ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Monday, March 26, 2012

How To Put Your Tax Return To Good Use

Since I have been working for over half my life, I have had plenty of time to figure out what to do with the "funny money" that the government manages to borrow from me without paying interest. When I do manage to qualify for a return, in my mind, the money never really existed at all. I had it paid to me, but the cost for living in a society is to fund government programs, so I feel like my dues have been paid as it were. I also understand that many of the government programs that I am floating interest free loans to support are against my beliefs and values, so finding a more appropriate way to spend those dollars that make the world better for everyone rates pretty high on my list of things to do with it when it comes.

As far back as the early eighties, I have often spent virtually my whole tax return on wholesale trees. There have been a few years which didn't go that way for one reason or another, but most of the time, that is how we funded the trees that we plant on the ECO-Tours that we run in the Spring and Fall. When we started, the first trees came in at under a dollar each, the several hundred to $1,000 returns went really far. We would buy whole flats of trees growing in plugs so tightly together that they looked like grass! When I repeatedly filled the front and back seats of my car with these carpets of trees, it would perfume the cabin so wonderfully that I had a hard time driving, especially when the trees were cedars. I encourage everyone to get a tax ID number and turn your tax returns into trees, then plant them so that they can begin paying back with interest.

If you prefer to donate to ECO-Tours, we continue to plant trees, using the donations that we raise throughout the year. Often the trees we plant grow one to two feet per year and we have very high survival rates because we work diligently to make sure that each tree is planted in the most appropriate area for it. Our Paypal account can be found at: Those who prefer to send checks, use snail mail to: ECO-Tours 1445 Porlier street Green Bay, WI 54301-3334

Finding ways to make positive change in the world has been a pet project of mine since I was young. friends used to call me Tony Appleseed, god's exterior decorator and a few just called me strange. when we would go to the woods, I would construct barriers that were designed to reduce erosion and runoff, enhance the local ecosystem and build soils and reduce compaction. One of the greatest experiences ever was when my daughter was very young. She repeatedly asked me what I was doing whenever I would put vegetable clippings in the compost. I would always reply, "Making dirt."
After a couple years, when she was about four, she must have heard the term "older than dirt", because one day, she ran out by the compost as I emptied the bucket into the pile and said to me, "You are older than dirt!", then she pointed at the bottom of the pile, where composted material was finding a way out of the pile and said, "You're older than that dirt, because you made it!"

Another great day was when I was planting a tree and a passerby, a young fellow who was developmentally disabled asked what I was doing. I said, "Planting a tree."
His response was to say, "Great!"
I asked him why he thought it was so great. His reply? "That's easy! Trees make oxygen and we need that to breathe!"

Sometimes I wonder why more of us are not as smart as the children and cognitively challenged among us. There have always been great ideas circulating in the minds of those we consider to be immature or "retarded". Perhaps if we allowed ourselves to experience life more like they do, many more things about our lives would become clearer to our adult eyes and the transformations that we seek would unfold like a blossoming flower. we will be planting trees again tomorrow and before long we will be putting in our spring tree order. If we make our order before the end of the month, we get half off and that effectively doubles the impact of your donation!

Thank-you in advance for your support. It allows us to leave forests behind and to help protect water quality, reduce the harmful effects of flooding and to help fix carbon and stabilize the environment. If you need ideas for how to do the same thing wherever you live, you can always contact us through the address above. If you are coming to Northeast Wisconsin, let us know in advance and we will plan a tour for you that includes planting some trees, touring our permaculture beds and a visit to some of the forests that we planted with tax returns dating back to the eighties!

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