Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fishing in Slippers

Finally took a few days off to head up to the lake for some R&R. I didn't even have to hit the grocers first. I shopped in my own larder, retrieving jars of gazpacho, beets, fresh potatoes, cukes, onions, tomatoes and more from the garden. 

Even at the cottage, sustainable living can be achieved... provided that there is edible fish to harvest. It's imperative that we keep our waterways free of pollutants.

The bass in this lake are still edible, but acid rain has killed off entire fish populations in some lakes with pH levels equivalent to that of lemon juice.

I learned of this while conducting research for a screenplay several years ago.

Stands of maple trees along the eastern seaboard have succumbed to dieback (dying from the tops down) due to acid rain.

I think about that every time I pay $9 for a bottle of maple syrup. Is it any wonder that most pancake houses serve up the ubiquitous corn syrup instead?

The effect on wildlife and our natural resources is devastating. Reducing your carbon footprint has never been more crucial.

I'm happy to say that I'm meeting new people every day who are taking steps to reduce their energy use. Some, even attempting to get off the grid completely. Trendsetters are installing wind, solar energy and geothermal heating systems in their homes. Rain barrels and dug wells are being used to help water sustainable home gardens. Solar ovens are fashionable alternatives for the slow cooking movement.  People are even hanging laundry on lines again. It's finally hip to be green.

If you don't have the land to plant a sustainable garden, CSAs and local farmer's markets are de rigueur. CSAs (Community Shared Agriculture) are programs where you prepay for fresh foods right off the farm. CSAs provide everything from meat, poultry, dairy, fruit and produce to herbs, crafts, honey, flowers, fibers and soaps. Each week you pick up your carton at a drop off point.  Local is a great source to locate a CSA in your city.

But don't forget that you can also garden inside. All you need is a pot, soil and good light. We should all start rethinking the design of our homes. Interior greenery could be hanging pots of cascading strawberries, window boxes of pretty mesclun lettuce and containers of cooking herbs instead of philodendrons and ivy.

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