welcome to DEEP GREEN blog!

Greetings! As I mention on the Home page, this site is dedicated to low-footprint living. I’m out to promote what I call a “Grassroots Green Mobilization.”

Although a low-footprint lifestyle is fun and rewarding, it is not always easy, even if you are doing it for your own benefit (for example, to radically simplify your life in order to free up your money, time, and energy for things that really matter to you.) The dominant mainstream culture has waste and hyper-consumerism baked into every layer of life, and a person setting out to live light on the earth encounters many obstacles both physical and cultural. (Car-dependent housing developments; unavoidable single-use plastics; buildings designed to require climate control 24-7 … to name just a few examples.)

That’s where this blog comes in. I am here 100% to offer you tips, resources, and moral support. The posts aren’t in any particular order; I write about things as they come up in the news, or as I see them out in the world, or as they pop into my mind. If you’re new here, you might find it helpful to orient yourself by reading the following posts:

Cultural Roots of the Eco Crisis

Footprint Isn’t Everything

Feeling Sadness, Deeply

Yesterday I read in the paper that a Florida Panther had died after being hit by a car. So far this year, 18 Florida Panthers have died, 15 of them from being hit by motor vehicles. Florida Panthers are an endangered species. The one most recently killed was just 3 years old (average lifespan is 8 to 15). (Visit biodiversity.org to see a picture of this lovely creature and learn more about them.)

Also in yesterday’s paper, my eyes were drawn to an obituary of a bright-faced individual who turned out to be a teenager. Lance Wind, 15, of Ormond Beach, Florida, “was an immensely talented and passionate artist and singer who dreamed of attending art school in Japan and traveling to Germany. Lance loved anime and manga, and he had begun two comic books of his own. He aspired to create characters that would inspire and offer refuge to other people – the same way his favorite art affected him. He pursued everything he did with dedication and spent hours honing his voice and perfecting his drawings. He was passionate about everything he cared about, ranging from his favorite television shows and songs to his favorite people. His loved ones and friends will always remember him as wildly funny, creative, and smart beyond his years.” Reading this, I assumed that the cause of death was one of those terrible childhood cancers. But in fact, the cause of death was suicide. “Unfortunately, for members of the LGBT+ community, this is a far-too-common fate,” the obituary went on to say.

Sadness is something most of us don’t want to feel. When it comes up, we tend to keep it at a distance, either by shutting it out or by excessive, sentimental emoting (yes, that too is a way to keep the real actual feeling at bay).

But if we take a moment (or longer) to sit with the sadness that comes from witnessing something that really should not have happened; something that — if things were “right” in the world, would not have happened — it frees up a quiet space inside our minds. And that opens up a pathway for each of us to reevaluate how we are going about our lives.

What are we putting most of our attention on? What might deserve more of our attention?

Highways are terrible, hostile places. Non-places, really. Only designed to get cars from Point A to Point B as fast as possible. What is the (pun intended) point of that, if we end up not only missing out on a chance to get a glimpse of a lovely rare panther, but actually end up killing him?

And what mindless conversations — arguments, debates, jaw-flapping — have I gotten into with friends and neighbors and strangers out and about, while somewhere nearby in a quiet corner, some precious being was standing there just really needing a smile and a few words of encouragement?

This is not about blame or self-chastisement; it’s about the power each and every one of us possesses to make a difference in the world, by 1) being willing to fully experience sadness and other feelings that come up in response to tragic events in the world; and 2) using our attention wisely; using our inborn creativity to help fix things that need to be fixed.

On the road (or in the store, or at home) we can help make a better world by making a simple choice to slow down and live more mindfully. It’d solve a lot.

Also on the topic of doing something to make a positive difference, Lance Wind’s obituary mentions two charities that are setting out to help save other young lives: The Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention for LGBT+ youth; and the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. (Note: I am not familiar with either of these charities; am simply providing the links so anyone can check them out and consider donating.)

Regarding roads: I am working on various fronts to promote a more creative, less destructive, less expensive approach to building roads and other transportation in my local area. There’s no guarantee that any of my input (via grassroots conversation groups, dialogues with public officials, letters to the editor, sharing creative solutions on social media, etc.) will make a difference. But any effort might end up pressing on the right leverage points.

