IMG_0119My husband Brian and I like to collect over-used words and phrases. We declare that a word we’ve heard 39 times in the past week is over-used and then we smirk at each other every time we hear that word. Here are some examples: “outside the box”, “doable”, green, and “app”. Everybody has an “app” for that. The one that drives me crazy is “sustainable”. What the heck does that mean anyway? My dictionary says “sustainable is something capable of being sustained.” I hate it when they use the root word in the definition. A twenty first century definition is “an action that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” That is still a little esoteric.  What I really want to know is what I can do in the suburbs to help preserve our community and lifestyle for my kids and grandkids. Another way of putting it is: what “sustainable practices” can I implement at my house to help our environment?

  1. Use less water. Drip irrigation helps to conserve water.
  2. Use less fertilizer. Only twice a year fall and spring.
  3. Use your lawn clippings as fertilizer. Use a mulching lawn mower.
  4. Use less pesticides. Remember when you try to kill the “bad bugs” you’re also killing the good bugs.
  5. Use less weed killer. Hand weeding is best.
  6. Allow more water to percolate into your soil and less to flow into the rivers by having permeable surfaces for your walks, drives, and patios. Also by hoeing your beds each year, the water soaks in rather than runs off.
  7. Use trees or arbors as natural air conditioners.

As you can see, there are a lot of small things we can do that will help save us money as well as help preserve our great planet for kids and grandkids. What a win-win solution. Oops, was that an over-used phrase?