When I was a younger lass — say, in high school and college — I was a bit more environmentally conscious than I am now. I was really into recycling and buying recycled products, and my mother placated me by buying Green Forest recycled bathroom tissue and paper towels.
I also walked a lot in high school and college, but that was mainly from necessity, not so much from a sense of reducing my carbon footprint. Not that anyone knew what a “carbon footprint” was back in the ’90s.
These days, I find I’m much less environmentally conscious than I once was. Recycling is more of a hassle than a given (except for donating to Goodwill, which is ongoing, mainly because I’m a packrat). Walking everywhere (especially to work) is just not feasible. I use more disposable products than I need to. Now, getting myself back to the environmentally-conscious side of things is more of a “what am I willing to do” gambit, kind of like dieting. What am I willing to give up? To change? Am I willing to adopt a slightly different routine?
This weekend, Aaron and I took a trip to a couple of local produce establishments to try the whole Buy Local concept. Thompson Farms, just a few miles from our house, was selling fresh strawberries — you can’t get much more local than that! Granted, the hand-sorted high-quality quarts were $5 each, which is a little pricey, but they looked great. (They also had jam-and-jelly grade quarts for nearly half that price.)
We then visited Monnette’s Market on Reynolds, also just down the road apiece. There we found produce that wasn’t *quite* as local, but still more local than the friendly neighborhood megamart has, I’d bet. There were Canadian tomatoes, complete with a sign deeming them safe per the FDA. There were homegrown strawberries (not as ripe as the farm berries, but cheaper), and I can only assume that most of the produce was locally grown. We got some bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, pineapple (yes, I know it wasn’t locally grown), vidalia onion (also not quite local), and an impulse buy of some fat-free chocolate muffins.
So, our first foray into buying locally grown produce was relatively successful. We’ll see if this is something we continue, or if it was merely an interesting excursion. Monnette’s actually has some competitively priced deli items, too, so we might end up going back next week for more of our normal shopping.
Not sure what the next step in “reducing our carbon footprint” will be. I’d like to keep taking baby steps toward joining the revolution.