Greener Gifting

We’re sure that you — like us — have been trying to Simplify your life. Perhaps you’re simplifying because of the economy. Perhaps you’re simplifying because you’ve become aware of the burden that excess consumption is placing on our planet, and on people in third world nations.

This holiday season, we invite you to join us in this different, more meaningful approach. Continue reading “Greener Gifting”

How to make thermal drapes

The heat wave this past week really got to me. We don’t have air conditioning in our home, and even if we did, it would be great to insulate our windows to reduce the load on the a/c units and power supply. That’s why I got busy yesterday on a project I’ve meant to do for quite some time: making insulated drapes.

As climate change’s weather weirdness intensifies, we’re likely to get MORE of these intense heat days. So now is the time to begin preparing your home. Plan for hotter in everything you do, from which fruit tree varieties you plant, to what drapes you choose, to installing awnings and shade sails. In the coming decades, temperatures will go up! (Here are more low-tech things you can do to prepare your home for heat)

You can buy thermal drapes online, but they’re heavy, saturated with some kind of weird plastic, and they look like a throwback to the 1970s. And they’re expensive. No thanks.

I wanted more interesting fabrics, and a lower sticker price. Luckily, there are several stores nearby which sell end-lots of upholstery-weight fabric. (A fun one is Fabric Planet on Lincoln Blvd. in L.A. They also have it at -urk- Joann’s).

The thermal drape I make is like a sandwich: decorative fabric, thermal barrier, and liner fabric. Continue reading “How to make thermal drapes”

What is a more-sustainable garden?

garden by mconnors via MorguefileHere’s how our gardens can become part of solving some of the world’s greatest problems.

LIVING ECOSYSTEMS.  Humanity is part of  a vast network of life on this tiny planet. The planet’s ecosystems operate as intricate interconnected and interdependent systems, so vast that scientists are only beginning to glimpse their magnitude and complexity. “The environment” is a life-support system – for us as well as for all living beings. Without functional ecosystems, we have no life.

As we, humanity, become more conscious, it is becoming increasingly apprarent that all design must support ecosystems. From pollinator populations to soil organisms, Nature needs our help.   Continue reading “What is a more-sustainable garden?”

Sustainable meat production

Living more sustainably doesn’t necessarily have to mean going meatless.

I just finished reading the beautifully written Gaining Ground by market farmer Forrest Pritchard.  It is a lovely story about rebuilding local foodsheds and knowing the people who produce your food.

Inspired by Joel Saletin, Pritchard’s focus is on rebuilding soil, reversing the effects of chem agriculture, and cleaning up waterways.

Continue reading “Sustainable meat production”

The power of buying local food

“Buy Local.”  Why do we keep saying that? Why is it important? What does it accomplish?

How: Buy your food from the most local producers you can find.  For instance my farmers’ market often features vendors as close to L.A. as Moorpark, Lompoc, and Tehachapi.  Try to shop first at the most-local vendors.

Shift your consciousness to view chain stores as a “last resort,” where you fill in a few remaining ingredients that the local farmers might not have.

Environmental benefits: When you buy from local farmers you reduce your food miles -the transportation (and greenhouse gas emissions) of your food.

Your financial support helps assure that local farmers stay in business – close to the cities, where we need them as the Age of Fossil Fuels necessarily drifts into the sunset. Continue reading “The power of buying local food”