Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Bits and Bobs – June 10, 2010

For all you Earth Matters Aficionados; a little bit of this, a little bit of that!

Summerstown ON – I had received some information from a reader about a site which talked about clear cutting.  My mind went to the subject of clear cutting when walking my dog this morning. It occurred to me that brush and trees serve much the same function as our skin.  Our skin regulates our body temperature, allows us to absorb certain vitamins and basically protects our vital organs and keeps all our internal workings where they should be.  Take away the skin and the opportunity for life is taken away.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that clear cutting is a loosing proposition.  Completely removing trees and brush destroy the opportunity for life, regrowth, temperature control and leaves the soil susceptible to corrosion from the elements which takes away prospect for life, period.

Couldn’t help but notice all the tires people put out for collection for large garbage pick-up.  Tires are not picked up for garbage collection.  Please do take note that your old tires can now be taken to your local tire dealer for recycling.  You may take in up to 4 tires per day and there is NO CHARGE for this service.  The fee for recycling is now added to new tire purchases as of September 2009.  Do share this information with your friends and family and call ahead to insure your dealer offers this service. Most do!

On that note a big high five to The Community Caring Hands of Joyce Payette, Dorothy Hamilton and Elaine Kennedy you get together annually to perform clean up behind the disrespectful individuals that think it is ok to dump their garbage where ever they please.  Please do the world a great service and put your garbage where it belongs…in your garbage can.

Some time ago it came to my attention that plant material sent to landfill sites produced methane gas.  Methane gas is more detrimental to our environment than C02 emissions.  So this led to further questions.  Is there any difference in the amount of methane gas produced by composting plant material or placing it in a landfill site?

According to Mr. Ewen MacDonald, General Manager of Infrastructure Services in South Glengarry, ‘if a backyard composter is maintained properly (mixed frequently) no methane will be produced.  We can therefore conclude that composting is a far better alternative to sending compostable (plant material) waste to a landfill site.’  We can also conclude that this is a definite pro for all individuals to start a little compost pile at home and this is definitely a pro for all cities to consider offering an organic matter pick-up or community composting program.

For you apartment dwellers perhaps consider some worm composting.  Composting produces what some call ‘black gold’.  Completely composted organic matter provides nutrition to your lawn, your flower beds, your house plants and garden.

According to The South Nation Conservation Watershed Update our three month average rainfall for for March, April and May was 80% of the historical average.  They are urging residents to conserve water.  Water conservation tip:  Instead of throwing out your cooking water from vegetables; let it completely cool then use the water for your indoor or outdoor plants.  Your plants will also benefit from the vitamins and minerals that have leached into the water from cooking.  Bonus! Remember that The South Nation Conservation office is having an open house June 17. From 1 – 5 p.m. 38 Victoria St., Finch, Ontario.  Everyone is welcome.  Call 613-984-2948 for further details.

Your commentary and suggestions concerning this column are encouraged and most welcome.

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