Though the stands at your local farmers market might look like the produce aisles of your local grocery store, there are a few key differences to take into account when going for a shopping trip. I’ve put together a list of a few key do’s and don’ts to help get your farmers market experience started off on the right foot.
Life is all about picking your battles, and unfortunately green living is often one of those. No doubt because of its increased popularity, more and more companies have opted to hop on the bandwagon as a way to charge people more for something that appears to be less harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, many sustainable, fair trade, and eco-friendly alternatives don’t fit into the budget, and so we have to ask ourselves where we’re willing to draw the line. At some point you’re going to have to choose the non-green option, and even though it may be frustrating, know that there are so many other ways to participate in a greener lifestyle.
We’ve done it! We’ve made it to the halfway point of Plastic Free July 2017! In celebration, I decided to do a quick check-in to address what has been going well, what has been challenging, and what my plans are going into the final two weeks.
If there was one habit I had that best aligned with the zero waste movement, it was that I was willing to wear shoes until they could no longer be worn. I haven’t usually been one for getting rid of older shoes and any that were suited for everyday wear would more than likely find themselves in a state of disrepair somewhere down the line. Seeing as I had worn down my last good pair of daily wear shoes, I was in the market for a new pair when I stumbled across Insecta and I instantly fell in love.
Once a season I thought I’d change up the pace a bit and give you all a virtual tour of my indoor garden. Though I think many people would consider the breadth of their indoor gardening to be houseplants and maybe a few sunny windowsills worth of pots, my house actually has no south-facing windows so we had to get a little bit more creative in our approach.
A great way to cut down on waste created in the supply chain is to forego big box stores when shopping for groceries. Although, there are many places in which good alternatives do not exist, the popularity of farmers markets and the movement towards buying local has created more and more opportunities for one to be in your area.
This week begins a series I hope to write about fairly often – Green Opportunities – which will chronicle different green initiatives. As July is only a few days away, (can you believe it?!) I thought I’d take this time to introduce all of you to an amazing opportunity to test out reducing your waste.
If you tune into any news source these days, you’re bound to find at least some mention of how global climate change has enacted some sort of disaster in one part of the world or another. While climate change and our disregard for the health of our global ecosystem are certainly some of the most immense issues faced by mankind today, at times I feel that we have turned ecologists and environmental researchers into the harbingers of doom. This image is not incorrect – we’re in the midst of building our Tower of Babel – but sometimes I find that in response to this, it is easy to fall into the trap of the FULL PANIC MODE (FPM).
July is just around the corner which signals an increase in outdoor activities in full-sun for most of us in the Northern Hemisphere. One of the toughest parts of all those picnics, barbecues, outdoor concerts, and sporting events is trying to keep relatively cool and comfortable throughout the course of the day.
Last summer I had the pleasure of working a small vendor booth at a local Renaissance faire with a couple of friends and we were expected to dress up and act the part so as to perpetuate the fantasy of the faire for younger children. Hands down the most common question all of us were asked throughout all three summer weekends was “Aren’t you hot in that gown?”. People were shocked that we seemed perfectly content in full-sleeves and floor-length gowns while they were sweating to death in shorts and t-shirts. The secret (aside from the shade of our tent being lovely, and the grass being cool to rest on after a few hours) was the materials all of our clothing was made from.
At one point in history, individuals were renowned for being skilled conversationalists – people who were so adept at the art of conversation, that others would feel instantly at ease. Today, the art of conversation has largely been removed from the spotlight and rarely do we find ourselves applauding someone else’s ability to carry a conversation – no matter how skilled they may be. Though green lifestyles, eco-friendly products, and a dialogue about climate change has certainly been slipping into the spotlight more and more over the past few years.
In this way, I’ve started this blog to encourage myself and others to bring the ethic of conservation into the foreground of daily practice. The Conservationalist is about creating a dialogue around conservation and urging for change in all areas of life. Of course the most important way to achieve success with conservation is by having governmental policies which seek to protect the world at large and by holding both individuals and businesses to standards which achieve that end, but the grassroots of such shifts in societal values comes from education. And one of the easiest ways to educate others about causes you find to be important, is by inviting them into a dialogue to learn more about something you’re already passionate about.
To this end, I am striving to be a Conservationalist – someone who encourages a dialogue about conservation with friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers by altering small life decisions and sharing my experiences with them. One week it might be the benefits of moving to a Zero Waste Office Lifestyle, another week might be about the amazing produce we’ve been able to get through our CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) season crop share. Each time I’m engaging someone else with an idea they might find to be appealing, I’m creating a chain reaction of education and lifestyle alternatives. While I might only be sharing these ideas with my close family and friends to start, soon I might see one or two of them making similar changes, and potentially sharing the same information I first shared with them, with others. At which point, while starting small, we’re all becoming Conservationalists and encouraging others to be just as passionate about the health of our world as we are.
And so – Let’s All Be Conservationalists!
Best of Luck,