Interesting garden news stories you might not have seen

Get Rich Slowly has been turning junk mail into mulch

I’m more interested in saving money than saving the environment, but when I see junk mail piling up every day, it makes me stop to think about the sheer amount of waste that junk mail creates. As a homeowner with multiple mulch beds, I also feel a little guilty about building up a nice big pile of mulch, because after all, that mulch used to be trees, and I know in my heart that cutting down trees is not necessarily a good thing.

One day when emptying my shredder, I got to thinking about wasted trees, and the thought occurred to me that shredded junk mail and mulch are basically the same thing: tiny bits of trees. Wouldn’t it be possible to save those bags of shredded junk mail for use instead of mulch?

Monsanto is back in the news for terrorizing farmers Vanity Fair: Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear

. . . Rinehart was incredulous, listening to the words as puzzled customers and employees looked on. Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto’s fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. But Rinehart wasn’t a farmer. He wasn’t a seed dealer. He hadn’t planted any seeds or sold any seeds. He owned a small”a really small”country store in a town of 350 people. He was angry that somebody could just barge into the store and embarrass him in front of everyone. t made me and my business look bad, he says. Rinehart says he told the intruder, You got the wrong guy.

When the stranger persisted, Rinehart showed him the door. On the way out the man kept making threats. Rinehart says he can’t remember the exact words, but they were to the effect of: Monsanto is big. You can’t win. We will get you. You will pay. . . .

And Common Dreams has a great story on why your lawn is a bigger threat to us all than terrorists

. . .
Yet many people are unaware of the damage to the atmosphere caused by lawn care machines. They don’t know that a lawn mower used for half an hour puts 10 times more hydrocarbons in the air than an automobile driven for the same length of time. A string trimmer is even worse, emitting 20 times more pollution than a car. But the worst are the blowers. Because their two-stroke engines burn a mixture of oil and gasoline, a grass or leaf blower puts 34 times more pollution in the air than the average car.

And to what purpose, all of this pollution? To blow small handfuls of cut grass off the sidewalk.
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