Contact your local power company and find out how your power is generated.
I researched on our energy provider’s site to see what kind of energy generating types they use. I found that our company uses solar, wind and natural gas combined.
Compare and contrast different methods of energy production (natural gas, hydroelectric, coal, nuclear, or sustainable energy) and share some of your findings and thoughts with your local Farmgirl Chapter or on our Farmgirl Connection chatroom.
Pros – Non-polluting, most abundant, long lasting systems
Cons – Dependent on sunny weather, requires large physical space for PV cell panels,high initial investment
Pros – non-emission, reliable, high output
Cons – not feasible for certain geographical locations, extensive land use
Pros – no emission, reliable, output can be regulated
Cons – expensive to build, environmental impacts
Pros – Widely available, cleanest burning fossil fuel, can be made safe
Cons – Transportation costs high, burns cleanly but still emissions
In a journal, keep track of your energy expenditures for a month. Include all of your expenditures, from your monthly electric bill, gasoline and diesel fuel used (paying attention to average miles you drive and the average miles per gallon your vehicle gets), and any other fuel expenditures you may have from oil, natural gas, wood, or alternative energy source.
If you use standard light bulbs, convert to energy-saving bulbs. Discover and use other methods to reduce your energy expenditures. Some things can include carpooling, mass transit, planting trees to shade your home, installing low-flow faucets and shower heads, or reducing use of major appliances like stoves and ovens by eating more raw foods or building an earth or solar oven.
Continue to track your energy expenditures for an additional three months.
Find additional ways to go green and commit to an even larger project, such as installing solar panels or helping a fellow farmgirl with a large energy-reducing project. Plan to spend at least 30 hours.
Research recycling in your area and what can and cannot be recycled, both at your recycling center and for curbside recycling, if that’s available to you.
Per our city’s website on recycling:
Acceptable items include household recyclables like paper, plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, glass and aluminum cans.
Non-acceptable items include construction/demolition waste, auto parts, tires, household hazardous waste (paint, oil, household cleaners), medical or electronic waste.
Determine what you can put into recycling instead of the garbage, and set up a recycling system for yourself. If your area doesn’t support recycling, find other ways to reuse. Do this for a week.
I purchased these cute and simple to use bags so when we have recycling at home, we can put it in here instead of in the trash. We live in a tiny apartment, so this is a great space conscious option! Buy them here
Recycle for an entire month. Recruit at least one friend, family member, or neighbor to practice recycling as well.
March 28-April 28
Brought a recycling bin into work for myself & co-workers
Acquire a tree identification guide that includes trees local to your area. Remember that your local library is a valuable resource, as is the Bureau of Land Management (visit BLM.gov for contact information for your area).
I downloaded this fun app called leafsnap so I can identify some of the trees around me in my complex.
Take a walk out your front door and identify at least three trees growing in your yard and along your street. Are the trees you identified native to your area?
These three trees, and many more grow in my complex. Using leafsnap, I was able to identify left to right:
Southern Magnolia, Alleghey Serviceberry, and Coastal Plain Willow
The Southern Magnolia is not native to California, but rather southeastern United States.
The Alleghey Serviceberry is native to Eastern Canada.
The Coastal Plain Willow is native to Mexico, Southeast United States and Caribbean.
Research how a good windbreak is planted and how it is useful to the surrounding area.
Go to a local park and identify at least three of the trees growing there. Are they native to your area or are they transplants?
Take your identification guide out to the woods. Identify as many different trees as you can.
Pay attention to how each tree grows in relation to the surrounding vegetation. How does each tree compete with other vegetation in order to grow?
Bring along a garbage sack and pick up any litter that you find.
Choose a culture (other than your own) to research and learn more about.
Let me preface this with something about myself. I am an adopted person, so although I was raised by my mom who has Italian in her, I don’t consider it “my culture” since we didn’t get raised with any traditional Italian values or in that culture at all. I am also only very slightly (3%) Italian per my genealogy. Because of this I am very excited to start learning about this culture.
If they speak a different language, research that language.
Italian is a language based in Latin roots. It began in the 5th century after the fall of the Roman Empire. From the start of the 13th century large amounts of literature, and especially poems, began to be published in regional Italian. Yet despite this, the Italian language as we know it today is the result of a long process of evolution and debates, which began in the 1600s, over what the correct form of the language should be. Firstly, for centuries up until the Unification of Italy in 1861, the country was divided into a number of different states, which were usually under foreign rule. When Italy was united in 1861 the decision was taken to make Tuscan the official language of the country. In 1950, less than 20% of the Italian population spoke Italian fluently in their day to day to life. This was changed through introduction of unification of the language on TV.
An interesting fact: Research carried out a few years before the death of the famous Italian linguist Tullio De Mauro (1932-2017) confirmed that, in everyday conversation, around half of the population only use 3000 words.
Learn how to count to 10 in that language and how to say a traditional greeting.
Buon giorno! – Good Morning
Research an influential person of your chosen culture.
Share what you learned with your farmgirl sisters at your next meeting or on the Farmgirl Connection.
If you are learning a new language, learn a few key phrases and words and use them as often as you can.
Research the holidays and traditions celebrated by your chosen culture.
Festa della liberazione – holiday commemorating the end of Nazi occupation of the Country during World War II and the victory of the Resistance.
Plan your own celebration of one of those holidays or traditions.
If you are learning a new language, set up a presentation for friends and family of a reading or song in that language.