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  • Alia Long's avatar
    Alia Long 1/31/2018 7:52 AM
    So, this may sound weird, and I didn't set out for it to happen this way, but yesterday I had this moment while picking up after the dogs in the morning.  The day before I finally got myself to the ecostation to fill a couple of containers of compost (25%biowaste, 25%horsemanure, 50%greenwaste)  because since we moved here, my dogs have been in battle with the gophers and created canyons in our dusty, weedy lot.  I came up with the plan to try and fix this by filling in a hole each day with a mixture of the dog waste (maybe to discourage gophers?, but at least it reduced waste for someone else to deal with) some paper shreds, some food scraps (maybe this is the opposite of discouraging gophers, but I've found the worms to be better at composting than the composter I attempted to use for a couple of years), some leaves, and top it off with compost and any loose dirt around the hole.  Water it with yesterday's dog water and put a brick on it  to keep the dogs from digging in that spot for a bit.  So yesterday was my first exercise in this battle to restore my yard and I found myself just happy to be outside, trying to understand my little piece of the earth and figure out how to come to resolution with it.  My garden has never been about what I produce from it, but rather an education for me in the needs of the earth and her critters, and if I manage to produce something it feels like a gift.  

  • Alia Long's avatar
    Alia Long 1/31/2018 7:34 AM
    I did the footprint calculator sent out from the first week and found it so discouraging that all my motivation to continue went out the window, especially in the face of a difficult work week and the inability to make it to class.  (though my daughter was super cute in her class play)  Luckily, I have a good friend in the class too who made me feel missed and encouraged again.  I really didn't like this footprint calculator because it was very high level and broad sweeping.  I felt judged by metrics that I don't have much control over and don't seem to apply to my life.  For instance, my home.  I do live in a larger home than I need, but what I need is also not available in Los Alamos as housing is limited.  It is an old and inefficient home, which I am slowly improving upon, but I think creating the ideal footprint for us would use way more resources than using what is available.  This tool seems to have been created for city living, where there may be more options available.  I did the water footprint this morning and found it was more useful with data and actions that I have some control over and make sense for me, many of which overlapped the other footprint calculator..  

  • Sue Barns's avatar
    Sue Barns 1/28/2018 6:40 PM
    I got two food related DVDs from the library, and my husband and I watched them both. First was "Forks over Knives" which is health oriented. It does a good job of discussing the  history that has led us to become a meat/diary/sugar-centric culture, and the science that is now showing the myriad benefits of adopting a whole-foods, plant-based eating style (without animal products). 
    The second DVD was "Food, Inc."  which came out recently, and describes the process and deleterious effects of the industrialization of our food supply. Wow. Pretty hard to watch the victims (human and non-human) of the American corporate food system. :-(  

  • Lisa Bakosi's avatar
    Lisa Bakosi 1/22/2018 8:15 PM
    You guys, I'm so disappointed in my Carbon footprint. I thought we were doing better than we are. It looks like we really need to make some changes to our driving habits and meat eating. Oy! I  really thought we were doing better than we were. It was an eye-opener to what counts more than others. Already we've decreased our meat eating habits. Changing  driving habits is going to be hard. How did you guys feel about your footprints?

    • Sue Barns's avatar
      Sue Barns 1/24/2018 9:34 AM
      Thanks for doing your carbon footprint, Lisa!  Yes, it is very revealing to find out where carbon use is concentrated in our lives. I'm pretty sure none (or few) of us make it through to December without meeting our "Earth Overshoot" day :-(  But now that we know better, we can do better. And you already are!! Congrats on eating less meat!!!!!

  • Sue Barns's avatar
    Sue Barns 1/21/2018 7:56 PM
    This challenge (to spend 5 mins each day outside practicing gratitude for nature) is easy-peasy!  And fun, and a great excuse to stop and take it all in and appreciate it all. Yay!

  • Shannon Steinfadt's avatar
    Shannon Steinfadt 1/16/2018 10:28 PM
    In the education women and girls department, here is the volunteer sign-up link for the Expanding Your Horizons day. It's a day of STEM for young ladies 5-8th grade. An overview of the event is:

    I've been the MC for several years now, and it's great fun to see the young women start to interact with new peers, and their excitement about science.

    ---Email snippet---
    Thank you if you have already signed up for the 2018 EYH event. We very much appreciate it! If you haven't had a chance to sign up yet, here is the link​ 
    This year, Northern New Mexico Expanding Your Horizons will be held on February 15, 2018 at the Santa Fe Convention Center. 

    • Sue Barns's avatar
      Sue Barns 1/17/2018 9:30 AM
      Thanks so much for posting this info, Shannon! Sounds like a great event!

  • Shannon Steinfadt's avatar
    Shannon Steinfadt 1/16/2018 10:16 PM
    I can't get this image out of my mind as I read about China refusing plastics for recycling. It makes me question deeply what does China truly do with the waste? from the article The European plastic ban was on NPR just tonight.

    • Sue Barns's avatar
      Sue Barns 1/17/2018 9:41 AM
      Good question, and good post, Shannon. IMO, recycling is no longer the panacea we once thought it was. In truth, it has always been at the end of the R's:  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, (and if all that fails) Recycle!

  • Alia Long's avatar
    Alia Long 1/16/2018 7:11 PM
    I completed my challenges for the week.  I did some reading about the chromium plume in the aquifer in Mortandad Canyon.  For most on my life I have lived in a desert where water is especially precious.  In Texas I formed good water use habits, but it has been 1 1/2 years since I moved to LA and need to put these processes in place again.  I started shopping for rain barrels for my summer garden and made a to do list in my journal.

    • Sue Barns's avatar
      Sue Barns 1/17/2018 9:32 AM
      Fantastic, Alia!  I need rainbarrels, too. I look forward to hearing what you find out :-)

  • Sue Barns's avatar
    Sue Barns 1/16/2018 10:19 AM
    Calculated my "Ecological Footprint" for this week's discussion. My overshoot day is Oct 30, and we need to find another 0.2 Earths to provide my lifestyle to everyone :-(

  • Sue Barns's avatar
    Sue Barns 1/16/2018 8:48 AM
    And now we are six! Welcome Sandra, Jamie, Alia, Shannon and Lisa!  Glad you all figured out how to sign up. Good luck with your challenges, and I'll see you tomorrow night :-)