Monday, April 16, 2012

10 Ways to Go Green this Spring


1-Plant a Garden-even if you just have a sunny windowsill, you can have a garden. I
recently learned that lettuces do well in pots, so get out there & get your hands dirty! The Washington County Extension office in Jonesborough offers a ton of resources & they have knowledgeable staff to answer your questions.

2-Raise Chickens-Yes! Johnson City recently decided to allow hens within the city limits, so now's the time to try your hand at bird-raising. I recommend talking with an experienced chicken-owner, but there are lots of books out there at our local libraries.

3-Start a compost pile-Even if you don't garden, a compost pile is a great way to "go green". So much of our landfill waste is kitchen waste, yard waste (like grass clippings) and compostable paper. Reduce your footprint on this earth by turning this back into soil, right in your own back yard! Again, the Extension office & the Library have great resources about composting!

4-Buy a travel mug.  According to Renee Loux, in her book "Easy Green Living", Americans threw away 14.4 billion paper coffee cups in 2005.  This is a significant source of waste!

5-Learn to cook at home.  This decreases your carbon footprint, because you aren't using a vehicle to get to the restaraunt, it saves money for other good things, and you can buy organic, and you KNOW what's in your food!

6-Shop at local farmers' markets.  We are fortunate in this area to have several great markets.  Johnson City, and Jonesborough markets have been going strong for years.  One just opened at ETSU, and there's a new one beginning in Blountville.  There are also wonderful treasures to be found at roadside stands.

7-Buy directly from the farmer, when you can.  It's important to know where our food comes from.  The Cows are Out Dairy delivers here at the studio on Mondays.  She brings raw milk and grass-fed beef.  To learn more, visit them on facebook.

8-Re-use-look for little things that mght have another use.  You never know until you change your thinking.  I recently saved a mixed-nut container from the trash, and it's now used for nuts & washers in the basement!  Our grandparents knew the value of "Waste not, Want not!"

9-Buy from the bulk bins.  Even if you just need a small amount, less packaging means less waste.

10-Learn to preserve foods.  This is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Freezing food is the easiest method, but pickling, canning, freezing & even cellaring are great fun.  My favorite resource is the Ball Blue Book of Canning & Preserving, which you can usually find cheaply this time of year.


  1. I just have to put in a good word for #5! At our Jazzercise class tonight, there was free antioxidant screening. I was told most people score in the bottom 20 percentile. I scored in the 60-80 range. I don't believe in mega vitamin supplementation; the only supplement I take is fish oil a couple of times a week, just because I dislike and don't eat seafood. I attribute my score to minimal use of processed foods and restaurant food, and just plain cooking my meals at home. Once you get the hang of using herbs and spices yourself, you realize that prepared foods doesn't taste nearly as good as what you can make at home with a fairly minimal amount of time and effort. I do have a fast food relapse now and again, but all in all, strongly recommend learning to cook basic food, to your own taste, at home.

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