What did you do today for Earth Day 2014?
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Recycling for us has been a way of life for years. The most common items we recycle are batteries, glass, aluminum cans (the only item that’s 100% fully recyclable), plastic bottles, tubs, and trays, and certain food scraps for our compost pile.
Mulching and Composting another way to celebrate Earth Day more than once a year. We’ve been using a Sears chipper/mulcher for 20+ years to shred all types of yard waste and setting it into a compost pile. Okay, have to admit we have gotten a lot more selective about what we mulch and compost.
One year the compost pile hadn’t reached the right temp ( I think its 160 degrees) and all these seeds from a grapevine I mulched sprouted the following Spring. We had vines all over the place, and it took a few years to pull them all out.
Minimize use of Fertilizers and Pesticides, yep I have to admit this one can be a tough sell for any avid gardener. I rarely use fertilizer for the lawn anymore but still use those fruit tree fertilizer spikes and Miracle Grow for some of our veges and the seedlings in our basement mini greenhouse. We’ve been using this for two years and love getting a head start on our plants especially after a hard Winter!
Litter Patrol, yet another weekly activity we do. We will routinely walk the dog around the neighborhood and clean up any litter we find along our path. I can’t tell you how many plastic bags we clean-up and recycle. Whenever I hear of a municipality that has banned them I feel the need for a little celebration.
What does Litter Patrol accomplish? It beautifies our neighborhood, we get to meet our neighbors and see them also appreciating everything Mother Earth has to offer.
It also has what I call the Mayor Rudy Giuliani effect. When people see a of of litter, graffiti, and general disorder it makes them feel no one cares and it’s okay to just drop their garbage wherever. It leads to a domino effect that can spiral out of control until someone takes stand against it.
Cleaning up your neighborhood every week is probably the single best way to start celebrating Earth Day. Its fast, local, and everyone notices!
Here’s an infographic I found from Huffington Post that talks about how this litter works its way through the streets, creeks, streams, and rivers, then ends up in our Oceans were it contaminates wildlife, including some of the fish we eat.