Who's Your Mother?

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sooZen
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Who's Your Mother?

Post by sooZen » April 22nd, 2010, 9:29 am

Today's post from my blog:

Know what today is? No, it is not Catching Up All the Stuff You Procrastinated About Before the Show Day...although I could actually celebrate that...it is Earth Day. A day to think about the spaceship that sustains us and we, as human are caretakers of. If everyone tried to do things that make a difference and better the planet, it would sure go a long way to saving our home and ourselves.

Do you do that? Does anyone pick their heads up out of the computer, the tube, all the things that distract us from nature and our responsibility as caretakers? Sadly, not enough do but like the hummingbird story (see my last blog entry)...Do the very best you can. I cannot afford to drive a hybrid but our cars are not gas guzzling monsters either.

If you wonder what it is that you CAN do, these are some ideas. And remember, life is fleeting so your chance to make a difference for the future is NOW. These ideas are some of the stuff that we do personally in our hummingbird way:

1. Recycle your waste. If your city has a recycling program (Hurray!), participate in it. And here, you can actually get a little money for aluminum (Nate's spending money) if you collect it and take it to a center that does that. We have a large trash can that all goes in until full. Albertson's Grocery here will recycle plastic shopping bags and those little plastic sleeves that your newspapers come in. (Plastic is one of the worst polluters of our oceans. A beached Grey Whale recently was found to have more than eight plastic bags in its stomach...along with various other plastic items.)

2. Compost your garbage. Separate your garbage from your trash and compost it. We keep a used bread bag on the counter where all the egg shells, banana peels, veggie leavings, etc. go until emptied into our compost pile. Composting is easy and your garden will love it. If you know nothing about composting, the internet is your friend but basically it is a pile in an out of the way place in your yard where you add grass clippings and garden leaves and stuff, garbage (wet, no meats), some soil and keep it moist and flip it occasionally. Throwing in a few earthworms is good too. Cec adds the garbage and covers it with soil to keep the varmits out. Easy peasy.

3. Shop second hand stores. Another form of recycling. Reuse things that others no longer need and put your stuff back into the cycle when you are finished with it. Some charities will actually pick up stuff at your door! I do most of our clothes shopping this way and it saves money too.

4. Buy local and sustainable food(s) or grow your own. Support your Farmer's Markets and eat organically if you have a choice. Yes, it is more expensive to buy organically but many organic farms will send you coupons (Earthbound Farms for one.) Plant a small garden, you can't beat home grown veggies and herbs. Pesticides don't belong in us, our oceans or our soil. It is killing us and our planet.

5. Instead of "paper or plastic?" use re-usable shopping bags when you shop. We have about ten in the trunk of the car so they are there when needed. Most groceries and many shops sell them for a very nominal fee. Doing that will save trees and whales.

6. Replace your light bulbs with low wattage CFL's. They use less energy and last longer and will save you money in the long run.

7. Be stingy with your energy. Turn off lights, unplug, use fans instead of air conditioners when you can, space heaters instead of that energy guzzling whole house heater. If you dress appropriately, bundle up or dress cooler, you can save a lot of energy.

8. Support charities that support the earth. I budget a very small amount each year for those charities. Especially the ones that are into saving our rain forests, swamp lands, and other wild places that sustain our planet. Also, the National Wildlife Federation has a program for backyard habits. Our backyard is planted with wildlife in mind.

These are just a few things we can do to make a difference. Honestly, I think if we don't do our part there is really no hope for the future of many peoples and animals and plants on earth. Make a difference, please and be kind to your mother Earth. All the gadgets, all the inventions, all the civilizations in the world mean absolutely nothing without her. Quality of life means that there is a place for lions and tigers and bears, O my! Do the very best you can.

If you have any other ideas or things you do to help that are not listed here, please, please let me know!

