Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Sustainible Living Project


In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, Jan over at Thanks for Today is asking garden bloggers to post about ways they are actively practicing a greener lifestyle and contributing to protecting our environment. Jan calls it the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project.

On Earth Day 2008, I described the things we do on a daily basis to respect the Earth and live a greener lifestyle. We recycle, buy CFLs, bring reuseable bags to the grocery store, use cloth napkins instead of paper, buy recycled toilet paper, and compost. We still practice these activities, and over the past two years, we've added a few others.

1. We eat locally when we can
I try my best to grow yummy veggies, and this fall I increased our plantable space by moving a raised bed. I am working on getting my produce yields up so that we will have more home grown produce. But, I am also trying to make the farmers market a priority on Saturday mornings. The Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson is such a wonderful resource. Can you believe this is what they have this week? Cornish Game Hens, farm fresh eggs, buttercrunch lettuce, goat cheese, shares of free range and grass fed beef and lamb, local honey, fresh herbs, and strawberries! I am going to hit it up on Saturday morning. I can't wait to blog about what I got!

2. We eat less meat
There are many studies out there that show that meat production (factory farming) contributes to climate change. Cows especially contribute to climate change because of all the methane they put back into the environment. Recently, a study by the Worldwatch Institute found that half of the world's greenhouse emissions are produced by the livestock and poultry industry. I am not a vegetarian, but in our house we have chicken only once a week. Once a month we'll have beef or pork. The rest of the time I cook vegetarian or we have fish or shrimp. If you haven't seen the documentary Food, Inc. go rent it now. It will change the way you look at factory farmed meat and processed foods.

3. I shop secondhand
I've been trying to make this more of a priority lately. When I need something, I try to hit up the secondhand/antique/junk stores before I buy it brand new. I've found an awesome lamp, some pretty table linens, water glasses, even funky jewelry. You'd be amazed at what you can find in these places.

4. I reuse what I can
I bought this countertop plastic bag dryer at gaiam.com and it has more than paid for itself in ziplock savings! I don't think I've had to purchase any since we got this thing.

5. We get our butts outside!!
There's nothing that will encourage you to love the planet Earth like spending time with it will! I like to hit up the local Nature Center for a walk or the Natchez Trace for a bike ride or the Yazoo River to kayak. I adore Smoky Mountains National Park. Since I first ventured to the park as a 19-year-old on Spring Break, I've looked for excuses to return. I'm going back in June to see the azaleas in bloom on Gregory Bald. It will be my 6th trip. I encourage everyone to find something they like to do outside that is close to home. Even if it is just a favorite walk through a pretty neighborhood or forest. There are opportunities to enjoy Earth all around us!

5 comments:

Ginger said...

Look at you posting up a storm lately!

Good job with everything y'all do for the environment :) I need to get one of those plastic bag thingies.

tina said...

I love tip #5! You are so right that getting outside really can make us appreciate this earth so much more and truly love it on such a wonderful spring day-as today! Have a great weekend.

Leah Maria said...

Love it all! I have been thinking about a way to dry my ziplock bags. I hate throwing those way after a simple use. I might have to invest in one of these.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get someone (aka Brian) to stop using so many paper towels. I would never buy them if it didn't go out and buy them himself. It drives me crazy that he just WASTE them on nothing. We use cloth napkins, have drying cloths for both clean hands (which is his reason he says he uses paper towels) and one for dirty things. I do limit how many I buy at once and how much I wait till I buy new ones once he uses them all up.

Lisa Blair said...

Ginger, I guess I have been inspired this spring because you're right, I have been posting up a storm! Ha!

tina, thanks for stopping by!

Leah, Chip is a paper towel addict, too! Growing up my parents never had paper towels or napkins, so I didn't have "relearn" not to use them for everything. One suggestion I have (other than to nag, haha) is to make sure you have plenty of super-absorbant cotton, cloth ones handy all the time, so that there is no excuse not to use them. Oh, another thing is to get Brian to buy the paper towels made from recycled paper. They are more expensive and you will both be more aware of how many you are using if they cost more per sheet. I have to give Chip credit, though. He has gotten much better about using the cloth napkins at dinner.

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Wow, you've got some great tips here! I apologize for not stopping by sooner--but I'm glad I finally did;-) I love farmer's markets too and it's amazing what you can find at some of them, depending on location and/or time of year. I like that plastic bag dryer-I may need to get one! I will check out that website further, it looks quite interesting! Thank you for your link to my blog & adding your post to the project!