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How To Start A Vegetable Garden - 30 Day Challenge - Earth Day And Your Carbon Footprint
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How to Start A Vegetable Garden  -  30 Day Challenge  -  Earth Day And Your Carbon Footprint

Happy Earth Day

Today is a day set aside to thank Mother Earth for all that she provides to us, to do things for her to make her more healthy, and to create resolutions to do things differently in our lives to reduce our carbon footprint.

Thank you

Mother Earth provides us with everything we need to live a healthy life. From the soil and the plants that grow in it to the animals who are nourished by these plants and the people who eat the fruits of these plants Mother Earth gives us the food we need to live.

Making Mother Earth Healthier

One way to thank Mother Earth for all she does is to make her healthier. Plant a tree to provide shade, reduce soil runoff, and provide the oxygen we need to live. Go to a local park, woods, or stream and clean up the garbage that others have carelessly thrown away. Litter is a one of the biggest contributors to an unhealthy Mother Earth. Taking a few steps today (and everyday) are easy things that can be done for minimal cost but maximum benefits to Mother Earth.

Carbon Footprint

We've all heard the term "carbon footprint" and the media tells us we need to reduce it. But what is a carbon footprint and how do we reduce it?

According to Wikipedia, Carbon Footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and methane gasses that are emitted by a person, company, nation, etc.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Some obvious ways to reduce your carbon footprint are to reduce your personal emissions of these gasses:

  • Reduce the amount of driving you do. Carpool as much as possible - to work, school, sporting events.
  • Plan your weekly errands ahead of time. Group them into close proximity to save gas and reduce your emissions.
  • Use your air conditioner less. By using ceiling fans and keeping your air conditioner set at a higher temperature (or off), you greatly reduce the emissions needed to cool your house.

There are many many more, and there are lots of great websites with these types of obvious tips to reduce your carbon footprint - and reduce your electric and gas bills at the same time.

Buy Local Fruits and Vegetables

It's Earth Day! Celebrate Mother Earth by eating a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables!

Many people celebrate in this manner and drive to their local grocery store to purchase fruits and vegetables that were grown thousands of miles away and transported via boat, train, plane, and truck to your local store. These fruits and vegetables have a HUGE carbon footprint!

Celebrating Earth Day in the manner is, ironically, the worst thing you could do!

Instead, drive to your local farmer's market and purchase your fruits and vegetables there. Buying produce that was grown within a few miles of your home instead of a few thousand miles is EXACTLY how you reduce your carbon footprint.

Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

But, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to grow your own produce. By providing your garden with properly nourished soil and growing plants that will be harvested for your own consumption, you reduce the distance your food travels from thousands of miles to a few feet!

My Earth Day Resolution

My family and I are expanding our garden from a few containers of tomatoes and peppers, to a large garden of green beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, squash, jalapenos, carrots, potatoes, watermelon, strawberries, and more!

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint as well as providing healthy food for our family in our own backyard. We want you to do the same.

My series of articles on How to Start a Vegetable Garden will help. This series explains how to design your garden, build a raised bed or select containers for your garden, determine the right soil for your garden, and select and plant your seeds.

As my garden grows, I will provide more tips on growing your plants and harvesting them. Please follow me on this journey. A link to my website with all of the articles can be found on my Street Articles profile.

As for today, I am doing my part. The family and I are heading to the local woods with garbage bags to clean up the random trash left on our trails. I hope you take the time to do the same.


Street Talk

Very good article, AJ.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Thanks, Georgia. I appreciate your visit!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

What you grow yourself always tastes so good. I'd like to have a sizable vegetable garden. Haven't had the time to plant or tend to it. I love having my hands in dirt, surrounded by nature. Thanks for the great article.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Home grown is always the best. I'm so looking forward to our garden harvesting this year!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Thanks for this, AJ--I've always been a fan of Earth Day--it is the one 'holiday' I can remember the first occasion of--I was in my High School's ecology club at the time (we took our bicycles to school that day, instead of the bus--but the buses ran anyway, since the school admins had denied us permission to bike to school.)and did volunteer work at that very first Earth Day. I did have a falling out with the club, though--it seemed to me that industry-based pollution and resource-gouging was a far greater threat than the litter along Rte.35. And I still have that problem--I should by new windows to reduce the drafts in my house--but it's OK for BP to muck up the entire Gulf of Mexico?! Still, I recognize now that some forms of individual greening (like shopping bags) can have a real impact--and that pollution IS local, as well as global. Great article!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

How fantastic that you participated in the very first Earth Day! I too have difficulty grasping the global pollution - poisoning our waters with garbage, medical waste and oil spills, damaging our air with factory smoke. I find it hard to understand the lack of responsibility of others. However, I do what I can in my small section of the world. If we all did, things would be that much cleaner and better. One person at a time!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

AJ, Yes, indeed! I am looking forward to eating from the stuff growing just a few feet away. It's kind of odd how we ship things thousands of miles. To me anyways. Though I suppose I took advantage this weekend. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and all kinds of stuff that did not grow in our back yard. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

I'm with you, Cynthia. I love a great mango, and I do NOT live anywhere tropical in order to grow it. Sometimes, I just have to eat one knowing that it came hundreds or thousands of miles for me. But if I can chose a vegetable in season locally now vs. one that's not in season locally, I'll chose local every time. Why not support our local farmers and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time? Our summer harvests are going to be fantastic!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

AJ, Yep! You're right Though I also eat things that are never in season where I am. Two favorites? Papayas! Bananas! I just moved the lights up one click higher on one end of our tomatoes. Three clicks higher on one end of stuff I don't recognize/remember:-) Garden growing time is truly upon us!! Five trays of seeds are hibernating or something... blessings, Cynthia

  
  about 9 years ago
  

Your garden is underway. So exciting! I hope to see pictures of your bountiful harvest in a few months. My kids enjoyed two fresh from the garden strawberries with breakfast this morning - the harvest is beginning! They were over the top excited :)

  
  about 9 years ago

Good article and info AJ...We have several weekend farmers markets fixing to open up for the season very soon...Usually find some better deals and fresher products than found in most large chain stores....I usually spend to much too as everything looks soooo good...ha

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

We have a few local markets open year round, but many won't be open yet for a few more weeks. I too spend more than I expect in these places, but supporting our local farmers is so very important that it's worth it!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Golfspice  

Never considered that growing your own vegetables would reduce carbon footprint, but makes sense, and every little helps in this respect.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Some grocery stores don't label where their produce is from. But if you have a chance, look around. It's frightening the amount of fuel that is used to bring our food to us! Grow your own: it tastes better, it's cheaper, and it's better for the environment on many counts. Thanks for stopping by, Golfspice!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I like.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Thanks, Rob!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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