Posts filed under ‘green’

9:58 this morning: Bloomin’ Earth. Tomorrow: Celebrate.

Central Park 9:58am Apr 24

Central Park 9:58am Apr 24

 I snapped this photo while running around the reservoir in Central Park today. As T.S. Eliot wrote,”April is the cruelest month.”  Any sunny day we’ve had has been followed by five gloomy ones. You expectantly pack away winter gear, and then Mother Nature just rains and rains on your parade.

Until now. At least for now. Perfectly timed with Earth Day, our lovely planet (or at least our small patch of it) seems to have burst out into the sunshine if full floral regalia.  So, celebrate with her.

Check out your local listings for special Earth Day events (or search by location here). If you are in NYC, check out the list at the end of this blog.

Another great way to celebrate Earth Day this week — and every week — is to shop at your local farmers’ market. You already know shoppinglocal food growers and is eco-friendly AND yummy, but consider this: today in the US, we consumer less than 1% of the vegetable varieties than we did a century ago.  This fact courtesy of my current read: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It turns out that consuming local varieties of food is good for biodiversity, your health and happily, your tastebuds. 

As I write this, my husband and daughter are shopping the Friday farmers’ market at W. 97th and Columbus.  If you don’t know where to go, it’s easy to look up location and days/hours of a market near you at the NY State Farmers’ Markets site or, for national links, localharvest.org.  Happy Earth Day Eats and please share some seasonal recipes!

And, now for some select Earth Day Happenings in NYC: 

Earth Day in Central Park

DATE: April 26, 2009 from 12 – 4 pm

LOCATION: At the Bandshell just south of the 72nd St. transverse,

RAIN OR SHINE

WHAT:  Live entertainment, including a puppet show, singing and African dancing; mini-landscape planting and container decorating, tree climbing, flower planting, wildlife corridor games and composting demos.  Greenmarket vendors.

 

Earth Expo at the Bronx Zoo

DATE: April 25 – 26, 2009 from 11am – 4pm

LOCATION: Bronx Zoo

WHAT: Various activities and events including a “Recycled Animal Kingdom,”  (one-of-a-kind animal sculptures created entirely from found objects), arts and crafts including making a souvenir out of recycled materials and helping with an Earth Day mural, yoga sessions for the whole family, and a Human Footprint Exhibit showing our impact on the planet.  The Expo will showcase organizations and products which can help you and your family live “greener”. See website (www.bronxzoo.com) for specific times and locations within the zoo.

 

Earth Fair 2009

DATE: April 24- 25, 2009

LOCATION: Grand Central Station

                        Inside at Vanderbilt Hall

                        Outside at Vanderbilt Ave. at 42nd Street

WHAT:  A variety of events and activities celebrating Earth Day, including live bands, kids activities, face painting, yoga, & environmental action opportunities.

April 24, 2009 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Confessions of a failed environmentalist

I’ve tried. Really, sort of, kind of. I’ve made small strides in going green. But truth be told, I’m a bigger failure. And c’mon, admit it: some of you are hovering under incandescent bulb as you read this, because old habits are hard to break. They say the first step to change is admitting you have a problem. So, here I publicly confess a few of my sins against the planet. Feel free to berate or relate. And I’ll be back with updates.

  • I am in a checkout line without my reusable cloth bags AGAIN DAMNIT! In NYC we are forever running the daily-two-three shopping trip and if my purchases fit in my oversized purse, hallelujah! If not, I curse myself. I patted myself on the back for not buying a trendy “not-a-plastic” bag because, is there really anyone who doesn’t already have a pile of unused totes in the bottom of her closet? (If you don’t, let me know, and I’ll drop some off.)  I dutifully organized my totes to be easy to see in our coat closet, which is right near the door. And then, I promptly leave the house without stashing one in my bag. I shop, I curse. Repeat daily.  Recently I met a woman who lives in the suburbs and smartly stores her canvas bags in her car; unfortunately she also leaves them there when she goes into a store. At least this sin is geographically neutral.

 

  • Why are there so many kinds of fish? How can anyone keep track of which ones have unsafe mercury levels, which ones are caught using unsavory techniques and which ones are just plain going extinct? Maybe we need less species just to reduce the confusion.  OK, that was nasty, but I’m a frustrated fish-eater. Part of my frustration is the (mal)practice of markets and restaurants to create vanity names for fish or serve up a substitute to what’s listed so we can’t tell what’s actually on the menu.  I do my best to keep up with which fish are OK and which to avoid with a handy pocket card (also now in mobile phone download) because I happen to have a special place in my heart for the ocean – not to mention a desire to avoid all those nasty chain reactions an extinction sets off.  But I don’t always follow the guidelines.

 

  • I drink mostly water. We aren’t a soda or sports drink family. This is good for our health but bad for the planet. I still – gasp! – use disposable plastic water bottles. I reuse them a couple of times and then put them in the recycling bin. I don’t think they are ending up in landfills but I can’t be sure, and I’m supporting the use of energy to make and transport those suckers to all the delis in a 10-block radius around my house. Many of my friends have admirably switched to Sigg bottles, but my kids reject the taste of anything in a metal container. I’ve used re-useable plastic water bottles but now we know there are health hazards associated with those (especially if you put them in the dishwasher and how else are you going to kill all those kiddie germs?).

Part of my problem may be the carbon footprint test I took. Meant to inspire people to change their ways, the test showed that an urban dweller like me is inherently environmentally friendly. By surviving with what many Americans consider ridiculously small square footage and not driving everywhere, we are low impact. I’m just not sure the test accounted for all those take-out containers we generate.

November 7, 2008 at 5:45 pm 1 comment


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