Friday, April 29, 2011

All the Books and Blogs from The Earth Day Reading Project in One Spot

Although at times I have taken classes and consulted with experts, family, and friends, much of my knowledge has come from books. And then my experience takes me further. Books usually contain a host of ideas and information suitable for the subject at hand and to assist me in more learning. Before there was the internet, I was in the library at least once a week to explore a new subject. It was a place I could go to learn and discover--even as an adult. I have been inspired, educated, and entertained by books. And that is why I thought it might be interesting to see what books others have found environmentally inspiring in The Earth Day Reading Project.

As I read the posts for the project, I was even more inspired to delve into books and learn something new or read how someone uniquely managed something with which I was already familiar. Some books I had read, some I had heard about, and some were new to me. A few times, the description of a book or how the book influenced the reader was so inspiring, I was ready to read a book again. Often I was pleasantly surprised to discover what books were selected. Fiction, children's books, and even poetry were included. Science fiction, magazines, and newspapers were often inspirational. Some selected books fall in no environmental category but were inspirational nonetheless. It is so interesting to discover what inspires one person or another.

Some bloggers were inspired as children and some were inspired as adults. Some bloggers mentioned people that influenced them and taught them about the majesty of nature and how reverent we should be in our living with it. Many of the posts included a little about how they perform acts of green every day in their homes, in their gardens, and in their offices. After reading all the posts, I discovered some new blogs and experienced some familiar blogs in a new way. Learning what inspires others sheds light into who people are. And it was nice to see another side.

For my reference and for yours, I thought it would be nice to have the list of books (and other reads) in one place. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts, and I have made a long personal list of books for reading.  Below is a list of the selected books and the blogs that participated. The books are linked to Amazon so you can read its description. This is in no way a plug for Amazon--although I like and use Amazon--but it is a good way of finding out more about each book. The blogs that participated are listed below the books. It is almost sad to have to separate the books from the blog posts because these posts were so well done. The stories, descriptions, and personal accounts are so inspirational. If you have missed any of them, give them a look. If I have missed someone, please let me know and I will add you to the list.

I have changed The Earth Day Reading Project badge to point to this post for easy access to the list of books. I will keep it up for a while to allow everyone enough time to refer to the list. Enjoy!


