Us Green Divas area all about easy does it! If we make earth day more of a lifestyle and simply start by making one green improvement from wherever we are on the big green super highway, sustainable living habits seem to sprout like hearty organic weeds and multiply. Before you know it, you’re talking local sustainable agriculture at your favorite new potluck dinner club!
I started with food. Yum.
The low-stress way of doing this, is to know you don’t have to do it ALL. Just pick one that resonates with you and start there. It should be fun and bring you some joy. This is NOT about adding stressful activities to your lifestyle, but adding some thoughtful and hopefully more meaningful activities to the things you already do anyway.
· Learn about your local farmers – find them, meet them or at least read up on what they are growing and producing and what methods they employ.
- Join a CSA – Consider buying a share in a local Community Supported Agriculture, which helps a local farmer or farmers and you get delicious very fresh, local veggies regularly throughout the growing season! Here is a website to learn more about CSAs and search for a CSA near you!
- Go to your local farmers markets – there are so many new local farmers markets springing up everywhere. The season is just about to begin. Find a farmer’s market near you!
· Question your local supermarkets – talk to the manager or produce manager about the source of their produce, how much of it is locally produced, organic, etc. If you ask them nicely to use more local growers (and get some friends to pester them as well), they might just do it!
· Get educated about regional, seasonal foods – It is difficult to go totally seasonal, but there is evidence that it is better for our health to eat regionally and seasonally. Just becoming more aware is a start. One New Jersey natural foods caterer, Burden Free Foods is working on a delicious 100-mile menu that will highlight and use food within a 100-mile radius!
· Become a conscious carnivore – look for meat that is humanely, naturally, regionally (if possible) and consciously produced. It will likely be more expensive – eat less meat, add more whole grains and veggies (won’t hurt you). Read my post ’6 Reasons to be a Conscious Carnivore‘
· Grow something – even if you don’t have a yard or even a balcony or deck to pot some veggies, you can grow herbs on a window sill. It’s fun, it’s miraculous, and is a great reminder of the connection of where food comes from and how good it is fresh. Or as an alternative, you can volunteer for a public garden group and help green your community.
· Start a dinner club – this has all kinds of possibilities and potential implications. You can do it in connection to an organization or just a social group of friends – either way, it is fun and has a way of growing (organically of course) into something interesting and nourishing both physically and mentally. This idea was inspired by my favorite foodie organization, Sustainable Table, who made buttons for Farm Aid 2007 that said, ‘Bring back the potluck!’.
· Patronize restaurants that use locally grown, organic foods – this makes a statement. There are more and more chefs coming around to the concepts of sustainable, local agriculture. Three local, sustainable food chef activists that are worth learning more about (and eating in their delicious establishments!) — Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room and Judy Wicks of the White Dog Cafe.
· Love the food you prepare – find a way to de-stress, slow down and enjoy the food preparation process. CAUTION: this may produce heightened awareness about the quality of the food you use and create a desire for higher-quality food sources!
· Eat at least one meal per week with your family – whatever type of family you have, whether it is traditional or a group of friends. Create a sense of family around a well-loved and thoughtfully prepared meal (you don’t have to do it all yourself, remember POT-LUCK works).