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Lockdown in Paris: Day 39 – Earth Day

flowers in sidewalk crack

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a bit sad to think that people have been trying to save this planet for half a century, and we still ended up in the place we are now. It would be nice to think the current pandemic would bring people to their senses.

Happy Earth Day

I still have hope, especially because since I’ve been with Sea Shepherd I’ve met so many passionate people fighting to do everything possible to make a difference. Today we celebrated Earth Day, despite our fleet being confined in port for the moment, with a video commemorating the work that has been done in the past 50 years, and the call to action for what needs to come if humanity wants a future on this planet:

A Bit of Green for Earth Day

I don’t actually have a garden, but my apartment is full of plants and my tiny window balconies can hold a few big pots. But I haven’t done much to prepare for the spring. Some plants croaked over the winter, my herbs were being eaten alive by some kind of little red bugs I couldn’t identify, and I was out of potting soil. It was time for a visit to Truffaut, my local garden center.

garden center

They have reopened in France, including Paris, since they’re considered essential for people growing their own food. I waited about 30 minutes in line to get in. You can skip the line if you order online and then come to just pick up your order.

garden center

But I wanted to browse a little, even though a recorded announcement plays every few minutes reminding us to “buy only what’s essential; keep your distance from each other; do not take more time than needed” etc. Each person is given a “disinfected” shopping cart at the entrance that you’re instructed to keep with you, and invited to use the hand gel before following the arrows indicating the route you’re allowed to take through the store “without making U-turns”.

flowers
Gorgeous petunias, but I was trying to be reasonable, so I just took this photo.

I got a bag of potting soil, a cherry tomato plant that already had some almost-ripe tomatoes, three strawberry plants, a “pink lemonade” blueberry plant I’m sure I will immediately kill but I couldn’t resist, and – because they were there and there were no signs saying I couldn’t buy them – a tiny succulent for my kitchen windowsill and an adorable miniature dahlia in bloom.

tomato plant
strawberry flower
dahlia plant
Can I claim they’re essential for my mental health?

Waiting for my turn at the register I also checked out the food items and saw something I had been looking for in all of my neighborhood food shops: crunchy peanut butter! Totally essential.

peanut butter
“Mus crunchy”…Dutch for more crunchy, I hope!

The check-out process was so germ-proofed even the credit-card machine was wrapped in plastic. The employees do everything to make sure no one makes any contact, and we get another pass with the hand gel on the way out. The whole trip was about an hour including the wait time.

plants in kitchen sink

Now all I have to do is keep these plants alive long enough to harvest some food! In the meantime, there’s crunchy peanut butter…

Meanwhile, On Instagram…

You can have a sneak peek at my little green balcony where I play my ukulele to annoy my neighbors pay tribute to healthcare workers each night at 8pm.

Be green, stay healthy! – Heather

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