50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth - The Earthworks Group
1001 Gardening Secrets the Experts Never Tell You - FC & A Publishing
1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus - Charles Mann
A Guide to Green Housekeeping - Christina Strutt
A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold (essays on conservation)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver
Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature - Linda J. Lear
Beginner's Guide to Earthworm Farming - Mary Murphy
Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot with an Arctic Herd - Karsten Heuer
Bringing Nature Home - Douglas W. Tallamy
Bugs in the System: Insects and Their Impact on Human Affairs - May R. Berenbaum
By Oak, Ash, and Thorn - D.J. Conway (shamanism, celtic wisdom)
Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and For Travelers in the Wilderness - Horace Kephart
Choose to Reuse - Nikki & David Goldbeck
Collins Complete Guide to British Insects - Michael Chinery
Converting to an Eco-Friendly Home - Paul Hymers
Crockett's Victory Garden - James Underwood Crockett
Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul - Elizabeth Murray
David Attenborough's Life Stories - David Attenborough (nature)
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet - Bill McKibben
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer - Novella Carpenter
Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser
Finding Sanctuary in Nature - Jim Pathfinder Ewing (native american ceremonies for healing)
Foxfire Book (and other Foxfire books) - Foxfire Fund (how-to, natural living)
Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces - Susan Morrison
Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses - Robin Wall Kimmerer
Gnomes - Will Huygen
Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden - Sally Jean Cunningham
Greenhouse Gardener's Companion - Shane Smith
In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan (food and whole foods)
How to Make a Forest Garden - Patrick Whitefield
How to Make a Wildlife Garden - Chris Baines
Kitchen Garden Planner - Darrell Trout, Cathy Barash, Jo Kellum
How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth - David Attenborough, BBC
My First Summer in the Sierra - John Muir
My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World - Paul Stamets
National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America - Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer
Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines - William Cullina
Naturalist - Edward O. Wilson (autobiography of a naturalist)
Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards - Sara Stein (backyard ecology)
Northwest Coastal Wildflowers - Dana Visalli, Derrick Ditchburn, Walt Lockwood
Organic Gardening - Pauline Pears, Sue Strickland, Royal Horticultural Society, Christopher Brickell
Passalong Plants - Steve Bender, Felder Rushing, Allen Lacy
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America - Roger Tory Peterson
Powers of Ten: About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe - Phylis Morrison
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs - Claire Kowalchik and William H. Hylton
Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political and Environmental Change - Clea Danaan
See You in a Hundred Years: Discover One Young Family's Search for a Simpler Life - Logan Ward
Silent Spring - Rachel Carson
Square Foot Gardening - Mel Bartholomew
Teaming with Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web - Jeff Lowenfels, Wayne Lewis, Elaine Ingham
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds - National Audubon Society
The Barefoot Beekeeper - P.J. Chandler
The Bible
The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices - Michael Brower and Warren Leon
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge - Jeremy Narby
The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival - Stephen R. Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka
The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man - David Attenborough
The Garden Guardian's Guide to Environmentally-responsible Garden Care - Johan Gerber
The Golden Spruce: The True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed - John Vaillant
The Insects: An Outline of Etymology - P.J. Gullan
The Limits of Growth - Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows
The Moosewood Cookbook - Mollie Katzen
The Natural History of Selborne - Gilbert White (natural environment)
The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live - Sarah Susanka and Kira Obolensky
The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan
The Ornamental Kitchen Garden - Geoff Hamilton
The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale
The Private Life of Plants - David Attenborough
The Revolutionary Yardscape - Matthew Levesque
The Rodale Book of Composting - Grace Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin
The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox - Jennifer Lee Carrell
The Tightwad Gazette - Amy Dacyczyn
Tropical Horticulture & Gardening - Francis S. P. Ng
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
What are People For? - Wendell Berry (ecology essays)
Whole Earth Catalog - various


Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
Dune - Frank Herbert
Emily of New Moon - L.M. Montgomery
Forty Signs of Rain - Kim Stanley Robinson
Grass - Sheri S. Tepper
In the Garden Trilogy - Nora Roberts
Ishmael: An Adventure of Mind and Spirit - Daniel Quinn
Lark Rise to Candleford - Flora Thompson
O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
Soylent Green - Harry Harrison
Swami and Friends - N.K. Narayan
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lost Child - Mulk Raj Anand
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Whispering in Shadows - Jeanette C. Armstrong
Wolf Totem - Jiang Rong and Howard Goldblatt

Children's Books

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky - Susan J. Jeffers
Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes - Beatrix Potter
Gumnut Babies - May Gibbs
Miss Rumphious - Barbara Cooney
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
The Lorax - Dr. Seuss
The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter
The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies - Beatrix Potter
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin - Beatrix Potter
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle


Dog, Fox, Field - Les A. Murray
To A Mouse (poem) - Robert Burns


The Washington Post


Dwell Magazine
National Geographic
Organic Gardening
The Gardener (South Africa)

Participating Blogs

A Garden of Possibilities
A Walk in Our Garden
Asea Aranion - Healing and Death
Bamboo and More
Birds, Blooms, Books
Blue Heron Landscapes
Blush and Bees
Canoe Corner
Casa Mariposa
Cool as a Cucumber
Ecological Gardening
Elephant's Eye
Experiments with Plants
Garden by the Sound
Gardening with Binoculars
Gardens Eye View
Green Out Every Window
It's Not Work, It's Gardening
Jean's Garden
Joene's Garden
Law of the Land
My Garden, My Hobbies
My Nice Garden
My Weeds Are Very Sorry
My World of Euphoria
On a Hays County Hill
Patio Patch
Polka Dot Galoshes
Prairie Rose's Garden
Roses and Other Gardening Joys
South of Sunnybrook
Southern Meadows
Summit Springs Farm
Sweet Bean Gardening
The Bunnies Buffet
The Gardening Blog
The Metropolitan Field Guide
The New Adventures of Hemlock Hollow
The Sundial Garden
©Michelle A. Potter

Related posts: The Earth Day Reading Project

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rumpelstiltskin Riches - In the Garden

(Rumpelstiltskin Riches, a monthly feature of The Sage Butterfly blog, describes ways to reuse common items.)

