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                            At MOTHER EARTH LIVING and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-456-6018 or by email. Stay safe!


                            Wiser Living
                            Finding a natural solution


                            Get Wired: Protecting Ourselves Against Wireless Radiation

                            USB connector 

                            Health and Nutrition With a Twist

                            Preaching about clean food and water is part of my job and part of my nature. I like to do my part in the health space and sharing often obscure findings is a passion of mine.

                            This post is about clean air, not in the usual sense but in an electrical sense. Electronic pollution to be more precise. There are many different types of air pollution and electricity is but one.

                            I have known about the dangers of radio waves since becoming a Special Forces communications operator in 1989. That same year I became a licensed amateur radio operator as I was entrenched in radio wave propagation, antenna construction and several technical endeavors to strengthen my craft. Back then, the microwave frequencies were thought of as junk frequencies used only for microwave ovens and direct line of sight communications for experimenters. We knew that we did not want to be exposed to those frequencies.

                            I was first alerted to “The Invisible Rainbow” by a post on Facebook, which led me down a deep rabbit hole. This research journey confirmed and strengthened what I already knew. I think this is a very valid and concerning hypothesis. Our technology has gotten out of hand and now it is doing things unimaginable to our health. This will become more intense and apparent as more satellites are launched and activated, as well as the spreading of 5g technology.

                            wifi ethernet cable connection

                            Try Old Fashioned Ethernet

                            I remember a time not that long ago when a wireless device was a wiz-bang gadget only had by technophiles like myself. I have realized from my own experience and personal research that we have gone too far with some technologies. We may be saturating our own environments with harmful radiation and most are not aware of it. I have become serious enough with this that I have made my home office free of wifi and have turned off wifi on my notebook computer and plug in to the network. I also switched back to the "old ways" with a corded USB mouse and keyboard. I bought an Ethernet junction/splitter that I plug other computers into to access the network. There are other advantages to this besides reduction of EMF such as faster access speed, and greater security. The only downside is the amount of cords now on my desktop. I have done the same with my kids computers and they sure did protest.

                            Children are the most vulnerable from the effects of wireless technology as their brains are not finished developing, and won't be until about 25 years of age.

                            Going back to wired connectivity is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reducing electronic pollution in our homes. The books and resources listed below are a great way to learn more and get started on cleaning up your home. It is definitely worth the effort.

                            More solid resources for your researching pleasure, FYI:

                            We are fortunate to be able to pull back the curtains and blow away the smoke and shatter the mirrors of deception and have access to the real science being done by the genuine and honest.

                            Homemade Deodorant Does the Trick!

                            When I recovered after being extremely sick years ago, I realized that the experience - while incredibly challenging - also taught me some wonderful lessons. Now we find ourselves in the midst of another challenging situation.  I’m in a high-risk category so, I’m being extra careful, keeping my distance, washing my hands and looking for the blessing that always comes along with the curse. I believe in Better Living Through Ingenuity! Do-it-yourself is the way to go! Let's rededicate ourselves to a new improved way of living because this challenge will end as they all eventually do. Then we’ll be better prepared when the next one comes along.

                            I’m running out of deodorant right now and in true keeping I’m going to make my own! You can, too! I’m replicating, as best I can, the stick deodorant I’ve been using. It’s an organic variety with natural ingredients. When I read the label I see ingredients most of us have on hand. So because I’ve had good success doing this it’s full steam ahead. I simply put in each ingredient in the order given on the label, making the first ingredient the ingredient with the biggest amount and so forth down the line reducing as I go. You have to assume that the last ingredients are very small amounts.  This can seem like a daunting proposition but let me assure you that it’s not as hard as it might seem. We know the properties of each ingredient. Beeswax is hard and so adds stiffness. Don’t use a lot if you want the end result to be soft. Olive oil is liquid so don’t use too much or the end result will be runny.

                            Start small! I make a small first batch so if I screw up I can adjust it by melting it again and adding what will help. I usually get it by the second or third try. When adding corrective ingredients only add a little bit at a time. It doesn’t hurt to melt and solidify multiple times.

                            Try this recipe the way I instruct and then you’ll get a feel for how it works and be able to better replicate your own recipes.

                            Homemade Deodorant

                            deodorant

                            This deodorant is reminiscent of old-timey deodorants such as Mum and Secret which were a cream that came in a jar. Aerosol and stick deodorants are a relatively new invention. When I was young, in my teens, Ban was the first roll-on deodorant. Yield: About 3 oz.

