Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Hypocrites

It's no secret that I've been a wee bit bitchy it early PMS, cigarette withdrawal or whatever....but for some reason, my bitch filter has disappeared and everything is getting on my nerves.

Which leads me to Earth Day. Lovely concept. Except for one thing.........

Earth Day Hypocrites.

I understand that every little bit counts......even if you do the curbside recycling thing, yet drive an SUV the size of a small city. Yes, every little bit counts......but there is a certain breed of Earth Day Hypocrite that drives me absolutely insane.

These particular type of Earth Day Hypocrite buys the energy efficient light bulbs, they might recycle, never buy bottled water and may even unplug all of their appliances at night.....but they are destroying their very own environment....killing wildlife and disrupting the simple balance of life. You know them, they might be your neighbor, your friend or even you.

The person with the perfect front yard. The yard with no dandelions, not a hint of crabgrass and the most beautiful flowers your eyes have even beheld. Yes, they are the ones you see toiling away in early spring, spraying their lawns, pushing their spreaders or writing a check to the local ChemLawn guy. They spray and they treat and then they stand back proud of the perfect greenness they see spread out before them.

Pretty yes......but incredibly destructive to our environment.

What some see as "weeds" are actually beneficial food to many creatures who share our space. Those cute little wild bunnies who like to nibble from your vegetable garden actually eat dandelions as a diet staple. Some grasses that people deem as "not soft enough" or "not green and pretty enough" seed at certain times during the season. These seeds are are beneficial food for many species of birds. Ground insects are there for a reason.....not just to destroy Mr Smith's perfect lawn...they are there to feed the very circle of life that sustains us all.

And those beautiful flowers in perfect vibrant colors.....the ones that need chemicals and "plant foods" to look their best. Ahhh, pretty on the outside, lovely to look upon.....but destroying our very native environment. You see, many, many plants you find in nurseries aren't native to our area. They have been introduced to this country and become a main stay. They need all of the extra help to grow because THEY ARE NOT NATIVE TO THIS AREA. And when they do grown and begin to thrive, the become invasive and destroy the native plants which are needed to sustain our own eco system.

Would you like to really, honestly and truly go green? It doesn't cost anything extra. It will actually cut down on your gardening and yard work and you'll be recycling at the same time!

First off.....relax! You aren't going to hell for having dandelions in your front yard and you won't lose your county club membership for having crab grass. Relax....mow your lawn when it needs it, water when it needs it and be proud that you aren't polluting our groundwater, poisoning our pets and destroying the circle of life that exists in your own neighborhood.

Hop online and research native plants in your area. Here in Indiana, there are many stunningly beautiful plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that have been here from the beginning....some of the very plants you may see growing along side the freeway and call "wildflowers". Plant native plants in your gardens and relax. You see, native plants thrive with very little care, no pesticides and zero chemicals. And an added bonus.....these plants will draw wildlife into your yard.....birds will flock to your yard and feast on seeds and insects, bunnies with find a safe haven and butterflies will dance through your gardens all spring, summer and fall long.

Use natural things to make your lawn and gardens more fertile. Home composting works as well as coffee grounds, egg shells and so much more! It may be garbage to you, but the wildlife and pets in your neighborhood will thank you.

And finally, enjoy your natural setting with your family, friends and children. You will find the most amazing species of insects, birds and wildlife flocking to your little piece of Heaven. And trust me, with all of those beautiful things going on, no one will notice crabgrass or dandelions. No one will talk about grubs in your lawn or that three inch diameter brown spot. Everyone will just notice the pure and simple beauty of nature...............and when you take everything else away (plastic bottles, junk mail, automobile emissions and regular light bulbs) what is left besides our beautiful Earth?

If you want any tips on native gardening, please, don't hesitate to contact me! I'd be more than happy to steer you in the right direction! Thanks for reading my Earth Day rant.....and I hope you enjoyed the photos taken in my own "little piece of Heaven".


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