April 18, 2008

In honor of Earth Day

My magnolia tree opened up today and since it's getting close, Tuesday the 22nd, I was inspired to make an Earth Day themed post.

I know many of us are trying to use more local, organic, sustainable, seasonal, humane products.
We can't always fulfill all of those criteria but the closer we get the better.
These are some sites that helped me on my journey:

Local Harvest, sign up for their newsletter
Eat Wild
Eat Well
CSA Farms
Pick Your Own Directory
Farmer's Market Directory
NRDC Search
Niman Ranch
Seafood Watch
EDF Seafood Selector
Veg Guide
Eat Local Eat Natural Grassfed & Organic Meat
Michigan Fairs:
Mesick Mushroom Festival, May 9-11th 2008
Boyne City Morel Fest, May 15th-18th 2008
National Cherry Festival, Travese City July 5-12th 2008
Romeo Peach Festival, Labor Day Weekend
Armada Country Fair, August 12-17th 2008
Michigan Fun.com, find a ton of local food fairs (4 in April)
Michigan Charitable Organizations:
Forgotten Harvest, rescues perishable and prepared foods to feed the hungry
Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Earth Day Dinner April 22nd 2008

Blogs and other writing:
The Organic Report
Straight from the Farm
I Heart Farms
Modern Beet
Cincinnati Locavore
The Seasonal Chef
Chews Wise
Tree Hugger's Food and Health Articles
Micheal Pollan
Alice Water's Delicious Revolution

Two green ideas and how I made them work for me:
Stop the plastic or paper question
Over a year ago, I finally committed to bring my own bags to the grocery store. What worked for me was buying a matching set of 12 of these Dual Handled Lightweight Hemp Totes. You can only buy them as a kit now. They are light, they wash up great, I always have enough and I love the two handles (you can carry them in your hand or on your shoulder). The first month I only remembered to bring them half the time but now I bring them every time I go shopping. The pretty bags and lovely sayings are nice but I needed more bags and for me it helped that they were all the same. They all get stuffed back together after I shop and back into the car. The mismatched ones always got filled with books or Alex's toys so that I didn't have enough when I get to the store. Beware of the older cashiers at Meijer that think you're crazy and are making their job harder. Also, always stick them someplace in your cart where you can whip them out before the cashier starts bagging in the the plastic. You can't let them get buried under food. It's always nice to help bag as a way to make sure they aren't forgotten. This has just been my experience.
How I stopped buying paper towels
I had been trying to kick the paper towel habit for awhile. I had taken them off of the counter and had switched to only 100% recycled but ironically it was a consumption of new goods that got rid of them for good. After wanting a change of color in the kitchen, I bought new dishtowels. The old towels were still ok but I really didn't want them anymore. I thought about my paper towels that I had been trying to give up and finally just stopped buying them. I placed the old towels where I had previously had the paper ones and didn't look back. It's nice to have one less thing to purchase at the store too.

Finally, don't forget to recycle those food containers!
Ack, I keep thnking of more things and adding to this post!