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March 8, 2010

Going Green: Green Living is Easier Than We Think

Going Green: Green Living is Easier Than We Think

When we discuss the environment, as with any topic, there are as many opinions as people and some will take their points to the extreme- either extreme.

The true need is for each of us to understand that we are borrowing the space we have here on earth for but a short time. When we borrow something, should we not be responsible and do our best to return it in the same or better condition in which we received it? We would expect that of a neighbor who borrowed a tool would we not?

The solution is in learning how to coexist with and “re”learn how to take care of and respect the things of this earth. Let us find ways to teach each other alternative methods for working with nature.

My grandpa was a farmer and my grandma, being part American Indian, was inherently a naturalist. When I was a young girl it was their guidance that taught me things like; garlic and marigolds planted with the crops kept the bugs from “eatin’ everything ‘afore we get it to the kitchen”. And of course Grandma would insist that it was the peppermint she had planted ’round the outside that kept the bugs from goin’ in the house. There were no pesticides to be found on the farm but the vegetables and the flower gardens always produced in abundance.

She always said: God didn’t put anything here by accident. He gave us everything we need. My grandmother knew how to use almost every plant or weed that grew in the Midwest. It’s those little bits of knowledge that I treasure most, like; ‘If you find poison ivy you can also grab the cure right from the ground (Spotted forget-me-not) normally not too far off’, or that steaming your head in bayberry leaves will kick out the nastiest of colds, or that vanilla is a good insect repellent, and the list goes on. Today, I realize I should have paid much closer attention.

I am not an extremist and I am not the greenest. I do respect the land and space that I borrow and try to be conscious of my behavior. There are things I don’t do because of cost, there I things I don’t do because of necessity (like trying to earn a living) or because I do enjoy some of the little luxuries of modern day like watching a little TV before bed, but I am mindful of what I do.

We DO compost our kitchen scraps, we DO plan vehicle trips to make every trip as effective and efficient as possible, we DO turn off the water while we brush our teeth and lots of other little things. We look for ways to do a better job of living green because it is the right thing to do. Most often living greener does not require a lot of effort, and frequently it even saves us some money; like the rain barrels we have used for years to water our vegetable garden and flowers.

I know barely a tenth of what my Grandma knew and she always was trying to learn more. Perhaps what we all need is a good teacher…


To get your free whitepaper with tips on going green and sustainable living, visit Kathleen Cagiati has been practicing a green lifestyle and implementing sustainable living strategies for the last 30 years and shares her simple tips with you.

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