Thursday, December 2, 2010

Changing our carbon footprint

This morning's sunrise
Climate change is very real to a Rushford, Minnesota farmer Jack Hedin.  He's experienced floods that have been devastating both to his farm and those farms around him.  Climatologist have concluded that there have been three "thousand year rains" in the past seven years within the state of Minnesota. His concern about the impact of fossil fuels and climate change appeared recently in the StarTribune.  This article was originally written for the New York Times, "An Almanac for Extreme Weather."

As a farmer relying heavily on tractors and thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, he understands he needs to change his farming habits.  This dramatic wake up call, along with others over the years have me thinking about what I can do on the home front to reduce my carbon footprint.  Ideas include:

  1. Be more conscientious about driving only as needed, and combine trips 
  2. Walk and bike when I can, to avoid use of the car
  3. Do more shopping at thrift stores and continue recycling practices
  4. Heat only portions of the house that are in use
  5. Explore tearing up more sod in our yard and replacing with garden this spring
Food Not Lawns, is a website that provides suggestions on how to transform one's yard into garden.  Following is some food for thought from Food Not Lawns....

Cool sunrise over pond (13 degrees F)
As you look for places to grow, ask yourself some important, practical questions: Will you actually go there to garden? Will you be inspired by the surrounding space? Will the plants have an opportunity to reach maturity? Will you want to eat the produce? Grow what you love, what you eat, and what you want to look at, in a space that makes you feel healthy and empowered.

I would add one addition to this list of questions.  Can you maintain the garden you grow?

Be the change.

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