I will tell you I’m not a ‘tree-hugger’. I spend probably too much money on pre-packaged foods. I always seem to forget to bring my own environmentally-friendly bags to stores – even though I do have a few of them. I don’t drive an oversized-SUV but my smaller size mini-van isn’t exactly the most economical vehicle out there.
But I do care.
I do know that I can make a difference.
I am not going to change the hole in our ozone layer. I’m not going to save the world with some major campaign about how we are all doomed if we don’t make a change. I can hardly say that the small and minor things I do to take care of my little plot of green-space are news-worthy. (Nor do I want to give the impression that I am doom and gloom! The Earth is ours to enjoy.)
But what I do is significant to me, for me, for my family…
– I inconspicuously hang my fresh-from-the-wash clothes on a dryer rack on our deck when the weather is nice.
– We recycle. Our local garbage-carrier gives us two garbage cans. One for recyclables. One for garbage. They make it very easy for us. No sorting of paper, cardboard, glass, metal required. Just dump it all in the ‘green garbage bin’.
We FILL our Recyclable bin every week. We could probably put our blue-garbage bin (for non-recylables) out once a month and it still wouldn’t be full… but THAT would literally-REEK. So it still goes out once a week with it’s one lowly bag of garbage for the landfill.
– We compost in the Spring, Summer, Fall; eggs, coffee-grinds, non-dairy or -meat, smelly vegetables and fruits from the back of my frig that I forgot all about. I took a plastic-garbage can. Put holes all around it with a drill. Put an old plastic tablecloth on the top and secured it with a couple bungee cords. During the summer I roll it around on the ground once in awhile. Makes for perfect garden materials the next spring.
– We grow a garden. Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Carrots … it’s a bit extensive for our suburban-neighborhood. The garden sits perfectly on the south side of our house. It leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment. Then last summer I started canning! That is a great feeling of accomplishment. We still have some veggies in the cupboards from last autumn. I made pasta sauce with herbs from the garden, home-grown tomatoes and a whole bottle of wine (I’m sure that is what makes it good!) that my husband claims is the BEST EVER. (He is not a ‘compliment-giver’. So I know he must really like it!) I made pots of it and canned it. We just used the last one last week. (I’ll be sure to share the recipe in the future.)
It’s not that I’m Suzie-Homemaker (I’m NOT!). It does have something to do with wanting my children to learn to be conscious of the world around them; I like to lead by example and it gives us great opportunity to learn from each other. It is that I know God gave us this earth to take care of, to enjoy, not take advantage of. It is a feeling of accomplishment. Not a grand ‘pat-on-the-back’, everyone-cheer-me-on type of accomplishment. But a feeling within. A feeling that makes me smile as I pull a weed from the garden, hang a wet t-shirt on the ‘line’, fill yet another jar of carrots from the garden knowing my family will enjoy it in the winter.
What do you do to conserve … reuse … recycle? I’m not looking for grandiose… but what do you do for you, for your children, for your own sense of accomplishment? If you can’t think of anything, find something. Last year was canning for me – that was brand-new. That is my goal this week: What new thing am I going to add to my repertoire? It might just be actually KEEPING my stash of ‘environmentally friendly’ bags in my mini-van so that I have them when I go shopping. They sure don’t do much good hanging out in my laundry room!
Thursday, April 22nd is Earth Day. Get out and enjoy the sunshine and think about what you can do to make an impact!