Sitting very quietly this morning being present with my sadness (not just about the two incidents that sparked this post, but about so much else that’s happening in the world right now), I feel also a deeper connection with the beauty around me. All my life, sadness (when I was willing to fully experience it) has been a gateway to immense, pervasive beauty.

Just now out of the corner of my eye I caught motion. It was a tiny bird with a bright-yellow belly. It had been awhile since I’d seen one of those lovely little birds. I don’t know their official name but they are a favorite of mine.

P.S. (added later): Here are two correlations I have noticed, in my own life and out in the wider world. Both are two-way.

1) To be able to really experience our feelings, we have to slow down. AND, conversely, in order to be able to slow down, we have to be willing to really experience our feelings. Because feelings that have been kept at bay will come up when a person slows down. (Which is why a lot of people keep themselves so frantically busy, whether intentionally or not.)

2) Choosing a low-footprint lifestyle allows a person the luxury of being able to slow down. AND, conversely, when we slow down, it becomes naturally easier to reduce our eco-footprint.

Two Extra Important Global Eco Events Coming Up (Online) This Week

There are so many worthwhile eco webinars and other events that I don’t usually post them on this blog. But these two are extra important and I feel compelled to share them here as well as on my usual social-media channels. I have high hopes for both of these events to step up our power as individuals to be part of the solution to humanity’s path of ecological self-destruction.

1. “Igniting Climate Literacy: Creating a citizenry ready and willing to build a sustainable economic future” Zoom webinar by earthday . org, Monday September 21, 11am-12 noon US EST; go here to register. (“The youngest generations are going to be the ones most impacted by climate change — though they are the ones least responsible for it. For climate solutions to create a citizenry ready and willing to act now and build a sustainable economic future, we must start at the root: education. EARTHDAY . ORG invites you to join us for our Climate Week NYC event and an all-new Earth Day LIVE: Igniting Climate Literacy on Monday, September 21st at 11am Eastern. Join us for a lively discussion about the importance of educating our youth on climate and environmental topics to ensure a citizenry that is equipped with hope, skills and motivation to take action for a more sustainable future. The webinar will be 60 minutes and hosted over Zoom. By registering and joining the webinar, you’ll be able to ask questions during the Q&A. If you can’t connect over Zoom, we’ll also be streaming the event over Facebook. Our panelists include: Rohan Arora, Founder and Executive Director of The Community Check-Up; Frida Berry Eklund, Founder of Our Kids’ Climate; Neeshad Shafi, Executive Director of Arab Youth Climate Movement, Qatar; Rab Nawaz, Senior Director WWF, Pakistan; Asha Alexander, Principal and CEO Of The Kindergarten Starters and Executive Leader, Climate Change — GEMS Education, Dubai; Laura Secada, Director General of Climate Change and Desertification of the Ministry of Environment of Peru. Join us next week as we discuss the connections of climate and environmental education to conservation goals, more green jobs, a healthy economic future and a sustainable planet, as well as actions you can take to get involved. See you there, EARTHDAY . ORG Education Team”).

2. Kiss the Ground film debut & global watch party (film debut on Netflix Tuesday September 22; watch party Q&A 9pm US EST). (“Kiss the Ground will reveal how regenerating the world’s soils can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems, and create abundant food supplies. Get ready to feel hopeful and inspired about the future of our planet, and how you can make a positive impact on the health of the world. Kiss The Ground debuts on Netflix starting September 22. Gather with a million of your friends across the globe around a new, old solution to climate change.”

“[Watch Party Q&A] will be a gathering of conscious thought leaders from Hollywood to homesteads. At the live stream, you’ll join: Woody Harrelson, Narrator, Kiss The Ground Movie / Actor; Gisele Bündchen, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador; Ian Somerhalder, Activist / Actor; Dr. Mark Hyman, Cleveland Center for Functional Medicine; Jason Mraz, Singer-Songwriter / Agroforestry Farmer; Pashon Murray, Founder of Detroit Dirt; Ray Archuleta, Farmer / Conservation Agronomist; Doniga Markegard, Author / Regenerative Rancher; Ryland Engelhart, Co-Founder of Kiss The Ground (non-profit); Nicole Shanahan, Founder and President, Bia-Echo Foundation; Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell, Directors, Kiss The Ground.”)

