Evidently it’s a big day around here. A day for celebration, a day for proclamation, and more importantly, a day for self-examination. It’s Earth Day…a day set aside to celebrate our planet and to bring awareness to the concerns regarding how to preserve and save it.
Generally, my husband and I think that global warming isn’t as big of a deal as the media makes it out to be. If you look through history there have been periods of warmer and cooler times. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that scientists were concerned about global cooling, so HandyMan and I tend to ignore the coverage of global warming and focus our concerns on other things.
However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to make our planet a healthier place to live. We do several things that, not only save us money, but also reduce pollution and waste.
One of the first things we started doing when we bought our house was to install an outdoor, wood-burning boiler. HandyMan cuts up, already dead/fallen, trees and we burn them to heat our house. This eliminates the use of LP and saves us several thousand dollars a year trying to heat our house with gas. It also helps to reduce our dependence on oil.
Another thing we started doing was gardening. We grow most of our own vegetables and then can or freeze them for use during the winter months. Our garden is not organic, we don’t have the time to pull all the weeds by hand, but we do try to limit the amount of chemicals we put on our vegetables. My husband spreads chicken poo (from our very own chickens) on our garden to use as fertilizer and then, once the plants are sprouting, he spreads straw over the garden to help prevent weeks. We also compost our food scraps to incorporate into our garden, adding nutrients back to the soil. HandyMan LOVES working in the garden and I really enjoy eating fresh veggies in the summer months. Nothing tastes better to me than a fresh tomato and an ear of sweet corn, straight from the garden.
The most controversial thing (at least in our family) that HandyMan and I do to be a little more “green” is that we use cloth diapers on Blue. When we first started looking into cloth diapers and talking about it with our family members, we received a lot of skeptical looks. My father-in-law still asks me, frequently, how those “fancy diapers” are treating me? I smile and tell him that we enjoy using them. Today’s cloth diapers are a lot different than the ones my mom used on me. They come in fun colors and patterns and often don’t require any kind of safety pin, instead fastening with snaps or Velcro. Originally, we started using cloth diapers to save money, but it does warm my heart a little to know that I’m not throwing thousands of diapers into the landfill. And Blue looks so cute in his diapers, wouldn’t you agree?
So, what are you doing to recognize Earth Day? You don’t have to drive a hybrid car, or have solar panels mounted to the roof of your house, you just have to do what works for you and your family. If nothing else, take a walk outside, look around, and be thankful that we live in such a beautiful place.