The 40th anniversary of Earth Day, an observance especially meaningful to gardeners, is April 22. Yet, when I saw the invitation to participate in the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project, I hesitated.
I'm a novice gardener and a novice at sustainable living practices, and so the things I'm doing to keep Mother Earth green are small in scale. I don't grow my own food -with the exception of herbs and a few tomatoes. I don't make my own compost (but I do use compost - and especially like mushroom compost). But there are some things I feel pretty passionate about..
- Sustaining an environment friendly to butterflies, birds, and bees (as well as humans) - avoiding pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to them is part of that.
- Minimizing the size of the lawn and maximizing the use of native plants and trees. The beauty of plants and trees is far greater than that of a green expanse of lawn. And shade is essential to those of us in the South who don't want to be confined to air-conditioned spaces.
- Reading and learning about other ways to be a good steward of this earth, for "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1
And I do, as a practical discipline, try to practice the three "R's" - Reuse, Recycle, Reduce - noted in this article by Stacey Schifferdecker. though it would be a lie to say that I'm passionate about them. As with all disciplines, it helps to be reminded of why they're important. What better reminder than time spent working in the garden, going for a walk or a hike, or sitting on the porch admiring the marvels of God's creation?
I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
- John Muir Preservationist 1838-1914