Friday, April 22, 2011

My Gift - Seven for Green

Happy Earth Day!

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  ~John Muir

Greetings on this very special day. Although Earth Day comes once a year, many of us celebrate it by green living every day. Each year, I try to add more green living habits into my daily life. It is something that makes me feel as if I am giving back all that has been given to me. I enjoy nature and am very grateful I am able to reap the rewards through gardening and relaxing in natural settings. There is a special quality about our earth and how it silently yields to change--and even during some of the direst circumstances, it renews itself with vigor and pride standing tall and reborn. If you can, try to think of a way to give back today and maybe every day.

Also, I would like to thank all those who have participated and who will participate in The Earth Day Reading Project. I am so impressed with all of the posts, reading selections, and the bits of life and green living that have been shared. And, as a result, I have discovered some new books/magazines to add to my collection.

As a gift to you and the earth, I offer the following seven questions and answers for some areas that do not typically fall in the green category. Have a great Earth Day!


What is ecotourism?

Ecotourism is a type of travel that minimizes the impact on the environment while supporting that environment or developing country. Sometimes this travel includes participating in environmental projects. Some ecotourism companies include:

Ecotour Expeditions offers travel through the Amazonian rainforest, Costa Rica, Peru, and other areas.

Gap Adventures offers volunteer tours, family adventure tours, and cruise expeditions.

Orbitz lists eco-friendly hotels, volunteer opportunities, and the top eco-friendly destinations.

What can I do with my old cell phone?

Donate your phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers. The money they receive for recycling cell phones is used to buy calling cards for troops.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence receives donations of cell phones. The money they receive from recycling is used to fund their programs.

Flipswap is a service where you can trade in your old phone for a check. They determine the value of your old cell phone using powerful pricing software. They also plant a tree for every phone that is recycled.

Cell for Cash has a similar deal where you trade in your old cell phone for cash.

Why is it important to recycle my old cell phone instead of throw it in the trash?

Cell phones contain various toxic chemicals that can contaminate the soil, water, and even the air. By recycling, much of these toxins can be contained or reused or disposed of properly. Manufacturers are developing better ways to reduce or eliminate these toxins for more eco-friendly cell phones.

What is an alternative to synthetic body moisturizers?

Moisturizing oils made from seeds of fruits and nuts are better than moisturizing oils made from petroleum. Try checking the labels of products to find out what is in them.

What are some good documentaries for appreciating the earth on Earth Day?

Fern Gully (great for kids)

Can I compost pizza boxes?

Yes, pizza boxes are fine to compost. Tear them into smaller pieces so they will decompose more quickly.


What are some alternatives to clay or clumping cat litter?

These litters end up in the landfill and also sometimes contain chemicals that are not healthy to breathe. Shredded newspaper or cedar shavings can be used as cat litter. Some natural cat litters have been developed to clump, such as those made of corn or wheat. And yet other natural cat litters are made from pine. Many of these natural litters are flushable, but check the product packaging for more information. Some brand names include:

The World's Best Cat Litter - clumping litter made from corn

Swheat Scoop - clumping litter made from wheat

Feline Pine - original and scoopable litter made from natural pine

Yesterday's News - made from recycled paper
©Michelle A. Potter


  1. This year, Earth Day falls on a National Holiday in England. It's Good Friday.

    What this actually means is that lots of gardeners (who really ought to be Earth conscious, if anyone is) are at home running their petrol mowers, creating noise and pollution. The man next door to me had a bonfire this afternoon.

    And most striking of all are warnings on the news today, saying that air pollution in London, has just reached an eight year high. It's giving a health warning to susceptible groups of people.

    Those who are interested in educating the public about environmental matters have got a very long way to go.

  2. Sorry for posting two comments, but this has had me thinking...

    Gardeners really ought to be Earth conscious. But a lot are not. There is a big divide between eco-friendly gardeners, and 'main-stream' gardeners.

    I'm thinking about things like using not slug pellets or insecticide sprays, making space for wildlife, letting some grass grow long, and leaving some areas a bit untidy. Practices like those are still an anathema to possibly the majority of gardeners.

  3. Thanks for hosting this Earth Day meme, and thanks for all the excellent tips. I had never thought about cat litter and its toxic potential. Certainly corn or wheat alternatives are more appealing to me.

    Gorgeous tulips and daffodils on your previous post!

  4. Great project and thx for hosting...perhaps next year if you decide to do it again we can link in so we have a place to see all the posts...great Earth Day posts with lots of good ideas...

  5. These are all great ideas! When I teach my students about nonrenewable energy, they are shocked to find out how much oil we use everyday. I try to avoid petroleum based products as much as possible. Shopping takes longer, but it's worth it.

  6. @Robur d'Amour You make some very good points, and it is very frustrating at times. Somewhere along the line--perhaps during the period of industrialization--we lost touch with the earth. And our thirst for machines, technology, and conveniences propelled us way beyond the natural, the land. I feel as passionate as you, and I hope that, in time, the movement towards more sustainable living becomes the norm. Thanks for such thoughtful comments.

  7. @Rose You are very welcome, and thanks go to you for joining in the project. I enjoyed reading about your selections and your mother. I use the corn litter, and I like it very much.

  8. @Donna After searching for and reading all the selections, I agree, if there is a next time, Mr. Linky is joining in. Thanks for coming by.

  9. @Casa Mariposa We are trying as well to eliminate all petroleum products, but it is hard. We keep discovering it everywhere.

  10. Dear Butterfly, This is a very thought-provoking posting! Your meme was awesome - I hope you do it again next year. P x

  11. Thanks for the tips and Happy Earth Day to you! I haven't made the switch to eco litter yet, but keep hearing great things about WBCL. I'm committing right now to give it a try.

    Cute kitty you have there :-)

  12. @Pam's English Garden Thank you, Pam. I am so glad you enjoyed it. I have made a long list for summer reading from all the posts. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. @Ginger Hi Ginger. Simba is 16 years old and still going strong. My other, Sasha, is six. They like the corn litter. At first, they tried to eat it, but then they figured it out. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. For some reason, it is not possible to leave a comment through Blotanical, so here I am finally. I enjoyed this post and all the ones from the meme. It was a great idea you had and some good writing came from it, along with all the good reading on the book suggestions. Your suggestions today are helpful. I have been to Costa Rica and was there on a building project in the rain forest. The project centered on eco-tourism. And I did donate two old cell phones. It feels good to help others while helping the environment too.

  15. Donna, it must have been exciting to have visited Costa Rica...and rewarding. I have heard it is a very beautiful place. It is on my list of places to visit.

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'I see trees of green, red roses, too
I see 'em bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world'
--What a Wonderful World

Thank you for visiting The Sage Butterfly blog. I enjoy reading your charming reflections very much. Have a great day!

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