Spring at last! Every year, we wait for this bountiful season to roll our way. The crocuses and daffodils make us dizzy with delight as they pop through the brown, snow-covered ground we’ve endured all winter long.
What are your spring plans and pledges? I need to clean out the garden, clean up the house and start planting. I’m also taking a pledge to live a greener lifestyle. In March, I attended the Boulder International Film Festival, an event everyone should go to. It’s mind-opening to immerse yourself in independent films, foreign films, Hollywood films, documentaries, short films, environmental films, animated films and more, and BIFF has a wonderful assortment of all of them.
One film, Racing Extinction, is by Boulder filmmaker Louie Psihoyos, the Academy award–winning director of The Cove. Psihoyos documents environmental degradation on an alarming level. But instead of fatalism and apathy, he acknowledges that, yeah, humans are screwing up the planet, but it’s not too late to stem the tide. It’s all about choosing to make a difference on a personal level.
It’s easy to throw up our arms and say there’s nothing we can do. Psihoyos points out that there is. We can choose alternative energy, we can stop wasting energy, we can change transportation habits, we can compost, and—this is a big one—we can eat less meat. Turns out cows are one of the biggest contributors to climate change because of the enormous amounts of methane every cow produces, which hastens ocean acidification. Clearing forests for farmland is also a contributor to global warming, as are leaving on lights and electronics when not in use and throwing recyclables in the trash.
So we can all make a difference—if we choose to. Just growing our own vegetables is a positive step, as it eliminates driving to the grocery store to buy vegetables trucked in from another location.
If growing vegetables is something you’d like to do this spring, now is the time to start them from seed. Read “Seed Success” for tips on how to start veggies from seed. If you’re not much of a cook, no worries! Let local farms cook a fresh meal for you with locally grown fruits and vegetables. See “Farm Fare” for a list of farms that offer dining. But book now, because they fill up fast.
It’s so nice to move from brown winter to colorful spring. It’s the time to plant your landscape, too. If you’re not much of a landscape artist (I fall into that category), see “Show Your Colors” to find out how to add color to your garden.
Another environmental pleaser is to leave leaf litter lying about. (That’s a people-pleaser, too, since raking is a pain!) Turns out, leaf litter fuels a whole ecosystem of soil critters and animals. See “Leaf Lore” to find out how this system works.
Alas, spring is for cleaning and there are some chores you should regularly attend to for a healthier house. See “Spring-Cleaning Musts” to find out what they are.
Finally, if you’ve got spring tasks that are just too much work, see our “Resource Guide” for a list of professionals that can help you get everything in order. And be sure to thank them for supporting this magazine.
Enjoy digging, planting, growing and all the fun that spring brings, until we meet again in summer!
Carol S. Brock