‘Butterfly effect’ will help environment
Want to help the environment but think you couldn’t possibly make a difference? In a timely editorial in The Chicago Tribune on Dec. 30, readers were reminded that Illinois’ state insect, the monarch butterfly, needed help. It couldn’t be placed on the endangered or even threatened lists because unfortunately 161 other living beings preceded it. However, this important pollinator is in fact endangered with a population of only 60 million now as opposed to six times that number in 1996. The editorial board writers pointed out that individuals in their own yards or on their apartment balconies can make a big difference simply by growing milkweed plants.
Milkweed is the only food monarch caterpillars eat; that’s why it’s important to buy the plants offered at our local nurseries. (I’ve tried growing from seed but that’s surprisingly complicated and for me, unsuccessful.) Also, I can’t bear the thought of birds or the weather adversely affecting those fragile beings so in the past, I’ve taken them to the Bear Branch Nature Center for rearing and possible release at the Monarch Madness event. The Tribune also advocated growing native plants, bushes and trees in our yards or balconies.
Our state flower, the black-eyed susan, is easy to grow along with daisies, bee balm (bergamot), joe pye weed and many others. One flower that I love is the zinnia although it’s not native (but not invasive so it’s OK). The type with flat flowers provides nectar for butterflies, bees and even hummingbirds — a trifecta! — as well as an important rest stop. Zinnias are easy to germinate, tolerate dry conditions and provide lots of color with minimal cost and effort. Then, as an extra treat when they go to seed, goldfinches visit, comically hanging upside down to peck at the food. Another bonus — zinnias will bloom until the cold weather hits, thus providing important waystations for the monarchs to rest as well as fuel up on their way to Mexico. Fewer flowers are in bloom at that time, another hardship for this essential animal.
Think of it, one packet of zinnia seeds plus one or two milkweed plants will provide food for all sorts of pollinators, including the endangered monarch, who in turn will increase our food supply. This truly is the butterfly effect.
Dumping plastic costly, too
Columnist Christopher Tomlinson wants the General Assembly to kill the Plastic Bag Reduction Act. He reasons that it will be costly. But so is dumping plastic.
Before moving to Sykesville in 2018, I lived in a county with the same population as Carroll. It banned plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers. It also had a (state) deposit law on most beverage containers.
I would be happy to describe to Mr. Tomlinson how well those regulations work. No businesses failed, and some wide-awake entrepreneurs are doing very well with them. Before passing the regulations, we heard the same complaints Tomlinson makes, but not since.
One World Order ushered in
Columnist Tom Zirpoli, you and your ilk have harassed, hounded, and slandered President Donald Trump for four years. Don’t you think its time for you to get a life? You won! And now you will have the opportunity to sit back and collect the rewards. Jan. 20 was the official inauguration of the One World Order. Enjoy!