Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day At Peaceful Forest

Today is the official Earth Day. I guess I was not really aware of it too much until I read another blog called The Snyder 5. Her blog post was "Composting For Newbies". It got me thinking as I have been actively composting and living as gently on the earth as I can for eleven years now. Ever since we moved here to Peaceful Forest Homestead in 1999. When we moved here we did not know what was in store for us. Everyone thought something big was about to happen when the year changed to 2000. Nothing happened and many homesteaders were disappointed as they could not wait to show off their skills and stuff and most important their preparations. It did appear as nothing happened but that was because there were many people working nonstop behind the scenes to make sure nothing did happen. The public just did not see or know it.

When we moved here we started composting right from the start. Our three horses contribute big time to our composting effort. We have three piles of manure in our composting pile. One is the pile we add to this year as we clean our barn.....a daily chore with three horses so we get about 1-2 wheelbarrow loads every morning. The next pile is the one that we added to last year and is sitting, composting till next year. The third pile is the one we added to three years ago, and has composted, and is a rich, black compost. That pile is the one we add to our raised beds and anywhere else we need dirt. This compost is one of the most valuable products on our homestead as it is responsible for growing our garden and giving us huge, healthy vegetables and fruits.

Since I raise much of my own vegetables and fruits I can them for future meals. It is great in the winter to open a jar of green beans that has that fresh taste. I also can elderberry juice that grows wild around us and use that for medicinal purposes as well. The jars are used over and over. I have tried over the years to cut down on the amount of cans and plastic containers I have to take to my land fill for recycling. I hate foods being contained in plastic as it is. My goal is to not have any plastic in my kitchen at all. It is such nasty stuff anyway!

I have purchased cloth bags for the grocery store and keep trying to eliminate the plastic bags from the stores. They remind me of clothes hangers and junk mail papers where they just keep multiplying if I don't keep an eye on it. I like to shop locally at farmers' markets and buy from some of my homesteading friends things that I don't grow myself.

My friend, Jamie  has always looked at the packaging in a store to decide if she wants to purchase something or not. It can be the deciding factor, even if it is something she truly needs....................if it has too much packaging and especially plastic, she will forgo it for something else or not buy it at all.

Since I have my own home based business selling guitar strings on my website I have done what I can to eliminate using too much paper and printing ink. I do include an invoice with the strings now. I have stated that on my site so the customers will expect it not having an invoice. They have to come back to the site and check their account. Another thing I do is send my used ink cartridges back to Lexmark as part of their Rewards program. When you are signed up for that they give you a discount when you purchase ink cartridges for your printer. They even send you postage paid envelopes to send the cartridges back to them. I like it.

We do not waste much around here. Be it water, electric or food. I don't feel composting and recycling is that difficult to do it you organize to make it easy to do. Make it routine and it will be your habit.....for life.
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