Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's B Kind 2 Earth Day...Help Mom Earth! She Doesn't Have Her Own Blog!

It's overwhelming, isn't it, to think of all the help our planet needs. What difference can one mom or two mom or a hundred moms make?

A lot.

It starts with one. Plus one plus one plus one. And suddenly, we're making a difference. Consider this:

• Every minute spent driving to a store involves 10 times the energy of buying online. (Er, as if you needed another excuse to indulge your Zappos habit.)
• A mind-boggling 75 percent of all energy consumed by households is standby power. Put a lot of appliances on one power strip, remember to turn that sucker off when they're not in use and you'll save serious energy.
• Plastic water bottles take about 700 years to begin composting; 80 percent of them aren't even recycled.

The B Kind 2 Earth Day project is happening Friday, organized by Nickelodeon, the National Wildlife Federation and The Motherhood. They're asking families to do at least one earth-friendly action today (and beyond).

I'm planting veggies in the backyard with the kidsAdd Image—cherry tomatoes, zucchini, peas and cukes. I am sure the groundhog who's taken up residence there will enjoy them. I am not sure what he is doing in honor of B Kind 2 Earth Day.

I'm also going to talk with the kids about doing a better job of remembering to turn off lights when we leave rooms. We are embarrassingly lazy about that in this house, and it's just about one of the most no-brainer green things ever.

What eco-good thing can you do?

Want a groundhog?


  1. i am embarrassed to admit that i go through a lot of plastic water bottles...i've been meaning to buy one of those nalgene type bottles for water since i'm a freaking camel.
    thanks for this great reminder!

  2. Being poor helps Mother Earth tremendously! When we were in a pretty dire financial condition, it wasn't ecological reasons that made me combine trips and minimize car usage--it was trying to stretch a buck as far as it would go! When the dryer broke and I didn't have the cash to fix it, I went to a clothes line--in winter, I strung one up in the bathroom and used radiators to dry stuff too. Now I use a dryer in winter, but on good clear and breezy days I will still use a line. I cooked in batches to cut down on costs, and in winter I did the baking on the coldest days to heat the house. When we were having a really difficult time making ends meet, we closed off half the house during the colder months to save on fuel costs and lived in two rooms. Where I'm at now, the house is VERY well insulated and cheap to heat with just a little bit of furnace and a pellet stove.

    We live in a recycling town, so we recycle EVERYTHING--paper, magazines, junk mail, plastic, glass, cans, batteries, cardboard--even cereal boxes. Our "trash" bag is about as big as one of those plastic bags you get at the grocery store--well, maybe two of them, now that we're in a combined household. We need two to four boxes to hold our recycling, depending on the time of year (we tend to have more crap in the winter). We compost, too, which helps when my dad puts in the vegetables. We don't have or use a garbage disposal. We filter our water at the tap--those plastic water bottles are disgusting, they make the water taste funny. I don't get why people like the water out of them, it tastes like garbage to me.
    We only have one "air conditioned" room (it's the "small living room" and the a/c is a window model that we put in for the summer), but we only use it if the weather gets swelteringly uncomfortable, which doesn't happen much. We have a ton of ceiling fans and really good cross ventilation in the house with windows open in summer, so we're OK without using too much 'cooling' energy.

    My dad is thinking of augmenting our house with a few solar panels for supplemental lighting and a few other uses--he's been doing the research for years, and he thinks we're on the verge of a price break. That'll be interesting if he ever decides to do it.

    There are motion detector thingies you can get that turn lights on and off automatically when you enter/exit a room--they install at the light switch. We're such cheapskates we don't tend to leave a lot of lights on if we're not in the room with them, though, so we never got them, but I thought they were a pretty cool idea.

    We're a bunch of luddites technologically speaking, we don't have a lot of electronics and not much need for them. We have two TVs between the five of us but we really only use one of them, except when Dad wants to watch something to do with sports ... and mom doesn't! I get more than enough TV at my jobs--they're blaring constantly so I don't miss much, even if it is a bit disjointed.

    Get some cages or rabbit fencing for those veggies, and don't forget to shield 'em from the birds, too! You probably want to bury part of the fence because your groundhog buddy (or Peter Cottontail, if he comes by) can and do dig under the fence otherwise. Also, you can go to your local feed store, and buy bobcat or fox pee and put that in an atomizer/spray bottle and spray that around the perimeter of your garden (sparingly, and refresh it every week or two/after a rain). Predator urine scares the crap out of garden pests, generally.

    I could go on and on about this topic--sorry to be so verbose!

  3. I'm not so sure that buying on line really saves energy. Someone still has to drive, usually a truck that isn't fuel efficient, to your house to get the package there. Plus all of the excess packaging that is needed. I think that one is probably a wash, if there is any savings at all.

  4. Felicia, you are my all-time favorite Luddite! You always have such excellent advice. You really do need a talk show, given that you don't seem interested in having a blog.

    I should say that I am lucky enough to be within walking distance of stores, so I am able to shop locally and support local businesses without driving. If you are driving to stores, the ideal is to bunch errands together.

    Anon Y Mous, you raise a good point. But from what I've read, online buying still trumps getting stuff from brick and mortar stores in terms of environmental impact. The way stuff gets to stores is often through a really round-about route (e.g., stuff is sent to a central warehouse, than to another, then to store). Major online sites like leave out the middleman, and reduce carbon footprints that way.


Thanks for sharing!