So I was watching the movie “Dive”, a great documentary about food waste in America. And then, they asked a question, “Do we value the Earth? Do we value all it produces?....Do we care for it?... Has it become another product for us to consume? “ (why would people waste so much? Because we don’t value the Earth and the products it produces)
And with that question sitting on my mind, I headed out to the garden to peddle. As I cleaned and pulled weeds out of my raised bed, and tried to knock as much dirt back to the ground, the question still lingered. Do we value the Earth?
i have mixed feelings about this question, but I know that I value it and I'm teaching my kids that they should too. And this all didn't happen over night, its been since the birth of my daughter in 2010. In my late thirties, I see what we have done and what we need to start doing to fix it. So here are some things that I value and do because I value the Earth.
First, I take extreme pride that we only need to take out trash out to the curb usually once a month and it’s not always full. But my recycling, which is picked up every other week is piled to overflowing and never missed. Knowing that this example I set will instill that my children grow up as waste reducing recycling adults. I've had discussions with my sister over recycling why I do it and why she does not. As she tells me that her kids know that they should, this quote always renders in my head, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” My kids will recycle because we are teaching them why and because they see us doing it. My two year old is learning about trash, recycling and composting just from having to throw something away.
Secondly, gardening!! Now my little one loves the garden. Upon her first escape, able to open doors, went outside and headed towards the garden. I think it is part of her soul. She has watched the plants grow from seeds inside, watered my plants on the deck, picked strawberries and will soon pick ripe goodness from our garden. Next year, I hope to include her a lot more and plant that seed in her, passing on all my knowledge.
This year I'm keeping track of everything I pick from my garden, so that at the end of the season I can see how many pounds of food I grew. I'm hoping that this year will be my best year ever and I have plans to increase my garden by one raised bed, asparagus is in my future.
|Green beans in my garden|
|Beetles fighting for the love of a lady.|
Three, Preserving. During spring through fall, I spend many hours in a hot kitchen preserving produce to last into the fall and winter, as we wait for growing season. It typically starts with the berries, first strawberry followed by blueberries and then black and raspberries.
|Blackberries growing in my front yard landscape.|
Then the tomatoes and peaches will ripen. And there will be a packed pantry filled with jars of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, pizza sauce, ketchup and salsa. Tomatoes will be oven roasted and frozen, adding the pop of sweetness to my homemade pizza.
Peaches will make wonderful jam and I may try freezing them this year. Greenbeans and bell peppers then as summer switches to fall the greens, broccoli, apples and pears. I can tell when spring is coming because the stacks of jars are no longer filled, but empty and waiting.
|Cucumbers that will become pickles.|
Fourth, going to the Farmer’s Market. It is a true love, to see what produce is new for the week. Planning meals of the bounty and knowing all the food is from down the street. I've recently started walking up to the market, fifteen minutes there and back is also good for me.
|Here is one of my bundles from the farmers market.|
Spring, summer and fall means that windows are open as much as possible, until the high heat days in summer. The house gets the winter stink blown off with every breeze. And the clothes hang from lines dancing in the sun’s heat and slight breeze. I love nothing more that fresh sheets off the line, draped on my bed.
|Clothes on the line.|
Upon the arrival for our, my first, child, my husband and I discussed and decided pretty early on to use cloth diapers. Our reasons for making this choice, was for the money it would save us and for environmental reasons. Every diaper ever made including the ones I wore are still rotting in the landfill. We first started off using plastic covers and pins, but I soon discovered a new modern take on cloth diapering. There are wonderful things called Snappies, which replaces the need for pins, so you will never stick your child.
Cloth covers with interchangeable inserts, wet bags, adjustable covers and cloth diaper services. Now we have a cloth diaper serve in my town, The Diaper Fairy, and the owner is wonderful. Along with her services she also holds regularly class to go over cloth diapering, how to, her company’s services and information for those who want to wash at home.
We are now deep into potty training, using thick cotton underwear instead of training pull ups. With summer on its way, we use a cloth swimmer pants. So for the cost of less than one package of "swimmer diapers", we have a reusable swimmer diaper. As the diaper fairy says, "If your diapers not cloth, its garbage."
So these are a few things that I do for my family and for this wonderful planet we live on. Hopefully this will inspire you to do a little something to show you value the planet. Our planet needs all of us to care and not consume everything that it offers. We need to find a balance of respect.