Every day green
EVERY DAY GREEN. BY CHERYL PERRET
Monday, June 2, 2014
[Editor’s Note: When it came time to find people really living the green life, we turned to Cheryl Perret. Mother of two and married to Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret, Cheryl learned early in life the importance of not being wasteful. Couple that with a passion for the green life and you have a woman doing more than talking about the green life; you have a lady who is living it.]
I would say that we live green. For me personally, it began with a spiritual conversion and the realization that we are each morally responsible not only for our own physical and mental health, but also for the health of the natural environment around us and that the two are reliant upon the other. Living a green life is one thing, but teaching our children to be responsible citizens in that way was another. It is very simple — the best way to teach your kids is by example. If you set the example — make it fun for your children to participate and sometimes offer a reward — there is no way that what you are teaching them about living green will be forgotten.
It starts at birth with the foods you feed your child. I am sorry to say that very little of what I fed my children was local, fresh or organic. Working as a nurse, I just didn’t have the energy to prepare foods this way.
When they were in preschool, I wanted my children to understand where their food came from, so I took an LSU Master Gardener class to learn about organic vegetable gardening and entered them in the 4-H Club gardening program, where they competed in gardening and environmental stewardship. The kids were excited about winning awards in these areas, and we have had a home garden since. As teenagers, they automatically go to the garden to water the garden and watch the magic.
Both of my children were scouts. The amount of programming in scouting is overwhelmingly pro-environmental stewardship. My son would collect aluminum cans from the neighborhood, our home and my parents and he would exchange them at the metal recycling business on Cameron Street for money (part of which he kept and part of which he donated to scouts). As a family, we regularly would participate in the annual LCG Trash Bash, and one year we organized a scouting project picking up litter inside the coulee in our back yard. We filled up truck loads of trash and dropped it off with Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Environmental Quality Department where giant piles of litter were on display, hot dogs were served and the annual Trash Bash T-shirt was distributed.
I helped to start Earthshare Gardens so that I could educate my children and our entire community about sustainable gardening practices and often took them with me to volunteer and learn in the garden.
Helping to establish TreesAcadiana, I felt we should promote the urban forest not just for its beauty, but for both the human and ecosystem health benefits. Our children helped annually to plant trees — at the Cajundome, near the City Police Station, on Louisiana Avenue, at schools, etc.
In our home and on vacation we recycle all plastic, paper and aluminum, and when we are at a place that does not recycle, we bring recyclables home.
We have not converted to using reusable grocery bags at the store and still on occasion buy bottled water in plastic, but I am constantly encouraging my family to help convert our habits in this area. We use water from a cistern to water our potted plants and to wash our hands when gardening. We throw our food scraps in a compost pile and recycle our yard waste. We have invested in a solar panel system, Energy Star appliances, a source point water heater and a new energy-efficient air conditioning system. We use natural light inside of our house during the day and energy saving light bulbs at night. We built a fence with someone else’s old fence wood.
Quite simply, we teach by example.
We ride our bikes to the neighborhood grocery store and my daughter rides her bike to college. My children and I drive small vehicles and hope to purchase more energy-efficient vehicles in the future.
My parents taught me not to be wasteful, and if you ask my siblings or my friends, they will probably tell you that I take this to the extremes. Those extremes, I believe, are the responsible thing to do.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."