Sunday, September 5, 2010

Living Green

My sister & her girlfriend having been raving about the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, so I made a special trip up there yesterday to check it out. (Note: I actually spent the night in Santa Fe, since the optimum time to arrive is between 7-8 a.m.) It is quite an event! Lots of local produce, meats, eggs & other handmade items (mostly baked goods & soaps & toiletries) from a variety of vendors, much of it pesticide-free or organic. I didn't end up buying much myself, as schlepping it back to Albuquerque by train seemed like a chore, but it made me think about what I've been missing not checking out Albuquerque farmers' markets, in my case the Downtown Growers' Market. (I like that many markets now have websites with information like locations, hours, vendors, even a mission statement-the Downtown Growers Market, for instance, "is a growers' only open air market featuring 100% locally grown New Mexico produce. All produce is grown within 60 miles of the market, so you are guaranteed to find only freshly picked produce at every booth.")

While I was up in Santa Fe, hanging out with Nancy (an environmental educator through her Recycle Runway program-couture fashions designed from trash!), we discussed her suggestions to keep a green home. Here are some of Nancy's tips:

In the kitchen
  • Compost! Nancy collects all her kitchen scraps in a bucket to take to the compost pile in the backyard. This includes all vegetable & fruit scraps, used paper products (paper towels, napkins), & eggshells. No meat! For more composting tips, visit the city website.
  • Nancy keeps a plastic tub/dishpan in the sink all the time. She puts dirty dishes in there to soak, & also uses it to collect the water when she rinses fruits & vegetables. This water, ofen called 'gray' water, she uses to water her garden.

In the bathroom

  • Does your water heater take a long time to heat up? Nancy keeps a bucket in her shower to collect the water as she waits for it to heat up. When the bucket is full, she uses the water to flush the toilet. She usually tries to do the same with the water from the bathroom sink.
  • There are two trashcans in Nancy's bathroom-one for non-compostable trash, & the other for compostables (including hair, gently-used tissue, cotton balls).
For more environmental questions, check out the GreenFILE database from the library's resource center. GreenFILE is a research database covering all aspects of human impact on the environment, drawing on disciplines including agriculture, education, law, health and technology in providing information about the issues facing our planet. If you're interested it what the City of Albuquerque is doing about sustainability, visit the city's website.

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