Although Earth Day was yesterday, I’ve found myself taking more and more proactive, every day steps in recent years to reduce my carbon footprint, cut down dramatically on harmful waste (i.e.- using less plastic, turning to biodegradable packaging, repurposing containers, etc.) and playing my part in trying to slow and/or reverse the effects of global warming. I think that watching weather anomalies happen considerably more frequently than they did when I was a kid and with increasingly catastrophic results year after year is enough to open my eyes to a very real problem we’re facing.
I’ve always recycled- that’s consistently been a must-do in my life- but since moving to the Pioneer Valley I’ve had easier access to composting options and more avenues to explore when discarding any plastic, paper or glass since there are so many artists out here who are looking for those very materials for their various projects- be it art/sculptures, theater, dance, etc. It’s kind of nice to see creative minds find new and unique uses for what someone else was simply getting ready to recycle/throw away.
Be it because the areas surrounding my town is comprised primarily of farms and mountains, so nature and preserving it is a pretty big deal- but I’ve also found that I’ve been gravitating towards gardening more over the past couple of years, as well. My apartment gets a ton of natural light given the high, wrap-around windows I’m fortunate enough to have- so it seems crazy not take advantage of all that sunshine.
The urge to grow my own fruit/vegetables and herbs really kicked into high gear during the pandemic, however- when spending days at a time at home and initially feeling kind of nervous about going to the store was fairly common. The problem is, I don’t have much of a green thumb. My parents were the ones with all the gardening talent- and their yard at their house was always immaculate and bursting with color every Spring and Summer. Meanwhile, I’ve struggled to keep houseplants and flowers alive for more than a few days (or hours) at a time.
Fortunately, my mother is intervening to help me out a little and teach me the ropes and do’s/dont’s- and has been providing me with decent soil, seeds, potting tools, etc. so that I’m headed in the right direction. The good folks over at Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange down the street from my apartment have also been a great resource for any of my questions/concerns. Much like nearly every other business in the Valley- shopping through them supports local farms and agriculture. It’s a fantastic cycle.
I’m hoping that in the coming weeks I’ll be able to share some tangible progress here on “Coffee & Chiffon”. I’m starting small, with a few flowers and herbs- but I’m aiming to get some actual fruits and vegetables into the mix, as well. It’s a little endeavor to undertake- but it’s still fun and rewarding nonetheless.
And that’s how I’m going green and celebrating Earth Day this year.