                            Ingredients:

                            • 1/4 cup corn starch or arrowroot flour
                            • 2 tbsp baking soda
                            • 2 1/2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
                            • 2 1/2 tbsp unrefined shea butter
                            • 1 Tbsp grated beeswax
                            • 6 drops jojoba oil
                            • 6 drops lavender essential oil
                            • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
                            • 1 capsule 200 I.U. vitamin E oil

                            How to:

                            Place coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler. I use a slightly larger pot that has about a cup to 2 cups of water in it and a slightly smaller pot that has a pour spout set inside it. Bring the water to a slow boil and keep an eye on it. We don’t want the pot to boil dry, heat up the oils and have it burst onto flame. That’s happened to me! Trust me you don’t want that to happen but if it does don’t panic. Just put a lid on it. Carefully. DO NOT THROW WATER on it. That will make it explode. 

                            As the water begins to boil, stir the melting ingredients and continue to do so until they're completely melted. I use an old wood chopstick. Wood doesn’t conduct heat very well so this keeps your finnies from getting burned. (finnies = fingers!)

                            Once melted, add in corn or arrowroot starch, baking soda and essential oils. Pierce the end of the Vitamin E capsule and squeeze the oil into the melted stuff. Mix this all together with a whisk.

                            Carefully pour the liquid into a 3-ounce jar and allow to cool at room temp or in fridge (it will harden faster in fridge) until it's reached a solid state. Cover with a lid.

                            Spoon out a little bit with your finger or a flat stick and warm up between your fingers before applying directly to underarms. Feel free to reapply as the weather dictates.

                            Safe Indoor Hobbies for Social Distancing

                            When the novel coronavirus began making its way around the world, some people may not have thought it would cause the drastic changes countries have made. Workplaces began to shut down, schools closed and vacationers traveled home. The world started to slow down, leaving most people to seek shelter or entertain themselves while locked down at home.

                            At first, that might have seemed like an invitation to enjoy a staycation. After a few days of hanging out inside, doing the same things, you might wish you could go back to your old routine. Social distancing helps prevent the spread of this pandemic, but it’s frustrating to feel cooped up and bored.

                            Help yourself through this time at home by reading about safe indoor hobbies for social distancing. You can try something new without risking your health or safety, so it’s easier to do your part to stop the coronavirus in its tracks.

                            hobbies, knitting, camera

                            1. Care for Houseplants

                            Most people have a few houseplants around their living space, but when was the last time you researched what they need? Read about the kind of plants you have to discover how much sunlight helps them grow, how often they need watering and what you can do to help them thrive.

                            Even if you can’t run to the store for fertilizer or large flower pots, you can make notes for yourself so that you remember to get them after state and national leaders lift the current restrictions. 

                            2. Make Laundry Detergent

                            When people realized they’d have to put their lives on hold to fight this virus, they ran to their nearest grocery store and stocked up on things they would need in the weeks to come. You might have done the same, but did you get any laundry detergent?

                            Instead of depending on detergent that contaminates water supplies with carcinogens, petrochemicals and more, make a cleanser with eco-friendly ingredients. All you need is a container of washing soda and sustainable soap. Grate the soap and mix the ingredients to minimize your ecological footprint. It will biodegrade in each load and keep the planet clean. 

                            3. Try Indoor Exercises

                            Now’s the perfect time to get into indoor exercises while you have time to workout at home. For example, try doing burpees, where you jump into the air, land with your knees bent and hands on the floor and then splay out into a plank position. Repeat as many times as possible until you work up a sweat. You can also do jumping jacks. Jump for 20 seconds, then take a 10-second rest. If you start feeling bored, mix it up with a round of push-ups or sit-ups.

                            4. Redesign Your Home

                            Sometimes it’s easy to get restless because you need a change of scenery. When watching videos of beachfront views and nature cameras doesn't cut it anymore, redesign your home by switching up your interior. Move your furniture and picture frames around. Pull out those extra paint cans from your garage and coat your living room. Even a small change will give you something new to look at and enjoy.

                            5. Bake a New Recipe

                            Even though you may have stocked up on food you need to get through the next few weeks, there might still be things in your pantry that end up going bad. Reduce your waste and keep trash out of landfills when you bake a new recipe with ingredients you might forget about. Flour, sugar, and eggs can easily make a variety of desserts, so treat yourself to something delicious. 

