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Friday, December 19, 2008

Better late than never



source

Well, we have so much to catch up on now, don't we? What can I say? I have new markets, new restaurants, new farms, new recipes. I just need to find the time to write this all down!

For now, I wanted to talk about some more places to check out in DC:

Capital City Market:

If you want to push your boundaries, check this place out. I'm don't really eat meat or seafood, so the excitement wasn't really around the food. There were smoked chickens in open metal baskets, barrels of MSG, and old school butchers. The kind of butchers where you can hear the saw from outside the shop. This was some crazy mix of an international food market and Costco. For me, I loved sense that it's one of those places that creates a sense of community where people don't all look the same. It's representative of who we are as a city...and who we are as a country. If I were a photographer, I would spend hours and hours here, photographing the people, the aisles of strange food and the interactions between shoppers and merchants. I've been by this place a million times, but never really had the patience to go in and explore. I was sorry I waited so long. It definitely lacks the charm of Eastern Market. If you want to stroll around with your honey and your chai latte with soy, this is not the place. Rainboots are more appropriate here in case you step on some raw chicken fat in the street (yes, it happened to me folks). I love it. It's the largest thing to go unnoticed in the District. Perhaps if more folks like us went there, we'd see more local and seasonal foods incorporated with all the wild imports. For me...well...i'd like to figure out what to do with mung beans.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Fighters




How cool is this?! The New York Times Magazine created a slideshow about 'food fighters'. Some inspiration for your Friday!


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Emeril goes green

Ok, ok, it's been a long time. I know. But, I do have some exciting news to share to make up for my recent absence. I am on the DC Urban Gardeners listserv (if you aren't on it, I highly recommend it). A casting director for the Emeril Lagasse show on Planet Green, called Emeril Green is looking for people in the area involved with community gardens. Ah, if only I had cable to enjoy these fabulous shows. Anyway, they are looking for some folks in the DC area who are part of community gardens and want Emeril's help with some aspect of gardening or cooking. If you are interested, e-mail them your name, address, age, cell phone number, occupation, culinary challenge and a recent photo. The address is EmerilGreenCasting@Gmail.com.

Cheers!


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Monday, July 28, 2008

Crack isn't always a bad thing




Ok, remember those heirloom tomatoes I told you about? Well, they are here and they. are. huge. And they have tons of cracks and scars. We are growing black krim and purple cherokees this year (in addition to some others that have yet to ripen) and I love the purple cherokees. The black krims aren't doing it for me, which is a bit surprising considering I never met a tomato I didn't like (except the underripe grocery store kind). The purple cherokees are huge, delicious, with barely any seeds or pulp. The whole thing is flesh. We've been eating them non-stop with basil, mozzarella and avocado. A caprese with avocado you ask? Yes, I had it in Spain years ago and have a hard time eating mozzarella and tomatoes without the addition of avocado. Which brings me to the eating locally issue. If there was one thing I would have a hard time giving up that I could not find locally, it would be avocados. I have read that you can grow an avocado from a pit and use it as a houseplant (it won't produce fruit during that time). I might have to start that and transplant it once I settle into a place I know I'll be living at for a few years.


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Kicks + Ass = my garden



My dear friend Amber gave me this postcard today. Not only does my garden kick ass, but she does too. Thanks Amber!


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Peak Season Map

I stumbled across a great resource today at Epicurious. It's a peak season map that you can click on by month and state to see what's in season at your local farmer's market. You can also click on each ingredient to see a description and related recipes for that ingredient. Unfortunately, DC isn't represented, but this is a great model and I'm sure I'll use the MD and VA information.


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Tomatoes are Sweet, Even When They are Stressed

Our garden has started to produce some delicious and sometimes hideous looking veggies. We are growing heirloom veggies almost exclusively this year in our organic garden, so when I see a tomato that is cracked and scarred, my mouth starts to water. This always makes me think of an episode on This I Believe on NPR. Tim Stark starts his essay with "I believe that an atmosphere of stress and chaos-within reason-brings out my best qualities. And I believe my heirloom tomatoes feels the same....I believe in managed stress. It sweetens the tomatoes. I like to think it sweetens me, too."