When we think we have used something up in the garden, there just may be another use for it. Or something around the house may be reused in the garden.

Garden Gloves

- When holes appear, darn them as you would socks. Here's a video on how to darn a sock or darn anything:

Egg Cartons

- A great way to reuse egg cartons is to use them for planting seeds. Punch a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg pocket, fill with soil, and plant seeds. Be sure to keep everything moist.

Garden Hoses

- Punch a few holes in a garden hose and use as a makeshift soaker hose.

- Use a slit hose to cover and protect the trunk of a young tree.


- Newspaper is a great way to get rid of weeds in a flower bed. Spread the newspaper over the weeds and top with mulch. The newspaper kills the weeds and then decomposes to add nutrients to your plants.

Nylon Stockings

- Got a run in your pantyhose? Cut them up into strips and use them to stake your tomato plants.

- Store plant bulbs in nylon stockings to keep them dry.

Plastic Lids

- Use plastic lids as plant saucers.

Glass Jars

- Use large glass jars as cloches to protect your tender vegetable seedlings from the cold.

Plastic Milk Carton - One Gallon

- Cut the bottom off of a plastic milk carton and use as a scoop in potting soil, sand, or compost.


- Use one part water and one part vinegar to make a mixture to kill weeds. For more stubborn weeds, use more vinegar than water.

Plastic Plant Pots

- Use plastic plant pots to scoop potting soil or compost.

- Use them as cloches to cover your tender vegetables during a cold night. Be sure to remove them in the morning when it warms up.

- Large plastic plant pots can be carried around the garden as you weed and prune.

Grass Clippings

- Use grass clippings as mulch in the vegetable garden. If seeds are a concern, add them to the compost pile.

Old Birdhouses

- Old birdhouses can be placed on the ground to offer a protected place for frogs and other wildlife.

Baking Soda

- Baking soda acts as a natural fungicide against Black Spot or White Powdery Mildew on plants. Mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda to one gallon of milk and spray on plants. If you want the mixture to have a little more staying power, add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent or horticultural oil to the mixture.

Compact Discs

- After spreading grass seed on the lawn, tie compact discs to shrubs and tree branches to deter birds from eating the seed. The movement and the glint from the reflection of the sun as it moves will scare them away.

What are some of your ideas for reusing in the garden?
©Michelle A. Potter

Related Post:
Rumpelstiltskin Riches - March

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

Monday, April 18, 2011

Finding Green in Everyday Life

As I write this, I am watching a couple of young squirrels chase each other up and down a tree in the woods just beyond our backyard. Adorable and energetic, it occurred to me they represent the attraction Earth's nature has always had. We are drawn to watching the wild in its habitat. We are curious, awed, and sometimes inspired to keep it safe. A view from a window can draw us in and even offer a respite or serenity. We are part of this Earth and it is part of us.

Most of us do not need anyone to tell us we need to go green because we already live green. There are really very few people who do not do at least one or two acts of green living these days. Green living has become part of our lives--if only because our municipalities ask us to recycle or we buy organic because we think it is a healthier choice. Many grocery stores are no longer providing bags but are encouraging customers to bring their own. And more companies are producing products in a more concentrated form to avoid using more packaging. We are becoming more and more green whether we realize it or not.

When companies make decisions to provide more eco-friendly products or use less packaging, it makes it easier on us as consumers. We need not search far and wide to find products that are considered eco-friendly. Whether we make those conscious choices or not, the green of it remains. Our purchase and our use of those products makes us all green. Sure, there are many things we can do to be more green, more eco-friendly, but when governments and companies make decisions that guide is in a green direction--we all benefit.

