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Earth Day 2006 service at PUUF

When I was a young man ,I joined the Navy so that I could support a girl whom I had asked to marry me. I thought long and hard before choosing helocopter based anti submarine warfare because there are very few civilian submarines and so little chance of killing innocents. I was sent to the first gulf war and my helocopter helped to clear mine fields. All was well untill my helo was used to guide army attack helos from the gulf to the area of their targets. In the video from one of thier wire guided missles, there was a distinct image of a teeter-totter going up and down as the missile zoomed in. The secondary explosion left little doubt that those kids were killed.

After the war, I started drinking. With the goal of getting drunk. Years later, AA taught me to make amends to everyone that I had wronged. Now, how does a baby killer do that? My best attempt is living my life sustainably.

Why? Because the vast majority of our food is grown with petroleum based fertilizers. And the major users of fuel are the trucks, trains and ships that transport our food and other goods.

Bananas, grown thousands of miles away in a banana republic, are cheap to ship over here because oil is kept cheap through war. I think of eating a banana over here as firing a round of ammunition over there.

And then my wife told me about PathToFreedom.com. That is the web site of a family in Pasadena, CA, living on a 1/5 acre lot in the suburbs, who were growing the bulk of their own food. Keeping chickens and ducks for their eggs. Cooking with the heat of the sun in a solar oven. Powering their home from PV panels. Driving their car on biofuel made from discarded cooking oil. The dad didn't have to commute because they had so few expenses and were able to make a living selling edible flowers to local gourmet restaurants.

While I have harmed many, they harm none. They harm none. I started to try to follow their path to freedom.

We purchased 5 cute little chickens and I built a nice big run for them in the back yard of our 1/4 acre lot in suburban Escondido. Because it's on a slope, I can toss in cut grass and clippings at the top, and they turn it along with their poop until it emerges at the bottom as strong compost with absolutly NO bad smell. We have all the eggs we can eat during the laying season. Our "girls" as we call them are healthy, happy, smarter than you would expect, and great pets.

We built a raised bed garden and planted vegetables. You don't know what spinach tastes like until you pick it directly from the plant just as it starts to yellow. Marias peppers grew all year round. And the joy of seeing our kids scramble to eat vegetables because THEY planted them has been an unexpected reward.

We installed solar panels on our home and now generate 5 thousand killowatt/hours per year without burning a drop of oil. It effectivly cost nothing (we actuall made $152 last year after subtracting the equity loan payment) and it increased our net worth by several thousand!

We installed a non-polluting wood burning stove in the center of our house. By keeping my eyes open for free, discarded wood from trees cut down in the neighborhood, the house was heated last year for a total of $200 and didn't burn a single bit of natural gas to do it.

You can start small and still have an impact. Buy locally grown, organic food. Shop at Trader Joes, Jimbos, or Henrys.

<pick up one of the self watering planters we have made to show>Build a self watering planter like this from your trash, plant cherry tomatoes or basil or something else that is easy to grow. Set it out in the sun, water it once a week.

Have faith that it will grow. And when you eat the result, know that it does make a difference. Know that because of it one less round of ammunition will need to be fired by an 18 year old in some other country. You can eat it here and it will make your body healthy. And their bodies won't have to eat it over there.

See also:


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