                            6. Learn About Coin Collecting

                            Why not try something completely new while stuck at home? Challenge yourself with a new hobby when you learn about coin collecting. Memorize the terminology of the trade, such as artificial toning, beading, flan and mule. Research future coins you want and make a list to guide your collection. Once restrictions lift, and you head to your local store, you'll have a game plan on how to jumpstart your collection.

                            7. Craft Origami Art

                            Feeling productive may solve your boredom, so recycle paper like newspaper, used printer paper and old sheets from notebooks to create eco-friendly origami. Even if you’ve never made it before, you can start with easy projects that anyone can create. For instance, you can craft an origami heart to show a special someone how you feel. This project takes less than 10 minutes, and you can even hide a coin inside — a pleasant surprise!

                            8. Download a Language App

                            Nothing is better than accomplishing a goal, so download a popular language app and learn something new to challenge your mind. When you go back to work or school, you’ll have a skill you can use every day. You can also add it to your resume. Practicing a different language is a hobby many people love, and you can do it from the comfort of your home.

                            You might not have thought about hobbies like coin collecting or origami, but now is the perfect time to give them a try. What you learn may turn into something you love, and you can keep it up after the pandemic ends, and life goes on as usual. 

                            Take a Moment to Get Calm

                             woman
                            Photo by Unsplash/Madison_lavern

                            The summer issue of Mother Earth Living is about learning to love the skin you’re in.  This can be interpreted many different ways from best, natural facials to accepting who you are right now, to various ways to practice self-love. Our current health crisis is stressful and the human immune system is at its best when the whole person feels good.  Mary Kathleen Rose, a massage therapist who writes in the next issue, shared the following relaxation technique with me so that I could pass it along to our readers.  It’s easy, and will certainly help take your focus off the news and place it on your pulse and your breath. I hope that the calm that results gives you, and your immune system, a small boost today.

                            —Jean Denney, Editor 

                            A Quick Breathing Exercises for Health and Relaxation

                            If you catch yourself in the middle of a stressful thought, notice that you are not taking full breaths, or if you realize you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to take a break. While meditation is great for stress relief, we may not be able to do so when in the middle of change or even crisis. What we can do is focus on our breathing, even if for a few minutes. Fortunately, a few moment is all it takes to find a little more calm.  This simple exercise allows you to focus on your heart rate, your pulse, and your breathing at the same time.  It will help coordinate and synchronize these two vital systems and help reduce stress and bring some relief. 

                            Breathing with Your Pulse

                            Sit comfortably in a chair or on a cushion on the floor, and close your eyes.

                            1. Place the fingers of one hand along the radial pulse points of the opposite hand (at the wrist below the base of the thumb).
                            2. Inhale to the count of 4 pulse beats, and then exhale to the count of 4 pulse beats.
                            3. Continue to inhale and exhale with your pulse and enjoy the relaxation that comes with tuning into your body this way.

                            During this exercise, you can continue to hold the pulse points, or let go and continue to relax and notice your breathing. The pulse may change, or it may slow down in this process. Be aware that the pulse can be variable, weak, or pounding. Don’t be concerned about the character of the pulse, simply do the exercise as given and notice the pulse without judging or analyzing it.

                            Even a few minutes of this practice can calm your body and mind. This exercise is particularly helpful in allowing you to get in touch with what your body needs in the moment.

                            10 Zero Waste New Years Resolutions

                            With the new year here, you might be wondering what resolutions you should adopt for the coming year. While I’m sure you’ve got a few personal goals you’ll be striving for this year, why not add a few zero waste resolutions to your list? Here are 10 easy zero waste New Years resolutions you should consider striving for. You don’t have to pursue each one, but consider adopting at least one or two!

                            rsz_ian-schneider-paykyb-8er8-unsplash
                            Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

                            1. Remember to bring your reusable bags

                            It may seem like a small ambition, but we all know what happens when we forget our reusable bags. Miles of plastic bags take their place. The worst part is most cashiers will put only a few items into one bag, which just leads to more plastic bags being used. Do the planet (and yourself) a favor by making it a goal to remember your reusable bags. A good way to do that is to stash a few in your purse, car, work bag or even attach a fold up reusable bag to your key chain. You can also remind yourself by saying “keys, wallet, phone, bags” before leaving your home to make sure you have all your important items on hand.

