Did you do your part to help erase your carbon footprint for Earth Day 2014? I intended to walk today, thus using foot power versus vehicle power, but the overnight rain and windy conditions would have spun my Springtime allergies into overdrive, so I took a quick car trip to get my allergy shots and came right home. For 2014, my miles driven in the car versus my walking miles are fairly close, and, I hope this year I can walk more miles than I drive once again. Last year, you may recall I walked 100 miles more than I drove (500 versus 400). My biggest contribution to the environment would have to be walking and not using the car, thus not adding more pollution to the atmosphere. I also use all electric-powered yard tools, so that is another plus. In recent years, I have switched over to CFL bulbs throughout the house. I resisted at first, and I find these light bulbs do not cast as much light as traditional incandescent bulbs, but I am adjusting. My DTE Home Energy Report says: “you used 11% less energy than your efficient neighbors” … but, after all, most of my day is spent in one room, the kitchen, where I work from home and my office is at my kitchen table. I got a high-efficiency furnace in 2012 so I am seeing good results in that regard, notwithstanding the brutal Winter and the need to keep nudging the thermostat higher and higher to keep Buddy and I toasty warm. I’m at a loss what better measures I could take to help our planet. I listened to some experts discussing this subject earlier in the day. They suggested growing your own food because there is less waste that way. I couldn’t – no, make that wouldn’t – be able to reach underneath cucumber or tomato plants, to snap off one of those veggies, still warm from the sun, from the vine. The fear of something running up my arm would be too horrid for me!! Years ago we had a garden out back, but the birds and squirrels helped themselves more often than not, just taking one bite out of a tomato and then casting it aside. I have to stick to Meijer or the Lincoln Park Farmer’s Market once it opens next month. I was buying heads of romaine lettuce for Buddy at Meijer a few weeks ago and one of the U-scan “helpers” told me she was growing her own romaine lettuce since she loves salad. I asked how she could have a garden at this time of the year, then she whipped out her phone and showed me pictures of romaine lettuce in various stages of growth which were sprouting in old cottage cheese containers on her counter-top. It seems, if you lop off the core at the bottom, then stick that stubby chunk of lettuce into a container of water, within five to seven days you have tender new shoots of romaine lettuce. She was proud of herself for growing several “crops” already. I don’t really need an abundance of lettuce – just enough to keep Buddy in fresh greens all the time, and, hey … that might really work well through the Winter months. Coincidentally, a few days later I received a Facebook post from a friend who shared how many type of veggies you can “re-grow” and I’m passing it along for your interest: http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/vegetables-that-magically-regrow-themselves
Another Facebook friend greeted us this morning with “Happy Earth Day Earthlings” so I will wish you the same greeting as well to close this post.