My Report Card for 2009

What she found out in a report card about her environmental footprint.


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What grade should I get? Early January is a good time to check up on myself. Did I actually adopt any of the “green” ideas I wrote about this last year?

Let’s start with my high point. How about cleaning up bottles and cans from parks and public places, something my brother Dave’s example “hooked” me on. By just spending a minute or two on my daily walks, I average about one pound of trash a day, but that adds up to at least five pounds of trash a week—or about 250 pounds of trash a year! Not bad. I’m going to claim an “A” on that one.

Total failure, on the other hand, for getting a group of neighbors or an organization to volunteer for “Adopt a Highway” as my friends Mike and Irma Kelly do at Ascension Lutheran Church in Newtown, PA. I’m still hoping to, though! Egad! An “F”!

Am I following the example of grandson Liam, by composting? Usually toward evening, I stroll out to the back, and in my very undignified and unscientific way, fling the veggie and fruit peelings and egg shells out into a pile that is, right now, becoming wonderful soil for planting next year’s summer flowers. Hmmm. But I did shirk the task when the snow was two feet high. Still, I think it’s good for at least a “B+”.

I admit I haven’t had much success in substituting cloth shopping bags for plastic ones. At least I bought the cloth bags. I also learned I have to keep them in the car or I will forget them! I learned I have to keep them in the front seat! Sadly, I still usually forget them! I have succeeded a few times, and have saved probably 50 plastic bags that didn’t go into our landfills. Give me a "D-".

By eliminating pesticides and poisons from our yard and providing a small pond and birdseed, we have lived up to the guidelines of the Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program. Unfortunately, I just haven’t gotten around to applying for the certification! Still, it must be worth a “B+”.

Excitement over the EIGHT rain barrels of my sister Twila and her husband Bruce still didn’t motivate me enough to buy one! But, I saved waters in other ways. A "C-"?

Dead. That’s seven of the eight herbs I tried to grow. But hey!…one, a lemon thyme, has survived and is on my kitchen window sill right now. I grab a pinch now and then to toss it into whatever I’m cooking. Must be good for a "D".

So, in 2009, I had some successes, and some failu...uh…challenges to work on! Room for growth! How about you? I’d love to know how you did in 2009 to make our planet a better place! Write me! Let me know!

Carol

Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions!

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