Much of our vernacular in defining someone who lives an eco-friendly lifestyle includes words, such as tree-hugger, environmentalist, conservationist, and naturalist. These words seem to imply a sense of extremism--someone who would never use a paper towel or ride in a car or even live in a traditionally constructed home. Unreasonable as that may seem, we seem to impose these same guidelines on ourselves thinking we are not green if we are not going green all the way. There must be an all or nothing thought process and behavior. There must be a sense of perfection clearly leaning towards one side of something. Although the quest for perfection in all things is admirable, the attainment of perfection is rarely possible.

Having said that, I would never begrudge anyone their quest for perfection should that be their chosen path. Anyone attempting such a feat deserves great respect. On the other hand, I think those who juggle life, career, family, creative pursuits, volunteer and charity work, traveling, and hobbies deserve respect for giving so much of themselves to so many. All in all, we are a world filled with people of varying talents, gifts, and abilities. Would it be fair to require that we all behave in the same way? Defining ourselves in such a confining way can deter many of us from ever wanting to do anything green at all.

I think we, as human beings, are always on a quest to improve some area of our lives at any given moment. It is part of our nature, our evolution. If we are living green, can we live greener? Why, of course. Even if we have been able to find a focus and reach that stage of perfect sustainable living, there will always be something new to learn or some new tool that can assist us in that quest.

Some ideas -

How to remember to bring those reusable bags to the store:

-Store the bags in the front seat of the car, so you will see them when you grab your purse or list.

-Keep a note in the car to remind you to bring them inside the store.

-Keep the bags hanging in the area where you hang your coat.

-Use the folding bags that can be stored in your purse or pocket.

Make it easy to recycle:

-Store the recycle bin under your sink or by the door to the garage.

-Temporarily keep notes around to remind you what can be recycled until it becomes second nature.

-Recycle aluminum, plastic, and paper products. Check with your landfill as to what items are being accepted for recycling.

-Compost newspaper, cardboard, tea bags, dryer lint, pet fur,and cotton from pill bottles.

-Start a recycling bin at work or at your church.

-Bring your own bottled water in an aluminum reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water. If you do buy bottled water, recycle the bottle.

Finding the green:

-Take reusable containers with you to the restaurant to hold leftovers instead of using the plastic or Styrofoam provided by the restaurant. (My husband and I love using the Tupperware Flat Outs for this purpose. They fold up nicely to store in the car.)

-Try to slowly add a new green living habit into your life as often as you can. Do this at your own pace. If we feel overwhelmed, we rarely stick with something.

-Make things fun. Include the kids, the family, or the neighbors. Green living does not need to be drudgery.

-Stop and think before throwing something out. Is there a reuse for it? Can it be recycled? Would someone be interested in having it?
©Michelle A. Potter

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Day for Celebration and Silent Appreciation

Celebrating Earth Day is celebrating the planet that provides much to sustain us. In honoring the earth, we are honoring the physical and spiritual embodiment of life as we know it. The earth is a vast living structure that feeds us, provides the materials to clothe and shelter us, and offers us peace and serenity in its natural settings.

My husband and I have spent many an Earth Day volunteering or attending events. I think this year we will find some time during the day to spend it not doing or going but staying home and being with nature--attempting to truly offer appreciation in spirit. We try to honor the earth in our everyday actions and commitments, but rarely do we sit down, take in the scents and the view of our garden and nearby forest, and relish the gift of living on this planet. I believe that will be our gift this year--silent appreciation.

 Some ideas for celebrating Earth Day 2011:

- Take the kids out for a neighborhood cleanup.

- Plant a tree, a garden, or anything.

- Walk to work or to the train station or to the store one day.

- Hold a scavenger hunt to find green living items, such as cloth bags, a bicycle, a compost pile, etc.

- Help a senior citizen build a garden.

- Bike to work or to the store one day.

- Develop an Earth Day celebration in your neighborhood.

- Commute to work one day instead of driving.

Here are some other ways to celebrate or contribute:

The Earth Day Network has organized a project, Billion Acts of Green, where you can pledge an act of green. They are keeping count and as of this post have over 80 million pledges.

The Eco-Libris blog has begun a project, 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book.

Disneynature releases their new movie, African Cats, on Earth Day, April 22, 2011. Buy a ticket for opening week and proceeds go towards saving the Savanna.

