It’s Water Wednesday!

Common_LoonThe below ideas for protecting our lakes is from the Superiorforum.org , Sigurd Olson Institute, Northland college, and the EPA, and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
1 .Be conservative with your water use.
2. Recycle as much as you can with the 4 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. And….NEVER burn trash.
3. Curb Yard Pollution. Put your lawn on a chemical-free diet!!
4. Stop aquatic invasives by cleaning plants and animals off your boat.
5. Plant native plants, and reduce turf grass.
6. Plant native trees According to Audubon, oak trees are the best for attracting insects and birds.
7. Install a rain barrel
8. Create an energy-efficient home.
9. Bring hazardous waste to waste collection sites.
10. Love our lakes!

I would add several more:
1. Rain gardens are excellent for capturing harmful water runoff.
2. Keep leaves and trash out of streets and storm drains-Adopt a storm drain!

Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!
Love our lakes, rivers and streams. Take care of them!

3. Never use cleaning products or hand sanitizer with triclosan.
4. Reduce all plastic use–If you must use plastic bags and bottles, be sure you recycle them.                                                  5. Pick up all liter.

If You Love The Lake!

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Minneapolis is a city of lakes. “Walking the lake” is a big deal for most of us, and the lakes are magnets for people from all over the Twin Cities metro area and state. I am impressed with this educational campaign taking place along the walking paths of the Minneapolis lakes.
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Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.
Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.

It looks like a thirsty future for the world. The Pacific Standard Magazine has just publish a map of the world’s troubled waters  and some of the politics around water.  More things you can do to protect our water bodies here.

 

A Win-win for Pollinators and People

How can you help our pollinators? Our pollinators are struggling to survive.  There are things we can do in our yards to help pollinators. The mono-culture of perfect green turf grass lawns does nothing to help our struggling pollinators.

Blue Salvia are loved by bees.
Blue Salvia are loved by bees. (not native)

I have been on a road trip from Minnesota, through Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska,  and South Dakota, and have been amazed at the manicured thick turf grass that dominates in parks and lawns.  Turf grass has no value for pollinators, and when fertilized adds unhealthy chemicals harmful to pollinators, humans, pets, wildlife and our water bodies.  Adding a diversity of fresh new plants and removing some lawn can make a big difference for our pollinators.

Walking a trail in Lincoln, Nebraska I was thrilled at their efforts to help our pollinators. They are allowing clover and native plants to grow. I even saw a few milkweed popping up.

Just a few changes can make a big difference for pollinators.(bees, butterflies, and birds)
Just a few changes can make a big difference for pollinators.(bees, butterflies, and birds)

Spring is a fabulous time to add new plants to your yard. A wide diversity of plants helps

Foam flower is an early blooming plant
Foam flower is an early blooming plant

our pollinators. Native plants don’t need chemicals so they are the healthiest for you, children, pets, and the pollinators.  More garden diversity, and less chemicals creates a win-win for our earth and us all!

Here is a good article on creating more diversity for pollinators.

Pussy toes add texture and interest
An early blooming plant, pussy-toes add texture and interest, and is a host plant to the painted lady butterfly

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Allowing the violets, Virginia waterleaf and dandelions(until they go to seed), and clover can create easy gardening and great pollinator habitat.

 

http://www.startribune.com/flower-power-season-long-blooms-are-a-win-win-for-people-and-pollinators/378411041/

https://health4earth.com/add-fun-pollinators-to-your-yard/

Always consider how to add more milkweed. Swamp milkweed has been the most successful for me.
Always consider how to add more milkweed. Swamp milkweed has been the most successful for me.
Wild geranium, easy to grow, is loved by bees and butterflies.
Wild geranium, easy to grow, is loved by bees and butterflies and is early blooming

Reduce Consumption and Waste

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Earth Day Zero waste tips from http://earth911.com  Take a zero-waste pledge.

Challenge yourself to focus on the first of the 3 R’s and REDUCE your consumption
• To better visualize your efforts, use a glass jar or bowl to collect your waste for the day
• Use cloth produce bags for buying in bulk
• Visit a local farmer’s market for fresh produce, meats and cheeses.
• Bring lunch in a glass container or jar.
• Carry washable utensils and a cloth napkin in your lunch bag or purse.
• Take this day to de-junk your mailbox by removing yourself from mailing lists of unwanted promotions and catalogs. Earth 911

This is a good list, but to be really zero waste you need to compost food

Refilling a bottle of olive oil.
Refilling a bottle of olive oil.

scraps, and reuse and refill jars

Take a zero-waste pledge:

http://earth911.com/earth-day-pledge-2016/

The amazing Johnson family and zero waste: http://earth911.com/home-garden/7-steps-zero-waste-lifestyle/

Everyday, Earth Day

The earth is what we all have in common”  Wendell Berry

Yesterday, we saw the first Compton Tortoiseshell of the season
Yesterday, we saw the first Compton Tortoiseshell of the season

Happy Earth Day, hope you can get outside and enjoy the marvelous spring changes!  Go for a walk.

From http://www.startribune.com

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, was a day set aside to think about creating lifestyles to reduce waste and destruction of our environment.

One of the main messages many of us heard that day was that human life can continue on Earth only if people cooperate with nature. Strides have been made over the past 46 years in cleaning up many rivers and lakes, recycling, protecting natural ecosystems, becoming more aware of hazardous materials, and the list goes on. But we have a long way to go if we are to live in a sustainable way in harmony with nature.

There are things to do and things not to do when it comes to being a good steward of our planet, but one of the best may be to take pleasure in the true beauty of the Earth’s ecosystems and its creatures. Too, take time to learn about some of the plants and animals that share the Earth with us. It’s just about impossible to destroy something you understand and love.

Throughout the year, and especially April 22, with the wonders of spring all around us, we should make a point to get out and observe. Every forest, wetland and prairie remnant is full of spring signs — evidence that our Earth is designed as a place for life, no matter what foolish acts people may commit.                                       Jim Gilbert   http://www.startribune.com/appreciating-earth-s-beauty-is-one-way-to-steward/376565231/

http://www.startribune.com/today-s-earth-day-but-people-should-care-about-the-planet-every-day/376648961/  Dennis Anderson

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Minneapolis Goes for Organics!

What is organics? Organics recycling includes collecting fruits, vegetables, bones,

Food Scraps Turned Into Compost
Food Scraps Turned Into Compost

meat, breads, eggshells, non-recyclable and food-soiled paper, and more for composting. The new organics recycling program is an easy way for residents to reduce waste.  The trucks haul this waste to the compost site where it is turned and heated and it turns into valuable compost to be used for gardening.

Please come to the event below to learn about Minneapolis’s new program and how to participate in this great program!

The Tangletown and Lynnhurst Neighborhood Associations are co-hosting a celebration of Minneapolis’ new organics recycling program on Saturday March 19th from 10am-1pm at the Lynnhurst Community Center (1345 W Minnehaha Parkway). Enjoy free pizza, games, children’s activities, and demonstrations. Stop by briefly or stay to catch a workshop at 10:30am or 11:45am.

Get your questions answered, sign up to be a volunteer Compost Captain, and enter to win a door prize. The first 200 attendees can also pick up free compostable bags. More info (and RSVP) at https://www.facebook.com/events/550666345107610/ Hope to see you there!

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/solid-waste/organics/index.htm

http://www.ehow.com/facts_4926119_what-compost-used.html