Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Was I Thinking?


Today we have a real treat … a guest author. When I read that our bloggy friend, IB from Idiot’s Stew, is a certified Master Recycler-Composter … well, I just knew that we could all benefit from him. This article lives up to everything I hoped it would be. Using his own experiences, he teaches how it's never too late to start living a green life ... and how easy it is to get started (or in this case, restarted). If you’ve never been over to Idiot’s Stew … you’re missing out. IB is a talented writer who talks about everything. His posts are full of honesty and humor … they make me think, laugh and sometimes bring a tear to my eye. I hope you’ll drop by his site and look around … and while you’re there, drop him a comment. OK … sit back … relax … and enjoy:


What Was I Thinking?

Man, I am really feeling the pressure now. I have committed myself to “guest- authoring” at Reduce Footprints and I realize, 4 days into the process, I have…nothing.

What was I thinking?

I have no right to write a post about “green” living. Oh sure, I am a certified Master Recycler-Composter. I KNOW about composting. I can make a worm bin out of a 20- gallon Rubbermaid tote in 5 minutes. I can separate recyclables quicker than the curb-side collection guy can even get out of his truck yet, sadly, have turned my back on my training and my commitment to living in harmony with nature, for the last 10 years.

It is true. I am not proud.

So here I am, sitting at this keyboard, with a dead-line fast approaching, and I am struggling with my guilt. For a decade, I have possessed the power to affect change for the better, and I have chosen to not. What is worse, I have contributed to the current situation with apathy so great it borders on malicious. I have shunned the environment because I couldn’t be bothered, because I was too busy, because I didn’t want to believe in global-warming, because it wasn’t trendy or cool, and for it, I am a tortured man. It serves me right. Today, I look at the world around me and I see the effects of global- warming on the weather, on food supplies, on people, and I know I can claim at least a part of the responsibility because I have been, “…part of the problem”. My behavior has been deplorable, despicable and unforgivable.

But mother-earth IS forgiving. I believe she loves me and only wants me to live in that state of harmony with her; align myself with her energies and do that which is needed to give back to her rather than live the recent parasitic life I have. And so, I am returning to organic gardening.

It is still cold and wet outside, but I’ll be headed down to the hardware store today to get some supplies. The first thing to do will be to build a 3-compartment compost bin (see plans here). There are plenty of semi-decomposed leaves and other yard debris left over from last fall and my neighbor has a horse, so I can start a compost pile immediately.

After the bin is up and the compost is cooking (see a recipe for compost here) my son and I will build a couple of raised garden beds. By this spring we will have our organic vegetable starts in the ground. We will mulch around them with our compost and fertilize with our worm-castings (how to build your own worm-bin here) and I will finally feel right. I will rest comfortably knowing that I have found my way back home to a balanced relationship with our planet: one that I will never abandon again. Maybe one man’s vegetable garden won’t be enough to reverse the ill-affects of millions living and treating our earth like we are rude house-guests, but it’s a start.

That’s what I’m thinking, anyway.

IB


A big THANK YOU to IB for this post. As always ... I'd love to hear from you!

28 comments :

  1. O.K. if he has a garden and I have a garden, then that is two less people driving to the store to get food! LOL
    Can we all move to one place and start our community. My husband will stand at the gate and guard us! LOL

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  2. I'm learning so much from your blog. Things I never even knew to think about!!!! Keep it up!!
    darrel
    www.hopefordepression.blogspot.com

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  3. Sounds great.... I'm on my way over when I've saved for the plane ticket! Ooooops, not so good for the environment.... I'll have to join you in spirit. :)

    Great post Ian and we're all guilty of apathy at times, for one reason or another. I'm looking forward to hearing about your organic exploits (does that sound right to you?)!

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  4. BRAVO!!
    I love your attitude. Thank you.

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  5. I'm so envious of your knowledge and your willingness to work so hard. I LOVE to garden. Until it gets hot, or a weed shows up, or I have to fertilize, or water. I guess what I really love is picking and eating. The garden,I mean, not my nose.

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  6. I've got my garden going, and living green...though I must admit, I live in a village. It's a way of life. It would be so much harder in the city.

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  7. I would love to start something at my daughters school. A green house or a good recycling program. Any hints?

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  8. Great question, Comedy Goddess.

    Both a green house and a recycling program would be excellent. One could also sponsor a "clean up" day where a specific area is chosen and everyone cleans it up, and then decides what to do with the "trash" (recycle, compost, trash, etc.). If you're looking for a school money making project, you could organize a cell phone recycling program. Here's a link to get started on that:

    http://www.grcrecycling.com/

    For some other ideas on classroom activities, check out this link:

    http://www.childrenoftheearth.org/Stone%20Pages/awesome_activities.htm

    Thanks for asking!

