Category Archives: Conservation

Recycling (3rd)

“Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.”

—Teddy Roosevelt

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

—Edmund Burke

Before agriculture, (10,000 years ago, give or take), about 15,000,000,000 acres of land were forested.

By the 1950’s, that acreage had been reduced to 10,000,000,000 acres.

Thirty years later a further 25% of forested acreage had disappeared.

The yearly average destruction of tropical forest is more than 28,000,000 acres.

Big deal?


This topic having been much discussed of late, yet another rehash is not nearly so useful as pointing out that we can do something about it by planting a tree.

Key points are:

It’s easier than you might think.

“How to” information is readily available from a nursery, horticultural society, arboretum, or botanical garden.  You could ask your local agricultural extension service.

Does a local college offer courses in landscape design?

Somebody there knows how to plant a tree.

Talking to neighbors just might turn up a local tree wonk.

Like other plants, trees require a little care for the first two years—vertical support, water, some mulch.

It’s a mathematical certainty that every tree planted helps to mitigate the greenhouse effect.

New trees are an investment in our grandchildrens’ quality of life.

Tree planting is a practical way to give them a gift that keeps on giving.



An Environmental Issue?

In my hometown, a billboard message, placed near a large supermarket advised:

Forty percent of the food in your refrigerator

will wind up the the garbage!

So what?

Here’s what—A little research revealed that, at the rate we’re generating garbage we’ll need more than 500 new garbage dumps every year.

Where will we put them?

As a matter of plain common sense, why not alter our habits to reduce such profligate waste of food and funds?

We would all save money and simultaneously we would all help keep the earth clean(er).

This particular form of environmental responsibility costs nothing.

As noted, it would pay us in the form of reduced grocery bills.

Responsible spokespersons for differing viewpoints are cordially invited to get real.




“Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.” — Teddy Roosevelt

Helping Mother Earth to survive the onslaught of pollution of air, soil, and water might seem to be a task beyond the might and means of the lone individual.  But by substituting ingenuity and a “can-do” attitude for feelings of helplessness, substantial results can be obtained, and its worthwhile to do so, for as we all know, Mother Earth is our only home.

Destroy her and we destroy ourselves.

So, where to begin?  Let’s start with fresh water, the primary human nutrient, increasingly in short supply as population increases.  Conserving what we have makes sense, ¹ but how can the lone individual make a difference?

Here is one simple way:  Save a one-quart plastic bottle and cap.  Remove the label.  Rinse out thoroughly.  Refill with clean sand or small stones.  Recap it.  Place it in your toilet tank in the corner farthest from the mechanism.  It will stay in place, displacing one quart of water.  In other words, each time time you or someone else in your home or business flushes the toilet you save one quart of water.

The bottle costs nothing extra.  You paid for it when you bought whatever it contained.  It uses no power.  It has no moving parts to wear out.  It doesn’t corrode.  It just sits in your toilet tank, unmoving because of the sand or pebbles with which you filled it, saving one quart of water each time the toilet is flushed.

A family of four, each flushing a toilet, say, three times per day, saves twelve quarts, or three gallons, per day.  Per year:  (3 gallons per day) x (365 days) = 1,095 gallons of water saved per year.

This is not my idea.  I first read about this and put my “toilet bottle” in place several years ago.  As you can see it was quite a while later that I realized this was a two-step process: First, install the bottle.  Second, talk it up so others can do it.  There are many cheap, simple ways to save a little water.  When you find one, don’t take as long as I did to spread the word.  Of course you don’t have to start blogging.  But somehow share the ideas.

Our ingenuity and a “can-do” attitude.

Saving water needn’t depend on the supposed superior abilities of “experts” or on some expen$ive government program.

We can do it!

This post is dedicated to the yet unborn.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

—African proverb


¹ The United States uses more than 450 billion gallons of water every day.