LJ ran steadily through the early morning fog, each step matching his heartbeat. He smiled to himself, “I am in the zone, and this feels so good.” He looked ahead and saw the flock of turkeys and slowed his pace. He eyed the turkeys, and they eyed him. The turkeys spread out as if to encircle him as he got closer; they were blocking the road, making it difficult for him to find a way around them. “Is this the day I get into a fight with wild animals,” he thought as he slipped his pepper can into his hand from his pocket. “I can’t show fear, or they will attack.” LJ slowed his pace again, adjusted his glasses, and put his finger on the nozzle of the pepper spray. The big daddy of the flock raised his tail feathers and began flapping his huge wings. LJ got closer, took aim, and shot him with a steady stream of pepper. The turkey emitted a loud squawk and backpedaled away. The other turkeys scattered. LJ picked up his pace and shot through the flock.

Annie watched him running towards their home from the bedroom window, “Wow, that’s some pace he’s keeping,” she thought.

A few minutes later, LJ walked into the bedroom, “A flock of turkeys surrounded me, and the leader tried to attack me.”

Annie’s eyes were like saucers, “what did you do?

“I shot him with pepper spray, and he backed off. When he did that, the other turkeys did too. They are getting so aggressive. I think it has to do with this being mating season, and some neighbors are feeding them, so now they’re getting used to being around humans. I am going to post a message on Nextdoor alerting our neighbors. I don’t want anyone out walking with their children to run into these turkeys.”

“Yes, and while you’re at it, I know this is a pivot, but getting the neighbor’s attention about aggressive turkeys might also be a good time to offer some sustainable living tips.”

“I’m not following your train of thought, Annie.”
“Well, sustainable living begins with not feeding wild animals, so they begin to get too comfortable around us. That includes birds, feral cats, rabbits, possums, and raccoons.”

“Okay, so we shouldn’t try to sustain the lives of wild animals because that actually reduces their ability to sustain themselves, but what should we humans do to sustain ourselves in a way that doesn’t harm wildlife and thereby earth?”

“Well, first, I’m glad you’re okay, and second, thanks for asking about sustainable living. I read an article today that describes how the Amazon Rainforest is getting closer to a tipping point of no return. If the “lungs of the World” lose their ability to produce oxygen, we will experience ecological Armageddon. We are now at a critical stage to make impactful changes. Everyone can and should participate; after all, Earth is our only home; there is no planet B.

Here’s a great list from Headwaters Charitable Trust, and it’s worth sharing.

  1. Save energy: By using less, you can help to reduce carbon emissions. Run major appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer in off-peak hours. Use a clothes drying rack. Unplug the coffee pot, blender, and toaster when not in use. Turn your heat down and layer.
  2. Use reusable alternatives: Single-use products, particularly plastic ones, such as bags and water bottles, tend to end up in landfills and the ocean, causing harm to wildlife and the environment. Prevent this by using cloth bags and a personal water bottle.
  3. Go paperless: To avoid wasting paper, choose to receive letters through email and only print documents if necessary. You could also ask stores to email your receipt instead of printing it.  Use paperless for Christmas cards, parties, weddings, and all special events.
  4. Use renewable energy: Power your home using renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions. Replace your gas-fueled car with an electric one.
  5. Recycle and reuse: Recycle by putting your garbage in the correct bins. Also, reuse products and items as many times as possible before throwing them away to reduce waste.
  6. Grow your produce: Reduce your stress and get your hands dirty. By growing your fruit and vegetables, you can ensure you’re not using pesticides that contribute to water and air pollution.
  7. Donate unused items: If you don’t use a product or clothing anymore, give it to a charity or someone you know who would use it to help reduce waste.
  8. Buy fair trade products: When a product has been Fairtrade certified, it is produced by a company committed to sustainable production.
  9. Drive less and get some fresh air: Walk or ride a bike to your destination instead of driving – it’s better for the environment and your health. Using public transport is another good way to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  10. Don’t waste food: If you have leftovers, don’t throw them away. Save them for your lunch or even freeze them.
  11. Shop at pre-owned stores! The fashion industry is one of the primary polluting industries in the world. To lessen this industry’s impact on the planet, you could buy your clothes from pre-owned stores, and it’s also an excellent way to get name brands cheap!
  12. Use eco-friendly cleaning products: The contents should be biodegradable and certified biobased. The containers should be made from recycled plastic or glass. By committing to using green/eco-friendly cleaning products, you prevent a negative impact on the Earth and your loved ones!


“This is a thorough list, Annie. I think it’s too important to tag on my message about the lurky turkeys, so let’s send it separately but do it right away. As you say, there is urgency in what all of us do now to save ourselves from absolute destruction. In the words of Robert Swan,

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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