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 fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.