to green up all aspects of the business, with the ability to provide greener print solutions for all forms of marketing literature. Including the use of recycled materials, paper with FSC certification, vegetable based inks, water based sealants and waterless printing.
Such words as sustainable, green, environmental, ethical, eco-friendly, C02 emissions and carbon footprint are rapidly becoming common place within business and society.
Some people may already be tiring of these buzz words, believing them to be just a passing faze, with politicians and companies simply jumping on the band wagon, attempting to appear green merely as a marketing ploy.
In this age of technology and communication ideas and opinions spread quickly. The media has played a large part in increasing the awareness of such issues, generally by means of negative reporting on natural disasters and climate change. Unfortunately there is a tendency within the main stream media to sensationalise current affairs, squeezing them dry and then quickly rejecting them as public interest seems to wane.
However as more information is gathered in many fast developing scientific fields it is becoming unarguably clear that the activities of mankind are having a hugh impact upon the environment. Sceptics and critics of such issues as global warming are a shrinking minority, finding it more and more difficult to oppose the opinions of what is steadily becoming mainstream.
The simple fact that companies, organisations and individuals are becoming more aware of their effects upon the wider environment and are willing to make changes to the way in which they operate and the lifestyles they lead is an extremely important and positive thing.
Coming face to face with the consequences of our previous actions is helping to make us more conscience of the long term and far reaching effects that human activity can have upon the earth. Reminding us of our interconnectedness with the world around us, a world which we too easily become disconnected from within our busy and increasingly urban life's.
For humankind the pace of life appears to be speeding up. With the advances in science and technology, more things can be achieved in less time, leaving more time to do more things. The technologies we endlessly develop and market depreciate at an alarming rate and we are constantly attempting to keep up with our own advances. At the touch of a button we can make purchases, instantly access information and contact individuals from all corners of the globe from virtually anywhere, at anytime.
In addition modern transport has dramatically decreased journey times, a little more than a day and you can be on the other side of the world.
In our waking life it seems we are permanently plugged in, turned on or connected up to one form of technology or another. With everyone in a rush to be somewhere, all heading in different direction. Yet still there never seems to be enough time in the day or enough days in the week.
On a larger scale, beyond the day to day, human culture is also endlessly evolving, the only thing to remain constant is change itself. Empires rise and fall, economies grow and collapse, lands are conquered and lost, cultures arise and die out, species evolve and decline, deceases come and go, populations explode and traditions are lost. In addition philosophical and scientific theories are forever transforming the way in which we see ourselves and the universe around us. Our emotions and personal circumstances and the communities and societies in which we live are in a permanent state of flux.
In contrast the rest of the natural world appears to be in much less of a hurry. There is continual change but generally at a much slower rate (with the exception of mass extinction events).
Trees gently grow over hundreds of years, rivers gradually cut there way through rock, mountain ranges rise as the tectonic plates slowly shift, glaciers advance and recede, seas relentlessly caress the shore, continually reshaping the coastline, planets orbit suns for millennia, stars are born and die, solar systems form and galaxies shift across the universe.
If you look at existence as a whole, from the birth of our universe to the present day, human beings have been around for a relatively short period of time. From our own perspective a lifetime is considered a reasonably long time, but when compared with the lifetime of our earth or of the universe itself, it is just a flash in the pan.
Scientists generally believe that 13.7 billion years ago the universe began with the big bang. Our solar system was created around 4.6 billion years ago, the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, homo erectus walked the earth 1.8 million years ago and homo sapiens arriving around 200 thousand years ago. The industrial revolution began just 200 years ago and the invention of the motor car a mere century ago.
In this extremely small time period in which we have shared this earth our impact upon it has been huge. Everywhere you look landscapes have been transformed by agriculture, urbanisation and transportation, with few places left undiscovered and untouched. Natural habitats that have evolved over centuries are being destroyed at an alarming rate to the detriment of thousands of plant and animal species each year. Natural resources are being consumed and polluted rapidly as the human population explodes across the earth. Unfortunately much of the natural world may be lost for ever due to our relentless pursuits of growth, wealth and pleasure.
Now, it seems our own species could be endanger with the prospect of global warming looming over our heads, becoming ever present with the continual stream of news reports and new scientific findings.
It is true that global warming (and cooling) is a natural phenomenon which has occurred throughout earths history. However in the past these temperature changes have taken place over much longer time periods. The current rate of global warming is alarming and coincides neatly with the increase in carbon dioxide within our atmosphere.
