Sunday, June 1, 2008

Going green

There’s a wood thrush singing from across the yard. She’s been at it since dawn, continuing even as daylight came strongly forth—the dense shade of our leafy woods, her retreat. From behind a wall of green, her voice resounds. This is her home.
I remember the response upon telling someone of having her here, in our woods—waking with her song a common sound in our world.
“You must live in paradise,” he said.
And I agreed.

We all do. Or could.
For my world is our world.
And what I treasure here, I cannot call my own.
The earth, water and sky belong to none—and all.

We’d like to think we can postpone making changes in our ways. It’s man’s nature to indulge himself until there is discomfort—the expanding waistline that is ignored until our pants won’t close. Or the troublesome tooth that is neglected until the ache keeps us from rest.

This week, the price of gasoline crossed the $4.00/gallon mark--uncomfortable for us all, to be sure.
But, hopefully, the discomfort that is needed to prompt change.

We’ve made a change—to a new lawnmower.
No gasoline?
No problem!

And, although this amounts to just a small difference in our way of doing things, when the choice to do differently arose, (dead lawnmower in the garage), we chose change.

This evening, as the sun slips past the horizon, the wood thrush’s song is still questioning. Asking of me what the world will be like for my children’s children.

"Will it be?"
"I don’t know."

"Will it be?"
"I don’t know."

My actions alone are not enough.
But, with every choice I make, I hope another does the same.
Until paradise is preserved.

Gotta love that logo!

Have you made any changes?

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Andrea said...

I have never seen a lawn mower like the one pictured. My husband has threatened to buy goats to keep our lawn mowed. Right now he is just kidding but I might take him up on the offer if the gas prices do not come down.

On a happier note: Gas around here this weekend has been $3.97 to $3.99. There was one local store that had gas for $3.79. We turned in for cheap gas but who would have ever thought $3.79 would be considered cheap gas?

Josie said...

Great post! We just bought a motorless lawn mower too. Its a little harder to use and more time consuming, but we're really happy to have it instead of the conventional one. Yours looks really cool, i haven't seen one like that before.

nina said...

This is actually a battery-powered electric mower. It has 2 batteries that can alternately be used/charged and it cuts the same width as a conventional push mower.
What a breeze!

Sometimes the thought of changing ways seems cost prohibitive.
But, if it's done piece by piece, it's not so bad!

Trixie said...

Even before gas got too high I tried to have a "no-drive day." Once a week I would not drive anywhere. I would arrange all sorts of lessons and such to have this time. I was not successful all weeks, but most weeks. If I were to pull that off EVERY week it would be like not driving seven weeks a year!

nina said...

Great idea, Trixie, with NO cost--just takes planning ahead!
And the willingness to make an effort!

Shellmo said...

Is that a grasshopper or praying mantis in the 1st photo? I love how he's peaking over the leaf as if to say hello.

MojoMan said...

What a wonderful post! The song of the wood thrush has always been special to me; a sad flute-like song seeking answers to questions that we may be afraid to ask ourselves. Knowing how precarious thrush survival is because of our activities makes that song all the more bittersweet.

I bought a manual push mower a couple of years ago, but it's horrible. Not because I don't like pushing, but because it doesn't cut. You make me determined to try again.

nina said...

Shellmo--that's a grasshopper--and she helps out with the lawn, too. Part of our green revolution. (haha)

Mojo--You're so right--I think thrushes are feeling habitat fragmentation, like so many other species. And once habitat is gone, it's too late to put it "back."
Check out this Neuton electric--my husband LOVES it!

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, good for you! It is all the little changes that add up like discarded pennies until the bank is full! Have you ever read the article, "The Tragedy of the Commons?" It was asigned reading in my college Environment class and what an eye-opener. I think it is out on the internet somewhere. Great post! Love the green bug that goes with it!

Susan Gets Native said...

Go, Nina!
I was tempted by the battery mower, but that particular purchase will have to wait.
I consolidate car trips when I can, compost everything, keep the lights off during the day, recycle all of my paper, bitch to my congressman, that sort of thing.
It all has to start with us, because the government can't even decide if there is a problem or not.

The Birdlady said...

I'm trying!
The grasshopper reminds me of "the little engine that could"...I think I can...

nina said...

I imagine what many people who want to do more struggle with is the inability to do as much as we would like. Alternative technologies are expensive.
But, very affordable if they're chosen when a purchase of some sort is necessary anyway. Like a new furnace or car--
are we willing to spend a few thousand more dollars and make a greener choice?
And, only by leaving the car lot full of big fat guzzlers, will the industry provide greener choices.

possumlady said...

Oh! You have the newer model! I bought a Neutron last year with the smaller width. I've named her Nettie the Neut. Really love her and many neighbors have come by to test drive her. It was either this or the cheaper plug-in electric model. But after using a neighbor's and almost running over the cord more times then I care to mention, I decided to go for battery-operated one.

possumlady said...

Sorry, that's Neuton, not neutron!!

Kathiesbirds said...

Oh, by the way, we moved someplace where we no longer have to mow and gave our mower to our son! Gus is so happy! (Is this still considered going green however?)

Crayons said...

Hi Nina,
How is it that I don't know the song of a wood thrush? I, too, have conversations with the birds in our yard.

You are a talented writer to weave the price of gas into this. Yes, we humans are slow to learn. Imagine how much our entire society would change if gas went up to $12/gallon. Or maybe we are too inflexible?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I just love that first picture Nina. That grasshopper looks like it is staring at me. ha... We have made a couple of changes. We installed a more efficient furnace/airconditioner unit. We use florescent bulbs where possible. We always try to be concious of our imprint on the earth.

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

We all live in paradise, I think. A close look at our natural surroundings will confirm this!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Nina
We recycle everything we can do.. our local council provide different coloured bins,
Blue Bin = Paper
Brown Bin = Garden Waste
Green Bin = Glass
Rubbish Sacks = Plastics
Black Bin Household Waste.

Oils go to the local tip, as do electical stuff, wood goes there to and it is all recycled.

We are given energy saving lightbulbs free..... and big compost bins to use.

It is little by little but it all counts and that is as much as can be hoped for.

Eco Enthusiast said...

I have debated getting a lawnmower like that. If you charge the battery with electricity, is it better? Since electricity is mostly generated by coal-powered plants which spew out huge amounts of carbon dioxide and air pollutants, is it really less polluting than a gas-powered lawnmower? Has anyone figured that out? Living near a coal power plant makes me think about that a lot. Meanwhile I keep trying to cut down on what lawn we have and how often we mow it ((every 2-3 weeks).

cestoady said...

To answer the question of ECO ENTHUSIAST "is it really less polluting than a gas-powered lawnmower? "
The answer is definitely YES !!! The Neuton,battery -powered mower does not add any NEW POLLUTION.

Even if you calculate the amount of pollution produced by the coal fired plants to produce the energy to recharge the batteries (and I believe one could do it), my guess is that it would be far less than that produced by a gas -powered mower, which is one of the most polluting of gas engines.

Eco Enthusiast said...

Thanks cestoady! You are probably right about this since gas lawn mower motors are notorious for creating pollution. They don't have much in the way of regulations like cars do.