Earth Month Spotlight | Simon Mahan

When I think of go-to environmental people in Lafayette, I think of Simon Mahan. The husband and father of two who hails from Missouri has become Lafayette's voice on alternative power and energy.

He's an advocate for wind and solar energy and supports local options for electric vehicle drivers. And his home is partially powered by solar panels, so he practices what he preaches.

Photo courtesy Simon Mahan.

Photo Friday | Bubbles, Not Balloons

First, a note of housekeeping for Lafayette residents: Tomorrow's Household Hazardous Waste Day collection has been canceled, thanks to yet another Saturday full of thunderstorms.

During this week's Project Front Yard Gr8 Acadiana Cleanup Festival of Service, I got to share a little about eco-friendly alternatives to balloon releases. Check out the video here. Videos definitely remind me of why I'm a much better writer than speaker, ha!

I had a lot more fun than I even expected blowing bubbles and planting a seed ball in this community space, and now I'm looking forward to planting the rest of these wildflower seed balls in my own yard.

These seed balls, by the way, are from Seedles, a small business out of the San Francisco area. I actually happened to discover them via Facebook ad, and it was perfect timing when it came to needing some samples for this video.

One thing I noted in our live video is that if you use flower seed packets or seed balls for community or memorial plantings, it's important to choose flower varieties native to your area. Seedles allows you to choose your region when purchasing seed balls, so I was able to pick flowers for the Southeast part of the United States.

Southeast Wildflower Seedles - Butterfly Weed, Partridge Pea, Lance-Leaf Coreopsis, Plains Coreopsis, Purple Cornflower, Rattlesnake Master, Indian Blanket, Standing Cypress, Blazing Star, Wild Blue Lupine, Lemon Mint, Drummon Phlox, Mexican Hat, Clasping Coneflower, Black Eyed Susan, Scarlet Sage, & Spiderwort.

In Eco Cajun spirit, my outfit this day was mostly secondhand. I have to say, for spending $1 on this dress at a garage sale, my cost-per-wear is almost too small to calculate at this point. Definitely a staple dress in my closet over the past year, and I anticipate even more wears this summer as I prepare to live in comfortable dresses.

In a bit more housekeeping, if you missed my Earth Month spotlight on Sustainable Anna, read it now! I've got two more really exciting spotlights coming your way in the next two weeks as well.

I've also got a column out in the Times of Acadiana on how practicing self-care is extremely beneficial. Take a few minutes to read that, then a few more minutes to meditate. It'll help you jump start your weekend for sure.

Earth Month Spotlight | Sustainable Anna

What better time than Earth Month to share about other awesome environmentalists who are making a difference in their own way?

To kick off this series, I'm introducing Anna from Sustainable Anna. Four years ago, she embarked on a personal challenge to buy products made in the United States and with sustainability in mind. I've gotten to know her through social media, and I love that she's based near Houston, Texas - another green blogger here in the South!

Photo Friday | Earth Month Goals

I'm a little bummed that the first full weekend of Earth Month is going to bring some thunderstorm to Louisiana (and a lot of snow to a big part of the country!), but it's not going to stop me from working toward my own personal Earth Month goals.

In addition to working on some fun new blog posts and preparing for Festival International, I'm looking forward to some simple ways to celebrate Earth Month.

Don't forget to visit Project Front Yard's Facebook page next Wednesday afternoon, as I'll be going live to talk about why balloon releases are harmful to the environment and share some of the alternative options that are a lot less wasteful! It's part of Project Front Yard's Gr8 Acadiana Cleanup, and I'm looking forward to all of the events coming up next week.

So, what are my goals for this month?

Ride my bike more often.

I, of course, am no stranger to a good bike ride, but especially this year, I've been relishing in my afternoon rides around my neighborhood. During my pregnancy, I've remained dedicated to exercising, although I've had to adjust my routine a little. Yes, I am very bummed about taking a break from hot power yoga and working on inversions, but it's completely worth it.

In exchange, I've been going on neighborhood rides more often to get some cardio exercise and some sunshine. I hope Baby enjoys riding as much as my husband and I do!

Spend time outdoors.

And by outdoors, I'm pretty sure I'll end up meaning "my backyard." We've got some yard work projects to do, but I also just want to sit outside and enjoy getting out of the house. Maybe I'm a little extra stir-crazy this year, especially with my energy levels taking a hit the past couple months.

Because Moncus Park is currently under construction, we probably won't make it out to the front part often to set up our hammocks, but I hope we can get there at least once!

Continue to refuse single-use.

I'm not perfect at refusing single-use items 100% of the time, but I'm absolutely more conscious of it. Earlier this week, I was able to use my metal straw at lunch at a restaurant. Today for lunch, the only options were Styrofoam cups for fountain drinks, canned soft drinks or bottled water. I had forgotten a reusable water bottle, so I skipped the drink altogether, and waited until I was back at my office to get some water. 

It may not have been the most convenient, but I was committed to passing on the Styrofoam cup. (Cans are probably the best option in this instance, but I need water right now much more than I need a Sprite!)

In all honesty today, I still ended up with a plastic bag (that I'm saving for cat litter), a plastic food container and plastic utensils. I was not waste-free at all, but at least the plastic bag and utensils will be reused and the plastic container will be cleaned and recycled.

Pick up litter!

Well, you know this is always part of my goals. Tomorrow is Project Front Yard's annual Trash Bash, and I'm really hoping the rain doesn't keep me indoors. If it does, I'll still plan to make some time to walk around my neighborhood and pick up any litter I see.

If you do want to sign up for Trash Bash, you have until this evening to do so! Register for free here.

Do you have any goals for this Earth Month? Let's hear em in the comments!

Why I'm Committed to Sustainability and the Environment

Happy Earth Month, y'all!

I'm excited about what I've got planned here on the blog during Earth Month, but I wanted to kick off by taking a step back to WHY protecting the environment is so important to me - and why I hope it would be important to everyone.

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