1. The Father of a Modern Movement
In many ways, being green has never been easier, especially for politicians. The vast majority of Americans now say environmental protection is important to them, and few would vote for a leader who explicitly claims to be “anti-environment.”
But America’s highest office has long had a relationship to the planet that is anything but straightforward. Given enormous social, economic and political changes in our nation’s history, ranking presidents on green criteria is no easy task. This list couldn’t possibly reflect all the issues involved, but it is a subjective look at highlights in the evolution of environmental policy and protection.
To begin, when most Americans think of green presidents, they probably envision Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). “TR” consistently lobbied Congress for wilderness protection, used the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 to set aside 150 million acres of timberland as public domains, and oversaw creation of the U.S. Forest Service. Roosevelt also created 50 wildlife refuges and five national parks.
Beyond those accomplishments, TR is well remembered as popularizing the ideas of good resource stewardship and respect for nature. That’s not to say everything was idyllic in those years of heavy logging, mining, urbanization and rapid human expansion, but seeds of consciousness were sown.
2. The Sweater-Wearing Efficiency Expert
3. The Scientist, Philosopher and Idealist
It’s too early to judge Obama’s full environmental record, but so far his administration has successfully rolled back some Bush-era challenges (such as the Global Gag Rule on family planning aid and an attempted sell-off of “roadless” wilderness areas). Obama’s EPA under Lisa Jackson has returned to the business of fining polluters and attempting to address global warming.
Many greens, international leaders and global citizens are deeply disappointed that Obama has failed to show strong leadership on aggressive mitigation of climate change, though Obama supporters are quick to point fingers at vehement opposition from the GOP. Similarly, the president has not been able to stop the mountaintop removal mining juggernaut. For their part, the Center for Biological Diversity gave Obama a grade of C- for the first half of his term, also citing the administration’s failure to ban lead ammunition and fishing tackle and for only listing eight new endangered species in the lower 48.
Obama has earned praise for supporting electric vehicles and clean energy, although actual progress remains to be seen, given budgetary woes, political bickering and the entrenched power of fossil fuels.
Article excerpted from www.thedailygreen.com
This just in from my lunch break: I put in next summer’s garlic crop. You can too! Here’s what you need:
- Digging tool
In most of North America, now’s the time to plant garlic and other bulbs. They will establish some roots before the ground freezes, then sleep all winter to emerge in spring.
What kind of garlic should I plant?
Obviously, you’ll want to plant organic. Not only is it better for you and for the soil, but non-organic garlic is often treated with an anti-sprouting agent that will keep it from growing in the first place.
I recommend seeking out an heirloom variety, ideally a hardneck “true” garlic. Though it can be tempting to pick up elephant garlic for its huge bulbs, elephant garlic is actually more closely related to the onion, and can have trouble if you plant it too late in the fall. True garlic has smaller cloves, but they’re much more potent. For my garlic patch, I picked a Chesnok Red that I picked up from a local permaculture nursery.
Where should I plant it?
Someplace it’ll have good sun, in well-draining soil. You don’t want your bulbs to rot.
If you live someplace that gets very cold with little snow cover, mulch it with straw after the first hard frost. Otherwise, it should survive the winter just fine.
How much should I plant?
Are you kidding? Garlic is delicious. Plant as much as you can. Bury one clove of garlic every foot or so (advice varies on this, but one foot seems a safe distance even for hungry bulbs). Each clove should divide into a new bulb, and will flower in early summer.
How do I plant it?
Dig a hole and put a clove of garlic in, pointy side up. For small cloves, put them about one inch deep — that is, they should have an inch of dirt over their heads. Bigger bulbs like elephant garlic should go deeper, up to 3 inches.
After you’ve planted it, water it in by drenching the soil completely.
Now, you wait. Begin watering in the spring, and you’ll harvest your garlic crop in the summer.
And that’s garlic, and that’s how I spent my lunch break! Speaking of which: Got a few cloves left over? Whip up a batch of organic bistro garlic fries.
