Monday, February 16, 2009

The Accidental Environmentalist

I couldn't help but learn to love nature, and the natural health stuff. My teen years of the 1970's were spent on the family farm in the middle of the state Department of Natural Resources Small Game Reserve. When we first moved to the farm we kept a deer diary, because they grazed in our little valley in herds of 3, to as much as 10. Our record day, was a total of 36 deer. In the fall my father and I would wonder through trails until we could smell peppermint. We would pick some to store and use through the winter months. He made wine from wild Elderberries. My mother made jelly from choke cherries. And, I can't forget the time my little brother and I picked wild strawberries in what turned out to, also, be a Poison Ivy patch. He was allergic to it, but I didn't have one symptom.
Don't go thinking I am a tree hugger. I think environmentalist go too far. I don't believe in Global Warming. The cold weather we have right now was predicted by the Farmer's Almanac and by the scientists who follow the Sun's spots. There is more evidence that the weather is cyclical then the chicken little-ism of what the news media and the public school system is feeding the general public. Look, I don't mean any offense, but when people are saying that the earth has been around for billion and billions of years, and that humankind has been around for a couple of hundred thousand. It strikes me as the height of arrogance to claim we are capable off destroying the earth. We are a part of nature we are a part of the biocycles and balances. One big volcano goes off and all our hard work of reducing carbon emissions is lost. The whole lot, it doesn't make enough sense for me to buy into it.
Yet, I use cloth bags to tote my groceries . I hate having the unnecessary garbage of plastic and paper bags. I could save them and reuse them, but ultimately I will have to throw them away. Since I don't truly need them, why accept them in the first place? It's a part of the throw away society we now live in. Why do we see so much garbage on the earth (and in space?) We are a throw away society. For the purpose of convenience, when it comes to packaging, and clothing, we throw everything away. I first realized this when my father, a cobbler at the time, showed me how shoes were being made so they could no longer be repaired. It was the part of the reason he eventually had to learn another trade. Everything is to be used, thrown away, and bought new. In the case of leather shoes I saw this as very wasteful. Leather items last for hundreds of years.
I don't like the pollution of the environment. I live in it and that stuff makes me physically sick. I find it ugly. I eat organic because Celiac disease has done it's damage. Aside from organic food being sweeter than it's industrialized counterpart, this goes with don't pollute. For me, the poisonous chemicals used in the growing of food pollutes my food.
I think solar power is just plain cool. I have always liked science. My favorite is studying things at the molecular level. Light photons on a solar cell causes the movement of electrons. This flow of electrons is electricity. Isn't that really cool! Absolutely fascinating!
Recycling is the best way to save money and slow down the need to things to be throw things away into a heap somewhere. I find it very interesting and fun to take something and turn it into something else. Sometimes the way my husband tries to save everything, saying we might use it someday ( That someday could be 14 years away!) drives me up a wall, but when he does a MacGyver type thing that saves us from spending money. I think, cool, how did you think of that! So sometimes I complain, sometimes I just beg him to clean it up and organize it so we can find what we have. In the end, it's his shed. I find it best to look away.
*The best thing about recycling is- it saves money.*
My favorite thing to recycle is the wide mouth glass jar. Natural peanutbutter has the best jars. It started with my Hubby. He simply preferred the jar for drinking his tea. Since then, we drill a hole in the cover for a straw to create a drink jar that doesn't spill much liquid. I don't bother to buy regular drinking glasses, because they end up broken in about 6 months. I like regular glasses and I miss them. I just can't see shelling money out twice a year or more just to have the civilized stuff, when these jars do the do the job. With many tiny holes in the lid it becomes the perfect bug observatory. With no holes in the top it stores liquid, soft, and dry foods. They are uniform in shape and size, making a cleaner look in the cupboard and the fridge. Most spoons can fit into the top for filling. The wide mouth makes it easier to fill and to remove stuff. If it gets broken I don't care. I just clean out the 'new' jars as my family eats all the peanutbutter.
To save money and keep your own space beautiful reduce, reuse, recycle.