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Sustainability – It Isn’t Just for Hippies Anymore

Debbie Roland, Master Gardener

Debbie Roland, Master Gardener

We hear a lot these days about living a sustainable lifestyle. Recently Master Gardeners toured the home of one of our members who is knowledgeable about, and is living, a sustainable lifestyle. I think most Master Gardeners practice some degree of living that way but this yard was definitely something to spur most of us to take it to the next level.

I won’t give too much away since her home will be featured on the Keep Midland Beautiful Trio of Gardens on September 15 but following are a few suggestions that might help start you and your family in the right direction.

So what is it exactly? It is living and using as few resources as possible and causing the least amount of environmental damage for the people who come after us to deal with. As with everything, small changes mean a lot. Following are tips you may be able to incorporate into your life:

· Recycle to minimize your waste

· Grow at least some of your own food

· Compost all your kitchen waste

· Keep your lights and appliances turned off when you aren’t using them

· Eat locally. Attend the Farmers Markets and buy from local vendors

· Resell and donate items instead of sending them to the landfill

· Save water. Shorten your shower (I don’t like this one either) and reuse your drinking water bottles rather than getting a new one each time.

· Use glass jars for storing your leftovers instead of baggies and plastic

· Use cold water when rinsing dishes for the dishwasher

· Get a solar clothes dryer (a clothes line). It dries clothes in less time and uses no electricity

· Make your own coffee and tea

· Take your own bags to the grocery store (and even walk back to the car to get them when you realize you forgot them)

· Shred your envelopes and use them to feed your worm compost bin

· Store rainwater for your plants. They will thank you.

The articles available to help with sustainability are endless. If you have an interest I recommend attending the tour in Midland. The sustainable house is fascinating and will give you more details for this lifestyle. It isn’t just for hippies anymore!

If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.


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