                            2. Hit up the farmers market more

                            The farmers market doesn’t just have to be a summer thing, or a once and a while visit. If you have one available to you year round, support it by going every weekend! Not only will you be supporting a small business, but you’ll also be lowering your carbon footprint. Think about it: Farmers markets support local farmers. Their food is grown locally and with few to no pesticides. It takes less time to get to you, which results in a smaller carbon footprint (meaning it doesn’t need to sit in traffic and spew out emissions for days upon days). Plus, it’s generally easier to shop plastic free at the farmers market. Most items will be sold without packaging. Just remember to bring your reusable totes and reusable produce bags! You can get a surplus of veggies and fruits at the market year round. Most markets also sell dairy, meat, and bread.

                            3. Start composting

                            If you aren’t already composting, make it a goal to do it this year. You don’t have to have an actual compost pile in order to compost either. I personally live in an apartment so I don’t have the room for that either. Instead, I have a stainless steel compost pail I put all my food scraps in. Then, come Saturday, I take it with me on my weekly farmers market visit and dump the food scraps off. They collect them there and turn them into fertile, rich compost for me. It’s very hands off and I highly recommend you do the same. See if your local farmers market has a food scrap drop off you can participate in. If not, you can try to find a local community garden that will take the food scraps off your hands. Share Waste is a great resource that can help you find someone near you who will be willing to take the scraps off your hands. This will divert so much waste from the landfill!

                            4. Reduce food waste

                            Being zero waste isn’t just thinking about plastic waste, after all. It’s reducing waste in all forms. Food waste is a big problem: 40% of food in America is wasted. Plus, that food waste just ends up in a landfill where it produces methane emissions that contribute to climate change. Not to mention the average American family loses $1500 to food waste every year – isn’t that insane? Join the fight against food waste and give my ebook, How to Reduce Food Waste, a read this year. You’ll become a food waste warrior in no time and save yourself hundreds of dollars!

                            5. Bring your own containers for restaurants and takeout

                            Sometimes, we can’t finish the food on our plate at a restaurant. And, sometimes we just want takeout. In both scenarios, our food tends to get put into plastic packaging. This is avoidable, if we just plan a bit ahead of time. If you’re going to a restaurant and know ahead of time, I recommend swiping a mason jar or a stainless steel tiffin. Even Tupperware from home will do. At the end of your meal, when you can’t finish anymore, you can just put everything into your container. For takeout, just call the place ahead of time and ask them if you can bring your own container. Just make sure the container you bring is clean. For certain food items, a mason jar or glassware works well. Multi-tiered tiffins are best for buffets or several different food items when you don’t want your food to touch.

                            6. Prepare more meals and snacks at home

                            It can be tempting to buy a snack or even a full meal while out and about, especially when you don’t bring anything from home. But this ultimately results in more waste. And, it tends to be unhealthy. Lets face it – the snacks in the vending machine aren’t designed to keep you healthy, they’re designed to make you impulse buy them. You can avoid this altogether by prepping ahead of time at home. Making your own lunch and packing a few snacks for yourself at home will save you money, be healthier, and reduce waste. Who could argue with that? You can pack your lunch in a tiffin or glassware. Double points if you also bring a reusable water bottle and reusable cutlery from home with you. Snacks can be packed in reusable cloth or silicone bags. Or, if it’s uncut fruit (like a whole apple or orange), just wrap it in a cloth napkin.

                            7. Make your own cleaning products

                            Conventional cleaning products are not only toxic, but also come in plastic packaging. Instead of relying on them, I suggest making the switch to DIY cleaning products if you haven’t already. They’re not only easy to make, but also great for your wallet too – you also won’t have to worry they put your health at risk (I’m looking at you, bleach). Personally, I love cleaning with orange peel vinegar cleaner. It’s an all-purpose spray that really does wonders for every room of the house.

                            8. Create a zero waste laundry routine

                            Speaking of cleaning, take it a step further and develop a zero waste laundry routine that works for you. I personally love a combination of soap nuts, DIY liquid detergent, wool dryer balls and a plastic-free stain remover stick. That always gets the job done and reduces the amount of waste my laundry routine makes.

                            9. Eat more plant based

                            The more plants you eat, the lower carbon footprint you’ll have. You don’t have to completely give up meat and dairy, but cutting back on them will certainly help. Plus, more often than not, meat and dairy tend to be wrapped in plastic anyway. You might as well forgo the waste, and the carbon footprint, these food items have altogether. If you must eat meat and dairy, try to get it organic, package free and local whenever possible.

                            10. Donate unwanted, but good quality items to thrift stores

                            Sometimes, when you’re cleaning and de-cluttering, you’ll notice some items you no longer want. Instead of just tossing them out, where they’ll go to a landfill, consider donating them to a local thrift store. As long as the items still functions and is in good quality, this will give it a second chance at life and you will reduce one more thing from entering the landfill. Look and see what your local thrift store accepts before you bring it there, of course. Generally speaking, glassware, plates, clothing, books, toys and even some furniture items will likely be accepted.

