New Hope Organic Garden Bounty, Mid-Summer

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Weeds, beetles, caterpillars, rabbits, groundhogs, excessive heat, downpours, miscalculations and a few failed crops… .

By this point in the summer, the average organic gardener may wonder (very briefly) if it’s really worth all the effort.

Couldn’t we just frequent the area’s wonderful farmers’ markets or head down the road to None Such, Manoff or Gravity Hill? Continue reading

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Earth Day 2014 Resolutions

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Another Earth Day has come and gone, begging the question: What will we do differently in the coming year to live more harmoniously with Mother Earth?

Like New Year’s, Earth Day inspires many of us to aspire. Since its debut in 1970, the day has served as an annual reminder that we can each do something more to green our lifestyles. So, just as we kick off the new year with a new diet or self-improvement list, we may mentally commit ourselves each Earth Day to recycle more or plant some trees. Continue reading

Frenchtown Green Fair Set for September 28

Want to learn more about making your lifestyle green and sustainable? One opportunity coming up soon is the Frenchtown Green Fair. The event will bring together a variety of speakers and vendors promoting choices that are both healthy and environmentally responsible.

Green/sustainable local vendors will showcase a diverse range of products and services, including:

  • Alternative vehicles.
  • Green building and landscaping services.
  • Organic body-care products.
  • Health foods.
  • Green apparel. Read on!

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 Sustainability Dots, Part II: Going Local

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Fresh’s March 27 post explored how a single activity, such as edible gardening, can help us become more sustainable in a variety of ways. Something else that connects a lot of sustainability dots is “going local.” 

For some, localism is about “transitioning” to a post-carbon world, buying and making things locally so we don’t need to expend lots of fossil fuel importing and transporting goods from other places. For others, localism is a way to rebuild resilient, people-centered economies in an impersonal globalized world. Still others see in localism an opportunity to create lifestyles that are centered around place and strong, interconnected communities.

Going local can help us do all of those things and more. Here are a few examples. 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

Green (Old-Fashioned) Popcorn

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With Oscar night upon us, thoughts turn to the movies … and their perfect accompaniment, popcorn. In case you haven’t heard, the microwaveable kind is loaded with health hazards. In addition to the sodium and trans fats in the popcorn itself, the lining of the microwaveable bags contains something called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to infertility and cancer. And a common artificial flavoring agent, diacetyl, has apparently caused lung cancer in popcorn factory workers. 

If you need further convincing that it’s time to change your popcorn habits, check out:

Sustainability as easy as 1-2-3

The good news, of course, is that a much better alternative, old-fashioned (non-microwaveable) popcorn, is easy to find in local food stores. If you’ve forgotten how to pop the stuff on the stove top after years of microwaving, just follow these simple steps. Read more