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Opinion:  Erasing Carbon Footprints

By Sharon
April 1, 2012

I learned a lot growing up. I learned to make do with what I had, I learned to live off the land, I learned to respect nature. But somewhere along the way I almost lost sight of all that learning.

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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Mar 31, 2012 6:33 PM CST
Very Good Sharon!

What a wonderful article chock full of information and links to boot!

Thank you! Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 6:53 PM CST
Thanks Vic!
Sometimes I do get on my soapbox Big Grin
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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Mar 31, 2012 7:06 PM CST
What a wonderful article, Sharon.. It serves as a great reminder of how many of the small changes we make can have a much larger impact, Nicely done!
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 7:16 PM CST
Thanks for reading, Linda,

I think we are all aware; I just hope we are aware enough that we tread softly and carefully instead of leaving a mess behind.

Thanks for commenting, too.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Mar 31, 2012 7:47 PM CST
Excellent!

'Bout merry ol' time we get to read about a topic that hits home for many of us, or more'n likely ALL of us.

It's very easy to get sucked into leaving a huge carbon footprint, especially for those who grew up doing it w/out knowing.

And I'm SO glad you mentioned the bottled water topic, a thorn in my side for decades now. I've never understood it and could go on at length over the senselessness of it but will bite my lip for now.

Thanks, Sharon...very good points and I know this will get more folks thinking about ways to make a change. Even tiny changes build up to great victories.

Shoe
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 7:56 PM CST
Shoe, thank you.

I wondered who would pick up on the bottled water thing. Seems like those of us who grew up drinking straight from a mountain spring or even out of the well bucket are the ones who can make no sense out of bottled water - unless of course something is wrong with your own water source.

Tiny changes are what we can hope for.

I do appreciate your comments, Shoe.
Thank you.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Mar 31, 2012 8:57 PM CST
Yeh, I can understand when someone has polluted water (or no water) and needs to buy it in a bottle, preferably a LARGE bottle of many gallons, but these little tiny bottles wear me out, especially when water is free from the tap. Oh well...again, don't get me started on the pollution of the bottled water issue....

And 'tis true, I spent years drinking from a spring while growing up in the mountains. I'm not sure I knew the value of water back then but sure do remember my Grandmother being talked to about over-using the spring water when she got a washing machine. (We shared that spring hole with a neighbor.)

:>)
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 9:06 PM CST
Exactly, Shoe.

We didn't have to share our spring water, but with the washing machine, I didn't have to use that old washboard any longer . . .

Unless there was ground in dirt that they thought the washer might not clean.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Mar 31, 2012 9:27 PM CST
Wash board? Wash board!? You were nearly rich! We had to take turns using a toilet plunger as kids....

Granny put clothes in the bath tub (once we had one!) and before I went to school I often had to plunge the clothes with the toilet plunger 25 times then I'd head to the yellow bus to carry me into town. My brother was 14 months older and had to plunge clothes 50 times. I once saw my Grandfather going towards the tub and it dawned on me, "he's VERY old, I wonder how many time HE has to plunge them clothes" as I walked up the road to the yellow bus. I could only imagine he spent the days plunging clothes in the bath tub due to his age....

Shoe (happy I have such great memories.)
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 9:42 PM CST
Now that's uptown, Shoe, a plunger in a bath tub.

My first memory is of the old galvanized wash tub with matching washboard.
Then we had the washer with the handle-turned ringer on top. Now that thing was pure magic. My grandmother had hers on the uneven floor of the cellar- turned -basement and I swear that washer could dance all around the unlevel poured concrete floor. It even unplugged itself a time or two.

I tell you it was a magical thing to watch.
Oh yeah, very excellent memories.
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Name: Sheryl
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sheryl
Mar 31, 2012 9:59 PM CST
Great article, I couldn't agree with you more.

Unsorted garbage was a topic at the TEDx conference I attended today. Have you ever heard of the documentary "Garbage Dreams"? I heard the woman who filmed it speak today - there is a whole city of people who do nothing but sort garbage for recycling for the city of Cairo, Egypt. http://www.garbagedreams.com/
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.


Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Mar 31, 2012 10:11 PM CST
Wow, Sheryl! 80% of their garbage recycled. That's almost unheard of here. And now they've farmed it out to companies who will no doubt reduce that percentage by more than half.

