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22 April 2009

AND ECOJUSTICE FOR ALL: Green Dreams & Nightmares

Twin rainbows, just outside Denver, taken last summer. Happy Earth Day!
Queen Anne's lace and other wildflowers thrive off the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Eight days in the heart of the city is too much for me, so I rent a bike near Millennium Park and pedal away from the skyscrapers on a wonderful path along the lake, past marinas, and parks with stately old oaks.

This photo was taken on a scenic byway near Guanella Pass on a drive to see the Colorado aspens in autumn. I believe the closer we are to Mother Nature, the more we are mesmerized by her wonders, the more apt we are to take actions that conserve the beauty of the earth. Let's wake up and do our part!

My previous post included PATS ON MY OWN GREEN BACK, a listing of habits I believe help Earth.

I also have

SHAME ON ME: Here is a PARTIAL list of habits that do not help the planet:
• I never did watch "An Inconvenient Truth."
• I’m a frequent flyer. Tsk. Tsk.
• Since I live in a drafty, old house, and since my work--writing--requires me to sit still, sometimes I get very cold. The quickest way to heat up is to slip into a hot bath. (Okay, granted, the quickest way to warm up probably would be to get up and do some sun salutations.) It's not that I'm dirty, it's that I'm cold, so I don’t add any soap. Once the water is cooled, I haul the "gray" water to my plants. I don't do this ALL the time, but most of the time. Colorado is so dry, and after the drought, it slays me to waste too much water. As Americans, we already use WAY more than the average human being. Water is precious. Without water, no life.
• I still buy food that is not grown locally, but I’m more mindful about it now.
• I practice hot yoga, which requires asana rooms heated to 105 degrees F. (Bikram) or about 95 degrees F. (Baptiste Power Vinyasa). In my defense, I do walk to class.
• I have some thirsty grass—but not too much. (I kept some grass for the dogs.)
• I leave my salt lamp on all the time in my studio. Sort of my intellectual sanctuary lamp.
• I use disposable razors. Bad news.
• I consume too much. Of everything.
• I subscribe to a lot of magazines. (But I do pass them on or recycle them.)
• I have some fountains, but they are very small and don’t hog too much power or water.
• I have a gas grill. Not sure if this is better or worse than charcoal.
• I have a professional exterminator bait boxes with mouse poison. (Sorry, little guys, you can roam my outdoor spaces, but not the indoors!)

I’m sure I have other environmental sins, but I like to see that my list of things I’m proud of doing is lots longer than my list of shame.

• I’d love to have a green roof on my garage. One with succulents or evergreens, perhaps. I’ve done a couple of stories on these roofs; and I got the new National Geographic today, and noticed there is an article on green roofs.
• I’d love to have a solar-powered fountain.
• I’d love to have a wind turbine! One that is beautiful as kinetic sculpture. (My little corner of the world seems to have plenty of wind.)
• I’d love to add solar panels, and I have plenty of sunlight. I did look into this, but think the technology is about to change dramatically, so I’m holding off for now.
• I’d love to get one of those solar ovens! I saw one at the Smart House. I have such a sunny spot that I think I could get some use out of that.
• I’d like to get new storm security doors. My doors are drafty.
• I'd love to get a bat box. Bats eat lots of mosquitoes.


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