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Arcadia
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Post by Arcadia » April 22nd, 2010, 9:11 pm

good question & ideas here, SooZen!. Gracias!! :)

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Post by Steve Plonk » April 23rd, 2010, 11:05 pm

All hail to Mother Earth! Praise to her mate, Father Sky! Keep those cards and letters flowing in the form of warm fuzzies 'cause Gaia is
Alive! Yes, she's alive and she kicks us with earthquakes and so forth.
We need to negotiate with her and keep a sustainable harvest. Humanity and all creation needs feedings and cool fresh water, fresh air to breathe and sustainable living will get us there.

We are stewards enlisted by Mother Earth and Father Sky, to continue the metaphor, and we NEED to get it right this century. We eFF'D up the last one. So now we have a clean slate decade to begin good work. Don't forget little child Luna either. There are good works to be found in space if we know how and where to look. Look to the One, and flow with your go.

Non Sum

Post by Non Sum » April 24th, 2010, 6:30 pm

Hello SooZen,
A very good list of recommendations! I’m proud to say that I do them all, except for one. I don’t agree with avoiding plastic bags at the store. These too can be recycled, and are often made to biodegrade. Who needs plastic trees anyway? I use my bags in a variety of tasks, from lining garbage cans, to storing food and dust-odor free items, here in my dusty-stinky cave. I won’t even get into all the lives of pigeons that have been saved due to the parachutes I’ve constructed for them out of, you guessed it, plastic shopping bags.


A recent conversation about hot water heaters (and, other such fascinating stuff), revealed to me the surprising fact that these devices, though considered 100% energy efficient, are the major consumer of electricity in the average home. I mentioned to my friend that my own total electric usage average 442 kilowatt hours per month (at .125 per kWh = c. $58.00). He told me that was impossible, even for a liar like NS, since his hot water heater ‘alone’ consumed that much power each month, and that met the national average.
Except for the “liar” part, he was surprisingly right! :shock:

My question to the average American is … ‘What in the hell are you guys doing with all that damn hot water??’

BTW: Should we be sacrificing a male virgin to Mother Gaia? The old girl seems to be getting over heated of late.

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Barry
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Post by Barry » April 24th, 2010, 7:36 pm

"male virgin," now that is funny. What'll he be, like, twelve or something? ;)

All hail Mama and Papa, Earth and Sky, heaven and earth, space and the home planet, Universally Conscious consciousness. It's not so much about us taking care of her (as if we're qualified) but about keeping her wanting to take care of us. Cuz if Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy.

Peace,
Barry

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Doreen Peri
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Post by Doreen Peri » April 25th, 2010, 1:47 am

great list! Momma Earth thanks you!

I'm an avid recycler. I put very few things in the trash can to go to the landfill. Almost everything is recyclable.

I don't compost my food though... something to think about..

Last fall, I inadvertently didn't get some very large piles of leaves that I'd raked picked up and now after all that heavy snow we had, it killed the grass on a rather large area in my lawn out back near the shed, interestingly in an approximately 6 feet x 6 feet shape. So, seems a natural thing to do to turn over the soil there and turn that into a vegetable garden. I usually just grow flowers. Lots of them! I love my flower beds... but this is a perfect place for a vegetable garden and some of the work has been done for me by nature taking its course. Need to get to work to do it! ;)

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Post by still.trucking » April 27th, 2010, 3:25 pm

Hi Mom I thought about you today.
Instead of letting the shower run till it warmed up I jumped right in and turned the water on.
"Natural selection, as it has operated in human history, favors not only the clever but the murderous." Barbara Ehrenreich

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Post by sooZen » April 27th, 2010, 7:23 pm

Hi High!!!

Thank you so much for your responses!!! :D I am so happy to hear that youse are taking this caretakers of the garden seriously. Otherwise we are pretty much screwed, Collectively and connectedly. (I make words up.)

