The Earth…If You Think About It

April 23, 2008 at 8:12 am 8 comments

Have you seen that commercial that says something like, once you’ve made one change to help the planet, it changes your thinking forever? That ad got me thinking about my own journey into noticing that there were steps my family needed to take that would be better for us and better for the planet we inhabit.

It started in the garden, of course. I love working in the garden and it’s always been important to me to provide pesticide and hormone free fruits and vegetables to my kids. Around here, the only sure way to do that is grow it yourself. But, the expense and work of turning clay into plantable earth was beating me down. Then I found this book: Lasagna Gardening.   My battle with the weed infested flower beds here at my new house reminded me that this is THE ONLY way to garden. 

The process is really simple, rather than digging into the ground, you build on top, using all the waste materials from your yard that you once sent to the landfill. It starts with several inches of newspaper, add your grass clippings, dump the leaves, add more grass clippings and the weird lettuce leafs, peelings and misc. shells from your kitchen, add more tree leafs. Once you have several layers – brown, green, brown, green…you can plant right in it. No weeds, no bugs and the most beautiful flowers and vegetables you’ve ever seen. All my gardens at the old house were lasagna gardens and that got me thinking….

With five kids we could haul out ten or twelve bags of trash every week. Do you have any idea how many sheets of paper five kids throw into the trash? How many aluminum cans? It was costing us a fortune. So we set up a simple system to collect these kinds of things along with the plastic milk jugs for recycling. That got me thinking….

Energy efficient light bulbs are not that much more expensive than regular ones, and it is proven fact that they’re better for the planet. We had a small windfall a couple of years ago and decided to spend it replacing all the light bulbs in our house. Yesterday I replaced the light bulb in my favorite reading light. I can’t remember having to do that since we put the new, environmentally friendly bulbs in. That got me thinking…

Plastic bags and bottles will lay in the landfill for 100 years or more. There are chemicals in plastic I don’t want to think much about. I know what kinds of chemicals they treat my tap water with and it’s scary. There are ingredients listed on my cleaning supplies that I can’t even pronounce… I think this will be my new set of problems to resolve in an environmentally friendly way.


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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hammer  |  April 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Just be careful if you break on of those new lightbulbs. The city charges $2000 to clean up the mercury and other hazardous materials.

    I really need to get some myself. They way my kids leave the lights on you’s think they owned stock in the power company.

    Reply
  • 2. QuillDancer  |  April 23, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Kat, environmentally friendly cleaning is easy! Think vinegar & baking soda. Think lemon juice and salt.

    Reply
  • 3. Dave D  |  April 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    I had no idea! You’re greener than a frogs todger! I do like the Lasagna garden tho’. Where I used to live they did a similar thing, except they used layers of old mattresses and auto parts then finish it off with an old broken down washing machine (known locally as a Hartlepool Gnome)……. I didnt see any fruit or veg growing but they did have a bumper crop of dog mess.

    Reply
  • 4. rel  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Kat,
    I can’t think of a better goal! Good on ya.
    We started with organic and the greening of our little space in 1970. It’s takin’ a long time to catch on. 😉
    rel

    Reply
  • 5. katcampbell  |  April 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Hammer – You’re right about the disposal of the new bulbs, that’s a bit trickier than just tossing them in the trash. Worth it though.

    Quilly – Makes sense.

    Dave – The mother land has not embraced the clean earth concept yet? You could be the first!

    Rel – It sure has! This list of mine started in the early 90’s and even then people thought I was nuttier than a fruit cake.

    Reply
  • 6. LauraJ  |  April 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    YAYY one more person in the Earth’s corner. You fight’em!

    Reply
  • 7. anhinga  |  April 24, 2008 at 5:17 am

    I love your lasagna garden idea. Our lawn boy leaves grass on the lawn, but we have plenty of leaves to use, and hate to weed. Thanks.

    Love the squiggly bulbs. Our power usage continues to reduce as we add them. There are only a few spots left now, ones that must be turned on and off frequently. That doesn’t work well with fluorescents.

    I’m sure you use reusable bags, too. I have used the same bags for at least fifteen years. Only trouble is having enough little plastics to clean the litter box now..

    Thanks for you good ideas.

    Reply
  • 8. Little old me  |  April 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    We recycle most things; paper and card along with waste green food, garden waste, teabags and egg shells go on the compost hip. Glass, tins and plastic go to the recycling centre. Plastic pop bottles make good covers to go over young plants, just cut them in half.

    Reply

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