Using what is in abundance
August 26, 2010
| by itshiptobegreen
Riding down a sunny road the other day I passed this huge patch of Kudzu and it made me think about all the great products that are coming out of Kudzu nowadays. We can eat it, make baskets from it, make paper from it, use it for medicine and so much more. Bamboo is much like Kudzu in its usefulness and that it is as invasive and grows at the same rapid rate. Weeds also considered invasive, are becoming more popular as people begin to see the beneficial benefits of weeds for eating or for medicinal uses. So, as usual, my mind keeps rolling around ideas and I just couldn’t keep from wondering how things might be different , on this planet, if we had chosen to use the natural resources we have that grows the fastest and most abundantly instead of using the resources that take decades to grow. We spend so much money and effort on developing chemicals that will kill invasive plants, chemicals that turn our soil toxic, it seems like if we could take advantage of the invasive plants we would be saving the environment and our own health as well as contain invasive plants.
One of the most widely used herbicides is Atrazine and it is estimated that 76 million pounds of this chemical is used each year on crops such as corn in the US each year. This chemical has been found in our rivers, streams and drinking water. There is much debate over the its link to cancer, birth defects, and hormonal imbalance. It has been reported that higher than federally allowable levels have been found in drinking water in several US States and the EPA has not warmed the public of this health hazard.
So, next time you reach for the weed killer, remember that there is no such thing as an un-useful plant, weeds are just plants we don’t understand their benefit and usefulness. There is a useful purpose for every living thing on this planet and in our attempts to discard the undesirable, we have caused havoc on our planet and our own environment.
If I need to get rid of a “weed” I use boiling water or pull it. I’ve taken a different perspective on weeds… they’re now just part of my yard and I don’t feel the compulsion to run out and get weed killer anymore. Hopefully one day we will change our perspective on the usefulness of natural resources and begin to work with nature instead of against it, and use the most abundant ones instead of the resources that are the most difficult to replace. As a mother, I not only care about the environment now, but also for the future for my children. I feel that being a Green Mom isn’t just keeping toxins out of your children’s food and environment, it is taking proactive steps towards a more peaceful, clean and thriving planet.