Note from me: This film, produced by the soil education organization also known as Kiss the Ground (whose webinars I’ve taken and have raved about), is narrated by Woody Harrelson(!), and features Gisele Bundchen and other stars. Soil is key to the future of human life on earth. Lately we humans, especially in the USA, have found ourselves more divided across political and social issues than ever. Soil, with its microbial kingdoms upon which we all depend, offers a chance for us all to come together as the fellow humans and carbon-based life forms that we are. Hope to “see” you at the watch party! And even if you can’t make the watch party, you can watch the film on Netflix at your convenience.

The Groovy Rat Park; and the Empty Cage

This post opens up a big topic: the idea that the real cause of depression and addiction is our dysfunctional society. Our hyper-consumerist, hyper-individualist society. As opposed to moral failure or bad brain chemistry or bad parenting being the cause. (This is NOT to say that bad parenting doesn’t happen, or brain-chemistry imbalances don’t exist.)

I’ve been having this thought for a few years now, and ever since I stumbled on a TED talk via a friend’s Facebook post the other day, I’ve been blown away. I’m sort of easing into this post because it’s a topic of deep personal significance to me. I’ll start by sharing some massive resources and a few of my own disjointed thoughts. But I have a lot more thoughts, and will add them as time permits. 

“Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.

“Bruce [Alexander] comes along in the ’70s and said, ‘Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.’ So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water. But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. … Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.

“We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need. The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” 

The above is from a TED talk by Johann Hari. It made me think about what, for humans, would be the Rat Park; and what would be the empty cage. 

I think most of our modern industrialized world is the empty cage. As noisy and crowded as it is in so many ways, it is empty of too many essentials. Not that I’m opposed to industrial activity or even mass production. But things have gone too far; we are alienated from one another and from the natural world.  

I don’t think the groovy rat park is all honey and roses. It’s not a place free of challenge or danger. I think we thrive on challenge and danger, if it’s for a good cause. Maybe for most of us, the ideal environment is a mix of cushy comforts and exciting challenges.

It occurred to me that maybe theme-parks feel like an adventure to some people because modern “real life” is such an empty cage. 

Harry Palmer, author of Living Deliberately and the Avatar Course materials, gave a talk called “Happy Tilapi.” He talks about going to a fish farm to buy tilapia to stock his pond. The fish guy says “I’ll net out the happy ones for you.” Turns out the fish who are vigorous seek out the current of the pump. They seem to like the challenge. The weak ones avoid it.

It struck me: The human version of the empty cage (with its bottled consolations) has a radically higher eco footprint than the wholesome park. Aside from its social cost. 

If consumerist society is an empty cage, what would the groovy rat park look like for you? 

Further Exploration

“Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong” (TED Talk by Johann Hari). Hari has also written a book on this topic, titled Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression–And the Unexpected Solutions. 

The Globalization of Addiction (Bruce Alexander’s website). “Global society is drowning in addiction to drug use and a thousand other habits. This is because people around the world, rich and poor alike, are being torn from the close ties to family, culture, and traditional spirituality that constituted the normal fabric of life in pre-modern times. This kind of global society subjects people to unrelenting pressures towards individualism and competition, dislocating them from social life. People adapt to this dislocation by concocting the best substitutes that they can for a sustaining social, cultural and spiritual wholeness, and addiction provides this substitute for more and more of us.” Alexander has also written a book, The Globalisation of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit.

Also: A particular article from Mr. Alexander’s blog. All his articles I’ve seen are incredibly deep but this one I particularly want to share with you. Addiction, Environmental Crisis, and Global Capitalism. Goes in depth about interconnections between addiction and eco-crisis. And outlines “five psychological realities that you will probably recognize as contributing to the ecological crisis.” Including wastefulness, extractiveness, and (ironically) the endless treadmill of “recovery.”

“Does Money Equal Happiness? It Does, But Only Til You Earn This Much.” (Josh Hafner, USA Today.) “That point for life satisfaction varies around the world, researchers found, from $35,000 in the Caribbean to $125,000 in New Zealand. Past that, lead author Andrew T. Jebb said, ‘there’s a certain point where money seems to bring no more benefits to well-being in terms of both feelings and your evaluation.'”