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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Is it possible to live sustainably on a budget?

Ed Levine posted on one of my favorite websites, Serious Eats, about eating locally and sustainably on a budget. He posted 10 ways to live sustainably while saving some money:

10 Ways to Live Locally and Sustainably on a Budget

1. I'm all for supporting local artisanal cheesemakers, but lately I've been buying machine-made Montrachet goat cheese to use in salads and sandwiches. It's less than half the price of my local cheesemakers' admittedly superior chèvre, and it tastes pretty goaty, but it will do you just fine.

2. If organic is important to you, buy those items where they're cheapest, at places like Wal-Mart and Trader Joe's. It may not be as good as your local organic market, but it will do just fine.

3. Buy local at the peak of the season. Local strawberries in the New York area are incredibly plentiful at the moment, and that means they are cheap, cheap, cheap, right now. The same is true for apples in September and early October, at least in my neck of the woods.

4. Use eggs as the protein at dinner. The Oeufs Meurette recipe from yesterday's Sunday Brunch would make a great dinner, and it won't cost you a fortune. Just make sure you use a really cheap red wine.

5. Buy at your local farmers' market at the end of the day. Farmers at farmers' markets really don't want to schlep their produce back to the farm after a long day in the city. I have found that many of them offer great prices after 4 p.m. to encourage budget-minded consumers to take stuff off their hands.

6. Find the "Value Guru" at your local Whole Foods and make him or her your new best friend. Until I read the Times piece, I didn't know such a person existed at Whole Foods.

7. Support your local sausage-maker. In New York, at least, I can buy amazing Chinese and Thai sausage in Chinatown, Polish sausage in Greenpoint, and Italian sausage in many neighborhoods at low, low costs.

8. Shop in ethnic markets in general. Again, I buy locally made tortillas, Asian foodstuffs, and a whole lot of other delicious stuff in ethnic groceries and markets and save money in the process.

9. Buying day-old artisanally baked bread and freezing or making toast out of it is also a way to save money and maximize deliciousness.

10. It's really hard to save money on high-quality meat and fish, so I have adopted the Michael Pollan ethos of eating less meat. Saving money on fish requires buying more fish like porgy and whiting, but those are both mighty tasty fish when cooked properly.


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Monday, May 12, 2008

It All Comes Back to Oil

Newsweek posted an article today about the trend of moving away from organics since the prices of gas are rising. Not was I was hoping to hear this rainy Monday morning.


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Thursday, May 1, 2008

DCist Feature on Urban Gardeners

One of my favorite websites, DCist, featured a piece on Ed Bruske, former reporter for the Washington Post and now president of D.C. Urban Gardeners. It's a good article where Bruske gives practical advice on gardening in urban spaces. Ed was also the person who organized the screening of The Real Dirt on Farmer John last week, so he is slowly but surely becoming my favorite person on this stuff. His website has a wealth of information and the additional resources are endless.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Event Listing: Urban Gardening: Creating and Maintaining a Beautiful Sustainable Garden

The DC Historical Society is hosting a free talk at the Carnegie Library at 801 K Street, NW (near the Gallery Place and Convention Center metro stations) on sustainable urban gardening.

The program is called " Urban Gardening: Creating and Maintaining a Beautiful Sustainable Garden." It will be held on 5/17 from 10am to 11:30am. Join Susan Harris, who is a Master Gardener, "Garden Rant" blogger, Gardening Coach, and former President of the Takoma Horticultural Club to discuss how to work with nature, not against it, to have a beautiful garden. Learn which plants are the best to grow in Washington soil and climate, and gather earth friendly tips on garden care. You can pre-register at www.historydc.org. For more information call (202) 383-1837.


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Monday, April 28, 2008

Review-The Dirt on The Real Dirt

I went to see 'The Real Dirt on Farmer John' on Friday. It is a documentary film about a man who takes over his father's farm and goes through all the struggles you could possibly imagine...and more. His neighbors think he has a cult on the farm and he has to sell off most of the land and his equipment. Although he runs off to Mexico several times to clear his mind, he keeps coming back to the farm. He eventually discovers the CSA model and now his farm has over 1,200 members!

All in all, I liked the movie. There are some quirky parts that made me laugh and others that broke my heart.

