Admittedly, I am cynical to a fault and should probably tone down the sarcasm as well (maybe it is a New Jersey thing). I’ve started to see this rub off on my children and know that I need to tone it down a bit. I’m not looking to change what I believe is in my nature, I’m just looking to scale it back a notch or two for the benefit of those around me.
However, one area where I’ve seen cynicism grow to levels beyond what I would have ever expected is with the “green” movement. Maybe it is politically based more than anything else, but to deny that there is an issue with global warming, as an example, is simply naïve. There may be a number of different ways to address the problem, but you have to first acknowledge that it is truly a crisis.
The corporation where I work recently installed water-less urinals that save upwards of 40,000 gallons of water a year. While recently using said urinal, a colleague said to me “You know they installed these because they wanted to save money, it has nothing to do with the environment”. My cynical nature wanted to take over and say “You’re right my friend” but after quick reflection, I realized, who cares what the true purpose behind it was, it is a good thing – end of story.
I’m probably going to bother some of my readers with this next topic, but I have no use for synthetic fertilizers of any sort for a lawn and have never used them. I don’t need a perfect lawn like the Scott’s commercials will sell to you and the sooner you realize the whole Scott’s program is a marketing scheme, the better off you will be. I don’t even use natural products on the lawn. I simply cut the lawn at a higher setting as it will aid in blocking out the weed seeds from germinating and will put much less stress on the grass leaves. Standing over the lawn with a hose and just spraying it haphazardly doesn’t help a bit - it just wastes valuable water. Your lawn does not need as much water as you think. In fact, I never water my lawn and just let nature take its course.
So back to those same kiddies mentioned earlier. My son is 7 and my daughter is 4. They are at a very impressionable age right now (well not always with my daughter … there’s the cynical John sneaking in again) and my wife and I have accepted the responsibility of taking advantage of that. If you read my blog you know I only recently installed compost bins. I am late to the game, I know, but better late than never and man do I feel strongly about it. Each night after dinner, we evaluate the scraps left over and determine what can be composted. Once that is done, the kids march the scraps out to the compost bins and throw them in. Both kids have asked us more than once why they are doing it and I guarantee they can tell you, very eloquently, what the benefits are. Chalk one up for Mom and Dad.
I am very proud of the gardens I’ve created and the flowers that are abundant as a result. This results in high bee traffic which obviously is a very good thing … except to my son. He is terrified and doesn’t want to hear about all the so-called benefits. But as any good parent will do, I continue to hammer home why he shouldn’t be scared and why they are crucial to the environment. He may not care right now, but I know it will click eventually and that will be a happy day.
I am not claiming to be an angel when it comes to being an environmentally friendly guy in all ways possible. But I am making it a top priority to educate my children on what we all can do to make our world a better place. If they can be more responsible in their lifetime than I have been, then I have done my job.
I’ve written this post as part of the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project, which is a series of blog entries written by garden bloggers (much more prominent than me to say the least) in anticipation of Earth Day on April 22nd. I urge you to do even one thing that will benefit the environment and I guarantee you won’t stop there – and that my friends is not cynical.