The only argument I have here (NOW) is with you my dear Non Sum. It is all fine and good to recycle your plastic bags but plastic is the worst of the offenders of material objects we make. It is not just littering our world but it is killing our babies, our creatures, our oceans, our rivers, yadda, yadda. Get yerself some canvas, please and don't think I don't know what I am passionate about. I am deadly serious. If you get an occasional plastic bag, fine but don't go for them! We need to do away with those things and those plastic thingees that hold six-packs together too. NO SHIT, NS!

As for Hot Water, I know what I do with it, I am always on the verge of getting in it some way, some how even tho I don't like getting wet all that much. :wink:

Thank you Arcadia, you are always so kind.
Dor, perfect place, perfect idea...Nature gave you a garden.
Nature says Howdy Jack, keep on truckin.
Steve, I don't know about the gods and goddesses but whatever keeps the boat afloat is fine with me. We need ark builders and connectors.
Barry, that was funny!!! :lol:
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Non Sum

Post by Non Sum » April 27th, 2010, 8:22 pm

SooZen: It is not just littering our world but it is killing our babies, our creatures, our oceans, our rivers, yadda, yadda.

NS: "Litter" is "littering our world." If you recycle, or dispose properly, of 'any' object (including dead babies; i.e. compost them) then 'any' object no longer kills 'anything.' Besides, many plastics today are going over to being bio-degradeable. Though, that still does not justify littering. Nothing does. Like guns, it is not the object itself, but rather the way humans use/abuse it.

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Post by Doreen Peri » April 27th, 2010, 9:19 pm

I saw a guy being interviewed on David Letterman recently and I've searched the web but can't find his name or the video clip. Anyway, he was a scientist and an expert on biodegradable items and the situation the planet is in. As many of you know, Letterman is very concerned about this issue, and often has guests on to talk about it.

If I can find his name and/or any other info on the web including the video clip, I will. I'll keep looking.

What he said was that NO plastics are biodegradable. Nor are they working on making them biodegradable. And, though many are recycling plastics, STILL many throw them away into the landfill and there is a "layer of plastic" under the ocean being pulled into one specific spot. It was terrifying to me when he described it and he described how rapidly this layer of plastic is expanding.

They need to start using cardboard or something for bottled water. All plastic really should be eliminated.

I recycle plastic, including plastic bags, but according to this guy Letterman was interviewing, nothing that's plastic really can be recycled properly. Why? He said.... (and I remember this explicitly)... "Because you can't get plastic clean. No matter what you do, you cannot clean it." Then he gave an example of microwaving a bowl of spaghetti in a plastic container and how this is an obvious way to see how the food actually enters... becomes part of... the plastic. It can't be cleaned, he said, and therefore, can't be properly recycled. Same with the plastic bags.

..........

I have a big problem with computer components and other electronics. I have no idea what to do with the stuff I want to get rid of. VERY old computers that are of no use to me... nobody wants them ... they're archaic.... mice, keyboards, monitors. I know they have a recycling program in my county for these but I'm leery about it. I don't really understand the recycling process for electronics and I'm not sure if it works well. I need to learn more about that.

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Post by mtmynd » April 28th, 2010, 12:06 am

A current article on plastics (and more) found in the ocean -

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/ ... 8470.shtml

This is very real and very dangerous for the ocean life and to blow it off as nonsense or some eco-freaky scare is foolish.
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Post by hester_prynne » April 28th, 2010, 1:04 am

I was told once by an astrologer that I have no earth in my chart, and that it would behoove me to hang around with some earth sign people.
And then later, Stella came along, and on Earth day to boot!!!!! I love that!

I gave up my car when I moved to the city. I use a reuseable shopping bag. I put my garbage in all the right receptacles here where I live and shop every Sunday at the Ballard Farmer's market for local organic food.
I walk everywhere and I'm in better physical shape for it! I stop and smell the lilacs every morning on my way to the bus stop. I think more about Mother Earth than I ever have before and I regret not getting more conscious of her sooner. I want to erase the damage I've done.
Love this post Sooz....
H 8)
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Post by sooZen » April 28th, 2010, 7:55 am

Why thank you T! I have warm and fuzzies all the time about our dirt and the denizens above, on, and below.

