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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Great Reading

How To Plant, Grow, and Prune Blueberries

I just planted two blueberry bushes in my community garden plot. When I was researching how to care for them, I found this fabulous video I thought some of you all would enjoy.

More Blueberry Information

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, fabulously tasty, and the plants beautiful in summer and winter (look for varieties whose leaves and/or turn yellow or red wood in the winter). Here is a blueberry growing guide (PDF) for additional information, a great post on how to prune blueberries, and more detailed instructions for pruning (PDF).

It's Earth Day. Do Something!

Let’s Do Something.

I have an email box full of marketers’ pleas to feature products on Earth Day.  There are loads of conferences all over the world this week.  And then there’s a huge backlash of bloggers coming out against Earth Day and all the bad it now stands for (over consumption, etc).

But don’t get caught reacting so hard against commercialization that you lose sight of the reason Earth Day began. Make it your own.

Take it back. Take Back Earth Day.  Don’t use this day to buy stuff, but instead DO SOMETHING.

Sure, every day is (and should be) Earth Day.  But today it’s official, so DO SOMETHING BIGGER than you normally would.

There is a song that has been inspiring me lately.  I’ll share it here in case it inspires you.

Here are the lyrics:

Don’t they know that there’s something going on
What they’re harming with their indecision
But who will be left standing when I’m gone?
There’ll be nothing left but a vision

It’s too easy to turn a blind eye to the light
It’s too easy to bow your head and pray
There are some times when you should try to find your voice
This is one voice that you must find today

Are you hoping for a miracle
As the ice caps melt away?
No use hoping for a miracle
There’s a price we’ll have to pay

It’s too easy to turn a blind eye to the light
It’s too easy to bow your head and pray
There are some times when you should try to find your voice
This is one voice that you must find today

If this doesn’t inspire you, find something that does inspire you and then go do something.  Because it won’t get any easier.

And then, try not to let a day pass where you don’t do something.  No matter how small.

Take your kids to a park, call or write a Senator, compose a blog post or a letter to the editor, support a local non-profit, volunteer, read, unplug for a day, attend a local community gathering, cut down on your electric bill, … do something.

Have a lovely, productive Earth Day everyone!

What Are You Doing Today?

How Is Your Local Government Doing During The Recession?

A few months ago, my husband and I created a video for Countywide Community Forums.  It’s a program that brings policy makers and citizens together to talk about local issues – a really fabulous idea, don’t you think??

We’re creating another film now – I can’t wait to tell you about it.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share the video we created about how local governments are suffering during the Recession – and how we all suffer as a result.

Most of these issues are not specific to our county, or our state.  Most of these issues are not even particular to our country during the Recession.

So if you have a few minutes to spare today…

Government in Challenging Economic Times on Vimeo.  (If you’re curious, you can see a few of my other videos here.)

Sadly, our local government budgets have only decreased since we made this video.

How is your local government doing?


Do-It-Yourself Urban Window Farms

I just came across this site today, and it looks awesome.  Essentially, Window Farms is a non-profit organization in New York that has developed a free, crowd-sourced model for learning about, collaborating on, and developing new ways of gardening at home indoors.

They have a community forum for sharing thoughts, questions and ideas, were you can also create your own blog to catalog your gardening.  It looks like their hearts are truly in the right place – both in terms of the environment, and in terms of how gardening can improve social well-being and provide much needed nutrients for little to no money.  Something to think about if you live in an urban area – they have downloadable manuals on the site, which are all free.

When Sheep Belch, The Planet Warms

Apparently sheep and cow belching accounts for more global warming gases than cars.  I had no idea!  The Wall Street journal has more:  Silencing the Lambs: Scientists Target Sheep Belching to Cut Methane.

What Happens To Recycling After It Leaves The Curb?

I found this series of videos the other day, and I was transfixed.  I will warn you the narrator is a bit annoying at first, but the content is quite interesting (and each video is very short).  I never knew the intricate process of recycling!  Somehow I imagined guys in sweat suits and gloves, bent over and sorting our recycling.  Oh how wrong…   


Click “Continue Reading” to see the videos!

Continue reading What Happens To Recycling After It Leaves The Curb?

“The Good Life” Parable

Sometimes we need a reminder….

{If you’re unable to view the video, here is a direct link.}