Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earth Day, A Way Of Life

I believe and have often said
we are here as mere caretakers of this land until we pass it to the next.

Earth Day is on April 22, 2010, and Jan at Thanks for Today is sponsoring Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living project. Great things can happen when people come together and help bring attention to what we should be doing naturally, and Earth Day is one such reminder.

We have become a wasteful society: if it doesn't work, throw it away and buy a new one, as seemingly devised the cost of repair is often greater than buying another unit. Life has been made easier than that of our parents and those before them, and perhaps we are partly to blame because we don't want our children to go through what we had to. Consequently many now belong to the me generation filled with self-centered and self-absorbed wants.

When I first read about being green, I had to chuckle - we were green and didn't know it. It was not new to us, only newly defined. It is the way we live, our way of life. Among our beliefs are waste not want not, and lend a helping hand to neighbors and those less fortunate. However, that in which we do not believe or aspire is doing something at a detrimental cost to humankind and especially those in underdeveloped countries for political gain and profit.

Perhaps it was a generational thing as my siblings and I were reared with the influence of our maternal grandmother and my mother who taught us to waste nothing, save, conserve; buy only that which was essential and then only if we had the money to do so; hard work was our reward and key to survival. Additionally and importantly we were taught to respect another's property.

We are indeed the product of our parents, and this is the way we live today:

- We have few aluminum cans since we process much of our summer fruits and vegetables for fall and winter use and do not drink sodas/pop;
- any cans, bottles, papers... are separated, stored (cans and bottles are washed first), and taken to the local recycling every several months;
- plastic containers and freezer bags are washed and reused for freezing;
- all scraps from vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, egg shells... are composted for the garden;
- natural fertilizers (fish, kelp, ash... ) enrich our vegetable garden, and we have helped others to start their own;
- as we leave a room, the light switch is turned off;
- personal water is drunk in reusable bottles;
- the number of birds nesting speak to the environment created for them at our home as do the hummingbirds, butterflies and honey bees;
- and we have no lawn! Over the past 16-year period we have planted trees, evergreens, shrubs, drought tolerant plants, ground covers... that require little or no water, and beds are watered for about 3 months of the year during the hot and dry period and then only once a week for 30 minutes.

At this point I risk having some leave, but Earth Day should also be about uncovering truths. We were educated to believe that people had a right to opinion, that debate was part of a healthy society versus indoctrination and dictates of a few, and that there be balance in ones life. Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge, wrote Kahlil Gibran.

I am troubled when around each corner looms a CRISIS and the answer is a quick fix that includes large sums of money, greater taxation and increased control, and when our children are being told/indoctrinated/frightened into believing that within just a couple years the ice will vanish, ocean levels will rise drastically, that the world will nearly disappear, and that the children are much smarter than their parents. Are you aware that according to the NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center) in Colorado that Arctic Sea ice will hit the “normal” line for this time of year and the ice is increasing. Information, data and discovery is being suppressed. While I am one who does not believe in global warming (after doing much reading and research), but rather think the earth goes through natural cycles, it is greatly disturbing when recent findings show that data has been manipulated (large periods of history deleted) and falsified to gain grants and big money; that influential people are heavily invested (venture capital) to make this a reality in order to reap multi-billions; that leading financial institutions are devising the newest trading scheme, the buying and selling of carbon credits, and that does nothing for our climate, only lines the pockets of the few most powerful; and that political agendas are being pushed as opposed to the good of mankind. Why is there silence in the media? Why happened to discovery and truth?

We are stewards of our earth and there is much everyone can do to leave this world a better place, but it must be done with honesty and integrity, one step at a time. We can pass this land on in far better condition, and it can be done through our example, by teaching and guiding. Earth Day is every day and it is a way of life.

One final thought: when I think of green, I cannot help but think of this.

26 comments:

~Kim~ said...

I enjoyed reading your post--You have some good thoughts, many of which I agree with and Kermit too! :-)

debsgarden said...

