Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Shorts: Getting Ready for Earth Day ’14

With Earth Day on Tuesday, “How to Live a Greener Lifestyle” is a popular theme in every form of media. 
The Original Earth Day logo

I’ve been sifting through the many hints and ideas I’ve heard and read as I look for new ways to make every day Earth Day — for some small steps I can take and sustain in the days ahead.

Here are some of the things I’ve tried:

  • I’m attempting to grow Red Swallowwort Asclepias incarnata, a native milkweed important to the Monarch Butterfly. The Monarch Butterfly is wholly dependent on native plants from this genus for egg laying and larval feeding. These seeds have a really long germination time (sprout time of 21-40 days). So far one seed has sprouted. [If you look carefully towards the center of the pot, you will see a tiny green shoot with the seed case on its head.]

  • I am continuing to cut back on prepared foods. Today for breakfast we had oatmeal with amaranth seeds, a dish I began last night by pouring boiling water over the grains and that I cooked in the morning. [More on this in a future Meatless Monday post.]
  • I continue to find good homes for good stuff I no longer need. I can’t wait for EcoWorks, Inc. to find a building and get up and running.
  • I got my old-school 1972 Raleigh Super Course tuned up and ready for next Saturday’s Rock to Rock Ride thanks to Sarah at the Devil’s Gear Bike Shop in New Haven. Want to support me? There’s still time. Here’s the link to my fundraising page.

This post was in the works before my friend Pennlee sent me this link to a story in the Los Angeles Times. “Finding Ways to Make Everyday Earth Day” addresses the anxiety that comes with wanting to do the right thing and examining the consequences of the lifestyle choices we make. The article concludes with a suggestion for raising our “consumption consciousness” by looking towards Buddhist mindfulness. David Glidden, a philosophy professor at UC Riverside urges that as we peel a tangerine we “think of all the resources that went into making that tangerine. Sun, water…As you eat each segment, think of all the people who labored to bring it to your table. If you do this, you will eat more slowly and consequently consume less.” I just happened to buy a bag of clementines today. I’ll be trying to do this small thing every day until they are gone. 

Let’s make every day Earth Day. Together.

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall  being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. My Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or you as long to read (or try).

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