Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day

As I was outside today enjoying Earth Day, I started to think about how far my husband and I have come being green.  When we decided to become Alpaca ranchers and move to the country, we said that we would live a "greener" lifestyle and be good stewards of the land.
Compost Piles
Household Compost

As I took out our household compost to the compost piles, I was noticing everything that we have accomplished in becoming green.  We compost all of the alpaca and goats poo, plus all of the old hay and straw. We then use it in our garden and in our raised beds.

Raised Bed

As you can see in the pictures that we have lettuce growing in an old claw footed bathtub inside of our greenhouse, along with some cilantro and other seeds that we are starting for our garden. Our greenhouse was made by my husband for ice fishing.  We no longer use it for ice fishing, so we put it to use being a small greenhouse this spring.

Seed starting

Door to greenhouse

Raising Alpacas is also green. They are good to the land.  They have padded feet, which does not destroy the pastures. They also do not pull the roots up while grazing. They nibble down to the ground and move on.
Alpacas Grazing
We have chickens that free range, eat the bad bugs and spread their natural fertilizer in the pastures. My husband built two chicken coops, one out of straw bales and one from used pallets.  He then covered the pallet building with the blue tarps that they use to store the boats under here in the Great Lakes during the winter. My husband has built a dog house, a tool shed and three goat boxes with old pallets. He used the untreated pallets which are chemical free and safe for the animals.

When we built our house, we installed a corn boiler for heat. We now use a renewable resource (no fossil fuels) for heat and purchase the corn from our farmer neighbors. We also have burned cherry pits and wood pellets.
In the house we purchased new appliances with the high energy efficiency.  I have a washer and dryer, but prefer to use the clothes line for drying the clothes.

We have all CFL light bulbs in the house. We turn off lights as we leave the room. We recycle all of our garbage and take the recyclables to our local transfer station.  We might have one bag of actual garbage per month. That is amazing for us as I remember we use to put out two garbage cans weekly, when we lived in town. Our next project is to run our own bio-diesel fuel in our farm truck.
We do use some solar for our electric fences for the pastures.  We only use head lamps at night when doing chores in the dark. We also have been investigating wind, besides solar power for generating our power.
I also thought about the process that I use to make my handmade Alpaca products.  I spin my yarn on a wheel that I peddle with my feet, knit with my hand knitting needles and weave by hand on floor looms, all of it powered by me!
I really am living a greener lifestyle and enjoy doing it. I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to enjoy this planet and all of it's natural resources and beauty just as I have.
I'm very proud of how far my husband and I have come in preserving our planet.
Are you helping to preserve our planet?