23 April 2011

A Morning at the Market

April 22nd was a busy day.  In addition to being Good Friday, Passover, and actor Jack Nicholson's 74th birthday (congrats, man), yesterday was also recognized around the world as International Mother Earth Day, or just Earth Day as we like to call it here in the States.

Internet sites, radio stations, television news channels, and print newspapers offered myriad suggestions on how to honor Mother Earth, reminding us all that Earth Day should be every day and every day should be "green."

Here's my confession: I'm not nearly as green as I should be. Oh, I cover some of the basics: I recycle every week (as do most Californians), I take shorter showers, I try to buy locally, I have numerous reusable shopping bags, and I reuse any plastic or paper bags I'm given.  But that's about it.  I know I could, and should, be doing more.

During my lunch break I did some figurative gumshoeing to learn how I could become a more pro-active global citizen. The advice was varied, everything from calculating your carbon footprint and designing an invention to eating bugs and powering your blender with a bicycle.

Okay...  How about some things I can realistically do right now? 

Here's a few things that sounded do-able (and reasonable):
1.  Grow a window-box herb garden -- Since I  can't plant a tree or a real garden (we live in a condo with shared, albeit well manicured, grounds), this sounds like a nice compromise.  Plus, who doesn't enjoy fresh herbs?

2.  Install a bird feeder.  Did you know bird watching reduces stress?  Sign me up!

3.  Shop at thrift stores for gently used clothing--I can shop AND save the environment?  Sweet!

4.  Replace all lightbulbs with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent lightbulbs - uses 75% less energy than traditional bulbs!

5.  Eat local food--checking out local farmer's markets is a great first step. (And when you can't buy locally, make sure to buy fair-trade certified items as often as possible.)

To that end, my first "green" activity of the spring was to investigate the Aptos Farmer's Market this morning.  I'm completely bewildered and ashamed that I wasn't aware of this tantalizing event sooner.  Every Saturday, from 8:00 to 12:00, roughly 80 vendors display their wares at Cabrillo College.  Of course, I was immediately drawn to the flowers (which were AMAZING), but there was also a bountiful assortment of fresh produce, nuts, speciality oils and condiments, home baked goods, gourmet coffee, cured meats--there was even an organic sauerkraut vendor! Throw in a little Bluegrass music and a lot of happy people, and the experience is complete. I have a feeling this has become my new Saturday morning "thing."  I truly cannot wait to go back.  

In the meantime, check out some of the photos I managed to take (when I wasn't sampling the food or swaying to the music).  And, if you live in the area or are planning to visit, see this site for more information about the Aptos Farmer's Market.  Really, going green never felt so fun!

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Today's Gratitude List:
  • New experiences and new faces
  • Music
  • Molly's kisses

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