                            What are some of your zero waste New Years resolutions? Will you be attempting anything off this list?

                            Eco Tourism in Bend, Oregon

                            Bend lies in the center of Oregon, and if it keeps going at the current rate of evolution, the vibrant mountainous town could easily rival any outdoor urban destination in the world. But something extra special is going on with Bend. Yes, it’s growing, but rather than compromise the natural environment and local economy, they are using the opportunity to enhance it.

                            Guides educate visitors of the importance of conservation, whether hitting the lava fields on wheels with sustainable Outriders Northwest, or just canoeing the rivers. The food scene is hyper local or organic, even when it comes to beer and spirits. Not only is Bend becoming quite trendy, the destination is paving the way, along with other cities, for a world centered around eco-conscious travel.

                            LOGE Bend at night
                            LOGE

                            Lodging

                            Bend isn’t just tearing down buildings to erect towering hotels, old motels are being restored, into something truly eclectic and modern. Simultaneously, more luxurious options exist, that still center around the outdoor surroundings.

                            LOGE Bend is one example of this revitalization, as it used to be an outdated Travelodge. But with its optimal location right at a Deschutes National Forest trail head, and within bike-able distance to downtown, LOGE is an outdoor adventurists’ haven. Rooms feature bike and ski racks, hammocks hanging from the ceilings, and rustic touches. Guests can roast marshmallows around the outdoor fire pits, or grab a local kombucha and paleo muffin from the cafe.

                            Riverhouse on the Deschutes has had a steady presence over the years, and offers glimpses of the well preserved river. The onsite restaurant is local ingredient focused, serving coffee from nearby Thump roasters, and wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

                            meal at riff
                            Riff Craft Food and Beverage

                            Food

                            There’s a local circle that exists among the Bend food scene. Restaurants source ingredients from nearby farms, many of which are organic— you’ll notice sandwich shops source bread from neighboring businesses like Sparrow Bakery. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and allergen free choices aren’t hard to find amongst the vast selection of restaurants in the city.

                            Riff Craft Food and Beverage not only has amazingly interesting cold brew coffees with hops and other unique flavor profiles, they have a fresh menu with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free picks, like the taco bowl with cauliflower rice, avocado, and cream sauce, topped with local meats, or blackened tempeh. The Huevos Riff-cheros with coffee infused enchilada sauce is an incredible lacto-ovo vegetarian pick.

                            Angeline’s Bakery is actually in Sisters, Oregon, but is more than a worthy mention, as the adorable shop whips up decadent baked goodies like the gluten free “jam jam” and a mouthwatering selection of vegan cookies and breads.

                            flight tray at worthy brewing
                            Worthy Brewing

                            Booze

                            Bend’s water source, from a mountain top fed spring, is so pristine that it has attracted an impressive list of breweries and even distilleries. Ancient volcanic rock serves as a natural filter, leaving crafters with an optimal base for making crisp beer or smooth spirits. If you wanted to travel to the Willamette Valley, you’d get a taste of a complex wine scene.

                            Worthy Brewing is one of the dozens of breweries in the area, who has their very own hop varietal discovered through a university program. Some hops are also grown in an onsite garden, which go into a special batch of brew each year. To reduce the impact of production, Worthy takes advantage of Bend’s 300 plus days of sunshine by partially using thermal energy. Leftover grains and hop remnants are sent to local farms for feed or natural fertilizer. Topping off all the eco-conscious efforts made by the brewery, they source ingredients from the same farms, for their restaurant menu.

                            Crater Lake Spirits by Bendistillery can be sampled at either the actual distilling facility, or the downtown tasting room—you’ll notice drinks from other restaurants feature the brand. Lava rock filtered water is used to create smooth vodkas, gin and other specialty spirits that are soaked with regional ingredients to cultivate unique flavors. A special brew of coffee from Sisters Coffee Company is used to make the hazelnut espresso vodka. But the pepper vodka ingredients are imported from Mexico, and make for an unreal Bloody Mary.

                            cascade lake
                            Cascade Lake

                            Recreation

                            Bend’s volcanic land has cultivated a diverse eco system, and striking terrain over many, many years. While ensuring habitat protection and conservation, the people here encourage exploration of the buttes, forests and rivers.

