Localism in the DelVal: Two Communities Consider ‘Import Replacement’

 

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If you’re already a locavore, you won’t be surprised to know that eating local is a trend that’s on the rise, as noted by various surveys, including one from North Dakota’s Center for Rural Affairs.*  This is great news for those of us who believe localism can give rise to a greener, lower-carbon lifestyle AND lay the groundwork for a stronger, job-producing economy. But to realize localism’s full benefits, we’ll need to do more than just buy food from neighborhood farms.

According to localists, we’ll also need to adopt something called “import replacement.” While that term may not be as widely known as “sustainable,” two Delaware River Valley towns, Solebury Township, PA, and Lambertville, NJ, are considering sustainably minded proposals that are great examples of import replacement. Read on!

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Tale of Two Words: Sustainability Vs. Resilience

      A sustainable & resilient rain garden in Washington State
A sustainable & resilient rain garden in Washington State

As words go, “resilience” seems to be the new kid on the block… the new black, today’s “it word”… whatever metaphor you prefer. That’s not to say “sustainability” has disappeared. It’s still being used to describe a host of things, from organic farming to green building to garbage reduction to buying local. And there’s still plenty of “sustainable washing,” like the local supermarket describing how they continually search for ways to make your shopping experience more sustainable.

These days, however, resilience is giving sustainability a run for the money. Maybe it’s something about the (extreme) weather. Read more

Connecting the Dots to Live More Sustainably

Culinary herb garden
Culinary herb garden

Note that the article posted a moment ago was published accidentally! Please read this version instead!

Are you a vegan? Do you shop locally? Buy organic food? Belong to a time bank, co-op or informal sharing collective? Avoid plastic? Collect water in rain barrels? Buy electricity from a renewable generator? Use local currency? Commute via bike or public transportation? Live in an eco-friendly home?

There are many ways to live more sustainably today…and many “movements” advocating for one of these ways or another. But in this information-savvy age, with so many opportunities to “follow” those who think just like us, we can easily slip into a “silo” when it comes to our views and actions. Making connections between these silos can open doors to some surprising and innovative ways to live more sustainably.

Just consider some of the doors opened by edible gardening. Read more

NEMO: A hint of winter in the DelVal, but another big warning for the Northeast

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Last Friday night’s snowfall interrupted the monotony of February, blanketing the Delaware River Valley in just a few inches of sparkling white powder. Of course, further north, NEMO was far more severe, dumping 30+ inches of snow in some parts of New England.

According to experts at NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NEMO wasn’t quite one for the record books (though records were set in a number of locations). But coming so close on the heels of Hurricane Sandy and just a bit over a year after “Stormtober,” anything approximating a record storm serves as another reminder of how climate change can wreak havoc on our weather, our lives and our sense of “normal.” Read more

Sustainable resolutions for 2013

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Every year at this time, thousands of writers are tasked with finding a fresh spin on the annual New Year’s Resolution article. Meanwhile, those of use who still believe in resolutions make lists that we know will soon be misplaced or, worse, become painful reminders of what we could have accomplished…if only. Read more

Greening Our Energy Future Can Start at Home

Talked to your friends lately about the importance of renewable energy? If so, those conversations may have focused on the need for more government investment or a stronger pro-renewables energy policy. What can easily get overlooked is our ability to support renewables directly. When it comes to green power, our purchasing power can make a difference.

Whether you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you can choose your “electric supplier” – the company that produces your electricity. This isn’t new. Both states deregulated their utility markets in the 1990s, requiring utilities (such as PECO, JCP&L and PSE&G) to sell off their generation assets and begin purchasing energy on the wholesale market. Since the late 1990s, both PA and NJ consumers have been able to purchase energy from competing suppliers. But while many took advantage of that opportunity, energy “choice” got off to a relatively slow start as suppliers figured out how to compete profitably and attract consumers. Read more