Monday, June 29, 2009

So You Want to Be a Lacavore

One of the few words that I have been hearing in recent months is "locavore". Now we have all heard of omnivore, herbivore, and carnivore but what that heck is a locavore? defines a "locavore" as "a person who attempt[s] to eat only food grown locally". Sounds very tempting doesn't it? Becoming a locavore can be very easy if you know how to and where to look.

So you want be a locavore? Here's how.

  • Farmers market. Next time you are in the supermarket don't grab that head of lettuce instead visit a farmer's market. Lucky for the new locavore, more and more farmer's markets open every year! Pros: You'll know where your food came from and those who grew it are more knowledgeable then those in the produce aisle. Cons: You'll have eat seasonally as well. Fresh lettuce in the middle on December? Forget it.
  • Visit a farm. "Pick your own" farms are popping up all over the place usually offering strawberries, peas, pumpkins, and tomatoes that you can pick your self. Pros: You will defiantly know how fresh your produce is. Cons: The weather will decide if you can pick or not.
  • Start small. Don't try to localize your food sources all at one, try for at least five food items every month.
  • Don't forget the meat! A farm doesn't usually always mean veggies and fruits but also meat! Next time you past the meat aisle in the supermarket put your nose in the air and walk away. Pros: You'll know the freshness of your meat and if the animal was treated humanly. Cons: It can get a bit pricey but do you really need those two enormous steaks for dinner?
  • Preserve. Yes, winter does come and limit your supply of fresh produce but don't be discouraged! Preserve the fruits of summer with the art of preserving and root cellaring. Pros: You can create a food source year around and some things do taste better when aged. Cons: Hours of slaving over that pot of tomato sauce.
  • Grow your own! Believe it for not, even in cities you can grow at least some of your own food. Community gardens, rooftop gardens, and window boxes are all great ways to garden in the city. Don't forget keeping chickens and honey bees! Pros: You choose what to grow, it's even cheaper (some seed companies sell seeds for only 6o cents), it's fun! Cons: A large initial investment, hours of weeding, and figuring out a way to de-bug your garden without hurting the environment.

Become a locavore? The choice is yours.

Resource books:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

Did I miss something? Please comment!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Earth and Technology

Things like computers suck tons of electricty up resulting in high eletric bills and even engery wasted. They seems to be one of the highest engery wasters and almost everyone had one. Check out these stats from
A desktop computer uses 60-250 watts while a laptop uses 15-45 watts. When your desktop is in sleep mode it uses 1-6 watts. Know let's add the screen. A typical 17" CRT screen uses 80 watts while LCD screens use only 35 watts. Don't be fooled by screen saves with pictures. They may be screen savers but they are not electricity savers. The wattage does not change with screen savers with images are on.
When choosing a computer with engery saving in mind it's best to go with a laptop.
If you are looking to save money now with out investing in a new computer here are some helpful tips.
  • Change your screen saver to a black screen saver (0-15 watts)
  • Even better turn it off (0-10 watts)
  • Darken your screen-you will notice it at first but you'll get use to it

If you have any other ideas to help with saving electricity please comment!