Thursday, June 28, 2007


I thought I had saved a post as a draft, but it appears to have vanished. Drat. In order to fill the void until I rewrite the darn thing, I will give you this:

USDA waters down organic standards Despite protest, the USDA has ruled to allow 38 new non-organic ingredients in products with the "USDA organic" seal. You can find more info about it here, and you can fill out a form to send a protest letter.

In happier news, hats off to San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom for banning the use of city funds in purchasing single-serving bottled water. I had missed the fact that San Francisco banned petroleum-based plastic checkout bags in large markets and pharmacies. Unfortunately the replacement bags are not a huge step up; hopefully they will encourage the use of reusable bags.

Friday, June 15, 2007

some links to explore

In my recent meanderings about the internet, I have come across a few links of note:

This is a mainstream kind of a place, but I can't find fault with anything green targeting the masses. There is A LOT to be found on this site, so take some time to explore. It is international in scope and has quite a number of "how to green" guides (including how to green your wardrobe, water, and sex life.)

The next couple of links were found via

100-Mile Diet

It's all about eating food produced within 100 miles of your home. It began when Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon decided to spend one year buying or gathering all of their food within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, BC. The site plots your 100-mile zone by zip or postal code, and gives suggestions for getting started (no, you don't have to make a year-long commitment. You can start by committing to one meal, one day, one week, etc.)

(On a related note, is having a local food challenge in September of 2007. )

Given the amount of camping I do, and the number of power outages I have experienced at home so far this year (one a day for the past few days!), one of these may be a wise investment.
There are TONS of plans on-line for making your own (you can even make on from a pizza box!) as well as cooking tips. Here's a helpful link: solar cookings links from

In less link-filled news, I am gearing up for tomorrow's farmer's market! Last week we saw tons of strawberries (though I've heard that the hot weather is making the season come and go quickly) as well as the first zucchini, broccoli, and snap peas.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007

think about your trash

I went to Kent State in the late 80's/early 90's, and we had no recycling available on campus. The students of McGilvrey Hall took matters into their own hands. I'm not sure who was responsible for it (the Geology department was the main suspect) but they had a very clever approach.

A number of recycling bins, clearly labeled, were placed next to the trash cans in the main hallway. A black-and-white bumper sticker reading "THINK" was placed on the lid of the trash can.

You know what? I did think, every time I used that trash can. I never threw away a recyclable.

I've thought about having some stickers printed up, but as I was looking around on-line, I discovered that cafe press already has them. (They come in a rectangular form as well.)

We should really take the time to think before we commit an item to the trash bin. Is it recyclable? Compostable? Could somebody else use it? Some things are rather unequivocally trash, but is everything?


Thursday, June 7, 2007

On eating locally

While eating locally-grown produce (and other locally raised and/or produced agricultural products) makes a darn good bit of sense, I hadn't really thought about the true importance of it until I read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. (It's a really excellent book, and I recommend that you go out and read it right now!) In it he takes a long, hard look at what we eat, where it comes from, what it goes through, and how far it travels to get to our plates. It's really a good read as well as a lesson in farming and food production in the US today.

In addition, Michael Pollan has a really nice list of links on his web page, including a pdf file of resources for eating sustainably.

Other on-line resources include:
10 reasons to eat local food
Locavores (based in the San Francisco Bay area, but there is information pertinent to all locales. I especially like their guidelines.
Eat Local! from New American Dream

So needless to say, I firmly advocate that you check out your local farmer's markets! A simple Google search (farmer's market+your town name) can turn up previously-undiscovered markets, as well as stores that carry local produce and free-range local meats and eggs. Also, farmer's markets are often mentioned in newspapers and are highlighted on the news, so check your local news sources. Also, there is this handy resource: Local harvest (a map of farmer's markets, family farms, and other sustainably produced food in the United States.)

inaugural post

I am a 37-year old woman living in Columbus, Ohio. This blog is the documentation of my efforts to live a more earth-conscious, greener life. I'm not a crazy hippy or an extremely rabid environmentalist; I am a more or less average person leading a more or less average life, but with a strong desire to reduce my ecological footprint.

So here I will talk about my attempts to eat locally, reduce waste, recycle, compost, and make better choices when purchasing goods. I'm not perfect, and currently not trying to be perfect - but I am trying to become more conscious of my choices and to lessen my impact on the environment.

The content here will be heavily influenced by the seasons. Right now Ohio is on the brink of summer, so my head is full of farmer's markets and my small but mighty garden. Fresh, local produce and the cooking of it are a big subject and passion of mine right now, and that will be a highlight of the coming months.

As a warning, I am not a vegetarian! I used to be one, and I still do not each much meat. What I do eat I buy from local farmers with pasture-raised animals that are fed a natural diet. I will expound on the evils of factory farming at a later date.

So, welcome! As this is a brand-new blog it will seem very bare-bones at first; I plan to add a list of links over the next few weeks, so you may go and explore some of my influences.