Diana, You spoke eloquently, and I agree with every word. I think that humans have a mandate to manage and care for the earth's resources, but I think sun spot activity and other natural cycles do account for "global warming", rather than man's activity. The greatest danger to the environment is not carbon emissions but nuclear war. The politics of that are beyond my control, but I do my best in my corner of the world to make it a better place for my having been there. That's the best I can do. By the way, I do have a lawn, which I fertilize twice a year with natural fertilizers and rarely water, except during occasional summer drought.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Great post Diana. It's a shame that more people don't realize that eating healthy (i.e. seasonal fresh NON-packaged foods) is not only good for the diet, but it drastically eliminates waste. If we all did a little, it would make such a big difference. I've been on a mission to get some of my friends out of the frozen food section, and into the Farmer's Markets!

It's also refreshing to see someone else that isn't doing the lemming walk in regards to Global Warming. I too believe the earth has natural cycles. I'm not saying we don't have an impact, nor that we don't exacerbate certain climate phenomena, but when I studied earth science in college, it did cause me to be MUCH more critical. Funny thing is, the sky was falling in the 1970's, and we were all supposed to be doomed to an ice age! Whatever happened to that?! The phenomena (and data) tend to trend where the grant money flows I'm afraid...

Randy Emmitt said...

Di,
Great post! My problem with Earth Day is I have a hard time planning for it with tax day looming in a week a head of it. My Taxes are done!!!!

Yes most the media is owned by a select few and most of the news we get is the news they want us to hear. News is not like it was years ago, those days are gone.

We do pretty much the same things you do, but do have a little lawn and a electric mower to mow it with.

Southern Lady said...

I grew up with the example of a grandfather who lived throught the depression. He taught us all to use what we had and not waste anything. One of his favorite sayings was waste not, want not. Your post reminded me of him and what he stood for. As children we would laugh when he ate leftovers that most people would have long thrown away. He lived a simple life, one I hope to imitate in many ways. And like you, I do not believe in global warming. I think we should all take care of our environment and do our best to conserve, not because we are afraid, but because it is the right thing to do. Thanks for such an insightful post. Carla

L. D. Burgus said...

I agree with all of your thoughts. The movement that wants to control us is really wanting us to treat it as a religion. False gods are false gods.

ClassyChassy said...

AMEN! Loved your post. I believe that the earth goes in cycles, too - that global warming is a myth. We do need to stop wastefulness and walk more softly on the earth. If we don't protect our planet, who will? And - love the Pileated Woodpecker picture on your sidebar! We have several that visit us in our woods each day!

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Thanks for joining in on my project Di, and adding your post. I have thought about the global warming issue and came to the same conclusion...the earth has had cycles for millions and billions of years. What we do, or don't do, however, does have an impact so I'm so much more aware of what I do. I haven't been 'green' all of my life and am still not 'truly green' but we each grow where we're planted and I'm making small changes as I can. I appreciate your input.

Would you please add a comment to my original blog post, announcing this project, and in your comment please place your link to this post? More people will see it there, as well. I will add it to the separate page for participants right now;-) Jan

Edith Hope said...

Dear Diana, What an extremely thoughtful and thought provoking posting. I can identify with so much that you have written and certainly agree that we can all live [ and are possibly happier] with far less than the media would have us believe.

I have such admiration for the way in which you 'tread lightly upon the Earth' and the many ways in which you live sustainably. Your message and your example to others is commendable and deserves to be heard and followed widely.

Thank you so much for taking such time and trouble to present your arguments so vividly and powerfully.

Rose said...

This has been such an interesting and enlightening meme, Diana. Every time I read someone else's post I find something we have in common and that I forgot to mention in my own post or I get new ideas for ways I can improve my own habits. You mention the throwaway society we have become, and that has been a concern of mine for years. Here I am saving plastic bags or avoiding them altogether, when there are computer monitors, old coffeepots, etc. being dumped into the landfills because it's easier--and cheaper--just to buy a new one. We have so much in common with the values our parents taught us; I can remember when an appliance stopped working, my Dad would take it apart and usually be able to fix it. No wonder they had the same toaster for years!

