Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day! 5 Less-Common Things You Can Do

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day As you may or may not know, today is Blog Action Day in honor of environmental issues. As a collective blogosphere, we may not be able to solve global warming or some other environmental problem, we do have the opportunity to educate people. One of my biggest reservations about blogging is that I sometimes feel like I'm "preaching to the converted." 90% of the time I probably am, but for that other 10% or for that person that stumbles across my blog through a web search, I hope that those people can walk away learning something. Recycling, hybrid cars, and global warming have gotten enough press and I'm sure topics like that will be talked about ad nauseum for Blog Action Day. So, for Blog Action Day, I decided to post a list 5 easy and less-common things one can do to help the environment. So here's my list:

1. Learn the common invasive plants in your yard and remove them. Start with Garlic Mustard, Ailanthus (AKA Tree of Heaven), Japanese Barberry, Japanese Knotweed, and Spotted Knapweed. Tell a neighbor.

2. Learn the names of 10 birds and share them with someone, especially a child. You never know what interest it might spark. I'll get you started with the most common in the northeast US: American Robin, European Starling, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, House Finch, Black-capped Chickadee. That's more than halfway there! Here's an excellent resource for learning birds.

3. Consider the coffee you're drinking or, at least, the way you prepare and drink it. Start here. Serve some shade grown coffee at your next party!

4. Don't use bug zappers. Studies have shown that out of 10,000 insects killed over the course of one summer, only a few dozen were actually mosquitos or other biting insects. Use citronella or another natural repellent.

5. Let it grow! Pick a small area of your lawn and just let it go. Don't mow it. Resist the urge. In a short time, it will welcome insects, wildflowers, birds, toads, and many other interesting things. Be sure to keep down those invasives though as per #1.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading about five things we can do :) Great post!

elizabird said...

Excellent suggestions!
I love the leave a section of your yard...I leave almost my whole yard for the birds. Even my neighbors notice how many more birds there are in the neighborhood since we moved in four years ago. Either there are more birds or they notice birds more since we became neighbors.

Patrick Belardo said...

Eliza, that's great that you do that. Someday when I don't live in a condo where I can't touch the yard, I will do something similar with my yard.

kermitjohnson said...

Thank you for participating in Blog Action Day.

Here's something else you can do:
Don't buy Brazilian hardwood products!

As a real estate agent in Minneapolis, I see a lot of people using a product in luxury homes that is very destructive in a number of ways. It may also be contributing to the changes in the environment. Check out this post, please:

Brazilian Teak Floors, Slave Labor, and the Destruction of the Rainforest.

You can find this post at:

Anything you can do to share this link or help promote awareness of this issue will be greatly appreciated. Most luxury home owners are unaware of the environmental and human cost of these products.

Thank you!