Hey all, did you know yesterday was Blog Action Day? Well, me neither, and now I'm a day late but I've actually been wanting to post about this topic and so I'm gunna take the chance now.
I'm not a huge environmentalist--I don't want to get hate mail, but I've been to rain forests and they seem to go on forever. I 'm not convinced global warming is a result of pollution or if it's a natural cycle of the earth. I can see the stars at night and contaminants don't keep me up at night. I know that in some ways that's horrible, and someone somewhere is putting me on their prayer roll, but I think I'm like most people in the world--because I'm okay I don't look to far beyond my own backyard. That said, I definitely want to do what I can (short of devoting my life to it) and I want to teach my kids to do the same. I hate waste--be it a shirt that doesn't fit but will fit someone else, or six pounds of packaging for a cracker sized electronic divice. So I try and make wise choices and live certain principles but I'm far from perfect. Here's what I do.
Compost: I don't throw food away. Table scraps and uneaten leftover usually goes to the chickens, who eat it and love it and save me from having to buy chicken feed. I get better and healthier eggs when they eat a good variety of food. They even eat egg shells and chicken. The only thing they don't like to eat is lettuce and banana peels--they love watermelon rinds and pasta. The goats eat a lot of leftover too--they don't like anything with vinegar.
or, if the chickens and goats are overfed, leftover food goes to the compost. Because it's fall and my garden isn't in season, I dump left over food in my grow beds. Over the winter the scraps break down to give me great soil for the plants I'll grow next year. When my garden is growing, I put compost in a different pile that I haven't quite figured out how to work yet. It's supposed to create heat and break down into great fertilizer, but I haven't got the mixture right yet so it's kind of a mess . . . okay, not kind of about it, it IS a mess--but I'm working on it. Not only does composting reuse my leftovers, but it keeps me from needing to buy commercial fertilizer and put the chemicals in my plants. (see photo of chicken eating dumped compost--this adds even more fertilizer to my garden as said chicken processes what it eats--ain't nature beautiful?)
Home Canning: I love to bottle tomatoes, pickles, peaches, pears and anything else people will give me. This no only preserves the best quality produce for later in the eyar, but I don't buy the canned derivatives as much which cuts down on the use of cans and bottles bought from the store.
I reuse the canning bottles each year. This is economical and highly rewarding. I absolutely love home canning. there is a magnificence about looking at quarts of peaches and knowing they'd have gone to rot if not for me saving them. And come January, there is nothing like peach cobbler made from home canned peach pie filling.
Recycling: I keep a garbage can under the sink and it's child #3's daily chore to divide it into the slots in an old laundry hamper in the garage.
We live in a rural area and don't have curbside, so about once a week I load the bags and boxes into my car when I'm going to drive into town for other errands. Once I got the system down it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and it really only takes me a couple extra minutes a week. Not only does it feel good to be "A Good Citizen of the Earth" but we went from two garbage cans to one--which is awesome.
So there you have it, what I do. could I do more? yes. could I do less? Absolutely. I'm comfortable where I am right now with it and foresee that I will continue to improve as time goes on. Every little bit helps, right?