“Why Capitalism Creates Pointless Jobs” (David Graeber, Evonomics).

Buzzcocks song “Boredom” (heart-clenching yet ever so foot-tapping song by one of my alltime favorite punk bands, playing in a club in Boston in 1980 — thanks to the miracle of YouTube)!

Groceries and Politics

In one of the permaculture forums I belong to, someone brought up a grocery-shopping dilemma. This person wants to eat as local as possible; support his local farms. But his farmer neighbors are flying a large sign for a political leader whose views and conduct he finds morally repugnant. He asked us, would you buy produce from these people? 

Responses were divided. Some said yes; politics are irrelevant; if we could only buy from people we agree with, we’d all have to produce all of our own food and other stuff.

Others said no way they’d support the farmer who supports the “bad-guy” politician.  

I sided with the first camp. 

If it’s a choice between food grown locally or food from afar, I choose local, regardless of political affiliation. (Assuming the local grower is using organic methods.) My reasoning is that the whole messed-up industrial food system we’ve got is most likely itself a product of politics I don’t agree with. And large-scale ag creates atrocious conditions for wildlife and humans. 

Also, there will always be political differences among people, even within a neighborhood. I place a high premium on being able to walk or bicycle to get my food, and having it come from right nearby. 

I also think it’s extremely important for us all to foster, in our communities, a neighborly cohesion that transcends politics. Neighborly cohesion is a community’s greatest asset in times of crisis; it can make the difference between life and death.  (On that note, if the political or cultural differences with neighbors are so marked and pervasive that it’s hard to build ties, that may be a sign that it’s time to move to a different neighborhood. But before you do that, you might want to try doing business with those “different” neighbors. You might be surprised at how far it goes toward achieving a state of practical peace and harmony.)

Even in tranquil times, with no flesh-eating zombies trying to beat down our doors, neighborly ties just make for a happier life. I know people who’ve lived in the same place for years and never met their neighbors. And so, when they go on vacation, they can’t find anyone to watch their cat or whatever.

And, as another member pointed out, if we buy produce from far away, we don’t know the politics and treatment of workers who pick the bananas and own the field in Colombia; we don’t know the politics of the truck driver and the parent company responsible for getting the bananas to our local grocery. 

Another member commented, “I’d rather buy local food from a local asshole than from an asshole halfway around the world.” Of course this applies to other goods, and to services as well.

That said, all other things being equal, if the option is available to support someone who I feel more of an affinity with (be it political or religious, or just that the person is kind and friendly), I will take it. I am also always on the lookout to support Black-owned business, woman-owned business, and others I want to give a boost to.

In my neighborhood, there are four mini-marts in walking distance. The one I most often go to is the smallest, least fancy one. I go there because it’s a Mom & Pop, whose owner is pleasant and cares about the community. He hires homeless people to do odd jobs.

If all of the mini marts were flying banners of someone or something I disagree with, I’d probably just shop at whichever place carried the item I wanted.

How about you? Does politics (or religion, or any other affinity) affect your shopping for groceries or other essential goods and services?

P.S. One of my favorite quotes on this topic just popped into my mind. When I find out who said this, I’ll post the person’s name. Here is a great bit of wisdom:

“The best security is well-fed neighbors.”

The Unacceptably High Cost of Energy

Following is a description of a planned oil pipeline in Africa. This description is a grim reminder of the unacceptably high cost of meeting modern industrial society’s vast energy demands.

This is from Bill McKibben, writing for “The Climate Crisis” (an email newsletter of The New Yorker magazine):

“By April of next year, construction could conceivably begin on the pipeline, which will need to be heated at all times to keep the oil flowing, and which will stretch nine hundred miles, from the shores of Lake Albert, on the Uganda-Congo border, to the Tanzanian port of Tanga, where the crude will be loaded into tankers.

