Earth Day 2011

Running a little behind schedule today…

Happy Earth Day!!! Now go take the bus or train to work. Can’t do that? Ride your bike.
If you have to drive, make sure your car is aligned the tires are properly inflated and in good condition, your spark plugs are sparking and your air filter is properly filtering.

And while you are at it, clean out the trunk and back seat of your car. Driving around that extra stuff reduces your gas mileage and increases your emissions.

Next, plant a tree in your back yard (or two or three). If you can’t do that, purchase a tree and leave it in a container on your porch. Buy some plants,too, they clean the air around you and enhance your well-being.

If you can, buy locally produced organic food. If you can’t, leave the packaged food at the store and eat as whole and simply as you can. Which brings me to my next to do:

If you have the space, consider chickens and grow your own food. Chickens enhance any organic gardener’s backyard in so many ways that it would require a whole ‘nother post. (which I plan to do– complete with pictures). Chickens also give you oval-shaped gifts that have been laid by a free range, bug eating, dirt scratching biddy. How can you beat that? Do I even have to mention how much better food tastes when in comes from your own yard and from the sweat of your brow?

Next, Reuse/re-purpose as much as you can. This includes, finding treasures in your neighborhood trash collection, browsing craiglsist, using freecylcle and looking around your own yard to see how you can re-purpose that pile of scrap wood left over from last year’s shed project. I did and I built a 10′x4′x3′ chicken tractor for the biddies on less than 60 bucks (for mesh and fencing)

And finally, consume less stuff. New stuff requires the cutting of trees, mining for minerals, petroleum for transport, energy to make it, and all too often, third world labor that isn’t paid or treated fairly.

OK. That’s enough. I will step down from my soapbox (I never really got up) and let you think and talk about what other things we can do to reduce our consumption.

(This post was originally published in 2008 at fmh)


4 responses to “Earth Day 2011

  1. Mary Cate Bassett April 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Your blog echoes the feelings of my heart. Almost 5 years ago I moved to 6 acres in the country. I have dairy goats, poultry, a garden, an orchard, top-bar-hive honeybees and am replacing all the “useless” landscaping with edible and medicinal plants.

    Table scraps go to the chickens. I use the water from our dirty dishes to water the plants. I am learning which “weeds” are edible, and they are making it into my green smoothies. Everything is synergizing and fitting into place like the pieces of a grand puzzle.

    The joy and satisfaction of living this way beyond my ability to express in words. My reverence for the earth and all that lives grows deeper each day. I have never felt more spiritual in my life–except possibly for my mission–tough comparison. Truly, I have never felt more alive!

  2. Ingrid Asplund April 24, 2011 at 2:04 am

    This blog is heaven!

    Also, here’s something I wrote, thought it might be relevant:

  3. Zaissa April 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    It’s not easy!

    It’s one thing to agree that somethings got to give, to know that we need to consume less, contribute more, and to be more mindful of our planet. But it’s another thing to change an entire lifestyle, especially when this means breaking out of a comfy-easy-cosy-accepted way of being because gosh darn it, we are Americans and we NEED cars and Wal Marts and steaks and Pepsi from aluminum cans!

    So, it’s easy to say, “OK yes, we should change, but I don’t make a difference, I CAN’T really change me-I don’t have the means. I can’t erase every toxin my life is putting out there…so why try. This is where I have been stuck for a while. A long long while.

    But connecting with you, this blog, and other from FMH recently I realize I can’t dump my carbon footprint all at once, but I get get my recyclables in the right bin, I can stop eating the meat (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can) and I can grow a small vegetable garden. That’s where I am starting.

    So post LOTS of gardening tips. Lots.

  4. Mary Cate Bassett April 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Our American culture encourages consumerism. It is *very* difficult to make significant changes–unless you turn your back on American culture. And you kinda have to want to do that.

    We have been doing that, or rather, I have been dragging my family kicking and screaming in that direction. 😀 I pick my battles, though, I make concessions on some things knowing that the important things are in place if needed.

    What I do is not for everyone. But I am happy to share with others what I am doing in case it might in some way inspire others in a variety of ways. And if American culture fails us–if there is a crisis and there are no more public schools, grocery stores, and Walmarts, I will be here to help others cope with the painful changes.

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