Article excerpted from www.organicauthority.com
It’s not hard to plant the garlic and we should start to plant it at our garden. This will be one way to save money and we will have a healthy exercise too by planting the garlic. Once garlic crops have been harvested, don’t forget to try out the organic bistro garlic fries recipe.
- Plant an herb garden. It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates.
- Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).
- Create a homemade compost bin for $15.
- Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).
Photo from Flip & Tumble
- Stop using disposable bags – order some reusable bags, or make your own. My favorites are Envirosax and Flip & Tumble.
- Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles. Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.
- Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can — open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
- Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.
Photo by Kamyar Adi
- Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.
- Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
- Turn off your computer completely at night.
- Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
- Pay as many bills as possible online.
- Put a stop to unsolicited mail — sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers. While you’re at it, go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.
- Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
- Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
- Subscribe to good eco-friendly blogs. My favorites are The Daily Green, TreeHugger, and Keeper of the Home. Of course, you gotta subscribe to Simple Organic.
- Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Make your own household cleaners. I’ve got quite a few recipes in my e-book.
Photo by Kasia
- Line dry your laundry.
- Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
- Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
- Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
- Repurpose something – turn one of your well-worn t-shirts into basic play pants for your baby. Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts.
- Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
Photo by Lori Ann
- Switch to cloth diapers– or at least do a combination with disposables.
- Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.
- Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles.
- Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
- Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
- Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed. Watch Food, Inc. while you’re at it.
Photo by Katherine Raz
- Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.
- Five-minute showers – make it a goal for yourself.
- Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores such as Goodwill. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.
Article excerpted from www.simplemom.net
Which of these do you already do? Which ones are you going to focus on this next year? And what can you add to the list?
Many super-busy parents cringe in fear when they see the words “go green,” thinking they don’t have the time or the money to do it, especially in this economy. But the reality is, there are simple ways for families to begin to ease into green living. It is possible to find a way to make healthy choices and protect the planet within the resources we have at our disposal.
So, what are the next steps? There are many things that most of us already do each day that can be slightly altered to inspire you to create eco-habits, instead of eco-obligations. Here are some ideas:
Try eating less meat — especially red meat. Cows require a lot of feed or grass to survive, they pollute water with their waste, and produce a large amount of greenhouse gases. For you and your family, eating a lot of meat can be strenuous on your digestive system and disagreeable for your overall health. Since you have to shop for food and make meals anyway, why not change it up and eat vegetarian a few times a week. Again, it’s about habits.
Each piece of your trash has a final destination. You have landfill trash, recyclables, compostables, green waste, and donations. Create an easy way for everyone at home to sort their trash into one of these five areas – all on the fly. Make the process painless by having a simple system in place: regular trash bins, recycling receptacles, a bowl for compost items next to the kitchen sink, the green waste bin outside, and a box for donations in the garage.
Slow the Flow
While it’s great to encourage family members not to waste water, a nearly effortless way to improve on those results and also help your bottom line is to install low-flow fixtures and low-flow toilets. You can easily exchange your showerhead for a water-saving variety that saves a gallon of water a minute. A faucet aerator for the kitchen or bathroom is a cheap replacement and can immediately cut water consumption in half.
Those Shoes are Made for Walking
Are you used to jumping in the car just to pick up milk from the corner store? Before you grab the keys, consider walking instead – to run errands, to get exercise, to go to the park for recreation. Have your children go with you. And as your children get older, they can take on these errands themselves. Walking is free, saves energy, produces no emissions (unless you count the production of the clothes and shoes you wear), and keeps you healthy. Viva la green!
Terra Wellington is the author of The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home. She encourages her kids to walk or ride their bikes to school whenever possible, and she gets her cardio outside for free on most days instead of driving to the gym.
Article excerpted from www.family.go.com
We don’t need to spend a lot to support Go Green action. By following all the 4 simple steps above, this will definitely make a big changes. Let’s start practicing and become a good habit.