Friday, April 23, 2010

Belated Earthling Greetings!

What does earth day mean to you?

Yesterday, I kinda realized that there are people out there who are ambivalent about the day. Or they are downright rejecting of it - for political reasons.

Here's my thought:

KEEP POLITICS OUT OF IT!!!!! <- And you will see the good in a day that is all about doing your part in taking care of the world and environment around you. Living out in the wooded, watery, spread out, hilly, quiet, flowery areas where everyone is living off of long winding dirty roads within walking distance to horse/cow farms, but far far away from everything else... I see both sides of the equation.

I need my car. I would DEFINITELY not be able to ride my bike to work. And I don't really like biking. <- It messes up my hair and I accidentally swallow bugs sometimes.

But I love beauty.

My mom grew up in Chicago and she goes on and on about how beautiful the city is. Admittedly, when I go to visit relatives over there I kinda blank out in awe over all of the huge buildings. Where I live there is a height ordinance which means all of the buildings are somewhat squat by comparison.

But is Chicago beautiful? *shrugs* I guess it is an acquired taste and I'm not into it.

Beautiful is wide open spaces, blue skies, shady cool woods.... things like that. <- And I want to preserve all of that beauty for the next generation.

That means there is something VERY positive about planting a tree or two in your yard to replace an old ones that might have fallen down during the winter (I had a few that dropped). Trees provide shade and value to your house (provided they aren't too close to the house).

Once upon a time, my parents were driving around looking for a house after my dad's job moved 20 miles south. They were first looking for a house that was big enough for a family of eight. After that they had little picky things. When they got to our old house, they weren't entirely sure they wanted to buy, because the house had been sort of built by a madman who cut corners. It also had an in ground pool in the backyard - something my mom didn't want with three kids under eight. But! They viewed the house on a rainy day, and were able to walk out into the back woods without getting wet. The previous owners had terraced the back yard and there was some other nice landscaping done elsewhere throughout the yard. That was quite enough for my mom so she planted her feet and said, "THIS IS IT".

That means there is something VERY positive about planting a garden and landscaping your yard so it is a slice of paradise. Come July and summer vacation, you will be sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labor. If you have mature gardens (as in flower and rose gardens), those will add value to your house.

That means there is something VERY VERY VERY positive about groups getting together and preserving land for future parks and whatever else. Out where I live, an old guy always worried about what would happen to his estate after he died. He farmed most of the land, but there were plenty of acres that he left be for nature. He arranged it in his will that the land would become a natural reserve and a place for people to enjoy. There are now gardens, butterfly walks, and bird sanctuaries on the property amidst all of the woods and hiking trails. <- WE NEED MORE PLACES LIKE THIS.

Definitely, I'm one of those people who wants to stop urban sprawl. The city lights, noise, smog, traffic.... does not have to be everywhere. There are people who want it to be pitch dark at night except for the light of the stars or the glow of the moonlight reflected off grass or snow.

Definitely, I'm one of those weirdos who feel that people need to be careful about how they impact the environment around them. For example, we are too hasty to destroy weeds and replace them with a golf course yard. The problem is that if you sit back in a naturalized yard (like mine), you will notice that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds spend some time in your garden... but they also feed on the flowers of weeds. If you spray chemicals on those weeds... imagine what that is doing to the critters who feed on them. Even dandelions are a food group for animals and 'good' bugs like bees.


On a different note - earth day means I really wish people would stop dropping garbage everywhere like they are all ten year old boys dropping wrappers around the house or stuffing potato chips into the couch. Garbage doesn't just disappear and there isn't always somebody around to pick it up. Most back counties do not have street cleaners (or whatever they're called) who go around and pick up after visitors. Most back counties rely on volunteers. And those volunteers go unthanked pretty much - if they aren't actually mocked by some people.


Earth day shouldn't be all about sitting in the dark and eating off of paper plates or whatever else. I mean, that's OK if that's what you're into, but there are other things you could do to make your world (as in your neighborhood and home) a more pleasant place. Or you could always don your hiking shoes and go forth and enjoy the bounties of nature at your local park. ;)

I spent my earth day at work. Then when I got home I stopped to grab a thick pair of gloves from the garage and my little claw tool, and I went out back into my garden. I let weeds grow in their place, but I draw the line at letting them take over my flower gardens. Seriously. The NERVE.

Heheh. I'll be out there again today.


  1. What a great post!! I'm with you -- encouraging gardens, trees and green spaces, and reducing urban crawl, is a wonderful priority to embrace.

    I didn't realize until yesterday that Earth Day was indoctrinated 40 years ago. I was a young girl in the 70's, and I remember the smoke stacks spewing thick white smoke into the air. I remember seeing the exhaust coming out of cars. And I can remember being scolded by my parents when we opened the car windows and dropped our trash out onto the highway -- not because we were polluting! We were scolded because it was dangerous to drivers behind us and could cause an accident:P

    Anyone who says the changes they make today won't affect the planet just needs to look back on our recent history. And politics are important, too. One direct result of the early Earth Day movement was Nixon creating the EPA.

    Just like Christmas, I wish Earth Day came more than once a year!

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

  2. I agree, keep politics out of it. I was watching baseball the other night and the team had little earth day patches on the shoulders. Do we need to create more waste to get the message out?

    And I'm with you, I don't like messing my hair and swallowing bugs either!

    I live in a city that takes green space and green issues very seriously. If they didn't, I'd have a harder time living here. I love that when they put I-93 underground in Boston, they made the top all park space.

  3. Thanks guys! Enjoying nature and eliminating waste definitely is something that everyone can mostly agree on - if they sit down and think about it.

    That said - I'm always amazed when I read or hear about colonial America (1700's), and how current day America is a greener and more treed place then our ancestors saw. This is partly because of all of the conservation efforts over the years elliminating clear cutting, for example.



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