Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

Woah - where does the time go?! I missed Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day this month. On the 15th of each month, gardeners all over the world (yes, all over the world) post photos and lists of what is blooming in their gardens. I was working up in Oxford on the 15th and just didn't think about posting. Yesteray after work I spent quite a bit of time in the garden puttering around and taking photos for my Bloom Day post, and I decided I'd make it an Earth Day post. First, the photos...

I have two beautiful David Austin roses beside the front porch: Molineux and Golden Celebration. Molineux is blooming its little heart out. I say little because this is a smallish shrub rose.

I counted about 8 buds on Golden Celebration, so it isn't far behind. In the backyard I have...


Clematis "Henryii"

Gorgeous Autumn Ferns unfurling their fresh auburn growth

And the first sugar snap blossom. Peas to follow shortly!

Growing peas, radishes, carrots, and chard in my veggie garden is just one thing I am doing to tread more lightly on this Earth. Other things I am doing:
  • I purchase only CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). My dad began using CFLs back in 1998, ten years ago. Back then we thought he'd gone off the deep end. They buzzed and flickered, but he was determined to save energy. The bulbs have come a long way since then. If you aren't using these yet, go out and buy a pack today and try them out.
  • I bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store. They aren't designer bags. They don't have cute prints or colors on them, and they don't go with my outfit. But I am keeping about 1,000 plastic bags out of the landfill every year I use them.
  • We use cloth napkins at dinner and dishtowels in the kitchen instead of paper towels. In my house growing up, my parents never bought paper towels. My friends always thought we were "weird" because they had to use cloth napkins when they came to eat at my house. These days, Chip and I do use paper towels, but we use them sparingly. I always buy the Seventh Generation ones made from 100% recycled paper.
  • When I buy the bathroom tissue, I always buy 100% recycled paper. You'll hear my husband groan about this one, and when he buys the bathroom tissue he usually gets the stuff made from virgin trees. Ugh.
  • We've cut back on our total meat consumption, and we rarely eat beef. I cook a few vegetarian meals each week. I really enjoy cooking vegetarian meals. There are so many wonderful vegetables out there, and I love trying them in new ways.
  • I'm growing some of my own vegetables, but I also visit the Farmers' Market on the weekends so that we eat local produce. I can find produce at the market about 9 months out of the year. Pretty darn good, I'd say!
  • I am composting my kitchen waste and most of my shredded paper.
  • I try to reduce, reuse, and recycle. I'm not doing a great job, really. I have a second home in Oxford. I have a pool in my backyard at my first home. These are not good things for the Earth, and I am aware of that. But because I work in Oxford often (and because the real estate market sucks), we aren't getting rid of that house just yet. Having these things has made me mindful of my other purchases, and I am trying my best to reduce and reuse in other areas. Just recently I heard an interview on treehugger radio (via podcast) with Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm. He said that "Recycling is what we should do only after we have failed to reduce or reuse." I think that's right. Reduce and reuse first. It is 2008, people! By now, recycling should be a given for us all. Let's work on the other two.

So, what am I doing to celebrate Earth Day? I am planting Seeds of Change seeds that I purchased from Rainbow, the local natural foods co-op. Yum, yum. What are you doing?


Annie in Austin said...

Happy Earth Day, Lisa - those Austin roses are lovely, and now I wonder if my mystery white clematis could be Henry after all!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Carol said...

I like your tips on how to live in a more 'earth friendly' way. Yes, we should try to use less, reuse or repurpose what we already have, and then recycle. Great advice,

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

sm2 said...

I can't wait for my roses and clematis to bloom! They have buds, but no blooms yet! I'm looking at getting a rolli pig composter...

Lisa Blair said...

Annie, I looked at your white clematis and it certainly looks like Henry to me. I bet that's what it is! My Austins are only in their second year, and they are already stealing the show in my garden.

Carol, stay tuned for follow-up posts about how I am reusing and repurposing some of my trash. Fun, fun!

Susan, Oxford should be only a couple of weeks behind us. Hold on to your hat; those beauties will be blooming in no time. My roses in Oxford were covered with buds last week. I really hope I get to see them bloom! Oh, and about the composter: Awesome! You are going to love all the beautiful dirt it provides. I looked up that rolli pig and HOW CUTE! What a good idea!

Phillip said...

Aren't those Austin roses beautiful? I have 'Molineux' but it has been very puny for me. I'm hoping it will do better this year. I came really close to buying 'Golden Celebration' but got 'Heritage' instead.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I'm in Mississippi too and it's hard to find a gardening blog to relate to (everything is based in Florida or up North). I am glad you think spiderwort is a flower and not a weed. We actually mow around ours. I know the neighbors think we're crazy leaving all those pretty weeds in the yard!!!