Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Going Green, The Old Thing To Do

Go Green--A popular slogan that's become nothing more than a marketing ploy to most people, producers and consumers alike.

I keep thinking about how I can "go green" in my everyday life. The idea of getting all new Energy Star appliances, installing a solar hot water system or replacing all of our windows with new, energy efficient ones is just financially out of reach. I still get 30+ mpg out of my 2000 Ford Focus. My wife and I use our own bags at the grocery store, we visit our local farmers' market religiously, we grew our own herbs and vegetables this summer (and we're going to try growing some lettuce this fall) and I recently bought two rain barrels from Coastal Water Watch in Brunswick County, NC. These are small steps, and, with the exception of the car, steps backward rather than forward in our effort to go green.

Think about it. Producing your own food, buying vegetables that are locally grown, saving rainwater to use later. These are all very old-fashioned ways of going green, and all very easy ones. Last night as I watered our flowers and herbs using, for the first time, water from the rain barrels, I couldn't help but feel good about what I was doing. I didn't go to the water hose and waste the money, time, energy and chemicals to use the city's water, I just used what I had collected. Houses used to have cisterns and water collection points, and farmers and ranchers still rely on gathering rain to water their crops and livestock, but we've gotten away from that for some reason. Using my rain barrels has me wondering what other steps backward can I take to be a little more green and a little more conscious of my impact. Something tells me that neither my wife nor my neighbors would appreciate a chicken coop in the back yard, but I can expand my farmers' market purchases to include eggs. I think I'll try that. Maybe the egg people have those crazy green ones.