Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Week 2010


This is Earth Week, a celebration which aims to increase awareness of the natural world around us. This year, the biggest event is ongoing and is staged by the earth itself. The eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano has disrupted the lives of millions of people and will undoubtedly have an ongoing effect on weather and the economy this year. We have friends stranded in Switzerland and a co-worker is having to extend her vacation in Paris until at least this weekend. While we concern ourselves with mankind's carbon footprint, the power unleashed by storms, earthquakes and volcanoes can change our environment in a few minutes.

Buying local goods at our farmers' market

Since the inception of Earth Week and Earth Day in 1970, progress has been made in preserving some of earth's treasures. But in third world countries, survival usually takes precedence over conservation. North America is a throw-away consumer society and thoughtless excesses are detrimental to our health and the health of our environment. Living a simpler life takes time and requires that we step out of the pace society now accepts as normal.

Composting kitchen waste

Our community is hosting a number of events this week, from roadside garbage cleanups to nature walks and presentations. This is the most beautiful spring season I ever remember and it is not hard to stop and enjoy the flowers and sunshine after the winter. Ongoing changes to our lifestyle are much more challenging to sustain.

Here are some ways we are trying to change our habits and thinking;-
  • reducing use of plastics in general and for food preparation specifically
  • buying animal products locally and avoiding packaged meats from factory farms
  • reducing the use of animal products substantially
  • making use of our composter and green bin for all kitchen and garden waste
  • buying local foods and goods as much as possible even if they are more expensive
  • avoiding mass-made, inexpensive items i.e. "Made in China"
  • eliminating processed foods and eating more meals at home
  • contributing to reputable charities who assist people in third world countries to go to school and to run sustainable businesses
Have you any ideas to add to the list?

4 comments:

  1. Well said. We all need to be aware of the fragile balance of the world around us. Little things add up and mean alot.

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  2. One thing I'd like to do this spring is start hang-drying my laundry instead of using the dryer. It's a small thing, I know, but little steps help, right? :)

    And you're right - let's make everyday Earth Day.

    :-) aletheia

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  3. A good reminder and good suggestions.

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  4. It's really amazing how much each person can do when they set their mind to it and start with little changes. A few years ago I knitted several pairs of matching cotton dishcloths in pretty patterns and now we use them as napkins for meals instead of paper napkins, so a little less trash goes into the wastebasket every day.

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