Earth Day, where are we now and how did we get here?
This blog is going to fairly long and contain a couple of different thoughts as I feel there are several important things to consider on Earth Day 2015. My problem as I write this is to try and make my thoughts coherent for all to follow.
Earth Day and Greenwashing... a corporate stage...
These can come with a hefty price. In Tucson, we celebrated Earth Day on Saturday with a parade and fair in a public park. There was a park to rent from the City to hold the festival and Police on Over Time were used to supplement the regular contingent for the Parade so as not to diminish response time for real situations requiring a police response.
I became involved with a local group called, Reclaim Earth Day, which took a good look at who was sponsoring our local events. A group names SAEMS, Southern Arizona Environmental Management Society. Sounds really impressive and like a group that goes hand-in-hand with Earth Day. Then you look at the companies that make up SAEMS- a copper mining company, Rosemont Copper Company. They want to expand mining to leave a 100 story mountain of trailing and use approx 15 million gallons of water to accomplish this. Then there is Raytheon Missile Systems. Hmmm...when did defense contractors who are tasked with creating devastation and which holds over $50 million in missile contracts with the US Military become an environmental company?? Then there are 2 Aerospace Companies and out local Tucson Electric Power, which is a holding of a Canadian Company, Fortis that has large fracking operations in the US and Canada and opened 2 hydroelectric power plants in Belize where they lied about fault lines, poisoned a river or two with mercury and destroyed sensitive rainforest land. (Utility Deal Company has Deceitful Past by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), I didn't mention that they operate a large coal burning power generating plant, Sundt Power Station.
Then there is ALCOA:
Case Summary: Alcoa, Inc. to conduct $243 million cleanup at Grasse River Superfund Site in New York.
Case Summary: $24.9 Million Cleanup Settlement Reached for the North Alcoa Superfund Alternative Site in Illinois.
Yep, those are environmentally concerned groups that should be sponsoring a day celebrating our environment and our planet. I urge all of you to look at who's sponsoring events in your area and ask that only Green Companies sponsor and get promotion for their participation in Earth Day Events. Then patronize those that match the embodiment of the day.
Interesting but why would or should a homesteader or prepper care?
All of these principles and practices are a part of what Earth Day is all about.
Yes but we're only 1 family or 1 person, what can we really do to make a difference?
What does Arid Acres do to help the situation?
- Harvesting greywater.
- Switched to environmentally friendly and biodegradable soaps, shampoo and laundry detergents.
- Harvest rainwater.
- Built berms to slow down and direct rain and surface run off.
- We grow heirloom and certified organic fruits and vegetables.
- We use drip irrigation.
- Food left over at the end of a fair or Farmers Market is donated to a shelter.
- We mulch the raised beds with used nest box straw to reduce evaporation.
- Everything possible from the kitchen.
- The deep straw litter and chicken poop.
- The rabbit droppings.
- Paper and mail of all kinds. Most newspapers are now using a soy based ink that won't harm the composting process.
- Repurposing- old iced tea and water bottles are now seed starting cups and the tops are mini greenhouses for transplants during the early season. Drums from broken washers are now feeders for the sheep.
- I stopped driving and now rely on walking, biking and public transportation.
- We don't use a tractor on the property.
- We feed certified organic feed to our hens.
- We sell our eggs and our egg cartons are made of 100% recycled materials.
- We repurpose egg cartons given to us by our customers to start seeds in.