I have been living sustainably for over 25 years, but sustainable living is about constant and consistent vigilance and mindfulness. For the rest of my life, there will be more things I can do and more things I can learn to be greener, more energy-conscious, and more earth-conscious. What are some things you can do to celebrate Earth Day in 2011? Here are some ways I intend to live more sustainably this year:
1. Incorporate more water conservation methods in my garden. I love flowers and plants and have quite a large garden, so I try to keep them as healthy as possible during those very hot months with enough water to keep them alive. Sometimes that seems to be too much. This year, I want to try to find some ways to keep my plants healthy but save more water. I have some soaker hoses, but they do not work well on hills--of which I have many.
- Some things I already do: use soaker hoses, mulch, water early in the morning, water deeply, water sparingly
- Some things I will try to do: use more soaker hoses, incorporate some sort of irrigation system, plant fewer annuals :(
3.Add more rain barrels. I have four rain barrels with two on each downspout in the back. When we have a lot of rain, they fill up very quickly. I could easily add two more, one additional for each downspout.
5. Propagate more, buy less. If I get near a plant sale, I eventually come home with more plants than I really need. I usually do find space for them, but then I have the leftover plastic pots. If I propagated more of my own plants or traded plants with a friend, there would be little or no waste. To get rid of the plastic pots, I either recycle them, take them to a local nursery, or post them as available on http://www.freecycle.org/.
6. Teach more people to compost. As a Master Gardener, I teach composting classes. I also initiated and am involved in the Master Composter/Recycler Program. Our first Master Composter/Recycler class graduates April 12. One thing I have learned is once people start composting, they really begin to enjoy it and they spread the word.
7. Take more time to enjoy my garden. This may or may not be considered a sustainable living activity, but it seems to me that taking some quiet time to relax and enjoy can only benefit us, our friends and family, and the earth. If I have taken that time to relax and enjoy, I have more to give to others and the planet.
Jan over at the Thanks for Today blog is celebrating Earth Day with the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project to encourage garden bloggers to write about ways in which we are incorporating more sustainable practices in our yard and garden. Take a moment to check out her blog: http://thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/2011/03/gardeners-sustainable-living-2011-win.html
©Michelle A. Potter