Earth

Voting with your Dollar: Support Sustainable Fishing

Posted: July 3, 2011  By: Elisa

Voting with my dollar is a mantra I try to remember in all purchases.  We do have an impact as consumers.  We can demand sustainable, and natural products from our vendors, we can make a difference with every dollar we spend.  I struggle to even justify buying seafood these days. Mostly, I am stressed about the over consumption, exploitation and mass waste occurring.  I am also in a rural area and what my grocer does carry is mostly a farmed or foreign product.  So, my husband and I just choose to go without – most of the time.  When I do buy seafood I try to find as local as possible and/or wild products from the companies that practice sustainable fishing.   . And as I have already mentioned I try to eat this delicacy in moderation.  Our oceans are suffering – over fished and polluted!   Buying farmed products comes with a whole repertoire of environmental and health problems of its own – however there is a large community of people that promote sustainable farming.   And the tilapia from Thailand or the sea bass from Chile are also types of seafood you should highly scrutinize before purchasing.  Have you ever considered the size of the carbon foot print frozen and foreign seafood is creating?  Imagine the amount of fuel and other resources being used to place that seafood on your grocer’s shelf. Buying frozen products is also considered an unsustainable way to buy food due to the energy used to keep these products frozen.  We can make a difference as the consumer: tell your seafood provider how you feel about foreign and farmed products, eat in moderation and talk to your friends and family about the issues.  Thanks for reading.

Wikipedia lists the issues on fish farming.  Click here to learn more. In my opinion, farming is not a solution for the high demand placed on the industry.

Here is an informative article on the issues regarding over fishing. And for more on sustainable living visit Eartheasy.

 Image from World Wildlife Fund

“A Message about, History, Accountability and Hope.”

Posted: May 15, 2011  By: Elisa

This short clip spoke to me.  It reminds us about how much of an impact we CAN have!  Sometimes it feels like we are looking at an incredibly bleak future but if we just adjust our own paradigm and hold ourselves accountable I believe we can look at a much more promising future. Thanks for checking it out.

“LOCAL MARKETEERING”

Posted: May 5, 2011  By: MC

Just take a peek at what fun one can have scoping out the local market scene.

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One of my favorite things to do while living in Paris during college was to walk through the markets and gawk at all the food. I would daydream about throwing a dinner party that night and imagine what I would shop for. Every time I visit a big city, I like to find its local market and check it out.

Our little town does not offer a big, bustling, urban market filled with eclectic food finds like the ones I visit in big cities,  but we have access to wonderful and fresh local food, and so do you.

Green cow-dotted pastures and serene valley farms surround Osage Market in Rabun Gap, Georgia. Opening its doors in late April as the strawberries and asparagus come into season (meanwhile hosting as-local-as-possible Florida tomatoes, squash, beans, broccoli, and more), Osage prepares for the wild and busy summer months, followed by an autumn of leaf-watching  vacationers. This is surely where you will find Elisa and me these days.

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After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s nonfiction great, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,  I certainly do rethink what I purchase at the supermarket. I know Kingsolver would frown at how many bananas I buy. Think about it; we can’t get bananas locally in many of these United States, can we? And I happen to have a little munchkin who devours them. So, no, I do not claim to be a ‘locavore,’ though the challenge intrigues me. It’s okay that some of what I buy gets trucked from many miles away, but what matters most is that we think about the mileage and reduce what we can.

Whether it is because of the gas prices, desire to conserve fleeting resources, the ridiculousness of hauling an item from Iowa to California to Georgia before it reaches my grocery sack,  or just the desire to support your local farmer, being mindful of how local our food is should be second nature.

…and oh, what fun a local market can be!

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Perhaps you are a gardener, or your neighbor brings you fresh surplus veggies each summer; maybe you check labels at the supermarket and make your choices based on what traveled the shortest distance to get to the shelf. There are countless ways we can be mindful of eating locally and eating well.

*Want some good reads on the subject? Check out any of these by Michael Pollan.
*Also, check around your area for a local food co-op like this one.

“COMPOSTING INSPIRED

Posted: April 20, 2011 By: MC

IMG_8705 I’m sure you have noticed gardening on the rise again. Thank  goodness we are in fact moving forward by getting back  to the basics, enjoying the fruit of our own soil, and  enlivening the traditions, even in the most unlikely  settings.

With the rise of gardening has come the  popularity of composting. I have seen posts about  it everywhere lately. Everyone has his or her own little  twist on the trendy verb.  Our household has certainly tried a few techniques; the chicken-wire box out near the garden = a snack bin for our black lab or the black bears that like to drop in occasionally, vermicomposting = best idea for my husband’s science classes, and our new favorite…automated!

 The Nature Mill Automatic Compost Bin came into our  family just days before our daughter was born in March of 2010. Because  the reading material suggested it could be  used anywhere inside your home, and we were a little  overzealous in our first composting efforts, we brought a new baby home to a bit of a ripe smelling new nest. The  grandparents around were appalled and insisted it be  moved to the garage, where it has happily lived and  worked ever since. We have, thankfully, become better at  managing the odor, which is simply done by balancing carbon and liquids (always more carbon material than you would think), and I believe it certainly could be  kept inside your home.
Under my kitchen sink lies this  little guy, gathering up all my kitchen scraps and not  emitting a peep of a smell, while the automatic does its  thing in the garage and gets ready for more. When a  batch has finished being heated and stirred, it sits in a  tray for a couple of days getting perfect for a flower or  vegetable garden, or collecting in a big bin outside just  waiting for someone to use. I could be packaging it up  and gifting it with the cost of compost at a gardening  store!

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Nobody said composting was pretty, but it surely takes a load off your trash-hauling and ultimately the landfill while it will certainly add glam to your garden. Here’s our finished product ready for the garden after just a week!

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