Each of us is so unaware of the damage we are doing to our earth. This week I was at a seminar on pollinators. Minnesota has lost two of its native butterflies, the Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skippering. and many more bees and butterflies are declining in numbers. Also, I was surprised so many people don’t know about neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are harmful systemic pesticides that weaken pollinators
Why is there is so much buzz about bees during the winter? The United Nations announced that we are loosing many of our important pollinators that are vital to the pollination of many important food crops.
What is causing this loss? The major reasons we are loosing species of native butterflies, bees and birds is because of mono-crop planting, habitat loss, and our obsession with pesticides. The combination of these three is making it hard for pollinators to survive.
Even a small yard can make a difference for pollinators. First, add more native plants to your yard, they don’t need chemicals. Plant for different bloom times, diverse flowers, and never purchase a plant treated with neonicotinoids ! Be careful and read directions with any chemicals you use on your yard….Try to go without! Finally, bees and butterflies love blooming dandelions and clover…Let them bloom, then weed them out!
2015 was the warmest year on record, and January 2016 was the warmest recorded. Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin have enjoyed a mild winter. The winter warmth has been pleasant, and because this is just weather, it will probably be brutal next year. It is the long-term trends that are troubling. Sadly, the problem lies in our oceans. Eighty to ninety per cent of this heat goes into the oceans. So of course the oceans are rising with the melting glaciers. Also, as the oceans heat they expand taking up more space. With record warm years, no wonder that the oceans are rising at a very fast rate.
Our planet is already in crisis as migrants are leaving Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. We haven’t seen anything in compared to the migrant crisis that will be created by the rising oceans. Those living on the ocean coasts and the islands that will be inundated and disappear will need to find new homes .
The Syrian crisis was caused in part by our warming earth, the continued rising of warm oceans will create migrant problems that will be an even greater challenge! Miami, Venice, Bangladesh and London are a few that could disappear. Where will these people forced out of their disappearing cities, farms, and villages go?
Denial of our man-made climate crisis will not continue to work, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints. Just committing to turning off lights and to drive less can make a big difference. What is one thing you do?
Most of us in the north county enjoy a beautiful snowfall, but hate ice. Even with a mild winter, there is thawing, refreezing and ice! As I walk through neighborhoods I see salt residue sitting on sidewalks and streets. Please sweep this up. The salt runs into our lakes and streams and is very harmful to fish and plant life. Highway departments, businesses and homeowners all need to be conscious of the salt they use. My local hardware store has a corn-based product they claim works well that is lake-friendly.
It takes only one teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Once salt is in the water, there is no way to remove it. Salt harms fish, plant life and the over all quality of the lake or stream.
Suggestions to protect our lakes and waterways:
Always shovel sidewalks and driveways.
Remove ice on days when melting is occurring.
Redirect your drain-spouts so they don’t drain on to the sidewalk. Capture water run-off in a rain-garden.
Be safe, and try to avoid the ice in the first place which I know can be impossible. A tiny amount of salt can go a long way.
A recent study by the Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation has found that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This is a terrible man-made crisis, and not enough is being done to stop the cascade of plastic. Everyone of us needs to take personal responsibility to reduce our plastic consumption. The plastic industry is unchecked, and never should such a nuisance product been put into society without a plan to clean up or reuse. We are stuck with plastic, but we can all reduce the amount of plastic we use today and every day from now on. Especially think carefully before you purchase a plastic tubes that cannot be recycled. There is too much information in this post, but I hope you can find one thing below to help you to reduce your plastic consumption!