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July 22, 2014
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Mixed Greens

Trash Talk

I’ve been a little obsessed with garbage over the past few months. Oh, I am a dedicated composter and I recycle, avoid single-serve plastic bottles and reuse glass jars and bottles for food storage and pickling. I repair and repurpose things and try to make them last. But recently, I opened an informational door that brought it all into a more global perspective. Here’s what I learned from the 2012 report “Unfinished Business: The Case for Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging,” published by the non-profit As You Sow (www.asyousow.org).  Read more

Late bloomers and early adaptors

Years ago I came across some provocative comments by Kirk Vardenoe, the noted American art historian. I was struck by his observation that throughout the 19th century, Denmark and Sweden were considerably behind the curve in industrial development. Vardenoe’s insight was that this was actually an advantage, because the delay gave them time to observe, prepare and avoid some of the worst negative effects of industrialization.  Read more

Creating Community

Two new local projects illustrate the extraordinary dedication and creativity of my fellow citizens.  Read more

Home truths

Last month, climate scientists announced that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) had surpassed 400 parts per million, an alarming milestone since CO2 is earth’s most abundant heat-trapping greenhouse gas (GHG). A few weeks earlier, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication reported on American attitudes on the issue. It turns out that only about eight percent of Americans are genuine climate change skeptics.  Read more

The Bill Principle

When we bought our house, “sustainability” wasn’t part of our everyday vocabulary. We did know that a 100-year-old house was likely to bankrupt us with heating bills unless we made serious changes. Other than new wiring, no major renovations had been undertaken since the 1960s, a plus since the scary vintage state of the house meant that we could afford to buy it. But we had a lot of work to do if we were going to be both snug and solvent.  Read more

How does your garden grow?

Spring starts in early January at my house when my husband starts planning his Fedco seed order, reading aloud the enticing descriptions of leeks and lettuces from the catalog. By the time spring officially arrives, the seed trays on the back porch are full of tender shoots that will soon be transplanted to the 30-by-30-foot garden he has nurtured for the past 15 years.  Read more

Seeking Sustainability

It’s a wonderful privilege to be invited to take up the mantle of the inimitable Marcia Nehemiah and to write about sustainability for the readers of The River Reporter. I hope to bring you useful information and to inspire you with the positive, practical and visionary work being done in Sullivan County and around the world as we address the intertwined challenges of climate change, environmental responsibility and sustainable economic development.  Read more

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