Friday, April 24, 2009

Keeping It Local

Where did all of April go? I want to sue the month of April and make it come back! I apologize for the length of time I have spent away from you, dear readers!

Earth Day has come and passed, but I have to say that the Oprah show that aired on Wednesday was positively riveting. Most of the stuff, I think any person who's eco-conscious would already know, but the video of the bird completely trapped in a plastic bag had me in tears. There was also a video of a turtle who had gotten a plastic ring caught on his middle when he was a baby, and he managed to still grow into an adult size, although his entire middle was probably just a couple of inches around - yes, with the plastic ring still on his body - and his body growing around it. Also, apparently, there's a garbage dump that is twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. In some areas, the trash is 90 feet deep. What is the trash? Mostly plastic bags.

And with the economy in its current state, being eco-conscious yet also maintaining purse strings can often be a struggle. Most people going organic or going green is costly. In most cases, it's just the opposite - it's cost effective.

That rare time you're treating yourself to a dinner out - skip the chains. First, it's food you've tasted in some degree before. Steak, chicken, fish, blah blah blah. Second, you're giving money to chains. Sure, people work at those chains, but the possibility of your server being truly excited to see you and learn who you are is slim to none.

Go somewhere local! I've had the opportunity to try more than a few of the local restaurants in Ypsi since living here (more in the past four months than I ever did in my first three years), and they're all superb. More than that, the prices are often cheaper. The food is always better, and the food is always different.

Aubree's Pizza offers the best veggie pizza ever. Sidetrack's has the most amazing spinach, artichoke, and crabmeat dip and the best pot roast ever - I don't even typically eat red meat, but they have me eating red meat every time I go there!!!

Beezy's has an amazing breakfast menu - from baked french toast to a pepper and egg sandwich! Bombadill's has an extensive beverage (coffees) menu with a few select baked goods, and Cafe Luwak is an awesome neighborhood cafe that offers a full beverage menu (coffees) and food menu.

Plus, the people at those establishments care that I go there. They appreciate my business and care to learn my name.

Think of that Texas-sized (twice over) garbage dump in the Pacific Ocean the next time you're at a store. Either ask for paper bags (and then reuse them when you go back (unless your cat thinks paper bags are his homes to destroy)) or buy tote bags and reuse those. And you don't have to go out and buy tote bags. I have tote bags that I've just gotten over the years. One is from a subscription I paid to TV Guide. Or scout garage sales and buy them there. That's extremely green (reuse) and budget-chic! Brand new tote bags could cost up to $50 each (if you think you have to carry designer!).

Buying 5 brand new tote bags at $50 each would cost $250.
Buying 5 tote bags from garage sales for $5 each would cost $25.

And I'm sure you could find tote bags for even cheaper.

Step outside the box and think creatively for ways to save the environment and cash!