As we approach Mother’s Day, it makes me think about the unconditional love and tireless care that my Mom gave me, even though I was a troublesome and needy kid who tested her patience over and over! This in turn, caused me to reflect on the bounty that Mother Earth provides us humans, even though we thoughtlessly pollute and deplete her resources and take for granted that she will always be there to support us. It’s no secret that we are facing an environmental crisis right now, and so, with the thought of giving gratitude and protecting the one and only Earth we have, I would like to share with you some action steps that we can easily implement to help ease the negative effects of global warming, and to build strong communities that will work together to ensure a sustainable planet for all, now and into the future.
Before I launch into the 10 steps, I want to give credit to Jim Normandi and his family who organized that very first Fairfax Backyard Farmer Festival which took place on April 30 in Fairfax, CA. Jim is also the owner of Fairfax Backyard Farmer, a great little store that offers workshops and items every backyard farmer needs. The festival had a number of speakers who covered issues ranging from gardening in times of climate change, to protection of our bee population, to the link between fermented foods and our microbiome (presented by yours truly.) It was participation at this festival that really triggered my own desire to take immediate action. Of course, like so many of you, I am overwrought with work and always short on time, BUT there are things that even busy urban dwellers can do that will collectively have a huge impact on protecting our precious resources. So please take a look at the ten suggestions below. Choose any that resonant with you, take action, and let’s all be good to our Mother Earth!
1. Start an urban garden and grow your own food.
It’s easier than you think. Novella Carpenter is the guru of urban farming and her books have inspired many people.
2. Help bees by improving your local habitat with pollinator friendly plants.
Join more than 100,000 people from around the country in the Great Sunflower Project. This was started by Gretchen LeBuhn, a professor of biology at San Francisco State University.
3. Become a citizen scientist and help researchers study the effects of climate change on plants and animals.
Pam Peirce is the author of many books on gardening, and she encourages everyone to become citizen scientists to observe plants in their own gardens or natural spaces and then report on their observations. It’s fun for everyone and it contributes to research that will help
to preserve our natural resources.
4. Consume less.
If you haven’t seen The Story of Stuff, please take a few minutes to watch the video. It can be life changing.
5. Share more.
There are many options that offer a way to share things in your neighborhood. Check out this article from US News and World Report.
6. Conserve energy.
There are so many ways to do that! From simply turning off lights when not in use to air-drying your clothes. Green America has an easy list that anyone can follow.
7. Stop Junk Mail.
Save trees, time, water, and yourself from the temptation to buy stuff you don’t need! Catalog Choice will help you get rid of junk mail.
8. Drive wisely.
“If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, we could say 1.2 billion gallons of gas each year. A simple tune-up can boost miles per gallon anywhere from 4 percent to 40 percent, and a new air filter can get you a 10 percent boost.”
This quote is from an article written by Melissa Denchak of The Natural Resources Defense Council.
9. Voice you concern.
Speak to your friends, family and neighbors and share ideas on social media. And be a diplomat to communicate with climate skeptics who argue against global warming. Here’s a great article from Grist to help you.
10. Nourish yourself
Heroes can’t live on air, so please nourish yourself and your family by eating well and include plenty of fermented foods to keep your microbiome healthy and happy.