Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!!

Earth Day was born in Wisconsin!! Yessiree, it was the braingem of one Senator Gaylord Nelson, and was first celebrated on April 22, 1970; it's become pretty much worldwide now. (An article I saw said some countries celebrate it on March 21, the start of Spring.)

These are my brand-new Trillium, the first little plants in my back garden; the violets are peeking up a bit, the peonies are valiantly emerging (see below) and today I saw my first, charming buttery little dandelion. I'm sorry, I think they're pretty - furthermore, they're nutritious and a lot of the plant is useful. They get a bad rap.

My entire back yard is covered in wood violets (no mowing!) which are also considered by some mean-spirited dolts plant snobs to be invasive weeds too. Clearly they've never had sugared violets, enjoyed a tussie-mussie or celebrated Wisconsin State Pride. It's our State Flower. So there.

There are a lot of websites providing tips and tricks for being nice to Mother Earth; it's no secret that she's pretty fed up and it's time we start paying attention. There was that commercial in the '70s that showed the Indian man (Iron Eyes Cody) sitting on horseback looking over a trash dump - close-up of his face, with one tear rolling down his cheek. My opinion? That said it all.

Here are my bold little peonies, and while you can't see it too well in this picture, each one has a tee-tiny smile on its rosy face because this time of year the back yard gets a lot of sun. I lost a big tree back there last year so maybe THIS year there'll be more than just 2-3 blossoms on the peonies.

I talk at the Museum about how words like "recycling" and "biodegradable" were not in my 4th grade lexicon; I show them a paper plate and talk about how we use them on picnics and then throw them away where they become GOBBITCH! And we don't be likin' gobbitch. I further say that paper plates may be in museums when they grow up, because maybe by then (and I DO say "I'm making this up") there will be "paper plates" that you can eat on and then put in warm water and they'll just dissolve away, no gobbitch. Maybe they'll be made out of some sort of gelatin. One clever little student suggested they might even be edible....no gobbitch then either!

The older I get, the more aware of Mother Earth I become, and while I've always had a green heart (it was a hippie thang, y'know) I'm trying to become greener yet. We do use compact fluorescent bulbs almost everywhere in the house; in our city we get big putcher-gobbitch-here bins-on-wheels, and now identical green putcher-recycling-here bins-on-wheels. We can put in everything into that bin: magazines, paper, cans, glass, &c. No need to separate. I love Madison. I print on the BACKS of pages I don't need anymore and we have a good supply of bags for any and all shopping (in fact, all the groceries sell shopping bags made outta recycled stuff - liter bottles, for example) - and they're all around 99 cents. And you get a nickel or dime credit for each bag you use. I use 'em at book stores &c too.

Not much knitting or kitties or reading today, folks, but Normal Programming will resume tomorrow. Let me leave you with this thought - it's recycled from a poster dated to the Depression of the 1930s:



"USE IT UP,

WEAR IT OUT,
MAKE IT DO...
OR DO WITHOUT!"

7 comments:

Deb said...

I celebrated the first Earth Day in 6th grade by cleaning up the school grounds. Quite a task back then!

MollyBeees said...

Amen! We've started using the grocery bags too and have been a pretty green forever. I think it's a Maine Yankee trait!

PS-Who's dissin' my beloved violets!!!!!???? Lemme at 'em!

yarndork said...

Violets = weeds? Whoever heard of such a thing? My dad always used to mow AROUND them until they weren't blooming anymore! I thought everybody did that! Side note, when we moved up here from FL, my dad and sister brought over here in Kansas, from my dad's yarn in IL, some lilies of the valley transplants. Guess what I discovered was mixed in with the.? Violets! I have violets! There's only 3 right now, but they're beautiful. We all went on a trail walk on Sunday, and I swear, I'm going back there with a wagon and a shovel, there were violets everywhere. I'm sure the county wouldn't miss a few, would they?

kmkat said...

My mother, a product of the Depression, used to quote that. I hadn't thought of it in a while.

Fun facts to know and tell: Gaylord Nelson was not only from Wisconsin, he was from Clear Lake, a little village in the s.e. corner of Polk County. They make much of that there.

I tried for years to convince my husband that the violets in the front lawn of our Minneapolis house were NOT invasive weeds. Silly guy never quite bought up on that. Here at the lake, though, he is not quite such a lawn purist. I pretty much have him convinced that a yarrow lawn would be A Good Thing. (That reminds me, must purchase some yarrow seeds.)

Yarnhog said...

We got biodegradable plastic cups at lunch at the San Diego Zoo. They aren't actually plastic--they're made of corn--but they look and feel just like ordinary cups, only they break down into fertilizer in the landfill. Interesting, no?

Grandma Connie (a non knitter who loves your blog!) said...

Hmmm waaaayyyyy back when I was a school kid (1957-1969) we celebrated "Arbour Day" (Canadian) which was a day to clean up the school yard and plant trees. I went to a little one room school until grade six which was the same school my Dad and his Dad went to. There were Scotch Pine trees along the side of the school yard that had been planted when my dad was a boy - he always pointed out which one he planted. Those trees are all still there - now probably close to 80 years old!
After grade six when all of the 1R schools were closed, we went to a bigger school where the principal said that planting trees was a waste of school time. Too bad.

Cindy G said...

Love the poster saying. It would be neat to be able to get a re-print of the original (only on re-cycled paper of course).

I've got violets and dandilions, not to mention nettles, but oh I would love to have a trillium.