Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's Earth Day Every Day, Isn't It?

I am always a bit amused by someone having designated this third Sunday in April to be Earth Day.   Shouldn't we look after the planet we live on EVERY day?  We have no where else to go.

To me it is sort of the same thing as looking after my body.... it is the only one I have. 

It only makes good sense to take care of the place I live.  I think it is kind of sad that people take our natural resources for granted, and waste them, thoughtlessly. 

My parents were both raised on farms and I think their upbringing stayed with them as they married and had their family and moved first to a small town, and then later to a growing city.  Every year we planted a vegetable garden.  We caught rainwater in barrels to water it. 

We bought  milk in returnable glass bottles.  We wasted very little food.  Clothing and bicycles and books were passed from child to child and then even from our family to cousins.  Babies wore cloth diapers.

We mowed the lawn with a push mower.  We only had one vehicle.  We walked to school and other activities.  We turned lights off when we left a room, and we didn't leave the water tap running while we brushed our teeth.

There was no such thing as being GREEN; it was just the way we lived.

And those lessons have stayed with me.

When we moved onto the boat 10 years ago, we became even more aware of our environment and our limited resouces.

In the marina, we had only 30 amp power.  If you are using the hot water heater, you cannot use the microwave oven or your hair dryer too.  Away from the marina, sailing or at anchor in some quiet little cove, we have only battery power and nothing that requires an electrical outlet at all.

We use solar heated water bags for showering, and heat water on the propane stove to do the dishes, once a day.  We keep the windows covered on extremely hot days to avoid using the fans to cool the interior cabins.  We use ice to keep food cold and ration the water in the tank to make it last longer between refillings.

And of course we are extremely mindful of what effect we are having on the marine environment.  We use no bleaches or toxic paints or cleaners.  We rely on vinegar and baking soda for cleaning jobs.  We honor fishing guidelines and posted limits. 

I am very excited to have a balcony at the apartment.  As soon as we saw it we agreed it would be a great place to put some containers and have a little garden... so we bought 8 beautiful blue-glazed clay pots and set them out.

Today we finally planted some of them.. yes, in honor of Earth Day.  The first purchase we made was a beautiful purple miniature rhododendron, for The Captain, and some yellow lillies, too.  And my choices were some cherry tomatoes (the Sweet 100s that my Father used to grow) and some yellow tomatoes, cilantro, and  some Chinese 'choy' veggies.  We still have a bit of space so will be getting a few more things another day.

I put The Captain to work...

And then gave him a bite to eat!

I am pretty excited about our little container garden! And I am looking forward to getting some bicycles this year too. 

What are your thougths on Earth Day?

Did you do something special to get outside today?


  1. I wish you lots of luck with your container garden. That's a fantastic way to bring the garden to you. And yes, I agree, everyday should be earth day. The only time I went outside today was for my run this morning before it started pouring. Yuck! But we did spend most of yesterday outside.

  2. I love reading all the ways you are earth friendly every day. It really doesn't take a huge shift in day-to-day life to be more mindful, hey?

  3. ahhh. i agree. i always think its a bit odd some of the things we "celebrate" only one day a year. i love the thing i am looking forward to most is having a garden of my own some day :) i was able to get outside for a while with my girls! and also shell and her pup for a nice lil puppy outing/walk :) perfect!

  4. I agree with you, everyday is earth day. I'm proud of my conservation efforts too. Your container garden is going to be so cute. I am so tempted to start planting, alas we're still freezing overnight here.


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