Big thanks to D.C. Urban Gardeners for hosting the film night! It was so well attended that they are hosting another screening soon. They are going to show 'The Power of Community', a documentary about how Cuba survived the collapse of the Soviet Union by going organic.


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Friday, April 25, 2008

The Real Dirt on Farmer John


Oh, I've got a big Friday night out planned, yes I do! I'm going to see a screening of 'The Real Dirt on Farmer John'. It was featured on PBS' Independent Lens . I'll write a review after I see it. I'm really excited! Has anyone else seen any interesting movies lately that are about eating locally/seasonally/organic or farming?


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Monday, April 7, 2008

The Veggies are Coming! The Veggies are Coming!

I went to the garden yesterday to check out my little seedlings. I think the rain this weekend helped a bit. Things are starting to come through in each section. The seedlings were ready for thinning. I was so excited!

Then, I thought about all the amazing food we ate last summer and got super excited. Our summer staple was bruschetta. All types of bruschetta. The one I remember the most fondly was when we put artisan bread brushed with olive oil on the grill and let it toast up. Then we would spread paprika/onion farmer's cheese from South Mountain Creamery on it. Meanwhile, I had veggies from the garden (tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers and onions) sauteeing in olive oil on the side burner of the grill and would add some balsamic vinegar at the end to glaze them over. We would top the cheese-bread with the veggies and be delighted in the easy, tasty dinner from the grill. Now, if only I had an local olive oil connection, then I'd be set for summer!


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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Flickr Pool for DC Gardeners!



-photo courtesy of chip py the photo guy

There is a Flickr Pool for DC Gardens. I received an e-mail about it on the DCUrbanGardeners listserv on yahoo. There are tons of great pictures of formal gardens and parks around the city and they are trying to add more shots of smaller, more informal gardens. I'm hoping to add some pictures once our veggies start to sprout. Please consider adding some pictures if you have them!


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Ready to Garden?

I sowed some seeds yesterday in the garden and I am officially ready for spring! When I first got to the garden, I was a little discouraged, as I had let things go a bit over the winter, but it didn't take long to refresh the soil and have it ready for planting. Here's a run down of what I'm growing this spring:

1. Bok Choy
2. Lettuce (3 types)
3. Fingerling potatoes
4. Snap peas (2 types)
5. Turnips (2 types)
6. Radishes
7. Spinach
8. Swiss Chard
9. Elephant garlic
10. Leeks
11. Sage

Some of these items made it through the winter and I kept them (such as the sage, lettuce and chard). In the next few weeks I hope to plant some beets and carrots. Then I can get ready for the squash, tomatoes and cucumbers. My mouth is watering just thinking about all the gazpacho we'll have this summer!

I read about a cool trick in Crockett's Victory Garden for growing peas. Instead of using pea fences, use branches from a tree you pruned this winter. Barb from Everything French Gardening talks about it on her blog.


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Monday, March 3, 2008

My Role Model

This doesn't have much to do with eating locally or seasonally for that matter, but it has to do with inspiration. My dad has been my greatest role model for all of my life. He recently retired from a 40+ year career with the same company. Not too commmon these days and of course is difficult for someone of my generation to understand. He has taught me the ability to be passionate about life and that it's ok to take chances and it's ok to fail. There are always new opportunities out there and more to learn about ourselves and the world around us. My father had a great retirement party where people flew in from all over the world to toast his success. He received some amazing gifts, but my favorite by far was from an old colleague that included this quote:

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or villify them...about the only thing you can't do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

This is commonly misattributed to Jack Kerouac and I'm not actually sure who said it. More importantly is that it embodies everything about my father. Every time I go home to visit my parents I sit and read this and think about what my dad means to me. Even though I come from a family that prefers meat over vegetables and Costco over organic, my father tries to understand and respect my passion for the local food movement. Even though he may not support it, he supports me and I feel lucky for that. Happy Early Birthday Dad.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Doomsday Seed Vault

CNN reported that the underground vault storing millions of seeds is scheduled to open this week. Dubbed the 'Doomsday Vault', the vault is considered the safety net for storing the world's seed collection in hopes to preserve crop diversity. We can hope that this prevents tragedies similar to Ireland's potato famine.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hill East Garden

I was recently contacted by the president of my community garden and asked to join the board. This will be my third year at the garden and I'm really excited to start planting this spring! Last year was better than our first, so I'm optimistic that this year will be filled with tons of glorious herbs and veggies!

