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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Day and Mother Earth

Today is another beautiful day. Days like this that are cool and sunny remind me of how great it was to be little, and to be outside. Living green comes natural to kids. One of our favorite days was Clean Up day, where we spent all day outside raking and picking up litter, pulling weeds, etc. We saw birds and all kinds of exciting insects, and competed with who could make their little corner of the school look best. There was always ice cream in little dixie cups with wooden spoons later on the cool, wooden floor of the Gym.

A lot of those little things, just picking up loose papers, replanting a tree or plant here and their, rescuing a caterpillar, are ways of living Green that don't cramp anyone's style. I'm glad to stay kids still plant things in paper cups at school, and bring them home to nurture and to grow. We are currently caring for a jade plant, and learning about these, and cacti, and various succulents. I love to save the seeds of things and to try to plant them; we've had luck with pumpkins, my favorite plants, and I'm interested to know of anyone else's experience with growing them.

I'm good at rescuing poinsettias after the season; once there was one sitting on the side walk right in front of me. I got it to grow and stay alive for quite some time. Granted, there is a difference between hoarding and saving things, but I'd rather work with what I have and try to save it and keep it rather than waste money and time. I've wondered at the contradiction of our time; we are called The Throw Away Society, yet also accuse people of "hoarding" quite freely. Big Brother must truly live, because what people keep in the privacy of their own homes has now becomet he stuff of reality TV. One used to need a search warrant to conduct these activities, now we just need T-VO. Sorry, if I didn't spell it correctly; I don't have one!

Ah well; to each his/her own. Here are a couple more tips. Found a wonderful Blog out of Lyon on French cooking and culture that I'm following. Go out and smell the roses! Till next time, adieu.

Tips for Living Green:

1. Teach children to respect animals and wildlife. If they have a favorite stuffed animal, like an elephant, have them study elephants and their evolution, their role in literature and culture, where they live. The more familiar we are with something like this, and the more we come to love it, the less likely we are to abuse it or ignore it. Do the same with human culture. Encourage children to learn bout people from around the world by having them read folk tales, literature, listening to music, participating in ethnic crafts, collecting ethnic artifacts. Folk Dolls and foreign dolls are a good way to introduce all children to different cultures. Those with their own collections should learn about them and then go on the road, offering to display and lecture on them.

2. Volunteer when you can at community cleanups, book fairs, botanical centers, museums of all types, libraries, Earth Day celebrations. Teach children not to waste, but to share and to trade where possible. See the onsite community areas for barter.

3. When re-gifting and homemade gifts are good. Teach the spirit of gift giving and holidays; commercialism has been an issue since the first Christmas. Read Christmas and holiday stories and lore to see how such greed and commercialism are combated through the last two millennia. Also, you can see how people celebrated in historical times of economic adversity like War, Depression, and famine. You might be surprised at how happy and meaningful some of these celebrations can be.

4. Weddings; tips for economical weddings. I Had a Civil ceremony and church wedding for under $2500. Tell how.

5. Coupons and sales; some of us have raised using these to an art. I say, use them, but in all things moderation. I like to keep a file for them, or to subscribe to websites of stores I like. Read the fine print, and don't buy it just because you have the coupon. Always think of your use for it, long and short term.

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