Earth Day 2011

Hey, order there – Happy Earth Day! Since its inception in 1970, pilule Earth Day has raised awareness to the fragile state of our planet. As a global holiday for over 40 years, malady celebrating Earth Day has become a staple in our minds and hearts. It galvanizes us to stop and think about how we can preserve, protect and preserve in our common goals for the future.

Don’t let anyone tell you that reduce, reuse and recycle, green, eco-friendly and sustainable are meaningless cliches. Yes, they get overused and their definitions can get watered down and greenwashed. But, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. It just means we need to continue to answer the hard questions creatively, and collectively about climate, our health, and the environment.

What I find so remarkable about our common struggle is how we all approach this goal through the eyes of our rich and diverse cultures. Actions come in all shades of green, and once we become infused with knowledge, learn a few tools, and make some changes, we can look into our unique lives and view the future through a new lens. Think of it as the eco-filter that keeps our planet smiling.

Last year, I put together a popular comprehensive ABC guide for Care2, with ideas and tips – some you no doubt have heard about before, and others that may have never even entered through your eco-filter. These simple tips are not rocket science, but collectively they can become the springboard for important discussions and actions about the future of our planet.

OK, pep talk over - Let’s start reciting…

A is for Adjust Your Thermostat B is for Both Sides of the Paper are Usable C is for Cruise Control: To Save You Gas D is for Diaper With a Conscience E is for Eat Organic F is for Fly With an E-Ticket G is for Go Vegetarian Once a Week H is for Hang Dry I is for Invest in Your Own Coffee Cup J is for Junk Mail – Cut it Out of Your Life K is for Keep Your Fireplace Damper Closed L is for Local: The Way To Go M is for Make a Bag And Use It N is for Newspapers – Recycle and Consider Alternatives O is for Old Cell Phones Need a New Life P is for Plastic Bottles Q is for Q-Tips R is for Recycle Glass S is for Shower Instead of Baths T is for Turn Off Computers at Night U is for Use Fewer Paper Napkins V is for Vacations W is for Wash in Cold Water X is for X Out Your Phone Book Y is for Your Enemy is Greenwashing Z is for Zipcars Can Replace Your Car

Credit: NASA

Honor System Farms: Feast or Famine

Every Sunday before we head out to stock up for the week at our local farmer’s market, cialis we stop at the farm at the end of our road. The farmer sells eggs, viagra 60mg vegetables, and assorted odds and ends. We bring back our empty egg crates and place them in the community basket. We take what we need and write down what groceries we took (so the farmer can keep track of what she needs to restock). The allotted few dollars is deposited in the cash can. If we happen to come at the end of the day, the cash can is brimming with bills. Visitors can clearly figure out the etiquette of the honor system.

The honor system is a philosophically driven way to sell goods that relies solely on the integrity of others. Farm stands use the honor system to keep costs down. Most would agree that honor system driven farms also provide a warm and welcoming feeling to its customers. Generally, if you treat someone with respect and trust, they will return the favor by being honest. Right?

In Vermont’s Addison County the farmers respond enthusiastically to the honor system, “Customers like that they can pull in, grab what they need, and go. When they come home at the end of the day in the summer, they’ll often find most of the vegetables gone and their till full, so they rush out to pick another round of fresh vegetables for the evening crowd.”

When I Googled “honor system farms,” there were many stories recounted like the one above, but there were a few sad stories that headlined like this: “Honor System Thefts Close Such and Such Farm.” One farmer in New Hampshire ran into this trouble. Retired from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, farmer Charlie Ireland planted six acres of vegetables and had been growing corn, tomatoes, beans and “you name it” behind his home and selling it from a stand out in front of his home for four years. But, he had to close his farm stand last summer because of theft. “Anywhere from 50 to a hundred bucks a day — all summer,” Ireland said was stolen from his farm stand, where passersby slipped cash into a box in exchange for his bumper crop.

Is the honor system alive and well in your neck of the woods? Does it work, or is it an easy target for thieves?

Read the original Care2 post with comments here.

Dar Williams Talks Sustainable Living, Music And The Book That Kicked Her Ass (Interview)

Singer songwriter Dar Williams has been a staple on the modern folk music scene for years. Her distinctively heartfelt vocals, reflective lyrics and rich acoustic guitar playing tell stories that resonate with her many fans. Music is in Dar's soul, and environmental activism is what fuels it. Dar is aiming her earth-loving commentary towards solutions that face the future of our planet. I sat down with Dar to talk about what's currently rocking her environmental core - a passion for...CLICK HERE FOR MORE