In memory of Anastasia, our friend Karl
asked the cats of the blogosphere
to come up with a fun dare. Many cats, including us, submitted suggestions, but Mr. Chen's
dare impressed the judges enough to win. Thus, we were all dared "to come up with one creative, fun, useful way to save the environment and
put a picture of yourself doing it on your blog!"
We are not particularly creative, so we decided on quantity, not quality. Our mom considers herself very committed to being sensitive to the environment, so she welcomed this dare.
First off, instead of driving to work, we offer teleworking, which Mom did today. We highly recommend this--it's win-win for everyone. We get a servant at home to cater to all of our needs and she gets to enjoy us and have less stress doing her work on the computer and phone.
If you have to report to the office, one thing you can do is ride your bike to work. Mom tried this for the first time back in May for "Bike to Work Day" and has been doing it at least once a month since. Yesterday was a beautiful day and she rode in--12 miles one way, 24 miles round trip
. It helps to keep her in shape. She's lucky to have showers at her office--or rather her office staff is fortunate!
I didn't like having to pose on that bike pack. I work from home as deck patrol so I
don't have to ride to work.
On those days when she has to drive, Mom takes her Prius
. We highly recommend this hybrid vehicle because it has low emissions plus gas mileage in excess of 50 mpg.
On the home front, there are lots of things you can do to make your yard more environmentally friendly. Here is our brush pile at the bottom of the yard. This is a great place for little critters and insects. Birds love to peck around in the brushy leaf litter.
You can also make a compost pile. Though I have been known to raid the compost pile for avocado rinds in the past, this time, Mom placed me in the midst of this stuff. There are lots of shredded leaves and vegetable waste. You can see that some of the cantaloupe seeds sprouted and a vine is growing. This pile is super high in the late fall when Mom rakes and shreds leaves, but a lot has decomposed by now.
Then there's garden plantings: try to plant for wildlife. Mom uses lots of native plants and no pesticides. So what if our lawn is "weedy"; at least it's healthier for me to walk on.
See the tall "stalky"
plant here? It's a milkweed, the only plant that monarch butterflies eat in their larval stage.
During Tropical Storm Hanna, one of the big Bradford pear trees in our neighborhood split. The neighbors cut it up and put the wood out with the trash. Mom knows that it makes better firewood than fodder for the landfill, so she took it home. We just have to wait a while for it to season.
How about some solar power? Ours is old technology, but it's a renewal resource that could be viable in many sunny climates out west.
We also recommend natural cleaners like vinegar rather than harsh chemicals.
And reuse your plastic take-out food containers. They're great for lunches and leftovers--or for carrying our food on long trips.
Of course we recommend recycling. Just be sure you know the rules in your area and don't contaminate the recyclables.
We aren't showing them, but we assume that all of our friends reuse plastic bags for the daily scooping of the litter box. And those plastic newspaper sleeves are great for those of you with dogs and need a disposable pooper scooper. Sure, reusable bags are great for groceries and shopping, but you still need something for the stinky stuff.
Yes, Mom still gets the dead tree version of the newspaper. She's a geezer and loves to read her hard copy version. She especially likes to read the Sunday edition in bed. She likes to think that by being a paid subscriber she will do her part to keep the newspapers in business because online versions still don't pay for themselves with ads.
Just remember - CATS are NOT recyclable! They all deserve forever homes.
Labels: environment, flowers, Karl and Anastasia, Mr. Chen and Ollie