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.