January – February 2019 – by Dick Beck, Chair
Last time I wrote one of these “Chair’s Corner” articles was just before last November’s election, and I invited you and all who care about the planet earth to PLEASE VOTE! The election is now over, and in Ohio, I’d say we who care about the earth LOST. Though we picked up a few representatives despite the gerrymandered districts, none of the statewide candidates who took a stand to protect the earth won.
So, now what? Here are a few suggestions:
1) Write or contact those who claim to represent you, and let them know that you support
- a) renewable energy (wind & solar, perhaps geothermal or other),
- b) electric and hybrid vehicles which use electricity rather than fossil fuels,
- c) “complete streets,” which provide for mass transit, bicycle & pedestrian traffic,
- d) good state and federal forest management, without gas and oil drilling, clear cutting, or other commercially exploitative activities
- e) the long-term health of our planet.
Someone will read your letter, and in writing it, you may bring your thoughts together better.
Sooner or later, our “representatives” will learn about the threats to our planet! Let’s help them along.
2) Do some things to be on the right side of caring for the earth.
- a) Consider a solar installation when you replace your roof. They say that what I call “solar shingles” are coming down in price, and yes, they work even in our relatively sunless area. In the meantime, switch to wind generated electricity. (See p. 3 for options)
- b) Consider how you drive, and your vehicles. Electric or hybrid is good, but keeping your vehicles maintained, and watching how often you drive may be just as important.
- c) Be careful what you purchase, and how you discard it. It seems some of our “recycling” has been undercut by our trade war with China. We’re looking to see if we can have a program on recycling at one of our meetings in 2019. If you know an expert, we’d appreciate knowing of that individual!
- d) Plant a tree, make a rain barrel, plant a vegetable garden next spring.
- e) Be creative and do what you know will remind you to care for the earth. Reread Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac.
In that spirit, here’s my birthday gift story! Both our daughters are active, employed, 30-something mothers. You might have met them at one of our recent Earth Day dinners.
This fall, I saw that our oldest had bought herself reuseable straws. So I asked for some! She got me a little package of metal reusable straws – with tips that go on and off for really cold or hot drinks. And, she added a small container with a knife, spoon and fork, I now carry in my auto. For years, I’ve joined in church & community dinners where they distribute single-use plastic straws & utensils. So far, I’ve used these gifts at two restaurants, and an extended family dinner. I don’t make a scene, but it reminds me!
Meanwhile, our younger daughter noticed how I use Saran wrap to keep food fresh. She surprised me with reusable “sustainable food wrap” made with “beeswax, tree resin, a touch of non-gmo soy wax, organic jojoba and essential oils, infused in an organic cotton muslin-fabric with non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes.” I’d never heard of such a thing, but it works!
Have a good 2019, and explore, enjoy and protect the earth!