Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Windy City Diary, Part I

Hello everyone!  It's Erica again, recently back from a trip to Chicago!  One thing that always amazes me about big cities is their initiative to become more "green."  This may seem ironic, considering the vast amounts of waste produced and exhaust fumes emitted all in one area, but if you think about it, these larger cities have much to overcome.  They know that they are hulking beds of environmentally unfriendly industrialism, so they have to fight harder to prove even their tiniest steps in creating a sustainable future.  Chicago seems to be heading in the right direction--at least in the area of awareness. So, I have decided that  I will point out some of this great city's attempts at sustainability.  Let's begin with a topic of interest for the ladies:  fashion.

I am a sucker for cute clothes.  I even switch my handbag each day to match my outfit; however, I realize that not all clothing is created equal.  There are some brands that do not take the environment into consideration in the least, so when I see a shop that promotes sustainability, I am willing to pay a little more.  When I went shopping in Chicago the other day, I was ready to pay that extra buck for a dress made of organic cotton or shoes made from recycled plastic, but what I found was almost too good to be true.

Many of you may have heard of the international brand H&M, if not for their up-to-date fashions, at least for their extremely reasonable prices.  Here I was, entering the doors of this adorable mecca, ready to shop 'til I dropped, when I saw a sign advertising a new sustainable line that they were featuring.  I went to check out the small line, proud that at least a small portion of the store was making an effort, but as I left this area and made my way around the three-story shop, I found that this line was scattered throughout!  I found tops made of recycled polyester and skirts made of organic cotton...to say I was excited in an understatement.  To think that one of my favorite stores could have inexpensive, fashionable clothing that fights for a sustainable future is outrageous!  I did not have room in my bags to buy much; needless to say, I will be returning soon. I suggest you do too!

You can check out this site for more information:


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nature's Crossroads Donates Seeds to Cope Environmental Center's Community Garden

The CEC community garden provides garden plots, seeds, tools, and water for free to community groups in Richmond that would otherwise not be able to grow their own food.  
One reason the community garden is able to provide this service is because Cope has received donated seeds the past three years from Nature's Crossroads in Bloomington, Indiana. The purpose of Nature's Crossroads is to provide regional growers with Earth-friendly seeds that improve the environment, get people outside, and encourage them to grow their own food.  Much of their seeds are locally grown, Midwest-adapted, and/or certified organic.

Nature's Crossroads supports garden projects in the Midwest which teach people to garden, grow food for the hungry, or revitalize urban areas.  The CEC community provides educational programs with community groups on how to garden, donates produce to Rock Solid, and provides gardening resources to residents in the City of Richmond.

We at CEC are grateful for the support of Nature's Crossroads, and encourage you to check out their webpage at www.naturescrossroads.com.  Shout out to a regional businesses that works to create sustainable and accessible fresh food!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

     Spring has sprung!  The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising, but what I have also noticed is the vast amounts of calves that I have seen in Wayne County fields.  Why?  Well, spring is known to be the time for budding flowers, budding trees, and budding new lives, of course!  Now that temperatures are comfortable, the little guys are roaming everywhere.  This makes me think:  what kind of a future will these baby cows face?  I do realize that they are not human children, and therefore, are incapable of lessening their own impact on the environment, but the thought of any new life growing up in a world fighting for its own is troubling. 
     I, along with the staff here at CEC believe wholeheartedly in sustainability, and though it is sometimes difficult to do the right thing, I think that we should be thinking about future generations.  I admit that sometimes I forget to throw a plastic water bottle in the trash can--my humanity is at fault for that one, right?!  Those mistakes are rare and are not the point of the bigger picture:  if we do not do our part in living sustainable lives, what kind of a future do we leave for these calves?  Moreover, what kind of a future do we leave for our own generations to come? 
     I know that in this "green" age (and I am not just talking about spring!), we are used to being bombarded with Public Service Announcements and news telling us that we are wrong, wrong, WRONG for forgetting to throw away that single water bottle, but I think what is more important is that we try.  We can try to reduce our usage of shower water, try to reuse plastic containers, and try to recycle our cereal boxes.  Realistically, you alone may not be able save the world, but we are all links in this "green" chain; we are only as strong as our weakest link, and every single one of you should hold yourselves accountable to keeping the chain strong enough to sustain our future generations.  So, if we can all do our part by reducing, reusing, and recycling, isn't is like bestowing the best kind of gift on our children:  the gift of a healthy future?

Just a thought!