Hill East Garden

Hill East Community Garden is located in Southeast Washington, DC, between C, D, 17th and 18th Streets. My favorite part of the garden is that it used to be an alley where drug activity was common. Now it's a thriving community garden with a waiting list!

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Heirloom Seeds

This past summer was my first taste of an heirloom Brandywine tomato. A little late in the game, eh? Not some half-ripe overpriced heirloom tomato that was from a grocery store either. This was straight from the farm (I belonged to Karl's Farm's CSA) and it was cracked and ugly and the best thing I ever tasted. It must have weighed well over a pound. I came home from work that day to our basket of veggies sitting on the front stoop and rushed upstairs when I saw we got a Brandywine tomato. I was like a kid with their Christmas stocking, only I was a grown up and this was a tomato. I immediately took it out and held it up to appreciate it's density, showing my boyfriend the gloriousness of it. He of course thought I was crazy...until he tasted it. I sliced it up and put the tiniest amount of salt on it and we enjoyed it in silence.

Ever since then I have been hooked on heirloom veggies. I planted our fall garden mostly with seeds from Baker Creek. This month I have been looking through my seed catalogs, planning our year filled with heirloom seeds. I was ecstatic yesterday to find an article in the Washington Post about heirloom seeds. They even mention Baker Creek!


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Monday, January 21, 2008

PA Can Label Milk!

Scientific American reported that Pennsylvania officials have let go of plans to ban farmers from labeling whether or not their milk comes from hormone enhanced cows.

As noted in the article, the FDA ruled that Montsanto-marketed rBST is safe for human consumption, but Canada and the European Union prohibit its use.


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Friday, January 18, 2008

Distavore?

Joel Stein from Time Magazine decided to write an article against the local food movement. He decided to cook a meal where the ingredients had to be sourced over 3,000 miles from where he lives and to top it off, he would do it shopping at Whole Foods.

There are a few problems with Stein's article. He refers to Whole Foods as 'the local-food movement's most treasured supermarkets'. I think he's missing the point in that the local food movement is really focused on consumers buying directly from local farms and cutting out 'treasured supermarkets'.

Stein also mentioned that is was not an easy task. "Farmers in Southern California, it seems, can grow anything." If they can grow anything, then why the hell complain?


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eat Local Scorecard

I recently went to Portland, OR on vacation and stopped by the Ecotrust building. Not only did I enjoy some damn good Hot Lips Pizza, but I got to pick up some useful resources and to check out the beautiful building.

One of the Ecotrust resources is the Eat Local Scorecard:


I thought this was helpful for actually tracking the incorporation of locally harvested and produced foods into your life. Even if you don't use this scorecard, it helps conceptualize how you can start introducing these foods into your diet.


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Monday, January 14, 2008

Helpful Books You Should Read

I have been reading a lot about eating locally and seasonally lately and I thought it would be helpful to review some of the literature:

Plenty-This book was one of the first books I read as part of the eating local movement. I love that a couple wrote it together and brought a personal element to the challenges associated with eating locally. This book was easy to read, brought a lot of the policy issues to light about agribusiness and highlighted the planning necessary to thrive on a locally produced diet. My only concern is that they arbitrarily picked 100 miles for their diet parameter, which does not actually define a community and de-ephasizes the need for regional collaboration in the eating local movement.

On Food & Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Warning: this is not a cookbook. This is the foodie bible. You will understand all elements (cultural, scientific, historical) of how we have defined food and meals throughout our history on this planet.

The Real Food Revival

This book has a lot of overlap with Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore's Dilemma', but I particularly like the organization of this book. It goes aisle by aisle in the grocery store and gives practical advice on how to eat seasonally and locally. There are great tips on navigating the grocery store and even your local farmer's markets.



More to come in a bit...


