Two years ago, my partner and I purchased our first home together. It is a perfect house surrounded by ten acres of varying hard and soft wood trees. A beautiful creek meanders throughout our neighborhood. Our neighbors are far enough away that we feel secluded, but close enough that we don’t feel isolated. Song birds greet us each morning and serenade us each night. We have seen wild turkey, deer, rabbits, beaver and opossum fly, run, hop, and nonchalantly stroll across our property. On clear nights the stars sparkle with amazing clarity and seem to go on forever.
I must now admit that there is one small detail that keeps our property from qualifying as a perfect homestead. It seems that originally our property, and our neighbors’ properties, were one huge cattle farm until about 40 years ago. The cattle farming ended and the property appeared to be abandoned. So county residents living in the corner of our county and the corner of a neighboring county used the property as a community dump.
Now, we did see tractor parts and an old washing machine in the woods when we looked at the property, but we thought this had to be the junk from an old homestead. We even thought we might find a treasure or two on the property if we looked hard enough. I can now disclose that we have discovered lots of bottles made for medicines, hair tonics, canned goods, sodas, and spirits of all types, as well as tin cans and clothing of varying sizes, home appliances, and tractor and motor parts from almost every part of a vehicle. We have unearthed and discovered much, but alas nothing to call a treasure…nothing to place on the mantle to showcase or have as a good conversation piece.
We are doing our best to recycle as much of the metal and other debris we continue to sort and sift through. We have a plan to work on this section of our property in stages to clean and try to reclaim the land in a cleaner, healthier, more natural and beautiful way. We are dedicated to just loving this part of our property until it no longer appears scarred and neglected from years of abuse.
My love of nature and my established commitment to restoring the damaged area of land I now call my own helps inspire me to remind everyone of this date: Friday, April 22, 2016 – Earth Day. Earth Day was established 46 years ago in 1970 with its main goal to call attention to the harm and danger that mass pollution posed to the air, water and land all around us. It has taken some time, but the belief that everyone can do something - anything to help restore and maintain a healthy Mother Earth is now an incredibly strong movement. Earth Day is now celebrated by 1 billion people in almost 200 countries.
This year I have decided to find ways to celebrate Earth Day, not just outside, but inside my home too. I am so good at recycling my batteries, but couldn’t I purchase a charger and rechargeable batteries in the future? I have already begun and will continue to light my home with energy efficient bulbs. An energy monitor would certainly help me understand better where and when I am wasting the most energy. I haven’t yet decided on window treatments for several windows – maybe energy efficient curtains this year. Organic bed sheets for the bedrooms and organic bathroom towels would be a convenient and useful way of gently supporting and respecting our planet. Even using organic cloth napkins or kitchen towels rather than paper towels or paper napkins would be a simple and helpful change.
A few simple changes inside our homes can have a huge impact on our environment. I have only listed a few ideas for some environmentally friendly changes for the inside of my home. Trying to make my home as energy efficient and environmentally supportive of our Mother Earth is a new goal for me. Even when I purchase organic meat, fruit, or vegetables and bring, once again, another houseplant into my home, I am helping support Eco-friendly farming and providing more oxygen and a natural air filter for the home and planet. Celebrate Earth Day this week. Love our planet while you enjoy the outdoors, and bring a little bit of that love inside your home, too.
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2016