Local Events include:
- A 5K Run/Walk in Valley Junction this morning
- The Habitat for Humanity Upcycle Recycle Challenge entries due Tuesday
- The City of Des Moines's Trash Bash on Friday
- Free Admission to the Des Moines Botanical Gardens Saturday
- share any other events you know of in the comments below or on Facebook.
Do you have an activity planned? There will be lots of things shared on social media and elsewhere on what you can do to save the Earth. What are the main parts of the Earth that life balances on?
Water. Air. Land. Life.
This week I will give you just a few hints for each, and I hope you will be inspired to do a few of them and increase your awareness of how we impact our environment.
Water - the most necessary nutrient we need.
A human will die in ~3 days without water. Drinking or using contaminated water for food preparation is a leading cause of death in much of the world. Excessive nutrient pollution and other human activities have caused massive dead zones in our oceans. The news of the ongoing drought in California will have major agricultural effects and impact the prices of much of our produce. What can we do?
- Rain Barrels and Rain Harvesting Landscapes to save on irrigation
- Increased Organic Matter in our lawns and fields to hold moisture in the soil
- Buffer STRIPS to filter nutrients and more from runoff
- Greywater retention
- Fix leaky faucets, shorter showers, turn off the water when brushing teeth, and more...
Air - Try breathing without air, hard isn't it?
Poor air quality can aggravate or even cause a number of respiratory and other health issues.
What can we do?
- Keep Tires properly inflated to avoid wasting gas and reduce your emissions
- Ride a Bike for all trips under two miles
- Try riding to work (May is Bike Month)
- Plant trees and windbreaks to slow airflow enough to drop dusts and dirt
- Indoor plants can help clean pollutants from the air inside your home
- Do not burn your trash, or sort out the most pollution causing items
Land - Where will our food grow without the land?
Topsoil is probably our nations biggest export, nearly a billion tons every year. If we figure topsoil from material suppliers run about $40-50, that is a serious economic problem. What can we do?
- Plant cover crops
- Practice reduced tillage or no-till farming
- Mulch your gardens and planting areas heavily, providing lots of organic matter
- Compost your yard and kitchen waste
- Plant trees whose roots will hold soil preventing erosion
- Use none or fewer chemicals on your lawns
- Celebrate International Year of the Soil
- Unlock the Secrets of the Soil
Life - we are all in this together!
Anything you do to improve the quality of our environment will pay dividends all around. We are a part of this intricate web of life; from the rolly-polly under your "Welcome" mat, to the Turkey Vultures returning for Summer, and the ancient burr oak who watches with pleasure the white-tailed buck that is beginning to grow his yearly rack. What can we do?
- Grow a garden this year for healthy, nutritious and uber-local food
- Plant a habitat for wildlife, birds and pollinators
- Visit the Farmer's Market and build community
- Go for a hike and take in all that there is to see
I hope you have a great week, celebrate Earth Day and take a few of these things and look to see how you can make a positive impact on our world! The ripple effect of your actions can make an even bigger impact in your life, your neighbors and your surroundings.
Thanks for visiting!
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