    Small Footprints

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  9. Excellent article IB. You are a very talented writer. I really enjoyed your article! Thanks for sharing and educating us.

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  10. Thanks for the tips, Ian, and for introducing me to this blog!

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  11. You write well under pressure! wonderuful article. Thank you RF for inviting him. *smiling*

    And if you could see how us WNCer's on the mountain and in certain other areas in the valley "compost" - well, you'd laugh - yup - it's a well-kept secret - teehee....maybe RF knows? or where you are is too civilized *LAUGH*!

    of course, the critter love it

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  12. Thanks for guest posting. Always find the best stuff here.

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  13. I live in the city with a yard the size of one of your larger postage stamps.
    Would love to compost (and it's on my list o'things to do this year!) but I must admit that I recycle like a MFer.
    :-)
    Pearl

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  14. I'd love to have a compost bin, but we have rats here. Mean rats.

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  15. Great blog!! I recycle now, but i've been wanting to compost for a while. I think I will give it a try. I've also always wanted a garden, it would be a great project for me and the boy. But if i'm realistic with myself we may just start visiting the local farm more. They do all the work, we reap the benefits.

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  16. I am hoping to become more gree in 2009. This will help, so thank-you and I'll keep checking in.

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  17. I'd like to compost my food scraps...but, living on the top floor of an inner city flat, I have nowhere to put the compost....damn.

    Some local councils in Australia (the entities that manage rubbish collection and road repair and all that micro stuff) collect food scraps and other green waste for composting but sadly the City of Melbourne where I live hasn't started that. I might contact them to ask about it.

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  18. PS I was surprised to read somewhere recently (I forget where) that some urban Americans don't have access to free kerbside recycling and had to take their bottles and cans to the recycling centre themselves.

    Kerbside recycling is virtually universal in urban areas (and possibly beyond) here.

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  19. Not only a fun read, and true of all too many of us, but it really got me thinking.

    I have to get a serious garden going this spring.

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  20. There are a couple of things that I'm doing this year.

    1st: I got a charging center for all of my small electronics, which is great ... because it uses a power strip that can be shut down completely when the station is not in use.

    2nd: I live in an apartment and as you know, they don't build those things to conserve energy. I got the energy saver plastic window wrappers to keep cold air out and warm air in. Before I put the plastic on the windows, I also rolled a towel up against the jam on the window sill, YAY me!!!

    3rd: I turned my furnace down ten degrees, I used to keep it on about 75 and now I keep it mostly at 65, I'm no dummy ... I can use a blanket.

    Those are the three things I've done so far, I'll be looking into others in the spring.

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  21. Hello Small Footprints,
    Dropping in to wish you a Happy New Year. I'm working on some new ideas and changes to my blog. Stay tuned.

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  22. On the recycling subject, I am an Australian that now lives in the UK and I will never take rubbish collection for granted again after living here.

    Australia has a great collection system whereas here you feel so guilty about putting anything out. Some councils only collect every 2 weeks (luckily mine is weekly). However it has certainly caused me to become greener which I think is the point. We do have to take our recycling to recycling centres or bins ourselves but again I am lucky enough to have recycling bins in a carpark across the road.

    It is definitely time for the world to take recycling and green living seriously and I am grateful for an inefficient rubbish collection service causing me to integrate it into my life.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    Julieanne

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  23. I love FOOTPRINTS shoes, they are so comfortable
    This is the last pair I bought Footprints Alton - Brown Antique Leather

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  24. I have found a strange paradox when it comes to going green and preserving the environment, sometimes in our effort to make sure we conserve the environment we almost hurt it in the process.
    I came across this website about an antartic expedition, with the intent on global warming education for the masses and was intrigued by how they are making their equipment eco friendly: http://www.transantarcticexpedition.com/technology/concept-ice-vehicle. Has anyone heard of it before?

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  25. Thank you for the link, Christina ... I had not heard of it. It's fascinating! I especially like the idea that if it can work in the harshest of environments ... it could work here for a trip to the grocery store!

    SF

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  26. no problem small footprints! I think that is a fantastic idea though...if it can be made to work in harsh environments, the technology can transfer for average street vehicles for sure!

    That website has really sparked my interest in climate control education. Do you know any other sites or major projects out there to do this?

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  27. Christina, I came upon another site, today, that is real interesting. Here's the address:

    http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/worlds-first-garbage-powered-garbage-truck-fueled-by-its-own-trash

    Hopefully we're going to see a lot of cool ideas crop up to help reduce the rapid acceleration of global warming.

    SF

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  28. this website is awesome small footprints...yeah it will be really interesting to see what other ideas will come up to reduce global warming effects

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