But I want to talk to Mr. Non (Party of one?) Sum (there goes those numbers again).

Firstly, I want to say that I absolutely adore that waffle recipe of yours that the empty minded one used last time on "waffle day". I am very, very particular about my bread stuffs and it is now my favorite. So you have wormed your way into my gustatory heart.

Secondly, I love crossing swords with a man or woman that doesn't just resort to emotion but employs wit to converse. You seem to be able to stand back from your brain and other body parts and have a gentlepersonly argument (for lack of a better word.)

Thirdly, I must warn you (you are now forewarned) that I use any means available, including my feminine wiles, to win you over to the side I happen to be favoring at the moment.

Now, let the games begin:

NS: "Litter" is "littering our world." If you recycle, or dispose properly, of 'any' object (including dead babies; i.e. compost them) then 'any' object no longer kills 'anything.' Besides, many plastics today are going over to being bio-degradeable. Though, that still does not justify littering. Nothing does. Like guns, it is not the object itself, but rather the way humans use/abuse it.

SZ: I agree mostly with the gist of your argument. Recycling is appropriate for all things including dead babies. (I am not afraid of that boogie man death for all must recycle, it is the grand Cycle after all.) And, I love Annie Oakley and have a pretty deadly aim myself so guns are not my issue.

But some "stuffs" that we very creative and trans-formative hu*mans are capable of creating for the moment (Now) are very destructive and it is extremely difficult to put that genii back in the bottle (glass please.)

We have become the wizards of myth and have transformed coal into diamonds, lead into gold but we do NOT realize (key word) what we hath really wrought. We are the babies of the UNI-verse, I think. (All brain cells firing this morning SooZ?)

Now, IF you have followed me so far... Some of these "things" we have created (gods that we are) can be very, very destructive (think of Pandora) to this fragile marbled wonder we call Earth. Some of these transformed things cannot be changed back into their original forms (yet.) We cannot turn plastic back into a dinosaur. (Still with me Sir Non?)

There is a place in the ocean where a vortex exists. All the earth's waters meet there in a swirling mass. Ships avoid this place because it is a vortex (and other reasons as well but I don't want to make this argument a book.)

This man whom Doreen and M.T. were referencing took his science and teams and went there and what did they find? (Look for yourself, Google your gentle heart out.) All the world's plastic ends up (eventually) there. Pellets of plastic, threads of, a fog of, bags of, a swirling, churning mass of plastic in all its forms. All the biodegradable (plastic delusion) plastic0rama, drama, ding dongs you can imagine are there. This stuff doesn't change back into a dinosaur and sink into oblivion. Whales and sharks, and tunas and otters and seals and all that swims don't recognize this stuff for what it is, but see it as dinner. And that is deadly. Finite, the End for them. (Now if we could make another Blue Whale or Nurse Shark, what the heck.)

Now (again??? lol) we have a few other genii's that are out of the scary bottle or box and I could argue those as well. What are we going to do with all that energy we released in the transformation known as NuClear and the waste thereof?

Are we going to appoint some waste watchers (that's punny!) that, like storytellers of old, pass along the information that we have stored this waste in containers under the earth, that may or may not leak, that could spell the demise of us and make this orb a barren, choking wasteland? Can we keep this his-story up and running for 50, 000 (or some big assed number) years? (We can't even remember what happened 2,000 years ago in our story. We just dig it up and cipher what it is.) See what I am saying? Do you?

We, with our playthings of the "making the dollar at the moment" attitude, and no long sightedness, are acidifying our waters (the real problem with hot water) which in turn is killing our coral reefs. They are dying right before our very eyeballs. What was once a refuge, a barrier to the storms, a dinner buffet for many creatures is dying and dying so quick we may not be able to save it or ourselves from its loss. You may have to kiss your coastal areas a fond farewell.

