Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said many profound things during her lifetime, but one thought has been quoted more than any other. “Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.”
The Good Book expresses related sentiments, telling us to set our own house in order and admonishing us to cast the first stone if we have not made mistakes.
All of these thoughts encourage us to take responsibility for our own actions and look to ourselves for change before asking someone else. Instead of complaining about others not getting the job done, sometimes it just makes sense to do the job yourself.
While neither Mead nor the good Lord had environmental issues in mind, one could argue that the principle holds true for many things in life. More opportunities to take those individual environmental actions present themselves all the time. And they seem to pop up in unexpected places, too. As our office prepared for the Blair County Home and Garden Show this weekend, we realized that such an event gives people a chance to research how they can lessen their impact on the planet (and save some money, too).
Answers to questions on saving energy, beautifying your yard, recycling more, reducing your use of hazardous chemicals, building with greener products or a smaller footprint on the environment can all be found at home and garden shows like this one.
Are you moved to tears when your home heating bill comes in the mail? Visit one of the regional companies that specialize in window replacements or talk with one of the heating specialists about newer higher efficiency furnaces or geothermal heat pump systems.
Do your walls feel like the inside of your refrigerator? Explore how you can add insulation and other weather-proofing measures to your house.
Do you need a recycling bin or need more information on recycling requirements in Blair County? Visit the recycling office’s booth at the home show.
Is your house or garden overrun with stink bugs, groundhogs or raccoons? Did the Colorado Potato Beetles and Tomato Blight get more of your potatoes and tomatoes than you did? Then stop and see the Penn State Master Gardeners for answers to those tough gardening problems.
Would you like to capture rainwater for your garden or produce your own compost? Visit the IRC’s recycling booth to learn more about their rain barrel and compost bin sale in late spring.
Have you grown weary of your electric meter spinning faster than the merry-go-round at DelGrosso’s Park? Look into more efficient light fixtures and lamps and appliance options.
Are you concerned about lead paint or asbestos insulation in your older home, mold in a damp part of your basement, or other indoor air quality issues? Visit one of the companies specializing in those hazards in your home.
Tired of the drab old lawn and those fifty year old arborvitae shrubs? Drop in on one of the incredible garden displays
Whether at the home show today and tomorrow or at the store later in the spring, explore what you can do to make your patch of green a bit greener.
The Blair County Home and Garden Show (www.blairhomeshow.com) continues today and tomorrow at Altoona’s Jaffa Shrine. Visit www.ircenvironment.org for more on the upcoming rain barrel and compost bin sale.