Need Help?

Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

Entries in global warming (1)

Tuesday
Apr062010

Celebrating Earth Day is Two Weeks Away

If we are to continue to survive on this planet, we must find a sustainable way to preserve our natural resources and the integrity of our bodies. Observing Earth Day is a way to remember that all of us must do anything pro-active to protect the planet. Some are well on their way in taking this matter into their own hands. Those that live on arable land, no matter how small, have begun to grow their own produce. Others, who live in dense urban locales, are opting to shop for organic produce and protein by linking up with farmers’ co-ops and farmers’ markets that deliver locally, and sustainably grown, healthy food into the cities.

Wise gardeners have begun using drip hoses, instead of sprinklers, to preserve water where it has become precious, and they are judiciously re examining the use of certain herbicides and pesticides that trickle down into the water tables. For others, composting kitchen scraps and garden waste to reuse in the garden as nutrients for plants, is becoming the reality. Farms, degraded by overproduction, await restoration so that nature’s balance of wildlife and plants may return to preserve the rejuvenated land. Furthermore, we must ensure that the heating and cooling systems of our homes and work places are the most energy efficient that prevailing technology allows.

Driving fuel-efficient cars is still a controversial topic. Few have addressed the question of how much energy a power plant must generate in order to recharge an electric car battery; while the use of bio-fuel to run cars and trucks has created unforeseen problems in the food chain. Another unresolved matter concerns global warming. It is still unclear what portion of the warming of the earth is a natural, cyclical phenomenon and what portion is attributable to human behavior. It is also unclear how much effect humans will have on this natural cycle, if such behavior can ever be modified on a global scale.

What is certain, however, is that human behavior pollutes an earth that is supposed to sustain us. If we are to remain healthy, cleaning up our environment has to start with us, at the community level, because it is unrealistic to expect governments of heavily industrialized nations to lead on this matter. And it has to start now!

Furthermore, nothing will be accomplished if environmentally friendly folk continue to dialogue endlessly only with each other. All of that energy, both human and capital, should be spent on improving the environment where we live, because it appears to be so much easier to introduce new ideas, locally, than at the federal level. For example, in the American Southwest, individual communities are successfully regulating landscape irrigation by capturing rainwater with innovative recycling sewer systems. In California, new standards of emissions will be implemented shortly. This environmentally significant move will take place in conjunction with several other American states and a few Canadian provinces that, jointly, will turn these emission standards into law. This has been accomplished without the circus and fanfare that usually accompanies dealing with controversial issues.

In some parts of the world, the value of life, other than one’s own, remains dismayingly low. In other places, what happens outside the village boundaries is of no consequence to local inhabitants. Therefore, it would be naïve to assume that there will be global consensus on saving the planet in the very near future. In the meanwhile, each of us can do our share to restore and heal that portion of the earth that we appreciate by starting, literally, in our own back yard. Please observe Earth Day on Thursday April 22, 2010 with an act of kindness to the land that surrounds you. To find out what you can do, visit the EPA web site.

This post was created with the encouragement of Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project.