Are you in North Carolina and want to see Shore Debris in person? My jewelry is available at this Sanford location:

Divine Designs by Nancy, 92 Amarillo Ln

You can also find my jewelry in this Southwest Florida gallery:

Elizabet Bryant Art Gallery, 200 West Dearborn Street, Englewood, FL 34223

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 2009

So what does climate change mean to me? I believe each and every person can do little things that add up to reduce his or her own negative impact on the environment as a whole. And thus the extra-long essay begins...
So what have I done in the past to reduce my impact on the environment... I grew up in a big recycling family - my dad, being an environmental engineer working for the Navy, actually participated in creating some of the first recycled plastic lumber, designed the low-flow showerheads and toilets still used on ships today, and completed numerous oil/contamination clean-up projects. (I had lots of material for reports and research papers all the way through school.)

My next stage in life was as part of the military - Marine Corps, to be exact. It never occured to me how careless one entity can be toward the environment... and labeled as a tree-hugger from the beginning, those 5.5 years were a struggle. Do you know how much trash from MRE packages are sitting in the woods in Quantico? I honestly don't think those packages degrade over time at all, and people going through training are still dropping them on the ground and making fun of the few who pack out their trash. Do you know that just about all Marine Corps installations have recycling bins all over the place? Do you know what happens to them? The "weekly" cleanup crew (active duty Marines) most often empties them into the trash dumpster. You wouldn't believe what I was called as I would repeatedly call their superiors to complain as I see them doing it right in front of me. Do you know how few Marines or civilian employees care about energy waste? I was one of two people in my last building (who would go through offices and turn off lights and TVs as I left (and those office occupants had been gone for the day). Their excuses when you bring it up to them... they're not paying for it! Do they not understand that the taxes that are taken from their paychecks go to pay for the electricity that is used to heat and light the building? There were many days where I wondered if my little bit was helping the environment at all when so many just did not care.

So where am I today? I live on property that backs up to wetlands, so I use no chemicals at all on my yard out of fear it will be washed away to the area behind me. I have planted 9 new trees (between 4 ft and 14 ft all) and 20 arbor day seedlings (only 8 survived, though) in hopes of one day improving air quality. I dug up about 800 square feet of lawn to create a garden with a variety of trees, native flowers, and berries. I grow my own vegetables and fruits (and go to the farmers' market for the ones I can't grow). I have a rainbarrel that collects the rain from my roof so I can water my flowers. I refuse to water my grass - tell the neighbors, I'm making it hardy, but this year I noticed, mine grew much slower so I was mowing less than 1/3 the amount of times they were. All light fixtures in my house have CFLs except one. I unplug all apliances (even the TV to my husband's constant annoyance) when not in use. I recycle and reuse everything that I can - I'm so happy now that stores are used to me bringing in my old canvas bags, old yogurt containers made the best "homemade" pots for small housewarming gifts, paperboard from products are great backers when making handmade tags - oh, my list is endless!

What is still left for me to do? More trees - Yes, I love trees and still have room for a couple more! Find someone with the right sort of platform to reach my foyer chandelier and replace those bulbs with CFLs. Dig up another 400 sq feet of lawn and turn it into a wildflower garden. Get at least one more rain barrel hooked up at my house. Buy a non-powered lawnmower. Increase vegetable output so I can do my own canning. I think I could make this list go on for days...

Is there anything you want to change in the future?

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