Saving Our Planet

Leaders of the nations of the world continue to meet together periodically to discuss the fate of our planet with the continuing threat of global warming and climate change. While there is debate about what and when, there is little disagreement that as nations, businesses, and individuals, there need to be changes if the world as we know it is to survive. Whatever the sweeping changes that need to come about at the world regional level, nation, and state, there are an increasing number of individual actions which if practiced by each of us on a broad enough scale could contribute to saving our planet. I am including some examples of things I am doing personally or that I have learned from others that might help stop climate change. I would be pleased to hear from others as to your ideas or practices that might help as well.

Recently I learned of Homegrown National Park, “a grassroots call-to-action effort to regenerate biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and creating new ecological networks.” ( The premise of the program is that our national parks are too small and separated from one another to restore habitat and gain the biodiversity we need. A solution is to extend the idea of our national parks to our yards and communities through a collective effort of individual homeowners, property owners, and others the organization calls “the largest cooperative conservation project ever conceived or attempted” with a goal of 20 million acres of native plantings in the U.S. or approximately half the green lawns of privately-owned properties. We are using our quarter of an acre to help meet the goal. 

Wonderful assistance to converting your lawn to native plants is available from the Virginia Native Plant Society ( with many local residents showing the way. Another resource with specific local recommendations is Plant NOVA Natives,

Another way to help clean up the air around our planet is to do our part with the machinery we use on our lawns. All the machines we use on our lawns are now available with electric power rather than gas. Many choices of electric lawnmowers, some of which are self-propelled and directed, are available for the smallest all the way up to golf-course size lots. Many string trimmers run on batteries as do blowers and lawn vacuums. No need to drag a cord or to put up with smelly exhausts.

We need to carefully review the disposal of waste in our homes. Certainly recycle all that is recyclable through the normal recycling services but examine what is left in your waste stream that can be reused or recycled another way. Glass can be recycled through Fairfax County’s purple bin system. Compostable materials can be turned into earth enriching soil additives by composting services some of which provide curbside services. ( 

Each of the Park Authority’s 10 Farmers Markets now include food scrap disposal sites where customers can dispose of food waste to be composted.

The challenges of saving our planet cannot be accomplished by individual actions alone, but I believe it cannot be realized without individuals doing a part as small as it might be. Share your ideas on being a good steward on social media in order for us to learn from each other.