Yes, the earth may survive our follies but we might not and all that we are responsible for as caretakers (much of which is on the precipice right this minute) will not. Do you realize this? Or do you have your head up some body part like an ostrich or just believe the Nay sayers? (Please excuse this metaphor.)

Get with it Sir Party of Non Sum Nation. I have hope for you.
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Doreen Peri
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Post by Doreen Peri » April 28th, 2010, 12:33 pm

First... SooZ.. thanks for posting about this important topic.

Also, apologies to Non Sum, as in my research I discovered I was wrong and they are indeed (as you said) creating biodegradable plastics. But will they really solve the problem?
Here's a link to an article about the new biodegradable plastics.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/10 ... answer.php

Here are some links about the enormous plastic problem....
Although many scientists suggest that the patch extends over a very wide area, with estimates ranging from an area the size of the state of Texas to one larger than the continental United States, the exact size is unknown
Read more here >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Paci ... bage_Patch
Light bulbs, bottle caps, toothbrushes, Popsicle sticks and tiny pieces of plastic, each the size of a grain of rice, inhabit the Pacific garbage patch, an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas.
Read more here about how the fish are eating this plastic and how it effects the ecosystem.
Read more here >> http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/science/10patch.html
Plastic bags, bottle tops and polystyrene foam coffee cups are often found in the stomachs of dead sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles and others. The implications have many at the conference concerned. Last April, Dutch scientists released a report on litter in the North Sea and found that fulmars, a type of seagull, had an average of 30 pieces of plastic in their stomachs.

In the sea, big pieces of plastic look like jellyfish or squid, while small pieces look like fish eggs, says Bill Macdonald, vice president of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, a Long Beach, California-based nonprofit environmental organization.

Macdonald, who is also an underwater filmmaker, said he has seen albatross parents fly huge distances to feed their young a deadly diet of plastic bottle caps, lighters and light sticks.

"The sheer volumes of plastic in oceans are staggering," he said. In recent years Algalita researchers have sampled a huge area in the middle of the North Pacific, and found six pounds of plastic for every pound of algae.
Read more here >> http://www.wired.com/science/discoverie ... 4/06/63699

This link has some lovely photos, also. Read how the underwater ecosystem, plus wildlife and human life is being effected and what we each do to help.
Read this important article here >> http://www.avianweb.com/plasticinouroceans.html

About plastic bags
Plastic can take hundreds of years to degrade, and can pose risks even when it has degraded as they break down into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers that pollute our environment. They are also believed to adversely affect landfill operations by interfering with moisture distribution.

Plastic shopping bags are made from polyethylene - which is derived from oil. Eliminating the use of plastic bags will also decrease our dependency on oil.

Few things are more wasteful than plastic bags. They are used for an average 15 minutes - and then discarded. It costs more to recycle a bag than to produce a new one.
Read more here >> http://www.avianweb.com/shoppingbags.html

And last... here's an article that answers the question, "Is plastic really recyclable?"
Seven Misconceptions about Plastic and Plastic Recycling
http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html

............

Now, after doing all this research... I feel my eyes are much farther open than when I started doing the research. And I don't know what to do with all the plastic containers in my house which I use for leftovers. Sighh....

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Post by sooZen » April 29th, 2010, 7:54 am

Doreen, thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing all that research and posting the results. I already knew all this but you brought it all together! That was impressive!

We all need to open our eyes and take personal responsibility for our actions.

I have those plastic containers too. Beads find their way into them, storage options exist but once they are here (or in our homes) they are not going away.

I don't feel guilty now, I just try and not go there (buying plastic) unless it cannot be helped. We just do what we can, knowing what we know.

Thank you again!!! And thank you all for doing what you do personally to cradle our planet in your arms.

Non, I hope we are still friends? Sorry for the strength of my response but Nature and all its denizens is the absolute passion of my life. I can be over the top that is why I usually sit back and watch, I am always a watcher so watch out. :lol:
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