“The proposed route looks almost as if it were drawn to endanger as many animals as possible: the drilling pads are in the Murchison Falls National Park, in Uganda, and the pipeline runs through the Taala Forest Reserve and encroaches on the Bugoma Forest (home to large groups of chimpanzees) before crossing into Tanzania and the Biharamulo Game Reserve, home to lions, buffalo, elands, lesser kudu, impalas, hippos, giraffes, zebras, roan antelopes, sitatungas, sables, aardvarks, and the red colobus monkey. The pipeline also manages to traverse the Wembere steppe, a seasonal paradise for birds, and hundreds of square kilometres of elephant habitat. (Indeed, a charismatic elephant is featured in the online petition that an international nonprofit organization launched last week opposing the plan.) And, once the pipeline gets to Tanzania, tankers the length of three football fields will try to transport the oil out through mangrove swamps and over coral reefs, in waters teeming with dugongs and sea turtles. If all this makes you feel a little sad, that’s the correct emotion: at this point in the planet’s building extinction crisis, it’s sickening to endanger wildlife. (Those ashy red colobus monkeys in the Tanzanian reserve, for instance, are one of just five colonies left in the world.)

“But if this project—the longest heated pipeline ever planned—gets built, it will also take out wide swaths of farmland, almost all of it tilled by peasant farmers. Some have already been evicted, and are living in concrete houses in a “resettlement village.” But many are still on the land, and still fighting, in much the same way, and for many of the same reasons, that indigenous people in the American West have been steadfast in their battle against the Dakota Access pipeline. The Africa team at 350.org, the global climate campaign that I helped found, has been helping to coördinate the opposition, which is not an easy task. Tanzania’s government is increasingly authoritarian, and, in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, has seen the Parliament remove the country’s age limit for its rulers, allowing him to maintain control for the foreseeable future. These governments want the pipeline, arguing that it will bring economic benefit, but, if history is any indication, that benefit won’t be widely shared. By now, the evidence of a “resource curse,” which leaves oil-exporting countries with lower G.D.P.-growth rates, is overwhelming. But the unwavering support of ruling governments for the project is why much of the opposition has been aimed instead at the banks that would finance the plan (South Africa’s Standard Bank and Japan’s Sumitomo chief among them) and at Total.

“The French oil giant, if it proceeds with the pipeline, would make a total mockery of its pretensions to climate leadership. Already, fourteen French cities have filed a complaint against the company for its failure to live up to the Paris climate accords. (Paris, as it happens, is in France.) Total’s oil imperialism is also giving the lie to President Emmanuel Macron’s soaring climate rhetoric. As he told the United Nations last year, climate politics is too often a cynical morality play. “In essence, we have offered an outlet for our young people’s impatience,” Macron said. “We have given them the opportunity to express themselves. We tell them, ‘We hear you, you’re amazing.’ And then, all too often, we continue on with whatever we were already doing. That will not work.” True enough, and the eacop is perhaps the best example of that precise failing. What France has started in Africa needs to stop, and it is not too late to do that. Almost too late, but not quite.”

The above description refers to a pipeline in East Africa. But any other pipeline, anywhere — and any coal mine, refinery, or other large-scale energy production operation — comes with its own tale of unacceptable losses to people, other living creatures, and whole ecosystems. It’s the sheer scale and volume of our energy operations that’s problematic.

And the problem can’t be solved simply by “switching to renewables.” First of all, renewables alone can’t meet our current huge demand for energy. And second, solar farms and other renewable-energy infrastructure, like fossil-energy infrastructure, chew up land and threaten biodiversity, not to mention the fact that they still require fossil fuels to produce and transport. (For more about this, check out Michael Moore’s film Planet of the Humans, which I wrote about awhile back.) Moore’s film offers strong testimonial that the sheer scale and volume of our energy consumption is excessively burdensome on the environment — even if our modern industrialized lifestyle could be 100% powered by renewables.

For me, it all leads back to the same conclusion: Cut back! Conservation and voluntary self-restraint may not seem exciting, but they actually can be quite liberating and exhilarating! And they are key to reining in human destruction of our biosphere and possibly saving human life on this planet.

Everything we manufacture or buy takes energy to produce and transport. This is called the “embodied energy” of an item. McKibben’s description of the cost of our huge demand for energy illustrates why reducing consumption is an urgent task.