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Friday, January 4, 2008

Local Restaurants Serving Local Food

I spent 2007 focused on getting a better handle on my garden and incorporating more seasonal-based recipes in the kitchen. I officially designate 2008 to be the year of exploration. I've couped myself up the past few months searching for resources and thinking about my garden, but I would like to get to know area farms and restaurants that have a similar focus. I did visit several restaurants and became acquanted with several farms in the area this past year:

Restaurants:
Poste
Poste has an organic garden on the back patio of the restaurant. Looking at their menu, it also seems as though they have relationships with some area farmers as well. I have been here several times for dinner in the past few months. I've read it's a mad house for happy hour in the summers, which is a deterrent for me. I enjoyed my meals there though and the service was great. I can't say enough about ambiance at this place either. It's in the old post office building and it's gorgeous.

Agraria Restaurant
When Agraria opened I was ecstatic about the idea that family-farmers were opening a restaurant in the city. I went during Restaurant Week about a year ago. I thought the food was pretty good and they had some great organic beers on tap. The drawback for me was that is was in Georgetown on the waterfront. I typically feel like that is for tourists and I usually hesitate before going there. Another drawback was that I couldn't feel the small family farmer there when I ate. It was such a huge selling point for me that I'd like it if they incorporated the concept into more than their marketing materials.

Farms:
Karl's Farm
I joined the Karl's Farm CSA this summer. This was my first experience with CSAs and I was excited about getting a bucket of vegetables each week, including some I had never heard about before. If I didn't have my own garden, I would highly suggest becoming part of a CSA. I know there are a lot in the area. Karl's Farm had a difficult year with the drought, but they were great about keeping everyone updated and were always on time with the delivery.

South Mountain Creamery
Wow, my mom wasn't kidding when she said milk from a glass bottle is so much better. I usually opt for rice or soy milk, but when this came, it was reason enough to enjoy a cold glass of real cow milk. Their yogurt is great as well. It takes a little getting used to as it's not as custardy as the grocery store kind. I tried some of their artisan cheeses, and wasn't a fan, but I must admit, I am a huge cheese snob. The milk, butter, cream and yogurt is definitely worth a try.


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Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Seasonal Dinner on a Cold Night

I have always hesitated to make pot pies. I have attempted some pretty radical recipes, yet I fear making pot pie. Why? It's too close to baking. And I suck at baking. I'm good at cooking. You know, you can improvise if you are craving something specific, change the ingredient amounts up a bit, throw in whatever is in your fridge (or hopefully your pantry and/or garden). But baking, that's about being precise. At least to me. I always feel like I am about to fail chem lab when I bake.

Anyway, I decided that tonight was cold and a good excuse to get over my pot pie phobia. I made sweet potato pot pies thanks to Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com. Sweet potatoes are in season right now, but you really can add anything you have from the garden or in your pantry like turnips, swiss chard, or carrots (which are also all in season).

Sweet Potato Pot Pies (adapted from 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson)
Serves 4

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups cold 2 percent milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups pulled chicken, from a store-bought rotisserie chicken
1 box puff pastry dough, thawed
1 egg white

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Saute the garlic, onion and sweet potatoes in olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon of salt until potatoes are soft. This should take about 10 minutes with your burner on medium. Add the corn and adobo sauce and saute for 2 more minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the milk and cornstarch together. Pour the mixture slowly into the sauce pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the filling starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with more salt to taste. Divide the rotisserie chicken into 4 bowls and pour the mixture on top to fill each bowl 3/4 of the way.

Cut a piece of puff pastry dough to fit over each bowl, with some overlap. Create several small slits with a knife in each square to allow steam to escape. Place the dough on the bowls and fold over the edge of the dish. Brush the dough lightly with egg white.

Put the bowls on a baking sheet covered in foil in case it boils over a bit. Bake until the crusts golden, about 15 minutes.


I served the pot pies with a salad made with lettuce, Asian pears, persimmons, goat cheese, toasted pinenuts and balsamic vinaigrette. Most lettuce, Asian pears and persimmons are in season (from cold storage) and you should be able to get them from your local farmer's market. I still have some great heirloom lettuce growing in my garden that has survived the recent cold. This salad was sweet and light and complimented the heavy, wintery pot pies really well.

