A Tribute to Earth Day

I’ve a bone to pick with the official website of Earth Day.

Why, oh why, do they put out a statement like this: “Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever.”

It’s sensational and alarmist. I don’t know about you, but this statement doesn’t galvanize me into action. Instead it encourages me to break out the Häagen-Dazs and go into a sugar-induced stupor!

After 40 years of Earth days, would it hurt the organization to celebrate some of the successes? Would it be too upbeat to give accolades for some of hard-working people in the trenches or the eco-friendly innovative products out in market?

Let me bring a little light and levity into the Earth Day celebrations by highlighting some of the eco-friendly gardening, techniques and products that permeated into the horticultural industry and regular gardening in the last 20 years.

Storm water management

  • Green roofs
  • Permeable pavers
  • Rain barrels
  • Rain gardens


Reducing toxic material in the environment

  • Bans on cosmetic pesticides
  • Reduction in use of synthetic fertilizers & a return to more natural organic fertilizers
  • Using biological control rather than pesticides


Soil stewardship

  • Making compost, and using it as soil
  • Using natural organic slow-releasing fertilizers
  • Less people turning the soil over (harms the mycorrhiza)


Approaches to Gardening

  • Xeriscaping
  • Organic gardening
  • Sustainable gardening
  • Permaculture


Changes in the landscape

  • Less lawns or change to more suitable grass varieties
  • Use of more suitable plant to each environment, including native plants
  • Going back to using seeds of open-pollinated heirloom vegetable varieties
  • Attracting bees, butterflies and birds into the garden


If you can think of more, drop me line. I will keep adding to the list. Go gardeners, go.

Written by Cristina da Silva
Thursday, April 22, 2010 in Plants & Soils

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  1. Cristina da Silva says:

    Tribute to Earth Day received positive responses on twitter and facebook. I guess it’s time to celebrate our successes.

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