Going Green in Winter – Focus on Personal Practices and Honoring Earth

Prepared by the Eco-Justice Committee

PERSONAL PRACTICES:

  1. It is helpful to have good seals on windows and doors.
    • It is most effective to have seamless caulking (around the edges) and good weatherstripping (where the two pieces overlap each other).
    • Applying new silicone caulking around the window edges and replacing any worn or flattened weather stripping on your windows keeps a tight seal on windows.
  1. It is possible to winterize your bike for commutes and errands.
    • Helpful actions are using wide tires, wearing layers and protecting hands and feet
    • It is helpful to identify roads that will give enough room to ride with snow on the sides
  1. Using non-toxic deicers on driveways and other areas or throwing plain sand down on driveways provides good traction for tires.
  2. Birds and wildlife will appreciate your efforts at keeping bird feeders full and having suet cakes and corn cobs available.
  3. Car preparations for winter include:
    • It is helpful to be sure fluid levels and windshield wipers are as they should be.
    • It may be helpful to have extra weighted items in a trunk or back of the car for added traction in areas of the country that have a lot of snow.
    • Some people carry bags of clay cat litter, sand or pieces of carpeting in their trunk to put under tires for added traction if stuck in snow or on ice
    • Having emergency food (granola bars, chocolate, trail mix, etc.) a blanket/sleeping bag, gloves/mittens, hat & scarf, flashlight with extra batteries in the event of emergencies is a good consideration if traveling in bad weather
    • It is helpful to have an extra bottle of windshield washer fluid in your trunk
  4. Cell phones are important to have with us when out.
  5. Dressing for the weather with layers of clothing are always good with cold temperatures.
  6. When more of us learn what efforts are being done at the local, state and national levels to combat the effects of climate change we are in a position to promote needed changes. There are many organizations promoting efforts to combat climate change. We all can get on some mailing lists and advocate for change by writing letters, signing petitions and financially supporting organizations working to make change.

 

HONORING EARTH:

  1. Become an EARTH advocate by encouraging others to honor, celebrate and care for EARTH
  2. Journal some experiences you’ve had with God’s good EARTH
  3. Try to spend some time outdoors on a regular basis to see and soak in the beauty of nature

Activities: Even in areas with cold and snow during the winter months, your physical, emotional and mental health needs the outdoors.  Remember there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.  These are things most happily and safely done with others.

  1. Get active: Try activities for the family like ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding.
  2. With another person or persons try fishing through the ice on a frozen lake whose ice is at least 5” thick
  3. Be creative: build a snowman/woman or create a snow sculpture or,
  4. Go on a photo walk – take pictures of tracks in the snow, ice/snow on the trees
  5. Share with others – Shovel the walk of an elderly or disabled neighbor or,
  6. Check on elderly or disabled neighbors. Perhaps, shop or prepare a meal for them
  7. Enjoy: Drive around town to view the Christmas lights
  8. Finish your outings with hot chocolate and cookies
  9. And when spending time indoors, start a new hobby or continue the one you already have e.g. knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, quilting, fly tying, wood carving, whittling, starting that new book, etc.)
  10. Connect with family and friends digitally, or even better with notes, calls, and other personal connections.
  11. Learn and Serve: volunteer with groups whose efforts make care for Earth a priority. Study issues, contact legislators and become involved.

The above suggestions can be adjusted to your particular circumstances and needs. You probably have many other practices that you already do. Discuss with your local living group/family other ideas that you could do to raise awareness. Make changes in a step-at-a-time fashion—adding a new focus or practice each month. Be patient and persevering—the Planet is worth it. We are all in it for the long haul.

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

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