Step-1 - Sustainable Landscapes, accept personal accountability

Sometimes, I wonder what the birds think when they look down and see pollution that litters our nation’s streams and rivers. Recently, as I traveled by train to Washington DC, I saw through my window the clutter of litter that clogs the state of Virginia’s northern water systems. Disgusted by the sight, I could not decide which conditions are worse: excessive algae as a byproduct of fertilization or trash washed in storm-water systems.

 

It appears that although as a Nation we have participated for more than 50 years in a “Green Revolution”, on the whole we continue to fail. So, obviously, it will take more than simply a ‘love of all things green’ to make it work.

          

Because I am a property owner of wetland located in central Virginia, I am familiar with the results of ongoing pollution; still, due to inland flooding, I expected to see the build up of pollution flushed out of the stream systems. Yet, to be candid, you would be amazed at the items we (my husband and I) retrieve from our wetland. For example, once a metal cage approximately 3½ by 3½ feet in dimension with bars more than 1 inch wide float as if a paper boat into our area. We have also filled garbage bags with collected litter of plastic, glass and paper as well as retrieved toys, a garden cart and uprooted trees.

 

What is the answer? In my book A Path Worn Smooth, available in E-book format http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/a-path-worn-smooth/10645451 or paper print http://www.lulu.com/content/5345570, I explore the influence of legacy – family and community expectations - as it relates to life choices. As a result I determined although I am three generations removed from a Quaker heritage, there is still one central guideline – caretaker – that influences my legacy.

Ever wondered how much "nature", eco-footprint, is required to support your legacy, lifestyle choices? There are eco-footprint tools which measure conservation, www.conservation.org/ecofootprint, and are helpful with identifying your eco status as well as learning where and how you presently fall short.

Won’t you join me in a quest to create awareness of individual accountability? Be aware of the impact of your eco-footprint and then, become recognized in your community as the person who CARES. Instead of stumbling through an eco-effort – ‘love of all things green’, solicit knowledge; and let it be your mentor. And, perhaps if you and I work together, the birds will some day look down and think, “Whew, those humans had a close call but thank goodness, they have recognized the error of their ways!”

Author’s Note - In anticipation of the 2010 DC Green Festival, I’ve implemented a 5-step sustainable landscape program. A final step invites all to the DC Green Festival Saturday, October 23, from 12:30 to 1:15pm held at the Organic Gardening and Urban Farming Pavilion located in the DC Convention Center to hear my speech Gardening Green: the sustainable landscape. For details, see Green Festivals http://www.greenfestivals.org/index.php?option=com_mtree2&task=viewlink&link_id=1562 .  

 

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