Happy Blog Action Day Everybody!

Blagwhatsitnow? Blog Action Day!  That’s right it’s the 3rd annual celebration where bloggers all over the world unite to write about a single great cause in order to promote a conversation and in turn hopefully prove that one person can make a difference and bring about change.  The first blog action day was about the environment and I laid out my love of nature and urged for a recycling movement in McClellanville.  So this time I’ll get right down to it. The topic is “Climate Change” and I’m not going to argue whether this planet is getting warming…or colder or the sea levels are rising or that it’s all just a cyclical change, because I’m no scientist.  There is no denying, however, that since our time on the earth and specifically since we entered into a modern industrial age we have had a hugely significant impact on everything around us.

I certainly don’t have all the answers. If this is something that you feel passionate about or would like to learn more you may want to attend a meeting of McClellanville’s Kitchen Table Climate Study Group or at least have a word with group leader David Stoney.  I know that somehow people keep throwing religion and politics into the mix and causing major divides, but the truth is that the regardless of your core beliefs everyone needs to start thinking forward more than just five minutes into the future. Thinking about making sure that not only their grandchildren will have the same or better experience on this planet, but also our great, great, great grandchildren. McClellanville sits about 5-15 feet above sea level. The recent anniversary of Hurrican Hugo should remind us all what the powers of the sea is capable of. I can’t say with any certainty whether my house will be underwater in , but enough very smart scientist who have gone to school far more years than I have and studied this subject more years than I’ve been around feel that it is a very good possibility and that’s good enough for me to listen to what they have to say.  I’m going to leave the big questions up to the leaders of the countries and simply implore you as a citizen of the planet to consider these 5 simple changes in your daily life schedule to possibly change the path of human civilization.

1) Give your Car a Break

Walking is a great family activity that none of us do any enough anymore.  I have “bad knees” but I still very much enjoy the opportunities when I’m able to walk around “the loop” over on Mouzons Bluff with my wife and son.   We’re still the only house over here so there’s lot of nature and I love the little talks I get to have to with him and getting to catch up with my wife.  It’s also the perfect time of year RIGHT NOW while the chill in the air is waving goodbye to the mosquitoes (I sure hope so at least) but it’s not too cold to have to bundle up.

So this weekend walk to Pete & Claudia’s or Pinckney Street Kitchen h yeah, and if you live more than a walk away from the restaurant an electric golf cart isn’t a bad way to travel if you have one, but you do have to keep in mind that unless you’ve got a solar panel on your roof or a windmill in your yard than that power is probably being produced by a coal plant at least until the State decides to put those giant wind turbines off the coat…but that’s another story I’m not going to get into here.

2) Recycle

I really don’t understand how people can not recycle in this modern age.  Yes it’s a hassle in McClellanville because you have to take it to the dump yourself.  If you’re a senior you can talk to someone from Presbyterian Churches Men’s Group and see about having them pick it up a for you.  I know they provide this great service to a lot of the elderly around town.  I’ve been trying for years now to convince the town to add recycling pickup, but the council has not felt so moved to make an action yet.  Maybe if it were more than just me asking than they’d take more action (hint hint..HINT HINT).  But consider this when you think that it’s too much work.  Every weekend I not only round up the recycling from my house, but also from the two rental properties that I manage.   At our local recycling center, you can recycle  plastics #1 (soda and water bottles) and #2 (milk cartons),  steel (soup) and aluminum (soda’s) cans,  glass bottles,  cardboard,  newspapers, junk mail, magazines  and paperboard (cereal boxes).  Separating the recycling from our trash has cut our output in half.   I just found out that you can get free blue recycling bins at the Mount Pleasant DMV.  We have a bin under our sink next to the trashcan that we put all the cans and bottles in and a paper grocery bag next to it that we put our paper board into.  We dump it into full size trashcan when they get full.

3) Switch to Fluorescent Light Bulbs

I’m slowly going through the house and doing this.  These bulbs cost a little bit more but will lower your energy consumption as will unplugging unused electronics like TV’s and Computers.  While you’re at it why don’t you replace all your appliances with more energy efficient ones.  My friend over at Green Earth Equities is an eco-friendly house flipper that offers free classes and lots of great information on how you can make your house more environmentally friendly and get that money back when you go to sell.  Now us East Coasters don’t have the same hippy movement going on here, but in a place like McClellanville I can’t help but think that we’re going to be one the firsts to embrace such a movement.  I’ve already talked with several interested buyers who want to build green homes.

4) Compost

This is something that the Bates’ household has yet to do…in an organized fashion.  Being that we have miles of woods in all directions of our house, we actually partake in the ultra-chic, super-sophisticated “Chunk the  rotten food into the woods from my back porch” composting philosophy.  Say what you will but my squishy tomatoes and stale bread aren’t ending up in a landfill and are being quickly returned to Mother Earth.  The birds and squirrels are happy and who knows I might have some peach-apple-tomato hybrid sprouting up next year.  If you live in the Historic District, your neighbors probably won’t appreciate your rotting fruit in their yard so, like me, you need to get or make a compost bin and start turn those coffee grounds and eggshells into to gold.

5) Plant a Tree

Isn’t Mother Nature amazing?  You see how I was just talking about composting as a way to reduce waste and hear this beautiful byproduct will help fertilize your garden or plants.  My mom is the gardener in my family.  Maybe someday I’ll get organized enough to do that…but it’s doubtful.  So in the mean time we’re simply trying to grow grass (it’s hard than you’d think when you’re working with pure sand).  Seriously though.  McClellanville is a proud member of Tree City USA (7 years running) and we have our very own Tree Committee to watch over our prize Oaks and help people just like you that want to plant a tree.   So give them a call today if you need a little help with this one, but we need as many trees as possible to offset the growing human population.

What Other Bloggers Are Writing About

One last mention.  I know most of you have probably heard about Twitter on the news and written it off as a meaningless tool…and I would agree with you to a large point, but this is what is really cool about it.  Here is a LIVE feed of everyone in the WORLD talking about Blog Action Day and leaving links to the posts that they have written.   You have to admit that’s a pretty amazing.