Of course, beyond just the ecological aspect, we must dismantle social and economic inequity as well. Curbing excess consumption, increasing our capacity to be satisfied with “enough,” will help with that too.

As McKibben wrote in an earlier article in the New Yorker magazine: “If we’re just going to use solar power instead of coal to run the same sad mess of unfair and ugly oppression, is it really worth it?” (“Making a Planet Worth Saving,” New Yorker, June 9, 2020.)

Whether you minimize driving, give up flying, reduce meat/dairy intake, refuse single-use plastic, buy only used clothes, strive to eat local, cook with a solar oven, heat your house with deadwood, minimize your electricity use, or whatever other conservation action you take, it all counts. Thanks for every bit you’re doing. I’m here to help you. If there’s a topic you don’t see covered in this blog or in my book, feel free to suggest it. I will do my best to accommodate.

Retooling Hotels

I hear that the Hilton Hotel in Times Square is closing because of slow business from the drop in tourism. Here in my own very tourist-oriented beach town, as in other places, hotel occupancy is way down.

According to an industry report quoted in the article linked above, “hotel occupancy in urban markets was 38% in August, well below the 50% it takes for most properties to break even.”

Since the pandemic started, I’ve had this idea that hotels could retool themselves as apartment buildings. They’d get less per-night revenue, but steady occupancy. And they’d have much lower payroll costs, even if they chose to keep some staff (for example, to offer concierge laundry services, maid service for an extra fee, etc).

The apartments, being hotel rooms, would not have full kitchens, but they could easily have microwave ovens, mini fridges. A lot of hotel rooms have those already.

Tourism (at least the hotel-centered kind) may be on the down-swing, but a lot of cities have housing shortages. Hotels converted into micro apartments — a sort of upscale version of SRO, if you will — could help fill the gap.

(SRO = Single Room Occupancy. A type of dwelling that used to be more common on the urban landscape than it is now. A multi-storey building of small, minimally furnished bed/sitting rooms, with communal toilets/showers at the end of the hall. An inexpensive option for a roof over one’s head. What I proposed for the hotels would be an upscale version of this.)

Home Medicine Chest

I don’t always have all of the following in my kitchen cabinet or medicine cabinet, but I usually have most of these things on hand. Although I generally stay pretty healthy, I like having these things around for myself and others.

Advil (sometimes muscle pain or headache comes along, and while I usually tough it out, sometimes I need a reboot with something stronger!)

Aloe (the plant if you can grow it in your area; but commercial products consisting of aloe gel mixed with alcohol can be helpful too): burns, cuts, rashes, insect bites

Angostura bitters: for nausea, indigestion, hangovers! 

Antiseptic ointment: stubborn cuts, blisters

Apple cider vinegar: capful in drinking water makes an all-around health tonic

Baking soda: relieve heartburn; alkalize body chemistry

Beeswax salve: cuts, abrasions, chapped lips

Cayenne: sore throat, stuffy nose, lethargy

Coca-Cola: stomach flu

Cinnamon: indigestion

Dill pickles, pickle juice: summer lethargy; electrolyte supplement

Epsom salts: fever; foot soak; draw out skin infections

Garlic (fresh cloves): energy boost; anti-fungal; some call it “Russian Penicillin”; reduce cholesterol, blood sugar

Ginger (the fresh root): nausea; indigestion

Ginger candy (chewy or hard): motion sickness

Gold Bond powder: heat rash; insect bites

Hot peppers (fresh if possible; otherwise dried): decongestant, blood thinner, clear out mucous membranes

Lemon: bladder health; vitamin C

Lemongrass: constipation

Parsley: bladder health; vitamin supplement

Teas (chamomile, ginger): sleep; digestion

Tea tree oil: cuts; bug bites; rashes (dilute w water or alcohol or use straight)

Tobacco: snake bite; bee/wasp sting (I have never had to use it but a friend gave me some loose tobacco and it’s sitting at the back of my medicine cabinet just in case)

Vaseline: superficial cuts, rashes, skin abrasions

Vicks Vapo-Rub: chest congestion; stuffy nose

Would like: to grow turmeric as anti-inflammatory

What’s in your home medicine cabinet? What else would you like to grow or make?