Every year the heavens celebrate Earth Day by having a meteor party – and we’re all invited! The April Lyrids last from April 16 to April 26 each year and will peak on April 21-22 here in the Bay Area – with peak viewing just before dawn on Thursday, April 22nd. Well, I awoke early intending to catch the display only to find it overcast here…
Many people who recorded the event live posted their videos on YouTube. If, like me, you missed the Lyrids you can catch the show here.
Happy Earth Day!
When I sat down to write this Post my thoughts invariably turned to the usual suspects: Conservation, volunteering, recycling, etc. (Search “Earth Day” for more ideas.) However, I realized I’d just be repeating that which has already been written. Instead, I thought I’d write about what “Earth Day” means to me and what I’m doing – and pledge to do – in support of Mother Earth. Gaia.
This resonates with me because no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that humans are above all other life here, we most certainly are not. Consider this: Earth is taking a beating from us. But no matter what horrors we inflict upon her, Mother Earth will always choose to survive. But if humans persist on racing down the path we are currently on, Earth will have no choice but to terminate us in order to survive. Of course, our demise will be on us. For we are dependent upon this beautiful world and if we continue to decimate it to the point where it can no longer sustain us, well, it won’t. We can no more run away from this hard truth than we can DEATH itself. As animals, I believe human beings instinctively know this but we talk ourselves out of it at every turn…
For instance, I Reuse and Recycle but don’t REDUCE as much as I should. I’m a Vegetarian but not a VEGAN. I don’t use LED bulbs (Gasp!) because I prefer softer lighting in my home. I volunteer and support charitable organizations but never feel I’m doing ENOUGH. I regularly donate items I no longer need but I’m still BUYING more items. (I take good care of said items so I won’t have to constantly replace them, but I’m still buying stuff…) I take BATHS and let the water run while brushing my teeth. The hardest thing for me to admit? Despite my deep love for non-human species, and despite the fact that I volunteer/support animal-related charitable organizations, I recently purchased a new pair of boots and a new purse. Both made of leather. My justification was that I’d been buying purses at the local Goodwill for years and wanted to treat myself. (No excuse for the 80s-style, purple-and-black boots. They were ON SALE.)
So you see, I’m still fucking things up. But I work towards fucking things up LESS.
- Meals are planned around seasonal produce, most of which is purchased at one of the local Farmers’ Markets.
- I only eat food that’s certified organic or verified to be non-GMO (by the Non-GMO Project).
Interestingly, PETA (an organization I’ve supported for years) posted an article on a vegan product they were recommending. I noticed it was labeled neither “organic” nor “non-GMO”. I’ve done – and continue to do – a ton of self-education on the subject and have concluded that genetically-modified organisms are not healthy for humans, animals, plants, or the earth (dirt) itself, so I asked PETA if the item in question was “non-GMO” and got quite a snobby reply back stating that it was “vegan” and “that was the point”. It is my belief that the health and welfare of animals begins with the health and welfare of the food they consume, the pesticides/fertilizers used in growing the food, and the dirt in which the food is grown. End of story.
- Although cats are obligate carnivores and cannot follow either a vegetarian or vegan diet, Ramses gets the highest quality grain-free (non-GMO) cat food: Fussie Cat.
- Although my hobby of growing carnivorous plants means I must use CFL’s for CarnieVIL, used bulbs get recycled responsibly (meaning not in the trash bin).
- Ditto for batteries (My ROKU remote uses them up like crazy!) and electronics.
- We religiously put all recyclable items in the recycling bins here in the complex. (I’m happy to report that we tenants are filling these huge trash-bin-sized containers to the brim every week, while the trash bin is only half-full.)
- I walk or use transit to run errands; otherwise, two of us share the one car.
- I use leftover cooking water (veggies and pasta) to feed my outdoor plants. Lots of good nutrients!
- Speaking of outdoor plants, when I have to use a pesticide/fungicide I choose ones that are safe for organic gardening.
- I use AmazonSmile because Amazon donates a portion of my purchases to the charity of my choice: Milos Sanctuary and Special Needs Cat Rescue Inc.
For those of you who shop Amazon but don’t login at AmazonSmile because you think your purchases won’t make much of a difference, CHECK THIS OUT:
And this is what I need/want to do:
- Use Amazon Second Chance. Find out more about the program here.
- Although 90% of the household cleaners we use are non-toxic, we could do a better job.
- Be more cognizant of how I waste water. This is of special concern here in California where we are facing another year of drought, water-conservation, and risk of more devastating fires.
- A week ago I saw one Monarch butterfly and one Swallowtail butterfly here in the complex. Two insects we don’t normally see around here until late summer. WTF? I discovered that Monarch butterflies are in danger of becoming extinct. Seems what’s killing them are the same things that have been decimating bees for some time now (Yesterday, I saw my first bee of the year right here in my Concrete Jungle.).
I have PLEDGED to plant a bee-friendly, butterfly-friendly garden in my little slice of heaven. I have limited access to all-day sun and no soil. But I have plans. I will work around the concrete and less-than-optimal sunlight and plant insect-friendly herbs and flowers that will thrive in the environment. Oh, and I’m getting a Bee House ’cause the bees around here are solitary bees (like Mason bees). Here’s the low-down on Bee Houses. As butterflies can be particularly finicky about the flowers they sip from, this year I’m making them a Butterfly Feeder!
We already have a Hummer Café and recently installed one for the birds. (Ramses thinks all the activity is fun stuff to watch! Kitty TV.)
I’d love to make the patio a sustainable Wildlife Habitat – ’cause if balconies can become such, so can the Concrete Jungle.
‘Kayso, this brings me to The Emperor. How does HE fit in to Earth Day?
The Zodiacal Trump of Aries, The Emperor is also known as “Sun of the Morning” and “Chief Among the Mighty”. Normally one thinks of conquest or domination when this card appears, but he also represents the Archetypal Father figure.
Take a close look at the card and you’ll see abundance and life in the red apples and BEE. (Don’tcha just LOVE synchronicites…) The regal Vampyre embodies strength and confidence which comes from a place of love and support. He is the Earthly Father. A leader who does not rule with an iron fist but with intelligence, courage, wisdom, justice – and a bit of passion. Although a man of action (Mars rules Aries), his decisions are not made in haste. Like King Arthur, The Emperor wants nothing more than to see his kingdom (The Earth) and all who live within it to thrive and prosper.
Today’s the day to begin creating OUR Camelot right here on Planet Earth – for all its creatures, not just man. Instead of pillaging and destroying, let’s evolve into being PROTECTOR. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s give a voice to the voiceless and become their CHAMPIONS – for there is room enough for all to live and flourish within Camelot.
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
– James D. Miles