Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Go Green, Young Girl
You don’t have to tell me twice that Earth Day is every day. But in honor of its Hallmark designation, April 22 is the day we take the time to reduce, reuse, recycle and recognize.
President Obama said earlier this month that the U.S. is “now ready to lead” on climate change. Last Friday, I saw Mom do a happy dance when she heard on the radio the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a health risk, a landmark statement that could impact climate change regulation. According to the AFP, under pressure from the Obama administration “to show the world that Washington is making advances against climate change,” Congress will debate a “clean energy” bill this week.
Politics aside, green isn’t just a color in Candy’s Land. It’s a way of life. Mom jokes about the first time she went to Shuga D’s house and saw his recycling bins. “You know the way to a girl’s heart is through recycling,” she said. Today, Mom is one of the lucky ones in the city limits who have been given the big blue bin for a plastic and metal catch-all recycling (test) run. So far, so good, and her garbage remains half-full.
But before there was a blue bin, Mom was already a regular recycler. Sure, it wasn’t always easy to haul her recyclables to the nearest center. But it wasn’t impossible either. Just put a few bins in your pantry, garage, shed, back porch. When they are full, haul them to your nearest center. Macon Iron has a central location with easy access and a clean facility. Because Mom’s bin doesn’t do glass, she takes all of her glass recyclables to Jones County’s recycling center on Gray Highway. For her, it’s simply a stop on the way to feed her horse.
We’re also a big fan of the Green Bags around here. You can never have too many and you can always keep them in your trunk. Mom thinks they are easier (and cleaner) than toting around a grocery basket, and she has fit a full buggy of groceries into two bags. We’re actually lacking plastic bags around here because we’re such fans of the totes. Now if they can just come up with a flushable, bio-degradable dog poop bag, we’d be in business.
Mom is also weaning herself off plastic bottled water. Her sister Georgia Girl gave her a Sigg bottle for her 30th birthday, and it’s been one of the most useful gifts she’s ever received. Mom used to be a bottled water snob, but then became aware that words like purified, filtered, spring and distilled were more selling points than reasons to drink from the fountain. Now she’s back on the Brita, and the water never runs dry.
She also can’t get enough of Aveda’s nature-based, environmentally-friendly cosmetic line. She recently purchased their re-usable compact from the Vineville Salon, so she can now just buy the pressed powder inserts, instead of throwing it away each time.
And before I forget, there are things I can do as a dog to make my impact on the planet easier. I am now saying no to pesticides in my flea and tick treatment. Mom is a fan of Sergeant's Nature's Guardian spot treatment and spray that uses tea tree oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and other natural derivatives to keep the fleas off me. It works, and it smells great . . . just be careful where you put the stuff. Cinnamon and cayenne don’t feel so “hot” on our vulnerable areas. If Mom finds a flea on me, she always reaches for Capstar. The nicotine-based pill is like an internal flea bath and kills the critters in 30 minutes. It's the same as the old country trick her dad taught her where she fed her nanny goat cigarettes to de-worm her. We’re also going to try something new this summer by putting garlic powder in our food. I hear it keeps the blood-suckers away.
Finally, there are several events in our community throughout the week celebrating how easy it is to be green:
TUESDAY 4/21, 7-8 p.m.:
"Let It Rot" - Compost Seminar with Dr. Bowman-Cutway
Mercer Biology Department Lecture Hall, Willet Science Center
WEDNESDAY 4/22, 4:30-8 p.m.:
"Shindig on the Green"
Tattnall Square Park In Partnership with Macon-Bibb County Parks & Rec Department
Event will feature: Try a Bear Bike, Recycling, Compost Demo, Flower Planting, Yard Games, Tree Planting, Vendor Tables, Raffle
Lights Out @ Jittery Joe's
The house lights will be off all day and candles will be lit at night. 10% discount for all customers who request a non-disposal cup or plate. Jittery Joe's will also compost coffee grounds and recycle for the entire week!
THURSDAY 4/23, 8-10 p.m.:
Movie on the Patch, "Into the Wild" Porter Patch, Mercer University
FRIDAY 4/24, 8-10 p.m.: Screen on the Green: Disney's "WALL-E"
Tattnall Square Park