Tennesseetransitions


Loving This Planet: How to Make a Better World

2013

On this Earth Day, I’m in the middle of a thoughtful and troubling book with the same title as this post. It’s written by Helen Caldicott, and her message is so much on my mind today that I felt inspired to tell you some of what I’m learning from her book. First let me say that the author spoke right here in my city last year, and I MISSED HER TALK!! Michael heard her speak many years ago, out in California, but I wasn’t able to go hear her locally, and I’ve regretted it ever since-especially now that I’m reading this book. Ms. Caldicott is a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and was named one of the most influential women of the twentieth century by the Smithsonian Institute. She hosts the weekly radio program “If You Love This Planet” and is the author of numerous books, none of which I’ve read-until now. Since I don’t want this post to turn into a book report, I decided to pick one thing that I can do to make a better world, and let you read the book for yourself (yes, it’s in the library).

After a lot of thought, several conversations, and some quiet meditation time on this matter, I know what I can do to make a better world. It came to me while recalling a conversation that I had at church yesterday with my friend Deanna. She said my blog inspires her; not necessarily to DO something, but it simply inspires her. And you know what? That’s good enough. I hope I can inspire you too, just like Ms Caldicott has inspired me with her writing. I changed my damn light bulbs years ago, I gave up meat, I grow food, geez, I even moved to town so I could become more dependent on my feet and my bicycle to get me to the places I need to go. I carry my tote bags to the store, I make my own green cleaners, and I don’t throw things ‘away’ (since there is no ‘away’) and still, the CO2 levels are rising, the seas are rising and the temperatures are rising. In other words, I don’t feel like my individual actions are having much effect except on my own personal life. But yet another conversation just this morning has given me a new idea. Tonya said ‘we need POLICIES’ to be made to protect the earth and our grandchildren. President O’bama will make his decision about the Keystone Pipeline project by the end of the year. The State Department’s official public comment period about it is now. You can sign a petition against the Tar Sands project by signing it here: http://act.350.org/letter/a_million_strong_against_keystone/¬† OR you can make your voice heard by sending an email to:¬†keystonecomments@state.gov. I’m trying to make a better world by inspiring you to help make policies that will be best for the future of our country and our planet. I’ve never asked anything of you, dear reader. But this is important.Please take one minute-today!- to comment. One minute. One Earth. Pass it on too, then let me know in the comments section below if you’re inspired enough to take action. Together, we can do this.¬†




Just Sayin’…
April 4, 2013, 9:21 PM
Filed under: Frugality, Green Cleaners, Sustainability, Urban Hens | Tags: , , ,

It seems about once a month I have several little ideas I want to share with you, none of which could make a complete post by themselves. So I’ve decided to make ‘Just Sayin’ a regular feature of this blog so I’ll have a way to do just that. Many of you have told me you like it and it gives me a way to clear my head of what I wanted to tell you-any of you that know me well, know that my memory sucks, so it’s best if I do it this way.

I’ve come across an idea that is so simple, frugal and useful I can’t believe I haven’t tried it before now. You know those household cleaners that are orange based? If you’ll save your orange peels (minus the white, pithy part) in a jar covered with white vinegar, let it sit a few weeks, then strain it into a (repurposed) spray bottle, you can use it diluted or full strength for cleaning anything but wood and clear glass. It smells nice, uses up all those winter citrus peels, and is One.More.Thing. you don’t need to buy. Just sayin’…

orange peel

Speaking of vinegar… did you know that if the vinegar you buy doesn’t say that it’s made from ‘whole grains’, ‘fruits’ or ‘wine’ that it’s made instead with a starter that comes from petroleum? How UNsustainable is that? Check the labels on off -brands of vinegars since I assume if you are eco-concious enough to be making and using your own homemade green cleaners, you care about such things. One of these days I’m going to make some vinegar from my own starter and when I do, I’ll write about it here. In the meantime, check out this new Heinz Cleaning Vinegar, with 6% acidity, compared to 4 or 5% for other brands. Just sayin’…

heinz cleaning vinegar label 1

Another ‘a-ha!’ moment came to me recently. Years ago, when I first began using cloth bags for carrying my purchases, I’d forget to bring them to the store with me. That is, until I started keeping them in the car. I don’t eat out often, but I’ve noticed that many times, it’s more food than I can eat so I’d have to ask for a f-f-f-ffoam container to hold my leftovers. I solved the problem by keeping my own takeout container in my car too. Ditch the foam. Just sayin’…

leftovers

I’ve attended a couple of city commissioner candidate forums recently and have narrowed my choices down to the two that I feel will best be able to guide my community during these transitional times of energy depletion, climate change and economic sequesters, fiscal cliffs and recessions. They also assure me they’re okay with backyard-hens, and that sounds good to me. Please find out where your candidates stand on issues that are important to you before you vote. Just sayin’…

vote with your fork




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