Over the last 200 years or so we have been releasing increasing quantities of additional Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. Since the 1970's the level of CO2 emissions has risen rapidly along with the human population. Today it is estimated that approximately 20 million tone of CO2 are released each day as a result of human activity. Our growing dependancy on technology and oil, over an extremely short period in earths history, has rapidly altered the balance of chemicals within the earths atmosphere, in turn effecting the climate, thus effecting us.
Unfortunately it appears that the melting of ice caps in some far of place on television is not quite enough to bring about a change in us. Perhaps we need the rising sea level lapping at our front doors before we are willing to make so called sacrifices. But a more conscientious mindset and lifestyle is no sacrifice, the real sacrifices will come from further complacency and inaction.
I do wish to avoid being too fatalistic at this point however, as I truly believe that our thoughts help to shape our future. If we only focus on the negative aspects of mans affects upon the environment and his kin then we may well be, as many would lead us to believe, doomed.
We must remain positive here, concentrating on and nurturing the good in mankind. We need to begin believing that man is inherently good not evil. At this point in time it is crucial that we focus on what can be done now to better the lives of future generations, looking at solutions as opposed to just dwelling on the problems. Not merely inventing new technologies to combat the problems which arose from the inventions of previous technologies, rather finding alternatives to illuminate the cause of these problems we are facing today.
If due to mankind so much change can arise in such a short time frame, then surely we are capable of turning things around.
What I feel is of fundamental importance, if we are to sustain life on earth, is for each of us to reconnect with the natural world. In our short sightedness, why would we want to cherish, respect and protect something that we have no great understanding of, or obvious relationship with?
There was a time, not so long ago, when we where more obviously dependant on the natural world. Our knowledge and understanding of the environment in which we lived was crucial for our own survival.
Today an increasing percentage of the human population rely on others to provide them with their basic needs and we have become far more dependant on technology and all that is man made. The further this man made world envelopes us, the further we seem to drift from the natural world.
In the eyes of many the natural world has now been reduced to a number of quantifiable, profitable resources existing purely for human consumption. The only lands to avoid exploitation are areas where no valuable resources can be extracted or grown. In a world increasingly sculpted by man, nature is receding to those less useful corners of the world, like roadsides, field margins, steep banks and cracks in the pavement.
For many of us nature is something we only encounter in our leisure time or perhaps through the window of our car. At worst it is something we only really experience in our living rooms via the television.
First hand, physical contact with our natural environment is invaluable on many levels. The natural world is fascinating in all its complexity, diversity and beauty. When given our undivided attention it can be an incredibly humbling, calming and joyful experience.
For our own well being and the well being of our planet as a whole we need to reconnect with nature. A greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world needs to be encouraged and developed in everyone. We need to learn humility, to live in harmony with nature, not to dominate and exploit it for our immediate benefit alone.
There is now hard scientific evidence to support the concerns that environmentalists and ecologists have held for some time now.
What is needed now is positive action, both individually and collectively.
This positive change is beginning to gain weight, with more and more people and organisations working to protect and conserve the planet and its inhabitants. In addition governments are begining to developing greener legislations which effect both our commercial and domestic lives. Companies and organisations that are not directly linked to the environmental and conservation sectors are trying to create greener policies and a growing number of consumers are demanding higher levels of product information, making purchases based more upon ethical and environmental decisions then simply cost alone.
With increased awareness of the processes of action and reaction, along with a greater understanding of the often subtle interconnectedness of all things, we can begin to improve our relationship with this beautiful earth that so far seems to unconditionally supports us.
As each of us begin to take responsibility for our own actions with regards to environmental and social impact, a great amount of positive progress can be achieved.
However more is required from us then just a change of habits. A little recycling here and there and the purchase of a 'bag for life' at our nearest supermarket is not going to be enough if we wish to make a real difference. We must go deeper, to the root of these issues, to understand why we have come to think and behave in such ways.
It will be hard however to find solutions to the problems we now face with the same mindset that helped to created them. So long as we continue to place power, wealth, materialism and ourselves above all else, measuring the worth of each nation on its finances instead of the well being of its people and the land that they inhabit, then we are only heading towards extinction.
We need more localisation in place of globalisation, permaculture instead of monoculture, fair trading rather then arms trading, with societies based on compassion and sharing instead of selfish greed.
I feel a big shift in the human psyche is what is desperately needed to move us forward in the right direction. I sincerely hope that issues such as climate change and global warming have finally awoken our senses, bringing mankind to a crucial and potentially very exciting turning point in human consciousness and in our earths history.
R A Crane