Picnic for the Planet is a celebration of the planet, its food, and its people. The Nature Conservancy is sponsoring this event to celebrate Earth Day 2011.

In Washington D.C., Earth Day on the National Mall will be held on April 16 and April 17, and an Earth Day celebration will be held at the National Zoo.

The Earth Day New York organization is hosting multiple events throughout the city to celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day San Francisco is hosting an Earth Day celebration with various speakers and entertainers and exhibits.

Earth Day Atlanta is hosting a 5K Green Dash as well as other events.

Earth Day in Boston, Massachusetts will be celebrated with a Charles River cleanup, special events at The Children's Museum, and concerts.

Earth Day Canada is hosting various programs and has a list of events for each province.

Check for Earth Day Events in your area.

Earth Day Facts

©Michelle A. Potter

Monday, April 11, 2011

Win a Car, a Trip, a Rain Barrel! Earth Day Contests, Sweepstakes, Giveaways

Various companies, organizations, and blogs are celebrating Earth Day 2011 in numerous ways. Many organizations hold contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways. Here are a few:

Seventh Generation is sponsoring Green Your Town Sweepstakes. Individuals can win a $10,000 Green Home Makeover.

Earth Day Canada is sponsoring a Hometown Heroes Award Program with a $10,000 cash prize.

Earthbound Farm is sponsoring a photo contest. The winner will receive a gourmet weekend in Monterey, California.

Our Everyday Earth is giving away 50 tree seedlings sponsored by Tree Beginnings to celebrate Earth Day.

Recyclebank is sponsoring the Green Your Home challenge with prizes, such as an $8,000 green kitchen makeover, Nook e-reader, solar backpack, and more.

The Sierra Club is sponsoring the Be an Eco Hero contest. Prizes include a trip for two to Puerto Rico's Vieques Island with accommodations.

Vegetarian Times is sponsoring sweepstakes with Annie Chun's cuisine. Prizes include a $75 basket full of vegetarian selections.

Consumer Electronics Association is sponsoring a photo and video contest.

Kelloggs is holding an Earth Day sweepstakes where you can win a Ford Fusion Hybrid. And with the purchase of two Kelloggs cereals, you can get a free reusable bag.

The Earth Day Network has an Earth Day giveaway that includes over $1,000 in products.

S J Creations is sponsoring an Earth Day giveaway that includes over $100 worth of Pure Organics Face care products.

Jan at Thanks for Today blog is hosting The Gardener's Sustainable Living Project with some great giveaways, such as a rain barrel, composter, and garden tools and gloves.

Mountaintop Tribe blog is sponsoring an Earth Day sweepstakes to win $250 gear to go green.

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is sponsoring a photo and essay contest for children in grades 5 - 8. Prizes include a digital camera, digital frame, and digital photo key chain.

EcoSmart World is offering a giveaway in exchange for your answer to a green question.

Greenroofs is sponsoring an Earth Day photo contest.

Yoga Journal and Three Minute Egg are sponsoring an Earth Day sweepstakes to win a Three Minute Egg®  Starter Kit.

Submit your entries as quickly as you can because some promotions end soon.
©Michelle A. Potter

Friday, April 8, 2011

Earth Day Reading Project - Blog Meme

Earth Day is April 22, 2011.

Earth Day founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, organized a national environmental teach-in to educate people about environmental concerns in 1970 which became the first Earth Day.  In 1990, Denis Hayes, the original national coordinator of Earth Day 1970, took the movement international by organizing events worldwide. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in varying degrees by numerous organizations around the world.

As a tribute to Earth Day this year, I will be publishing numerous posts on Earth Day activities, events, and what others are doing for this special day. My first post in this tribute is a blog meme with the following rules:

Create a new blog post and...

1. Link back to the person who invited/tagged you, and link back to this post.

2. List at least three books that inspired you to perform any sustainable living act or inspired you to live green, and then tell us why they inspired you. These books do not have to be about green living. Nonfiction and fiction apply.

3. Select at least three other blogs to invite/tag for the project and post a link to them. Let each of the invitees know they have been tagged by emailing them or posting a comment on their blog and linking them back to this post to get the rules.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you have published your Earth Day Reading Project post.

