Posted in Environment, Family life, Gardening

Earth Day 2021

The past 12 months have been challenging for this lazy person committed to both supporting local business and adopting small changes to help the Earth. The pandemic caused me to discard the old syllabus. I hope Mother Nature is grading on a curve.

In an effort to support local restaurants, my family and I got takeout at least once a week. That generated a lot of takeout containers, most of which were not recyclable. Some got repurposed into craft projects or places to start seedlings, but eventually, they went to the trash.

On the other hand, my takeout dollars went to small businesses in the area. Not every place survived, but I banded together with a group of moms in my area and we shared information about struggling small businesses, especially those owned by women and BIPOC communities, and those who used locally sourced ingredients. Owners of five restaurants and three other businesses have acknowledged the moms as the reason they made rent and kept doors open.

Even if I don’t like the accumulated takeout containers, I am making a difference for people in my community and that feels pretty darn good. Fingers crossed these “Foreverwear” containers become wider spread.

When I look at this year and how my baby steps worked there are plusses and minuses.

The bad and the ugly:

Takeout containers use increasing.

Overall increase in packaging – from deliveries to not using reusable bags, it all adds up.

The hubs “cleaned” a garden bed and got rid of my swamp milkweed patch.

Swamp Milkweed – the pinkish purple flowers are prettier than the name.

What went well

Reduced carbon emission from travel. No flights, and not too many miles on the car.

Increased the number of native plants in the yard. Got promise from the hubs he will restore the milkweed.

Better meal planning meant less food waste and fewer trips to the grocery store.

Reduced impulse purchases. We tried to reduce packing by ordering only when we had a list. There was no “Oh this looks cute” or “that smells great” items dropping into the cart.

More clothing repair. The kids are still growing – we cannot stop all clothing purchases, but I learned to patch jeans and reinforce seams.

My Green Living goals for the next year:

Collage of flowers and landscapes with the words Plant Kindness

Grow more vegetables and herbs. Buy plants from the local greenhouse.

Add more native plants. How cute are these Pocket Prairies? Very, in my opinion. Maybe there is something similar in your neck of the woods.

Be intentional in my purchases and my travel. Both will happen again at some point.

It’s a short list. Share your green living hints to give me inspiration.

PS – I added an image after a reader mentioned needing to look up Swamp Milkweed. I guess I’ve lived in Minnesota long enough that I forgot how uncommon it is elsewhere.

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where the heart finds a home