Every day is Earth Day to a farmer. We do our best to care for the land and animals God has provided for us. When I hear “Earth Day,” I automatically think of Woodstock, Birkenstocks and funny-smelling cigarettes. Or a typical day in Boulder, Colorado.

Some “smart people” have put together a list of practices people should try on Earth Day. As a farmer, some of these ideas are confusing to me, and some are common sense. So here we go. And of course, as always, I’ll give my opinion.

  • Be sure to turn off all extra lights when not in use. OK, this one I already know. My grandpa would always yell at me for leaving lights on. “If you don’t turn off those lights, a plane is gonna crash into the house thinking this is an airport.” And I would always add, “Well, with your underwear hanging on the clothesline, it looks like some planes have already skidded their brakes on this runway.”

  • Stop drinking bottled water. I’m guessing this only applies to people who don’t live in Flint, Michigan, and don’t live in rural communities. Why would I put well water in a bottle? I never leave the farm. The hose will reach as far as I need it to go.

  • Consider making your yard an oasis for birds and other creatures. Done. Not only do I have a bird feeder outside my kitchen window, but I also have a deer feeder about 75 yards outside my back door. I have cows, cats, a couple dogs. And also about 27 raccoons and possums that keep busting into the bags of sweet feed I have stored in a shed. It’s an oasis all right – it’s unreal how much that sweet feed costs.

  • Fix faucets that leak. OK, back to the well water. Between the iron, copper and heavy metal in the water, every one of my faucets are J.B. Welded into place. If I tighten them any more, the faucet will break off in my hand. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Besides, as long as that sink keeps dripping, I know the well pump is working.

  • Save some trees by switching all your bills to e-bills and online invoices. I tried this a couple years back, and I kept getting calls from internet hackers and online identity thieves to take my stuff off the internet. Apparently, they were getting tired of being rejected and turned down by banks too.

  • Have a recycling plan in place. Farmers invented the idea of recycling – except we didn’t call it recycling. We called it, “I can’t afford the real thing, so I’ll just make my own.” Or “Don’t throw that away. You know how much that will be worth in 200 years.”

    Farmers take recycling to the extreme. From a loader tire alone, we’ve made water troughs, feedbunks, manure scrapers, a sandbox and a swing. From a plastic 55-gallon drum, we’ve made water troughs, feedbunks, manure scrapers, a sandbox and a swing. From used propane tanks we’ve made water troughs, feedbunks, manure scrapers … OK, we recycle. I didn’t say we were inventors.

Some of you might be reading this in the bathroom. Feel free to recycle this page.  end mark


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