Love your Mother (Earth)

It’s April 22 – Earth Day. Think of it as the universal Mother’s Day.

Time to pause and think about our individual impact on the planet, and how we can introduce changes into our daily routine to make the Earth a better place, today and for future generations.

Here are a few simple things you can start work into your daily routine:

- Bike, walk, bus or carpool to work, or telecommute. (How many single-occupancy vehicles are out there in rush hour?!)

Less Gas, More Ass! – cartoon by ohwell

- Rethink your drink. Bring your own travel mug for coffee and bottle for water. Don’t buy bottled water! (especially in Canada, where our tap water is generally potable.)

- Be waste-conscious. Remember the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? We were taught that back in kindergarten, but it’s good to have a refresher… Reduce comes first! Try to avoid products that are heavily packaged. Buy a head of lettuce instead a bag of lettuce. Go bulk where possible. Reuse comes second. Bring your lunch in a yogurt container or peanut butter jar. Save wrapping paper. Recycle is the last of the three R’s. That means sorting your waste properly into recyclables, compostables and trash. Use those green-bins people!

- Sharing and repairing are the new buying! Before you buy 0r dispose of something – Pass it on. Fix it. Give it to a friend. Re-gift. Hand-me-down. Thrift it. Re-purpose it. Borrow it. Free-Cycle it. Kijiji it. We need a serious attitude check when it comes to the amount of consumer goods we purchase and throw away. Giving our household goods, clothes, tools, toys and electronics a new life slows down the rate at which we need to produce consumer goods, which is good thing for Mother Earth, not to mention our wallets!

- Where possible, choose Local. Food and products that have been transported around the globe may sometimes come at a slightly lower price in the grocery store, but they come at a much higher environmental price than locally-produced foods and goods.

- Organic is not a fad. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that chemicals that kill insects and plants aren’t good for us. Neither are they good or for our ground water, soil, animals, and important insects, such as bees. Wherever possible, choose organic food options… or hey, why not grow your own!! There are a lot of tips here in this very blog to help get you started.

- Be water-conservative. Check out this past post on simple ways to reduce your tap-water usage at home!

- TLC. When I was a kid, before leaving the house, we were required to do the “TLC” checklist: 1. turn down the Temperature; 2. turn off the Lights; 3. put out the Cat. The Cat aside, I think it’s all good practice for us to turn down the thermostat a few degrees and make sure all of the lights in the house are off before we head out for the day.

Happy Earth Day, y’all. And remember – always treat your Mother with respect.

Start ‘em early!

… I’m talking about both your crops as well as your kids!

It’s mid-April, and that means the whole family has been pitching in to get the yard cleaned up and the garden beds planted with early season veggies. These include peas, spinach, kale, swiss chard, radishes, beets and lettuce. The garlic, planted last fall, is just starting to sprout, with new, lovely green shoots popping up overnight.

At age two and a half, Sophia already loves helping out in the garden, especially when water is involved. Here she is tending to the garlic patch. Love this kid!