5. All posts must be completed by midnight EDT April 23, 2011. If you are invited/tagged on April 23, 2011, then skip Rule #3 above. If you want, go ahead and do a shout-out to some blogs.

This project is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, share something different with your readers, and promote your blog. I will be following the posts and look forward to reading all of them.

Note: If, for any reason, you do not want to participate, email or post a comment back to the one who invited/tagged you politely declining the invitation. That blogger can, then, invite someone else.

The Books That Inspired Me

Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. What inspired me most about this book is the healing nature of the garden. When I began to see how plants and flowers offer refuge, sanctuary, and beauty, I could then see the importance of offering reverence and consideration towards the environment.

Choose to Reuse by Nikki & David Goldbeck. This book offers reuse options for various products. When I first read this book, I began to realize how easy it is to find multiple uses for common household items and to find resources for used items.

50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth by The Earthworks Group. This is a book that was very popular in the 90's especially after the impactful Earth Day 1990 celebration. A massive green movement ensued, and this book was one of the mainstays. I found this book to be very inspiring with its simplicity and ease of use. The suggestions are sound. Every now and then I go through this book to see what other thing I can incorporate as a practice.

My Earth Day Reading Project Blog Invitations

Here are some great blogs and bloggers to get us started:

A Green Earth - a blog by an artist discovering sustainable living
Asea Aranion - Healing and Death - a blog about gardening in Singapore
Eden's Container - a blog by a writer and gardener
Gardens Eye View - a blog about the soul of life and gardening
Garden Walk Garden Talk - a blog celebrating the beauty and creativity of gardening
Gardener's Watch - a blog about a citraphile and gardener living in Texas
Gardening and Cleaning - a blog offering professional tips on cleaning and gardening
The Gardening Blog - a blog by two gardeners with two very different gardens
Hurtling Towards 60 and Beyond - a blog chronicling gardening while moving towards 60
Improving on the Silence - a blog about the daily life of a mom, photographer, writer
Law of the Land - a blog about a lawyer who'd rather be a gardener
Living as Herby - a blog about living in harmony with nature
My Nice Garden - a blog about gardening in Malaysia
My Secret Garden - a blog about gardening and traveling
The New Adventures of Hemlock Hollow - a blog chronicling the journey of a homesteader in the city
Planticru Notes - a blog about gardening in Scotland
Polka Dot Galoshes - a gardening blog with an organic and frugal flair
Southern Meadows - a blog about gardening and garden wildlife
Viggies Veggies - a blog about urban homesteading
Wall Flower Studio - a blog by an artist and gardener
©Michelle A. Potter

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Wordless Wednesday - Dallas Blooms 2011
(Thank you, Mary!)
©Michelle A. Potter

Monday, April 4, 2011

Earthly Moneysavers

Many of the things we do to save energy, reduce waste, or reuse something old save us money as well. Generations before us used these tried and true methods for everyday living. When we reuse something, we find a way to eliminate more waste in the landfill. When we reduce our energy usage, we reduce our impact on pollution and consumption. These are easy ways to make a difference and save some money.

  • Hand wash delicate items in cold water instead of dry cleaning them.

  • Make your own confectioner's sugar. Grind granulated sugar in a spice mill or food processor with a blade attachment.

  • Make your own gourmet coffee. Add cinnamon or cocoa to coffee before brewing.

  • Reuse the juice from canned vegetables or canned tuna. Use in casseroles or soups.

  • Save water from boiling eggs or soaking legumes for watering plants. Water from eggs is full of calcium and water from soaking legumes is full of nitrogen.

  • Reuse tea bags. Most tea bags can be used for at least one more cup of tea without any sense of dilution.

  • Use half as much laundry detergent. Clothes still come out clean.

  • Use the small leftover wrapping paper pieces to make gift tags. Cut a small rectangle out of the wrapping paper and fold in half.

  • Root cuttings of plants instead of buying new ones.

  • Make your own ground spices, such as ground pepper, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander by using a spice mill to grind them.

  • Wash your car after a rain storm. After the storm, wipe off with a cloth.
©Michelle A. Potter
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