In the year 2019, we are in an age of bad conscience, embodied in a 16-year old girl named Greta, who has a dream of saving the environment together with other kids and parents. Living without a smartphone 30 years ago was as unthinkable as today being carefree about using aluminum foil for school lunch, about buying a diesel car or drinking cocktails with a straw.
© Markus Spiske, unsplash
My son´s name is Rocco. He is nine years old. When I was his age, I was worried about the Cold War and the dangers of nuclear power. Rocco's concerns are different: It's all about global warming, the littering of our planet and saving the environment.
Global Warming has become a big subject in our home, in the children's magazine Geolino and the documentaries about the planet that my son loves. In the internet, TV or on posters we are faced with litter waves, turtles with straws in their noses or wales who died because of all the plastic in their stomachs. My son is used to taking keep-fresh container and haversack to the supermarket to avoid packaging or to collect litter and not mussels on the beach.
It is hard to ignore beaches full of trash all over the world.
©Daria Shevtsova, pexels
No wonder my son reprimanded me when we had our first ice cream this year: „Mom, you are producing too much waste!“ Then he took a bite of his waffle with pleasure whereas I looked embarrassed at my empty sundae and the pink plastic spoon. I put my body consciousness over my consciousness to save the environment. But how to explain to a boy who loves ice cream and waffles that I allow myself some ice-cream but skip the waffle?
Little Ones can do Great ThingsLong story short - Rocco and I decided to take measures that are within our abilities to help saving the environment– at least a little bit. After a short brainstorming we created our list:
In view of the fact that the spring is the best time for sowing a flower meadow, we decided to start with saving bees. At the moment, everyone is talking about this subject. In Bavaria, a new law for biodiversity is coming into place, based on a successful petition for a referendum and you can even buy seeds for flower meadows in book shops.
“If bees disappear from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No bees, no pollination, no plants, no animals and no human beings!“ Maybe this statement is exaggerated, and it probably was not made by Albert Einstein. I lately have also learned in a talk show that not all bees are going extinct. Honey bees are even multiplying.
It is the wild bee that is disappearing. Scientists explain in the trade magazine "PLOS ONE”“ in October 2017 that the total mass of counted insects has fallen worldwide by 76 % in 27 years.
Monocultures, pesticides and other toxins, soil sealing and missing flower meadows – that is what kills insects. There has been a massive insects' demise for some time now. The media made the cute honey bee a symbol of this and it works to bring more consciousness to insect extinction – with us at least.
When Rocco and I saw on television that people in China pollinate flowers with a cotton ball by hand, we became so inspired that we decided to turn our garden into a paradise for bees and insects.
© Vanessa Bohórquez-Schulz
This is the place for our flower meadow.
First, we checked the garden and found the right place for the flower meadow: not too close to the neighbors or the soccer meadow, easy to water and sunny at the same time.
© Vanessa Bohórquez-Schulz
You have to seed what bees like: bluebells, clematis, lavender, milkweed or culinary herbs like rosemary or sage.
It could be that you won’t find organic flower seed at the hardware store next door. We did some research on the NABU website and ordered the seeds.
Now it's time to roll up your sleeves! First you have to dig up the ground, then loosen it. Sounds much easier than it is! We planned half a day for it but needed 3 half days for this work in the end!
Seeding goes pretty quickly: We mixed some rice with the seeds to get a better feeling for the volume. There should be 5g to 10g per square meter. ATTENTION: Don’t spread too close!
We have no lawn roller so we just stepped strongly on the ground.
Now it`s time for watering and waiting. After around 5 weeks the first wildflowers will start to sprout, and you´re one step closer to saving the environment a bit with your kids.
To be continued...
© Roland Schulz
Vanessa is a freelance author and journalist. Being a mother changed her worldview completely. Social commitment and sustainability now play a big role in her life. She supports new citizens to integrate in society and loves travelling with her family. To compensate her rather bad CO2 footprint, she takes sustainable measures in her everyday life.