                            Sometimes diving in with a tour is the best way to get your feet wet. Wanderlust Tours works to educate its adventurers about the local environment, while leading the way in a variety of nature explorations, from kayaking the crystal clear Deschutes River, to canoeing the cascade lakes. Motors aren’t allowed on these waters, to prevent pollution. In the summer, nighttime canoe trips offer a special way to view the dark sky stars.

                            Worthy Brewing is also home to the “Hopservatory”, a huge tower adjoined to the brewery that houses a powerful telescope for viewing Bend’s dark sky. Guests can see star clusters, the most detailed glimpses of the moon, and sometimes planets, like Saturn.

                            Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway loops through the Deschutes Forest, and allows travelers to see a multitude of bright blue and green lakes.

                            Pilot Butte offers an overview of the city that has formed below. In the morning, people walk up the steep incline for an ultimate reveal of 360 degree views of volcanic mountains and landscape. If you can make it up there for sunrise, you’ll be treated to something truly magical.

                            When visiting, the opportunity to support the surrounding community, and a sustainable way of life, will be all around you. Visit Bend asks visitors to take a “leave no trace” pledge when visiting, to protect the special land that has been cultivated by the love and care of their own citizens, and past travelers—you could even win a free trip. From the places you choose to eat, the things you choose to do, to where you stay, one can practice an eco-conscious way of travel in beautiful Bend, Oregon.

                            Photos by Erick Wofford

                            The Fall Five: Still a Time For Living Green

                            The magic of fall…wood piles and wood smoke, golden days and chilly evenings, it’s my favorite time of year, and October my favorite month.  And if you asked me why, I’d say it’s a combination of things. The welcome relief of cooler temperatures after a long, hot summer, the brilliant colors of the leaves, the crackle of a cozy fire, hayrides in the country, pumpkin carving, evening shadows, and the harvest moon.

                            A friend recently told me she’s trying harder to live “green” but that she finds it difficult once spring and summer are over. Her concern made me think…how do I transition to “green” once the growing season is over? The farmers’ market on the town square is closed for the season and my garden has been put to bed for winter…what else can I do? I wanted to make sure I was doing more than composting and using canvas shopping bags over plastic.

                            My friend and I spent over an hour chatting, and it turns out we discovered most of us are doing more than we think we are. We brainstormed, made lists, and bounced ideas back and forth…here are what we called The Fall Five.

                            rsz_dsc06256
                            Photo Credit: Mary Murray

                            1. Use nature’s bounty when decorating for the season…

                            Pumpkins, gourds, leaves, bittersweet, pine cones, acorns, fall flowers, and broom corn make terrific centerpieces. And the best part is they’ll compost naturally…never ending up in a landfill.

                            rsz_1pie
                            Photo Credit: Mary Murray

                            2. Look for a winter farmers’ market…

                            We’re fortunate that our small town has a great shop off the square that offers a variety of foods grown and baked locally. Homemade pies, cookies, breads, honey, jams, root vegetables, lettuce, and winter squash are a few of the seasonal, local foods available now. Buying local not only supports the farms in the community, but when our food travels such a short distance, it's fresher and results in fewer emissions.

                            3. Forget the leaf blower…use a rake!

                            I understand…leaf blowers are convenient and quick, and when time is short, they do the job of corralling leaves faster than raking. However; raking leaves not only gives me a little workout, it’s a family affair.  Yes, sometimes those piles get jumped in, but that’s the fun of it! Leaves can then be spread on the garden and in flowerbeds to breakdown over winter, or they can be added to the compost pile.  For us, our goats enjoy most of our dry leaves (maple only, never oak or wild cherry…they’re toxic to goats). A treat they look forward to and we have plenty to share.

                            rsz_img_1440
                            Photo Credit: Mary Murray

                            4. Walk, bike, hike!

                            Autumn is a magical time to get outside…walk and hike nearby trails or bike along the country roads. Invite a friend to come along, or unplug and enjoy some quiet time. No exhaust and no emissions. Bring along a picnic…there’s no better time to enjoy the glorious colors that are found in this perfect sweater weather.

                            5. Cozy candlelight…

                            When the days become shorter, I love the coziness of candlelight. I eagerly look for the seasonal scents on the market…pumpkin, maple, balsam, but looking for greener choices mean now I look for candles made from beeswax. Not only do I love the aroma, they burn cleanly, and I feel better knowing I’m supporting local beekeepers.

                            Yes, while it’s summer’s end, it’s the beginning of autumn’s glory. Enjoy every minute savoring the sights, sounds, and aromas that mark this new season…all while “staying green.”







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