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Monday, February 2, 2009

Emergency Prepardness and Sustainable Living

We don’t need to talk about why sustainable living has become so popular over the last few years - regardless of how it got here, it’s becoming more mainstream as we speak. Some people tend to believe those who are promoting a sustainable life are somewhat eccentric. But really it’s the acceptance of the fact that we as humans have a huge impact on the earth and it’s our job to be good stewards. This can mean anything from picking up litter in your neighborhood to growing all your own vegetables. It’s an awareness of how our lives and the choices we make impact the environment.

You don’t have to accept all the evidence of global warming to know you should be a good caretaker of the earth. Just as we maintain our houses, keep them repaired and clean, we should do the same for the planet we live on. This is the only home we have, and if we can survive all that mankind and mother nature can throw at us by being prepared - we need to keep the earth healthy and able to sustain life.

I’ve often wondered what happens to all the meat and fish at the grocery store that no one buys. It’s stamped with a “sell by” date, so we know it’s not there for more than a few days. It’s not used to feed the hungry, or given to the disadvantaged. It’s simply thrown away. Bad goods that no one wanted. Disregarding the fact that the animal was cared for and raised to give humans nutrition, which is certainly a worthy cause. If no one buys it, it’s all for nothing. Doesn’t it make more sense to not have so much meat available at one time? Wouldn’t it be more sustainable if local farmers provided just enough as we needed it?

Think about the piles and piles of apples at the store. I shop at a market that buys only from local producers when possible, but there are still gigantic piles of apples every day - whenever I want them. So, what happens to the apples that aren’t bought? I remember my Mom making apple pies and apple jam every fall when she received a bushel of apples from a friend. Leftover, old apples don’t even make it to the pie anymore.

I’m just beginning my sustainable lifestyle, so I still shop for produce every week. I’ve found myself becoming more in tune with what is in season and buying accordingly. Right now apricots are sweet, but I don’t buy them in April when they’re not. Tomatoes are never better than in the summer, so enjoy them when they’re ripe and can them to savor the rest of the year.

I have a big family, so I have a big, gas-guzzling car. I can’t give it up at this time, so I find other ways of contributing, like not driving all around at lunch time, or taking the shortest route possible to where I’m going. There are things in your life you won’t want to give up entirely, and really that’s not what it’s about. It’s about thinking about your impact and making the changes you can that will benefit everyone.

If you want to survive, make sure we keep the earth a beautiful, healthy place to live.


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