May 9, 2011 |

YOUR LETTERS - May 11-2011

Ways to reduce petroleum products

Dear Editor,

There are so many ways to reduce our consumption of petroleum-based products in our homes, schools and workplaces.

A small patio or balcony is room enough for container grown vegetables. We’re lucky to have a half-acre and we use every inch of it.

I’ve never used chemicals on my lawn or in the gardens. Rain barrels at three corners of the house provide the water for our gardens. The hose is used only twice a year to clean the siding, and our cars are washed at a station that recycles the water.

We let the grass grow a bit long, and pull out weeds rather than poison them. Vegetables, herbs and flowers grown in containers and raised beds provide abundant harvest that we can, freeze, dry and share, some to the food bank.

No fertilizer is ever used, only rich compost, my pile of “black gold”. No plastic borders, ties, wraps or weed barriers, only natural wood, branches, twine, newspaper, etc. Rocks and bricks make low walls and borders.

Paper egg cartons make excellent seed trays, the shells nourish the seedlings and the cartons are 100 percent compostable. Plastic pots are reused or recycled. We used old windows to make a cold frame for starting plants each spring.

Our power mower was replaced with a reel mower—nice lawn, good workout and no noise, no pollution, and no expensive fuel. Good manual tools and watering cans are all we need. Since ditching chemicals and reintroducing native plants to the landscape birds, bees, butterflies and frogs have made our little bit of land their home. Our hens keep the property pest-free, and our rabbit dines on weeds and dandelions, and makes his contribution to the compost too.

Most seeds are easy to save each year, they can otherwise be costly. I haven’t had to purchase certain foods for years, growing our own and sharing with other gardeners is very rewarding.

Knowing we aren’t putting plastics, chemicals and toxins into the environment is very satisfying.

Knowing we’re supporting the oil industry a lot less—priceless.

Having a golf course perfect lawn isn’t important, but having clean air, water and soil, growing our own organic foods and sharing with family and friends—there’s no better way to live. The difference in our lives and our property is amazing.

Carolyn Fox-Allen

Lake Stevens

Government should do a better job with education

Dear Editor,

I have heard that our state constitution affords every child an education. If so then why do I hear so often, every year, axing teachers from their jobs?

I see how much overtime goes into these teaching jobs and I think the Governor and our representatives are a bunch of hypocrites, they should be lowering their own wages.

Children are the last people to have a voice, in their personal families and in the law and in government.

So when I hear about cutting teachers’ salary and jobs, I can think of nothing but how hypocritical the lawmakers are that sit in those big homes up on the hill making their decisions for those little voices.

Richard Thomas


Students help families in need

Dear Editor,

The Lake Stevens Family Center, on behalf of the young families that are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, would like to send a sincere and heart-felt thank you to the ASB of Sunnycrest Elementary School.

President Luke, and student members of the ASB, performed a generous community service project and collected over $800 worth of diapers to help local families in need.

On behalf of the many families that will benefit from their hard work ... Thank you Sunnycrest ASB!

Kathleen Friend

Program Manager LCSNW

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