Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

April 22, 2010 - Earth Day
Besides the usual ways of taking care of the planet (such as reducing water usage, turning off the lights, hanging the washing outside), there are 2 other ways that I practice all the time and that I love.
  1. Thrifting -- No explanation needed there, huh bloggy friends
  2. Composting
My home province of Nova Scotia began their "green" movement in 1995 with a recycling centre and composting facility. It's 2nd nature to us now. Indeed, my daughter tells me how guilty she feels when she puts food waste in the regular garbage in Ontario.
Every household in NS is given a little green bin to fit under the kitchen sink.(And if yours gets left outside in a tropical wind storm and it blows away (twice), you must replace it at your own expense with one from Zeller's or Walmart. It doesn't matter if it was White Juan happening outside, and you were a poor single mother who had to hide in the basement w/ your babies, and get the wood fire going, and eat popcorn & Cherrios & play "The Game of Life" & laugh a lot! You must replace that stupid bin!)
This little bin holds all your veg, fruit, meat and table scraps -- cooked and raw; you can also throw in the occasional soiled light-weight paper product. I line the bottom of this bin with newspaper or paper towel so that it lessens the need to wash it. And if you empty it often, it doesn't smell.
This little bin gets emptied into a large compost cart, again supplied by the NS government. This cart gets taken to the curb on garbage day and is emptied by the Sanitation Dept. Now, this one does get really, really stinky during the hottest summer months. You can have someone come and clean your cart for mouchous dollars. (I've smelled those people; and it makes me wonder "Who's married to them? It elicits an entirely different perspective on bringing home flowers!")
Or you can do what I do: once or twice during the summer, I rinse it out with the hose & drain it on some layers of newspaper, put some hot soapy water in it and use an old mop to do a fair job of cleaning it. (I scrub it for as many times as I can hold my breath before hyper-ventilating and from tiring out due to running back & forth from the cart to a fresh air section of the garden.) Then I rinse it again and pop in a cart deodorizer -- There are several on the market specifically designed to discourage maggots, etc. Yes! Cleaning this cart is a gross job. But once you've changed approx 5 million diapers containing toxic waste and had hot baby-barf slowly drip between your cleavage down to your naval, bi-annual compost cart cleaning is a breeze!
Then there's my favorite part of composting -- My own sweet little composter. When things begin to thaw, I begin using my personal composter again. I keep an empty ice cream container next to the little bin; and into that go my raw fruit & veg scraps. (No meat products or cooked table scraps in this one; those can attract unwanted vermin!) I don't put my egg shells in here either but rather keep those to crush up and put around any of my plants that the slugs are particularly fond of! (And I must say that I rather like the idea of a nasty, slimy, chomping slug having its underbelly ripped open on the remains of an extra large brown omega plus! Gardening has more than one particularly satisfying benefit!)
You layer these lovely waste products in your bin with dried leaves, grass clippings and a shovel full of dirt every now and then. You also have to remember to water it regularly if Mother Nature doesn't! This is what you'll find at the bottom of your bin after about a year:


Not the Jed Clampet kind; but the Victory Garden kind!
Want to give it a try? You don't have to have a fancy bin like mine; you can simply set aside a corner of the garden. Check it out online for some fabulous ideas and suggestions.


Love the earth. It's a glorious place to be.

(And the alternatives may not be to everyone's liking!)


Garden of Egan said...

That is some seriously beautiful dirt.

knitwit said...

I do those things too--and you can't get better dirt than that!
And if you grow some of your own vegetables in the garden, you're helping Mother Earth even further. Your veggies don't have to be driven all the way from California or BC!
Happy Earth Day!!

Maureen said...

Hurray for Doris!

I started composting a few years ago and I was intimidated by the whole process. Until the first pile was ready and then I was hooked! Black gold for sure!

Happy Earth Day and hats off to Nova Scotia!

Nezzy said...

Ya just can' get any better soil that that! I keep a pile goin' all the time. Happy Earth Day!!!

BTW: It is also National Denim Day.

Have the best day!!!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Our recycling hasn't reached that point yet here where I live. I remember that on the farm where my grandparents lived though there was always what they called a slop bucket by the sink and if I remember correctly they fed all the peelings etc. to the pigs. Happy Earth day!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Loved your post today!!! I remember those bins from when I used to live in Eastern Passage and you're right, those bins can get tossed around in a wind storm.

Composting is such a great idea and if you garden, the absolute best for plants.

In honor of Earth Day, I'm hosting a "green" giveaway on my blog, hope you'll enter it!

Smokey said...

In the good old USA - which I do dearly love - to government does not supply us with things like that...they just don't have enough money. I am thankful that President Obama is working to make the government and the country green. However, it was amazing at the outcry against wasting money on that sort of thing. We have a ways to go here. I hope to live long enough to see that change. It is changing but it could go faster.