Celebrating Farmers

Day 285 – Happy National Farmers Day!  It’s a day for everyone to acknowledge the hard work that goes into feeding and supplying a nation.

Here are some interesting farming facts:

  1. There are about 2 million farms in the U.S. – Nearly all these farms are family-run.
  2. One U.S. farm can feed 166 people – Farmers around the world will have to grow about 70% more food than they do now in order to meet demands by the year 2050.
  3. U.S. has more than 900 million acres of farmland
  4. Top farm products in the U.S. are cattle, corn and soybeans
  5. Soybean production is key to making crayons – One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
  6. The U.S. is home to 47 breeds of sheep – Every baseball requires 150 yards of wool.
  7. Net losses at US farms are on the rise – Most farmers need outside work to make ends meet.
  8. Less than 1% of US farmland is organic –  The vast majority of the organic food consumed in the U.S. is imported.
  9. The US is the world’s third-biggest food supplier – U.S. farmers produce 10% of the world’s wheat and 20% percent of the world’s beef, pork, and lamb.
  10. Most farmers’ markets source products within 50 miles – Farmers who supply supermarkets typically live 1,500 miles away. On average, farmers get about 17 cents of every dollar that store shoppers spend on food; those at farmers’ markets take home more than 90% of food dollars.

So if you get a chance, thank the farmers who plow, sow, raise, feed, and harvest to provide the food and materials that our country needs to succeed.

Tomorrow, breaking it down!

Crayons: Donate to a good cause

Day 90 – In our house we have a giant bin of crayons. They have been accumulating over the years. On occasion, I have gone through the container and tossed the broken ones. I didn’t give it much thought.

More than half a million pounds of used crayons are discarded each year, turning into waxy sludge that never biodegrades in landfills. That is no way to treat these colorful sticks of joy. There’s has to be better way.

Well, there is! Thankfully, there are numerous organizations that will take your broken and unwanted crayons and give them new life.

The Crayon Initiative – They collect unwanted crayons and melt them to create new crayons that are then donated to over 240 children’s hospitals. The Crayon Initiative has donated crayons to 527,200 patients and has kept 42,249,157 crayons out of the landfill.

S.C.A.R.C.E – They divert broken, unusable crayons from going to the landfill by recycling crayon pieces into “Super Crayons.”  Volunteers help peel, sort, and melt the broken crayons.  The liquid crayon mixture is poured into molds to form large Super Crayons in a variety of shapes which can be used by children with special needs.

Crayons Collection – They take gently used crayons from restaurants and hotels and donate them to schools that can use them.

Crazy Crayons – They will take broken and unwanted crayons and create new crayons, which can then be purchased.

During the month of April, I will be collecting crayons. If you have broken and unwanted crayons, send them my way. If you know of any restaurants or other businesses that provide crayons to their young customers, please find out if they recycle their crayons. If not, please let me know. The hope is to collect a large number of crayons and send them to both, The Crayon Initiative and S.C.A.R.C.E.

If you live near the Northcenter neighborhood, you can drop them at my house (please email me for the address, smgaietto@gmail.com). Otherwise, I encourage you to take up your own collection and give those unwanted crayons a chance to bring joy to another child.

Tomorrow, don’t be a fool about fossil fuel.