Several things had been bothering me lately, in regards to conservation, recycling, and sustainable practices, when I finally vocalized my concerns and intent to make changes in my life last Saturday. My husband, Joe, and I were driving home to Olympia from the airport after a recent trip to visit family in Maryland. We were silently listening to a discussion on the radio about the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast. The local broadcaster made a ridiculously idiotic statement to follow up the segment, and we could not contain ourselves. We were overflowing with critique and distain for the woman, and considered calling to tell her to not open her mouth about to topics she does not understand.
Conservation is not new to us; being raised off of the Chesapeake, in fairly liberal school districts, Joe and I have ingrained concern for how human acts effecting the environment. I have been toying with the idea of composting our waste for almost a year now, both animal and food. However, I never took the initiative to learn about gardening and food safety when using your own compost containing animal waste. The process had seemed a little out of reach, either building my own bins, or purchasing containers would be pricey. I was encouraged when I was making my bee-line to the dog food section in Costco; I crossed paths with an elevated black plastic drum specifically for composting…and that bad boy cost less than $100! Renewed excitement!
Other improvements to our yard this year will include new full-sun plants in the south facing beds, and transplanting of the existing shade tolerant plants from the south facing beds to the shady areas of the yard, duh! If it’s going to be in the sun, and require regular watering, it better produce something useable, so we have lavender and blueberry on the wish list. I do not expect to see much water reduction this first summer, as transplants always require a bit of extra care. In the fall we will be removing some needy flowering tubers that will be replaced with hardier fruit bearing options, contemplating raspberries for this purpose.
In the long term, we expect to have to replace our old washer and dryer units, that are probably a few years my senior…and possibly the dishwasher. Research is underway in these areas, but because products and technology are always changing it will not be an immediate focus at this point. Even farther out into the future a tank-less water heater will hopefully be in the budget.