One day, Lindsey found Emerson surfing the web. "Hey, Emerson!" said Lindsey. Emerson looked up from the computer. "Hi, Lindsey. Happy Earth Day!" Lindsey looked puzzled. "Earth Day?" she asked, "What's that?" "Well," Emerson began, "its a day to celebrate the things we can do to care for our planet."
"Care for the Earth you mean? Why? How?" "That's pretty complicated", sighed Emerson. "Take this website, wecansolveit.org. It exaplains all about global warming: how the weather is changing, and there are food shortages, too much water some places and not enough others, and..."
"Global WARMING?" exclaimed Lindsey, "That sounds terrible! What about our vinyl? We'll get all melty!"
"Lindsey, it's not like that, it's just..."
"I don't care, just tell me what we can do to solve it."
"Well now you're talking! Let's start with food..."
"The biggest thing we can do to help the earth through our food is to EAT LOCAL." Check out local farmer's markets or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs where you live. Eating local food supports local farmers that are more likely to use sustainable growing practices, and cuts down on fuel used in production and transportation. It's often healthier for you too. " "That's great," said Lindsey, "but what if you can't find a local grower?" Emerson smiled. "Why not grow it yourself? Even up north here we are already seeing things like spinach and sorrel coming up. Here, try some!" "Yum!" Lindsey loved the taste of the fresh sorrel--much better than grocery store salad greens! "What about people who don't have a lot of room to grow things though? Maybe not even a backyard they can dig in?" "Well it doesn't take too much space, Lindsey. Raised beds are a great option--just set down a frame, fill it up with dirt and compost, and a little space like this can provide 50 pounds of vegetables quite easily!" "Cool," said Lindsey "uh, did you say compost? What's that?" "Compost is a great way to reduce waste while creating a natural fertilizer for your gardens. You can put all kinds of things into a compost bin: vegetable peelings, fruit cores, and other food waste, lawn clippings and raked up leaves, and all of that "waste" becomes a great resource!"
Lindsey was impressed. She and Emerson began walking towards the front yard. Then Lindsey stopped. "Doesn't all of that gardening take a lot of water? I thought water was a bit "earthy" issue too." "It doesn't take too much, but there are things you can do to make it take even less. Using rain barrels is a great way to catch the water that would otherwise run off --often taking icky chemicals with it and polluting lakes, streams and rivers. Plus, it gives you nice soft water for your garden!" "I love this," said Lindsey. "What else can we do with water?" "Simple stuff," said Emerson. "Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, install low-flow shower heads, eat less meat--it takes way more water (and fuel and other stuff) to "grow" cattle than it does to grow veggies... Hey look at this cool car! Speaking of reducing fuel usage: people can take public transportation, ride their bikes or walk, or even buy a hybrid electric car to get around! This car gets 60 miles to the gallon, sometimes more, and saves a lot of money on gas besides conserving resources."
"All that is great Emerson, but what about the kids whose parents don't want to do all of this gardening stuff, or rain barrels or buy hybrid cars..." "Well every little bit counts.", Emerson insisted." Kids can make sure that their family recycles wherever possible. They can re-use packaging materials to send out their AG goodies, re-use boxes to store all of our cool accessories, and when they wear out, throw them in the recycling bin. Then it will get remade into new stuff!" "Now you're talking!" said Lindsey. "What else?" "How about buying second-hand clothing? There's tons of cool vintage and retro stuff out there. A little searching and you can come up with awesome outfits without paying a fortune for brand new clothes that are burning up resources. And when they bring those cool clothes home? Use a reusable bag! It's gross how many plastic bags are clogging landfills and harming wildlife, not to mention using up petroleum. Ew! Reusable bags can be super cute too, so everybody wins. And kids can always ask their parents to check out that website I was on earlier, to find out even more things that they can do."
"Well I'm glad that I learned all of this stuff about being 'green'", said Lindsey. "I would hate for us to melt away in global warming." "Er, yeah...me too. Hungry? We've got some fresh organic salad greens from the farm around the corner!" "Yeah, let's eat!"
HAPPY EARTH DAY!