Thursday, May 15, 2008

Let's Read this Book

I have been dying to read this book and it is time for me to go ahead and buy it and get to reading. The website by the author, Richard Louv is jammed packed full of wonderful links and resources. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book.
So, who is going to join me? I think I am going to order my copy tonight.
I will let you know when I get it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Resisting Urban Sprawl

Every minute, 2 acres of land is lost to urban sprawl.
I have titled this not fighting urban sprawl, but resisting urban sprawl because for many like us, being landowners, it is about the resisting of the temptation of the big bucks. All around my area, landowners are cashing in big, selling their fields for property development. We are talking profits that can range up beyond a million.
My dad farmed the land, and now that he is no longer with us, we rent the property to be farmed. But the profits from renting barely cover the cost of the taxes. I can not blame those who choose to sell, it is their right as landowners, they earned that right as United States Citizens. But is selling the right thing to do....
From 1982 to 1997, the US population grew 17%, but land development grew 47%
Many would say it is simple to decide, of course you do something like a conservation easement or sell your development rights... but a decision like that is a major decision, one that can not be undone. That can be like somebody handing you a check for 1 million and shaking your head no.
I do love this quote from The Progressive Farmer magazine, the March 2008 issue, where the gentleman was asked, after selling his rights to development in order to protect his farmland, if he was robbing his children of their future inheritance. His response: "I have the opportunity to farm this land because previous generations preserved it. What gives me the right to determine that this farm is not to be farmed by future generations?" Oh, I love that quote!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Going Green for the Wrong Reasons

OK, I am pulling out my soap box, which usually means I am about to stick my foot in my mouth because I stink at speeches and usually say things in a way that they come out completely different than I mean. But I need to vent. I really appreciate the whole going green concept. I am especially fond of the shop local and buy handmade movements. But I am finding that there is a growing number of corporations who are trying to make a public statement by appearing to go green, but are they really?
What has spurred this rambling of thought, those gosh darn reusable shopping bags hanging in the checkout aisle at WalMart. Every time I see them with there "Plastic or Paper? Neither." slogan I feel a little mini throw up trying to happen. I totally understand some people may disagree with my reaction, but I honestly can't help it. Seeing those bags with WalMarts logos plastered all over them, like they are so environmentally conscious... ugh!! See, I live in a small town, and I know a lot of people look at those bags, and think, oh how wonderful, WalMart is trying to be environmentally friendly... whatever!!! It is all show. It is politics and advertising at it's finest. It is all about money.
People, please, please, please buy your shopping bags from somebody who hand makes them. I look around my small town and see what WalMart has done and it makes me sad.
Just one thing I read tonight I would like to share.... remember when you had to pay quite a bit of money for things like toasters and coffee makers, and they were simple machines without digital buttons and computer chips, and when they broke, you took them to the repair shop to fix them. Now, we buy these things yearly and they continually get tossed into the landfills. Things have changed so much, I think it is time to look back on things and find out how to live a little more simply and a little less wasteful. Cheaper is definitely not always better. Find a local fruit stand, or handcrafter and try to pick one thing that you can buy that is locally grown or made. And, the next time something breaks and it is simply thrown away, try to think of another way to create the same end result that will not result in a large hunk of plastic and metal ending up in a landfill in a year's time.
Do you feel like I am lecturing, I hope not. I am by no means living a simple, handmade life, but I am focusing on making steps, and even if they are small steps for me, they are going in the right direction.