Two incidents recently got me to thinking about how what was once an essential American value — frugality — morphed into a cultural pariah. The first was when I posted on my Facebook page that my hubby and I had made a New Year's resolution to not buy any new clothing during all of 2015. We both enjoy nice clothes, and we purchase worthy stuff — quality over quantitiy — but it's not like we … [Read more...] about When ‘frugal’ became a bad word in America
The Food: Not Lawns Movement may be one of the most perfect storms in addressing how we can simultaneously cut back on destructive practices in lawn care and centralized food production while increasing healthy and productive ones at the hyper-local level. Between fossil-fuel powered mowers and leaf blowers, heavy water use, application of synthetic — and too often toxic — herbicides and … [Read more...] about Food not lawns
Over the past month perhaps you've seen my Kickstarter campaign to fund the poster art show called 31 Days of Urban Agriculture. During the time I've been on the fundraising mission I've continued to do the art for the show and, behind the scenes, to continue researching the issue and writing the essays that will be in the show chapbook. One of the things that's been most surprising for me to … [Read more...] about Many faces of Urban Agriculture
Slightly blurry on the Web but clear in person — this piece is in celebration of the many Greenhorn people in various training and development programs whose aim is to build the farmers, farms, and food systems of the future. The folks depicted — Trevor Piersol, Emily Melvin, Ben Samuelson — just happen to be former Senior Fellows from the Allegheny Mountain Institute. Their training ground was … [Read more...] about Greenhorns to the rescue!
I've written before about the merits of swapping clothes and accessories you no longer want for "new-to-you" items instead. The three top benefits are: Saving money — one of the the keys to prosperity is spending less/saving more. Eco-friendly — reusing stuff helps avoid adding to the landfill. Fun! — getting together with others for a good time beats solo shopping zombiedom. But while I had … [Read more...] about Our local eco swap
Since I've gotten back to regular blogging, I've mentioned a few times that I've opened a store on Etsy, the online marketplace for handicrafts and vintage. I've also pointed you to products on Etsy that are in line with the conservation values I espouse. But now I'm going to wring out a full-throated paean to exactly why I think Etsy is so great across so many fronts. And then, even though I'm … [Read more...] about Why I love Etsy