Reaping the Fruits of our Labor

"Acting in 'Star Wars' I felt like a raisin in a giant fruit salad, and I didn't even know who the cantaloupes were." -- Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill—I know what you mean.  However instead of Star Wars, I am talking about attempting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle in my everyday life.    

At times I catch myself thinking, “But is this one little raisin really going to make a difference?”

The answer is yes—every small change makes a difference—and the key is to not put the entire weight of the galaxy on your shoulders.  Start with baby steps, and once you get accustomed to the change, change something else in your lifestyle to reduce your carbon footprint even more.

One of the most fun improvements my husband and I have made on our quest to live an eco-friendly lifestyle is removing a large portion of our grass in our backyard and replacing it with native/drought resistant plants.  (We even got a rebate from LADWP that paid for half of the cost!)  Not only has this project helped reduce our carbon footprint, but it has saved us lots of money.  Our water bill has been cut in half AND it has provided us a creative outlet and served as an in-home gym (anyone who has done extensive gardening and weeding knows what I mean).

But the greatest addition is the little garden that we added.  We made this upgrade when I was pregnant and was determined to grow my own baby food.  One year later, I have a garden that is flourishing and a 5 month old who is also flourishing and is just about ready to eat his first meals.  We will be able to pick carrots and summer squash directly from our yard, cook it, and serve it to him.  As he gets a bit older we also have lemons, oranges, grapefruits, apples, limes, peppers, herbs, and literally hundreds of tomatoes.  I must admit it’s more my husband than myself who cares for our garden, but I can vouch that it hasn’t been that much extra work to grow the fruits and vegetables.  Some organic soil from Home Depot, an efficient watering system, and lots of sunlight (and occasionally some organic food for the trees/plants), and voila—you will save yourself money, know exactly what it is that you are eating, and reduce your carbon footprint.  And each time you see a new vegetable or fruit pop up, a sense of pride washes over you as Mother Earth rewards you with her trophies.

Why not try growing your own veggies?  It’s easy, it’s fun, and you’ll see the fruits of your labor before you know it.  May the force be with you!