It's primary voting day today in Pennsylvania and I'm heading out in a few minutes to cast my ballot. I'm really happy that my county changed their minds and went with paper ballots that are optically-scanned rather than the all-computer method they had originally decided on. The lack of a paper trail didn't sit well with the people who live here and the reversal is a direct result of the power of citizen activism. Yes we can (and that's a hint if you're wondering who I'm voting for).

It's also Earth Day today and I thought I'd share something I read yesterday. On Saturday I went to our local library's annual book sale—and what better way to recycle and to save money at the same time than to buy used books. I actually didn't buy any books but I did get a stack of twenty House & Garden and Martha Stewart Living magazines from last year—for 10 cents apiece! I don't usually buy either of these magazines but I figured I'd find 10 cents of information or photos to clip.

House & Garden is a little too upscale for my tastes but I love their monthly column called Domestic Bliss: At Home With ___ that features a famous person in the design world talking about their personal style. With cool photos, of course. The one featuring Paulette Cole, who has reinvented ABC Home (part of her family's ABC Carpet & Home store in NYC) as a socially-responsible business but who also lives "green" at home fits perfectly into today's "green" theme. The article mentioned her organic food and cleaning products buying habits, but what stood out to me were her comments about collecting antiques—"Antiques are the greenest choice you can make." How true. When we're hauling home our finds from the flea market we're probably thinking about how cool they are and how little we paid for them, not that we're recycling. But that's exactly what we're doing. Not that we really need another reason to buy antiques—but that's certainly a good one.

She admitted that many people are daunted by the idea of committing to living green but sees it as a journey—"My mantra is 'continual improvement'. Our goal should be getting a little better every year."

With that in mind, I'm going to be conscious of my carbon footprint today. I plan to hang my laundry outside on the clothesline (and sleep on wonderful-smelling sheets tonight) and plant some of the early cold-hardy things (lettuces, radishes, spinach) in the vegetable garden. Hmmm, the polling place is right down the road—maybe I'll dust off my bicycle, too!

How are you living "green" today?


Librarian Lee said...

What a wonderful post, Janet. Thanks! I read your blog as often as I get a chance, and I USE loads of the information here over and over. I just wanted to say thank you. And, to be reminded that all my thrifting is green...makes me walk a little taller today. thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I'm always thinking "green". I hate throwing things away so a lot of stuff that can't go in the recycling bins will be re-purposed or donated. Although, I'm sure the thrift stores throw out a lot of stuff!
It's the big businesses that need to make major changes for the environment. Not everybody needs plastic utensils for take out food - they should ask the customer if the need them so they aren't going into the trash.
I have 2 boxes of books to donate to the library bookstore today. Sad that they won't take any magazines! I don't understand that - they won't even allow them on the free cart! I never see magazines at any of the thrift stores either. Sometimes, I take them to the doctors offices, but mostly they get recycled...even the Martha Stewart Living.


Heidi Ann said...

Hi Janet, Enjoyed your blog today!..We lived in Newark Valley, NY( near the northern border of Pennsylvania) a couple years ago so am a little familiar with the area! Just beautiful! I agree that becoming "green " is a process, not something you can be 100% right off the bat, but a continual effort on all our parts will certainly help our world! And I so love library sales!!... you can't beat the prices!! The photos alone in both H&G & Martha's magazine made your purchase so worthwhile! I am looking forward to your next post!...heidi:)

Anni Matsick said...

Hi Janet,
I knew I'd find this topic on your wonderful site where you are always reviving the use of past treasures.
Our local Art Alliance of Central PA increases awareness with an annual Earth Day "Recycled Art Show," featuring works of art created from throwaway materials. I have co-chaired this event for 5 of its 14 years and have watched it grow into a polished, competitive exhibit. This year's theme "All That Glitters" was reflected in (ouch!) everything from glass to assemblages from wrecked cars. A local metal recycling business contributes $500 in awards and our county recycling station makes a purchase award. We received a 2007 PA "Waste Watcher"recognition award. So, if any of you are near Lemont, PA next Earth Day weekend please wander in!