Sad, isn't it? The loss of jobs, the loss of recycling, and more garbage piles up.
And I only read the brief synopsis.

Small steps, one at a time, that's what it will take.
Thanks for posting that link. I'm going to read more about it.

And thanks for reading this article, Sheryl.
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hazelnut
Apr 1, 2012 8:29 AM CST
Not too long ago my washer went out after 18 years or so. I wound up staging several huge plastic flower pots

(about 20 g. each) and worked my clothes with a toilet plunger moving from the 1st pot with soapy water, down to the last pot with clean rinse water from the hose.

Whew! I was so happy to get my new Whirlpool! I did get a dryer also which I didn't have before, but I still hang most of my wash loads on the clothes line.

I think lowering your carbon footprint, means doing a whole lot more physical work than some of us are used to.

Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Apr 1, 2012 8:48 AM CST
I remember the 'wringing out'. Now that was painful!! And I'm afraid it would now be my downfall.
I don't have health problems, but I do have arthritis in my hands. It hurts when I think of wringing out those clothes. I think I really must keep my washer!
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Apr 1, 2012 11:05 AM CST
We had that washer with the wringer on top too! I remember it well.
My favorite thought about bottled water:
First we had to carry water home. Then we got WATER ON TAP! And now we are carrying it home again Confused
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Apr 1, 2012 11:20 AM CST
Isn't that the truth.

Last year we had a very rainy April and toward the end of the month we were in flood stage conditions. Our city water system was affected for days and we were not allowed to use contaminated water. It was the first time I ever had to buy bottled water and I hated the thought of it. It was one of those moments of looking around to make sure nobody was watching because everybody knew how I felt about bottled water.

On the other hand, I had no choice.
Good thought, Hetty. Thanks for sharing it.
Truth of the moment.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Apr 1, 2012 11:42 AM CST
First we had to carry water home. Then we got WATER ON TAP! And now we are carrying it home again

Hah! I gotta share that with my daughter. Thanks, Hetty! You hit the nail on the head with that one! Smiling

And yep, Sharon, during times of emergency(s) it is helpful to have the ability to carry water and/or distribute easily with bottles. Unfortunately daily use of bottled water is a big time money maker so I doubt it will change any time soon.

I will step up to the plate though and admit one seemingly good thing about some bottled waters. A friend of mine, having dealt with health issues in the past, started buying bottled water that contains vitamins and other things in it. I think that is a great way to augment your vitamin intake and increase your health. And yes, a good diet of good foods should give you your vitamins as well but in our go-fast world drinking vitamin water could certainly be a plus for many.

Shoe (off to water some tomato seeds in the g-house with well water)
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Apr 1, 2012 11:51 AM CST
That's the distinction we have to make, Shoe. I also buy tonic water because it contains quinine and I have amazingly painful and crippling leg cramps that nothing else seems to ease. And a few times when I'm traveling long distances I buy a couple of bottles of the water that has vitamins, but not often. More than likely I'll get Gatorade.

And today is my day to plant a new peony and to transplant some hosta and sedum that found themselves in the wrong places. I 'spect I'll be guzzling water all afternoon. Not from a bottle, though.

I wish it could be straight from the well in my great grandmother's yard.
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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horseshoe
Apr 1, 2012 12:03 PM CST
"I also buy tonic water because it contains quinine and I have amazingly painful and crippling leg cramps that nothing else seems to ease."

I have terrible leg cramps, usually in my "bad" leg. Very painful. Thanks for the tip on quinine, I'll pick some up next time out.

As a quick aside, I saw the neatest "shrub peony" at a friends nursery/gardens. I'd never seen one before. I think she got the seeds from China or somewhere and has been trying to increase the stock for several years. The shrub is nearly 3 or 4 ft tall, huge white flowers blooming now that look like those flowers some of us used to make out of tissue paper. Really beauts! When I find the botanical name of them I'll post pic in the database.

Shoe (really going to work NOW!)


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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Apr 1, 2012 12:13 PM CST
That is beautiful, Shoe.
Thanks. Now I'll be looking for it so be sure you let us know if you find the name before we do.
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