As hobby farmers, we’re used to forming new habits and making changes in our lives.
- We cope with interruptions due to an animal birth or illness
- We manage through the impact of weather and/or pests on our crops
- We’ve addressed our desire to connect with our agricultural roots
- We’ve committed to healthier living
As Earth Day arrives this month, maybe it’s time to connect the dots from the changes we’ve already made to changes we can make to better care for the earth.
More than ever, Earth Day—and its goal to “spark a revolution against environmental abuse”—must not pass us by with just a simple nod of acknowledgment.
The list of ways we can help is endless. Here are our suggestions for things we can do in our lives and around our farms, homes and communities—every day—to help make a difference:
Around the Farm
- Start a compost pile.
- Put up birdfeeders, birdhouses, and birdbaths.
- Pull weeds manually instead of using herbicides.
- Use only organic fertilizers.
- Compost your leaves and yard debris, or take them to a yard debris recycler.
- Return extra plastic and rubber pots back to the nursery.
- Plant short, dense shrubs close to your home’s foundation to help insulate your home against cold.
- Use mulch to conserve water in your garden.
Around the House
- Replace frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Recycle everything: plastic sandwich bags, newspapers, bottles and cans, aluminum foil, etc.
- Use cold water in the washer whenever possible.
- Reuse brown paper bags to line your trash can instead of plastic bags. Reuse bread bags and produce bags.
- Store food in re-usable containers.
- Donate used items to a charitable organization or thrift shop.
- Don’t leave water running needlessly. If you have a leaky faucet, fix the drips!
- Turn your heat down, and wear a sweater.
- Open windows instead of using air conditioning.
- Turn off lights and electrical appliances when you are out of a room.
- Turn down the heat and turn off the water heater before you leave for vacation.
- Weatherize and insulate your home, and consider installing double pane windows.
- Buy energy efficient appliances.
- Buy products with less packaging.
- Use both sides of paper.
- Run your dishwasher only when it’s full.
- Take shorter showers and use a low-flow showerhead.
In Our Lives and Our Communities
- Buy recycled products.
- “Recycle” your clothes.
- Carpool, use public transportation or drive a fuel efficient car.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and get better gas mileage.
- Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled.
- Buy locally; it reduces the amount of energy required to transport your products to your store.
- Donate money or time to an ecological organization.
- Use rechargable batteries.
- Plant a tree.
- Buy organically grown foods.
- Spread the word about conservation!