I must admit, I am over my pot pie phobia. At least for now. This recipe was really easy and quick to make with just a few ingredients. You could replace the adobo for some thyme sprigs while you are cooking the potatoes if you don't like the smoky taste. I'm feeling a lot more confident and hopefully I can try this with more veggies from my winter garden.


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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolve to Live More Sustainably

Now that the holiday craziness is over, I had time today to reflect on some resolutions I'd like to make this year (and to catch up on reading all the latest newspapers piled up in our living room). Eviana Hartman wrote a simple list of new years resolutions that focus on living more sustainably for the Washington Post:

Put a Green Spin on Those Same Ol' Resolutions
Sunday, December 23, 2007; N05

Each holiday season, many of us make similar New Year's resolutions -- and then, just as inevitably, let them slide. Going green may be the most effective resolution of all: Making planet-friendly choices is not just a selfless act, but also a way to improve your quality of life. Here, five of the most common resolutions and how living more sustainably can help you achieve them.

Resolution 1: ExerciseGreen Solution: Bike or Walk to Work
Taking your polluting car off the road can raise your physical fitness. For the average person, bicycling at a moderate rate burns 300 calories per hour, a figure that nearly doubles for speeds faster than 10 mph; walking briskly can burn 460 calories per hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If getting yourself to and from work without a car isn't an option, use public transportation and walk or bike to and from the station to get your heart pumping. And if you must drive, carpool. The American Lung Association gave Washington a grade of F on its 2007 State of the Air Report, so cutting down the number of cars will help all exercisers breathe easier.

Resolution 2: Spend More Time With Family and FriendsGreen Solution: Switch Off and Get Out
Instead of passing your free time in front of a giant flat-screen TV, surfing YouTube or slaying digital monsters on your Wii -- and consuming extra electricity in the process -- focus on enjoying the company of loved ones. The simplest group activities, such as charades or a good conversation, are often the most fulfilling.
If you're itching to get out, hop on the Metro for a museum excursion or start a family garden (you'll strengthen your bonds while your plants are absorbing carbon dioxide).

Resolution 3: Go on a DietGreen Solution: Eat Organically and Locally
Whether you're looking to lose a few eggnog-related pounds or simply want to be healthier, resolve to base your diet on organic vegetables and fruits -- preferably local produce from farmers markets or a community-supported agriculture service, which would reduce the amount of fuel needed to transport the food to your plate. (Organic TV dinners and "natural" cheese puffs don't count!)

Though it takes more time and effort to cook using straight-from-the-farm produce, slow, home-prepared meals are great for enjoying with others (see Resolution 2) and make you far less likely to shovel down fattening fast food on the run. Not only will a nutritious, high-fiber, unprocessed diet help you keep a trim figure, but your overall health (and mood) will improve. And you may have better breath (thanks to the chlorophyll in fresh greens) to boot.

Resolution 4: Save MoneyGreen Solution: Consume Less
Next time you have a hankering for a new gizmo or handbag, think twice. Unsustainable spending and unsustainable use of the planet's resources go hand in hand. If you must redecorate or find a cute belt for Friday night, buy wisely. Secondhand or vintage clothing and furniture are usually cheaper, save resources and often make for a more interesting style.
Also, conserve electricity at home: Swap your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent ones, turn off the lights when you leave a room and keep the thermostat down this winter (don a sweater if you're chilly). Your bank balance will get a boost when you reduce your footprint, and you might be surprised at how spending less makes you want less -- and be more satisfied with the life you have.

Resolution 5: Help OthersGreen Solution: Help the Planet
Anything you can do to help the well-being of the planet -- reducing your carbon footprint, choosing pesticide-free products, avoiding polluting plastic -- will help the well-being of all its inhabitants. Supporting local businesses, manufacturers and farmers, which keeps shipping fuel use down, also strengthens community ties.
Finally, mark your calendars for such events as the Green Festival, held in the fall. You might also volunteer for environmental organizations such as Earth Day Network ( http://www.earthday.net). Eco events are a great way to get informed, get connected to others and expand your awareness.

-- Eviana Hartman

Here is a bonus resolution that I made for myself this year: get yourself off those mailing lists for all those catalogs!


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