As I told you before, I don't get too involved in politics, but I agree that too often greedy individuals jump on the bandwagon of worthwhile causes for their own personal gain. I also believe that the government can't and shouldn't try to fix everything. Conserving the environment is one of those areas where I think it's up to us as individuals to do something, not pass more laws.

Great post!

Laura in Paris said...

I'll be in Los Angeles April 22 and am sure I'll find plenty of ways to celebrate.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Diana, Thanks for a terrific post. You said SO much that this post could be divided into several other posts. First of all I totally agree with you about Global Warming... It's all about Al Gore and many others---getting rich over this myth. Drives me crazy!!!

I also agree that our country is in horrible shape now --with all of the corruption in the government and the fact that our government thinks 'it' needs to take care of us --and just continue spending money... I want less government and less taxes....

George and I are 'green' also---but we do have grass. I am not willing to give up that YET... ha... We do completely recycle and re-use. We also do something which many people don't do.. We use almost NO air conditioning. We have good cross ventilation plus many fans. In winter, we burn wood in our fireplace instead of using much heat from the furnace. Another thing I don't use much is our dryer. I have racks --and hang things in the garage. (We cannot have clothes lines outside in our community.)

Well--I could go on and on.. I SO enjoyed your post.
Hugs,
Betsy

Pam said...

Hi Di, this is a wonderful post, I applaud you and all the others for doing what we should all be doing to make our world better.
The power of 'one' is enormous!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I think that if you research and look you anyone can find something written that supports what they want to believe. I think many scientists would argue that report about the Arctic glacier mass.

We a spewing millions of tons of CO2 and other pollutants into the air everyday, poisoning the ground water and paving over the soil that grows our food. I would like to think this has no impact on the planet however, I'm afraid it does.
Marnie

tina said...

Kermit was perfecto! He is just too cute and what he says is very appropriate, it's not easy being green at all but if we try even in small ways we can all make a difference.

Together We Save said...

You are so right!! It is so important to be 'green'. It is a more frugal way to live too.

Rosey Pollen said...

Hi Di,

All good thoughts and ideas. I wish Corporate america shared them!

Mary said...

Your post today was very interesting, Di. I think the most important part is the reminder that we are all stewards of the earth. I hope you are having a great week. Blessings...Mary

Big Dude said...

I think ours may be the last generation that cares about anything but themselves and it saddens me.

Ami said...

Di: Great post! I am very moved. My parents taught me the same thing as what you learned from your mother, but I am afraid I did not pass that equaly to my two boys. I learned a lot from your post. THANKS!

Jim Groble said...

A wonderful post. jim

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I really enjoyed this post and really loved reading about what you're doing and have been doing before there was a name for it. We are so used to recycling at our house that it is almost painful to throw cans in the garbage when I go to peoples houses that don't recycle. I keep thinking about what will be piling up in landfills by the time my daughters are adults and it really does make me think twice about what I'm doing. I love using Craig's list as a way to recycle things we can't use, but can't stomach taking to the dump. Other people can reuse just about anything, especially if it's for free.
My Dad and I just had the conversation about global warming versus natural earth cycles.
Great post!

James Missier said...

I totally agree with you - What is this one green day.
Does that mean that you can just burn, smoke and ungreen the earth the rest of other days???
Let the green day be a total lifestyle thing - then that marks the drastic change that is required.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Diana, A very brief postscript to say that, unfortunately, I am unable to comment or post for the next ten days or so. But, I shall return!

Jess said...

Hi Diana...
Thanks for visiting and commenting on our new site - Nothing New Nothing Wasted. I am struck by your quote of Gibran... I don't have all the answers for our year long challenge but now I feel okay about that. I am 'supposed' to feel perplexed! Thanks for your thoughts and for sharing them :)

Titania said...

Diane; When I read your earth day essay I must say I think and do the same way. We had a vegetable garden, orchard and were greenies already in the sixties when it was even looked down. Why do you want to grow your own it is so much easier to buy. Brought up the same way and also to think and question independently.
I agree with the warming of the planet, earth has always gone through changes.
My eldest grandson is 20 now, he is in medical school and just moved out from his mothers, my daughter, home. He lives now with 2 friends in a rented house, he is just establishing a vegetable plot! I like that.