Earth Day—April 22—has been around for a long time, but I first celebrated it with gusto as a sophomore at what was then Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. To call me an activist would be a gross overstatement, but I did my version of a hippie thing for what amounted to 10 minutes. I scolded my friends to recycle their Diet Coke cans; they called me Mother Earth and suspended a tiny foam model of the planet over my bunk bed in Moore Hall. It’s not that they were poking fun at Earth Day; they were poking fun at my stance from the soapbox. I’m sure I deserved it.
It’s fun to be able to reminisce and laugh about passionate antics, however short-lived. But I always have and always will have a soft spot for good stewardship. Nothing makes me crazier than waste. In all things, I try to balance consumption with gratitude and most importantly, intention. If I’m going to use/do/buy it, I want it to matter, to count.
Here at HOME we operate with intention; we choose stories and sources with the intention of adding value to your home and your life, to help you be good stewards of your own resources. In this issue, a feature article on azaleas and an article including tips from local garden pros about their favorite plants will help you decide what you want to add to your green space this spring. We’ll show you the benefits of a tried-and-true way to conserve energy and reduce waste: the good old-fashioned rain barrel (which is seeing a resurgence in popularity!). We’ll also show you how to upcycle old home accessories into something fresh and new with a fun and funky coat of paint.
Efficiency, too, is an important part of being a good steward of resources—whether you want to be efficient with the energy you pay for to run your home, or your own personal energy.
Our feature on windows will help you understand all that’s involved with replacing what is arguably the biggest challenge and greatest opportunity for achieving energy efficiency at home. We also share advice on how to wire your home to make the most of all your Internet-enabled gear and gadgets. And a fabulous article on apps for your smartphone will have you operating at personal maximum efficiency in several household-related tasks.
This spring, as we celebrate Earth Day and all the wonders of this season, we hope to inspire you to practice good stewardship in the wonderful place you call home. Thanks for reading!
—MERIDITH INGRAM, EDITOR