Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

My friend Tina over at Garden Goose is sponsoring a Farmgirl Blog-a-thon.  You can check out her page for all the specifics but the basic idea is to encourage all the Farmgirls over at Mary Janes Farm to post on their blogs and to let the world know a little bit more about what it is to be a farmgirl.

If you have read my blog at all then you know that I value the concept of “getting back to my roots”.  My “hero” is Laura Ingalls Wilder and lately I have by trying to do things that bring out the Pioneer or Farmgirl spirit within myself.  For me, being a farmgirl is a way to better appreciate the wonderful resources that God has given me. It is a way for me to do something in my own little corner of the world to help protect and improve the environment.  It is my way to help keep a plastic bag out of the landfill or to free some field of the chemicals that have poisoned it for so long. 

I know some people think what I am doing is crazy.  I can’t possibly make that big of a difference.  True, maybe that one plastic bag I refuse at the grocery store each week won’t make a huge difference but I feel a difference in my own life.  Maybe I can convince 1 person, through my actions, to do the same.  Now I am not keeping 52 bags out of the landfill but 108.  If that person persuades one person to use a reusable bag once a week it is now 160 bags that don’t go into the landfill.  Maybe my actions alone don’t make the difference but I am part of the collective that does and to me that is important!

Being a farmgirl is about simplification and love for our surroundings.  It’s about embracing a simpler way of life.  I am PROUD to be a farmgirl.

This week’s topic is “Tie One On”! An apron that is!

I have three special aprons!

My Southern Dairy apron is my FAVORITE!  I made this apron about 2 years ago.  It is entirely hand-stitched!  I made it one Sunday afternoon just for the fun of it.  It is a little wrinkly because I just took it out of the wash and haven’t ironed it yet!  I didn’t us a patter I just made it up as I went along.

My next favorite and most used apron is my school apron.  I am an art teacher.  This apron stays in my classroom.  It is just a plain green canvas apron but it tells a story when you look at it.  It is covered in stains from paint, ink, glue markers, clay, you name it!  The pockets contain pencils, markers, paintbrushes, paperclips and usually an assortment of random things I have found laying on the classroom floor.  I have had this apron since I studied art in college so the history of the paint marks on the apron is something I will not be willing to part with for a long time.

This last apron was given to me on New Years Eve by my mother in laws best friend Judy.  I love this apron because it is a full apron so it is great for when I cook things like bacon or spaghetti sauce that have a tendency to splash on my shirts!

So there you have it!

If you want to participate in this blog-a-thon be sure to check out Tina’s post at www.gardengoose.blogspot.com.

To share with other farm girls and to learn about the Farm Girl way of life visit: http://www.maryjanesfarm.org/

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Today is Blog Action Day. The purpose for Blog Action Day is to see what would happen if every blog published posts on the same topic, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.  The goal is for thousands of people around the world to all blog about the environment on the same day.  I have been trying to become more environmentally concious. My current goal is to become more self-sufficent by growing a garden and raising some of my own animals as a food source.  You can read many of my earlier posts about the environment.  Today I thought I would give you some hints about living greener.  The following article first appeared on http://www.divinecaroline.com/article/22355/28177 in April of 2007.  Many of the tips listed below include links to some wonderful resources.  I hope you can find at least one way to live a little greener! 

50 Green Tips for Earth Day and Beyond

By: Kathleen J. King

It doesn’t have to be Earth Day for me to think about how I can make an impact (or less of an impact) on our planet. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

1. Lower your thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat.

2. Reuse your water bottle. Avoid buying bottled water. In fact, reuse everything at least once, especially plastics.

3. Check out your bathroom. Use low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets.

4. Start a compost in your back yard or on your rooftop.

5. Buy foods locally. Check out Eat Local Challenge and FoodRoutes to get started. Buy locally made products and locally produced services.

6. Buy in season.

7. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll find more on energy-efficient products and practices at Energy Star.

8. Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room. Unplug your cell phone charger from the wall when not using it. Turn off energy strips and surge protectors when not in use (especially overnight).

9. Recycle your newspapers.

10. Car pool. Connect with other commuters at eRideShare.

11. Consider a car sharing service like Zipcar.

12. Ride a bike.

13. Walk, jog, or run.

14. Go to your local library instead of buying new books.

15. At holidays and birthdays, give your family and friends the gift of saving the earth. Donate to their favorite environmental group, foundation, or organization.

16. Get off junk mail lists. GreenDimes can get you started. They’ll even plant a tree for you!

17. Buy products that use recyclable materials whenever possible.

18. If you use plastic grocery bags, recycle them for doggie poop bags or for small trashcan liners.

19. Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Given a choice between plastic and paper, opt for paper.

20. Buy locally. Find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food near you at LocalHarvest.

21. Consider organic cleaning products like vinegar, borax, and baking soda.

22. If you have a baby, consider using cloth diapers. To sign up for a diaper service to do the dirty work, check out the National Association of Diaper Services.

23. Consider buying a fuel-efficient car or a hybrid.

24. Landscape with native plants. Check out the article on the EPA website.

25. Opt into a clean energy program. Check out the Green Power Network at the US Department of Energy.

26. Go paperless. Consider reading your newspaper and magazine subscriptions online. Switch to electronic banking and credit card payment, too.

27. Teach kids about the environment.

28. Take your batteries to a recycling center. Earth 911 gives you the scoop.

29. Turn your car off if you’re going to be idle for more than one minute.

30. Do full loads of laundry and set the rinse cycle to “cold.”

31. Recycle. If you’re not at home, take the extra steps, (literally), to find that recycling can.

32. Reuse. Plastic food containers make good crayon and marker holders. Use padded envelops more than once. Buy your toddler or preschooler’s clothes from a thrift shop and give away those that don’t fit to friends. Goodwill or the Salvation Army can help.

33. Limit the length of your showers. Even better, take a “navy shower,” shutting off the water while soaping up and shampooing.

34. Don’t run the water when brushing your teeth. Learn about water scarcity.

35. Wash towels after several uses.  

36. Purchase one case of water and provide clean water to 24 people (for over twenty years).

37. Give away your goods and find new ones at FreeCycle.

38. Recycle your technology. Dell, Hewlett Packard, Apple, and IBM, among others, offer recycling programs.

39. Go zero! Log on to the Conservation Fund’s Carbon Zero Calculator and in less than five minutes, you can measure and then offset your carbon dioxide emissions by planting trees.

40. Put your money where your mouth is—invest in green investments. Web sites like Co-op America’s National Green Pages™ can help.

41. Learn about threats to ocean life and help Greenpeace take action.

42. Whenever you can, try using green cleaning products. Check out Cheap, Clean, and Green.

43. Find your local watershed and learn how to protect it.

44. Build a greener home.

45. Opt for eco-friendly and holistic health products.

46. Good to the last drop. Switch to fair trade coffee.

47. Go paperless at work. Distribute company information and post company material online.

48. Eliminate junk mail at work. For no fee, the EcoLogical Mail Coalition will eliminate the junk that former employees receive at work.

49. Plant a forest and feed a family while you’re at it.

50. Shop smart. Choose eco-smart products.

To learn more about Blog Action Day visit the following sites:

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