Someone recently asked me how we run Indian Maid Products Inc. “so green”. Partly it’s because the company is run on Traditional Lakota Teachings, which were “green” before Europeans began their invasion of Turtle Island. Partly it’s because it costs a lot less to do things right the first time. There may be other parts to the method, but I don’t think they matter so much as the net result does.. living and working in harmony with the biosphere to the greatest degree we can. It takes more thought and care, but the results are more harmonious.
In the Lakota Way, we are taught that when Takuskanskan began to form the world, It gave a Prime Responsibility to each of the four colors of Two-Leggeds (humans). We red / brown people were given the responsibility of taking care of the earth and living in harmony with her, since she is our Mother. In the Lakota Way, mothers provide every physical thing needed for our survival. We always feed off our Mother, the earth.
Because we live and work according to our Traditional Ways, then, we don’t “buy into” many majority culture ideas of “beauty”, including in our landscaping. Buffalo Grass is native to this area, as is gramma grass. Buffalo grass doesn’t grow more than 6″ tall; gramma sometimes makes 8″; thus, they never need mowing.
The U.S. majority culture is said to waste something like 12 million gallons of gasoline annually on mowing lawns so they look like carpets. We find buffalo and gramma grass beautiful as they are – mere humans cannot improve on nature, after all. It is hubris and arrogance to claim they can. So-called “improvements” actually are expressions of preferences of humans.
Because buffalo and gramma grass are native, they don’t need watering the way other grasses do. Gramma grass tends to stay green longer than buffalo grass if not watered ‘enough’, but we find these grasses so beautiful, we don’t water them as often as most people.
Other landscaping plants used are also native to the area. Again, this cuts down on watering, and, since it is absolutely contrary to logic to poison your Mother and then ask her to feed you, we “garden” organically. There are many safer, smarter ways to tend to the health of the landscaping than poisoning it.
We use recycled paper as much as we can; we recycle everything we can think of and we’re always looking for more things to recycle and ways to recycle them.
In the Lakota Way, our method is said to be “showing” respect. We are the original “walk your talk” people. Or so our Traditional Teachings go.