Tag Archives: environmentalism


I think we broke the planet – again*. Last week at this time it was -15F (aka -26C), or maybe -18F, I don’t remember exactly. Tonight? It’s 58F. 58F (14C) after sunset, on the second to last night of January. This weather is so broken.

No soup and bread tonight. I doesn’t feel enough like winter. And honestly we ate soup about 4 times in the past 8 days when it was below zero.

Instead I’m just frustrated by the weather. I could go on and on about climate change. But I’d just get myself all worked up and flustered. Other people have said it better, with stronger, more persuasive words. If you’re interested in some reading I’d recommend Eaarth, Life on a Tough New Planet. Bill McKibben is a fellow Vermonter and is working hard to educate people about climate change.

Sometimes I feel like I’m doing nothing, but the fact is I’ve made a lot of personal changes already. I hope you have too. I’ve gone beyond compact florescent bulbs and plug bars to kill vampire charges. All my veggies, meat, and half my starches are grown locally. I drive a car that gets 45mpg, but I only drive it as far as the bus stop. No, the bus is not convenient (even if I love the knitting time) but I hope it makes a difference.

The biggest problem with personal changes is they’re personal. What works for me might not work for you. If you live in AZ growing your own veggies might be a horrible mistake environment-wise. But I hope you’ve made some changes too. Certainly not all the same as mine, and that’s fine. It’s a big planet, but it needs all our help.

*not that we broke it again, we’ve just had one big break I’m afraid. Just that I find myself thinking these words again, and again.

Spring already?!

I think you’d have to be hiding under a rock* to have missed the news that this winter’s weather has been really weird. Weird weather in VT, weird weather in the UK. Weird weather everywhere! Less than a month ago I was just, finally, celebrating the arrival of winter.


And suddenly, it’s spring. Last year at this time, my chickens were only sort of braving the snow. Then standing around in the muddy driveway looking grumpy. This year, they’ve been going outside almost all winter.

happy hens

Last year at the end of March I made a mental note not to start seeds until April. This weekend it’s supposed to be in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m going to pick spinach, plant broccoli, peas, and lettuce, and maybe go canoeing.

spring spinach

I think we broke the planet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to start my garden early. But when the poison ivy starts taking over the woods (we don’t have much, usually the winters are too cold) we’re all gonna be sad…

*no, wait, then you’d be really aware of the weather. Um, hiding in an underground bunker, how’s that?

Earth hour

Neil and I participated in Earth Hour last saturday. I always liked power outages as a kid, so maybe I don’t need much excuse to sit around playing card games by candle light. But I also like the idea of global sustainability. And while burning that many candles every night probably isn’t very sustainable in itself I hope that the more people hear about earth hour the more they’ll think about what else they can do.

earth hour 2011

Neil and I already keep all our entertainment system stuff plugged into a power strip which lets us kill all those vampire charges* with just one button, and we’re changing over to CFLs as our old bulbs die. In spite of being surrounded by springs welling up out of the ground we use water saving washers and shower heads (and have milk jugs in the toilet reservoirs.

I’m always looking for more environmental friendly changes we can make, both easy and complex! So I like that the WWF is pushing people to think beyond just the 60 minutes without lights.

*I love this phrase, it’s such a succinct way of summing up all the electricity used by thing even when they’re turned off.