Sustainable Living in Action – Creating calm from conundrum

Sustainable Living in Action – Creating calm from conundrum

An epic journey in ecological self-fulfillment Sustainable Living in Action series – Creating calm from conundrum It was finally time to do physical work around the property we inhabit, again. Chores of this sort we do not consider an everyday duty, so that they can […]

Sustainable Steps – Earthen yourself

Sustainable Steps – Earthen yourself

Sustainable Steps – Earthen yourself We left the earth as last, but not least one of the basic elements: after all, while you are pondering at the sky, over a glass of water and by the fire, you are resting your feet, bottom, back or […]

Planting a Tree

Planting a Tree

Planting a tree is an act of kindness – and generosity.

We are delivering trust to the future; knowing that our humanly, fragile lives can long be outlived by an English Walnut who can endure 150 years or more! She will be standing and producing long after we are gone, and the fruits of her labor will be enjoyed by children, squirrels and birds throughout the decades to come.

Planting a tree is not just in remembrance of Earth Day. For us, Earth Day is every day.

A tree is a mark on the land, a seed, then a sapling that grows as it branches. It pushes out buds, then branches form. The branches in turn become a perch for a bird to land on, even supporting a nest – a home. Some trees provide food, others shelter, all have a chance to become firewood in due time.

Last autumn we experienced a storm to beat all storms, we know full well, because we were caught out in it. The slashing rain, the bruising hail, taking cover in a strangers’ house with an open door – we felt the fury come to take our breath away without more than a minute’s notice…

Our roof took the brunt of the wind losing more than 150 clay tiles, we also lost an almost 100 year old walnut with the same twenty minutes of gutsy and gusty winds. It turned out that she was partly rotten inside, ready to sweep down to the ground. But the wood is beautiful! And the healthier parts could be used for furniture or small benches if time and experience allowed, yet, a few cubic meters of firewood it will become, and help to heat our home and allow us to cook throughout next winter. That is how life goes on, planting a tree continues the cycle of birth, life, death and ashes.

Fallen wood after a storm.

planting a tree for firewood

Even if you do not own land of your own to plant a tree on, with some creativity and thought there are other ways to get around that. You can donate a tree to someone with land and help plant it, you can invest in a company that reforests the landscape with native plants, you can secretly plant one out in the forest where no one is looking, shhhhh!

Why plant trees?

For starters, they provide us with oxygen – that’s pretty essential to life on Earth, all the while sequestering carbon-dioxide a well-known contributor to climate change.

Trees help to clean the air from the very gases that we are polluting them (and ourselves) with.

They prevent soil erosion on hills and steep slopes; protecting the river and creek banks from heavy rainfall and flash floods.

Trees provide wonderful amounts of shade. Chemical-free protection from UV rays is good for you, for your kids, for your backyard chickens, and all the other animals around you.

Food. We all love to eat, and trees can provide us with more than fruit – spruce buds are edible and a significant source of vitamin C, hawthorn and linden leaves are tasty too!

Trees provide shelter for many insects, mammals and birds. Provide for them, and they will give back to us – happiness, calm, peace of mind, relaxation…

Walnut tree planting.

Skills required for planting a tree?

Digging with a spade, watering from a bucket. Even a child can do it! So, get them involved with their hands on the tool handle, let them feel the moist soil as they add it back into the hole. Let them be proud of caring for future generations, after all, their children may be out there collecting the nuts, listening to the birds sing from its branches… that is continuity in action.

Will you be planting any trees this year? Where, when, what kind? Tell us all about it, we would love to know the story behind your future tree!

 

Plastic Oceans and Streams – Why are we polluting our planet?

Plastic Oceans and Streams – Why are we polluting our planet?

This chapter in history isn’t starting so well – species extinction, melting glaciers and climate change, polluting our planet, gluttony and famine, plastic particles and microfibers ending up in our waterways ending up in our drinking water and in our food… But we are writing […]

Sustainable Steps – Burn like your fire

Sustainable Steps – Burn like your fire

Sustainable Steps – Burn like your fire Fire is what keeps one warm and dry, under the wide-open sky or behind shut doors. It cooks, it brews, it melts down, it thaws out, it dehydrates. It also makes light in form of a single flame […]

Digital Detox Challenge – 1 Week Without Facebook

Digital Detox Challenge – 1 Week Without Facebook

If you are anything like everybody else (okay, I am making a very broad generalization here) chances are pretty good that you have a Facebook account – and you check it daily.

Am I right? Digital Detox Challenge.

After a restful night’s sleep, hopefully with the Wi-Fi turned off, one of the first things you do is “check in” to see what you missed. After all, your many friends and family members are in different time zones, doing different things all hours of the day…

And if you want them to like what you post, well, then you better be there for them when they have news/photos/stories to share – the sooner the better!

All too quickly we have become conditioned to the likes, the hearts, the wows – we are craving a response!

We want to be noticed and seen, demanding that our message is heard, or at least we want to know that we aren’t just sharing our private lives without a soul to care about us. Someone must surely have something to say…

Dutifully, each day we log in, ready to check our “personal news feed”. In fact, some of us never log out at all, making it far easier to pop in for a quick check multiple times a day.

It is fun to keep up with what others are doing, yet Facebook can be a bellyful of redundancy. How many pages do you follow, that you never see anything from? How many groups do you belong to, that you never take the time to connect in? You just read and read and read, scrolling from one image to the next video, to the next Feeling/Activity. Scrolling to find something worth commenting on.

And a gentle reminder here: just because you “Like” a page, and share the occasional post, it does not mean that that small business/blog/website owner has made a cent. At the end of the day, likes and shares do not put food on someone’s table. So, if you really want to support an individual, a family, a homesteader, a self-employed business owner, then consider other ways of helping them out. Send them a personal email (or snail mail letter!), every now and again, to let them know that you love what they are doing, sponsor them on Patreon, if they are creating useful, interesting things. Buy from them, if they have something to sell.

Back to the digital detox challenge – 1 week without Facebook…

If you are guilty of spending too much time on Facebook or any other social media site (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and the hours per week you scroll there are adding up, even if it only takes up an hour of your day, then it is certainly time for a digital detox.

For the sake of your sanity, and your health, just let go of Facebook – for an entire week.

It’s easy.

  1. Log out.
  2. Don’t log back in till the week is over.

Now, the tricky part? Sticking to the plan.

You may think that you are missing out, in reality you aren’t missing out on much at all. There is plenty of fluff out there: cat and dog pictures, tutorials that you will never complete to the end, recipes with ingredients you cannot eat or afford, quotations galore…

The real-ity is that you can catch up with your family and friends when you return to your online presence, checking up on those special people in your life. If any major event occurred while you were away, your closest, nearest and dearest friends would have called you, emailed you, or notified you about it anyway.

When you spend too much time on social media, you are taking away energy from other activities that can productively fill your time. Gardening, cooking, spending meaningful time with like-minded others (in person) come immediately to mind.

Just imagine, how much you can accomplish in one week without Facebook! Are you ready for this Digital Detox Challenge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.