1. We Became Calendar Girls

Susan Milette, Fort Pierce, FL 

The Seagrass Awareness
Calendar Girls
The Seagrass Awareness Calendar idea came about on a camping, kayak, and yoga weekend trip with several women of a variety of ages and my photographer husband. We shared a desire to do something to help restore the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Since 1950, about thirty percent of the Indian River Lagoon's seagrass beds have been lost. These are true flowering plants that stabilize sediments and provide food and nursery grounds for hundreds of ecologically and economically important species. Our hope is that the Seagrass Awareness Calendar will initiate thought, then create conversation that will prompt responsible action now and in the future.

Each participant gave a voice to the river. We have somewhat bared ourselves in an effort to get your attention. All of the proceeds aid the recovery and well-being of the Indian River Lagoon. Our 16-month calendar (from Sept . '06 to Dec. '07) will be available soon by ordering from Riverscoalition.org.

2. Our Family Recycles

Rose-Mary Gower, North Wales, UK

John-Paul Gower, 21,
helps recycle.
As a family we recycle what we can. We separate out glass, plastic, cardboard, cans and newspapers, taking it down to our recycling centre when we are passing it--no point in using the petrol to make a special journey there as that would defeat the object of the exercise! We also turn off the TV standby button, and switch off unnecessary lights, just our small bit to try to save our precious planet for our grandchildren!


3. We're All Vegan

Jodi Junkins

My family is all vegan. This reduces our water usage, soil depletion, petroleum use, and eliminates pollution from animal agriculture.

4. I Decided to Have One Child

Susan Porter, Amarillo, TX

Susan Porter mulches her
organic garden.

There are so many things we need to do to recover the environment. One of the main things I've done is to have only one child. I consciously made this decision 20 years ago and I have never regretted it. There are too many of us on the planet for us to live sustainably....Americans consume more than any other country in the world. Can we change the way we think about what we need to live? If we don't we will be forced to change at some point, whether we want to or not.

5. I Organize Moms Who Work for Air Quality

Jeri Sundvall-Williams, Portland, OR

I am the director of [an environmental action organization] that in the last 10 years has worked in N/NE Portland to address air quality issues and how they affect public health in the residents of our community. We are mostly a group of low-income moms who work together to educate and speak out for ourselves and through that process have educated ourselves to shut done some of the operations of a steel mill, defeated the expansion of the freeway through our community, built community gardens and worked with each other to alleviate asthma triggers in our homes through utilizing a program designed by the American Lung association.

6. I Sift Sand

Rosa Lee, Pembroke, Ontario, Canada

Every winter, sand is dumped everywhere to combat the ice. This includes the back lawn of our apartment building where some residents walk.  In the spring, the sand leaches into the soil, slowing making it harder and harder for the ground to support vegetation. To care for my immediate environment, I sweep up the accumulated sand from the walk way to my back step--yes, I sweep the lawn. Then, I sift the sand to remove debris (grass, leaves, etc.) and return the sand to the sandbox for use next winter. The neighbours may think I'm a nut, but the plantlife around my home has a much better opinion of me :-)

7. We're Turning a Parkway Green

Michelle Vanstrom, Youngstown, NY

Parkway as it looks now.
I am working with the Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council and the Niagara Heritage Partnership toward creating a genuine, non-motorized greenway from Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Lewiston, N.Y. Our proposal advocates the removal of all four lanes of the Robert Moses Parkway (approximately 6.5 miles of pavement), which is duplicated by two other state roads.
If landscape is restored.
The goal is to reclaim the natural environment in order to protect and provide for unique native flora and fauna, old growth forest, and small ancient trees; to incorporate hiking and biking trails to encourage eco-tourism, heritage tourism, and cultural tourism by honoring Native American and African American historic sites.

8. I'm Teaching My Child About Nature

Shana Gibson, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Mikala discovers nature.
I’ve always had a love affair with nature, but now that I have a child, I am spending a lot of pondering time in it. In walks to the park I feel a sense of enchantment, awakened by my daughter’s wonder. We explore flowers, trees and rocks. After our outings, I feel peaceful, connected, and refreshed. She leaves with a smile on her face and a calm that silently bonds us. I am starting to understand the deep impact nature has, and the responsibility I carry with my choices. I have recently started using environmental diapers, recycling diligently, and buying natural products. I also joined the David Suzuki nature challenge. I don’t want to lose my connection to earth; and I see that in making conscious choices, I can help my daughter understand that in nourishing the earth; we are in turn nourishing ourselves.

9. My Group Recycles Computers

Andy Vass,  Northbrook, IL

My foundation, Technology for Humanity (technologyforhumanity.org), brings access to technology to underserved communities while helping the environment by recycling. We focus on minorities and people with disabilities. We accept donations of working Pentium 2 or later computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards and mice. We have two tag lines: "A mouse in every house" and "Machines you can write off, people you can’t."  We help build self-esteem and skills in underserved communities and also keep computers and monitors out of landfills.  

10. I Ditched the Car

Marvin Klinger, Denver, CO

In 1977 when I moved from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL, I became keenly aware of how much pollution was caused by cars.  A brown cloud would begin forming over the city on Monday and would reach its peak in density by Friday.  It then would thin out during the weekend when people did less driving.  So I decided to get rid of my car that year and began to strictly use public transportation.  I became so oriented to not having my own car that I have not owned one since.  I have lived in three other large cities since Chicago, including my present home of Denver, CO, and in each made the conscious choice to forego the ownership of a car and to use only public transportation.

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