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Going Green (Practically)


I just took the Practically Green quiz, and I am feeling pretty good about my greenyness, but I have to admit most of the green things I do are purely selfish and don’t merit much of an award. To prove my point I am going to share with you a few of my daily good deeds.

1. I try to buy most of my fruits and vegetables in season. The green reason is that I won’t be forcing a poor pink strawberry to pollute the winter sky all the way from Peru to my kitchen in November. (The real reason is nothing beats the taste of a fruit or vegetable eaten when it is in season, and the better it tastes, the less I as a chef have to do to it before putting it on the plate… and I still get to take the credit.)

2. I also stick with organic produce. The green reason is that the only “spices” in the food I cook should be the ones I add: pesticides are not in any of my recipes. (The real reason is that I grew up on a fruit farm in the 70’s, and for many years I and my family members were the ones who had to spray those pesticides, back then where I grew up there were no organic farmers, or organic choices… it is time to feel lucky and support the farmers now. )

3. I am slowly changing my menus to vegetarian. The green reason is that it is just better for the planet and better for our bodies. Plain and simple, cutting back on meat is one of the greenest, and kindest things we can do for each other and the earth we walk upon. (And that is the real reason, too.)

4. Bringing glass back into the kitchen. I LOVE canning jars. I use them to store most of my leftovers, to freeze soups and sauces, to store my dry goods like beans and grains, I even layer beautiful desserts and salads in the huge ones. The green reason is obvious. Treated with respect, glass jars are sturdy, heat and microwave proof, and recyclable…plastic not so much. (The real reason is they are just so good at making the fridge, pantry and myself look organized!  And the lids always fit, big plus.)

5. My new aprons are all soft untreated linen. I used to use all white aprons, which made me look pretty angelic, but needed to be washed in boiling water with bleach, so I switched to linen. The green reason is that my new aprons just need to be washed in cold water and are an organic fabric. (The real reason is I am pretty hot in my new wheaty-back-to-nature-zaftig look.)

6. Dish cloths… I love them. I use them for everything, mopping up spills, wiping down stoves, whirling around salad greens, even as a napkin from time to time. The green reason is it saves me from using paper towels. (The real reason is I hate paper towels, the way they feel, the way they look, they way they fill up the trash. However they are still in my kitchen, so…)

7. My paper towels are recycled. The green reason is that they are recycled (duh). (The real reason is the warm brown color looks a 1000 times better in my kitchen than white ones with the goofy patterns.)

8. I use cloth napkins. The green reason is… just imagine the pile of napkins we as a country produce every single day! All those fast food, happy birthday, dinner napkins with their paper and die, and plastic wrappings lying in one big soggy heap. Ugh! I say use the back of your hand or a cloth napkin! (The real reason is I also hate the feel and look of paper napkins, and once I gave myself permission not to iron cloth napkins, and I give you this permission too, I have not gone back, wrinkles are beautiful).

9. In my big city, I grow a small vegetable garden, and several fruit trees. The green reason is that there is no more local nor in season produce that what I grow myself. (The real reason is it is so convenient and tasty! I always have fresh salad greens steps away, my herbs don’t come from a plastic clam shell, but are vibrant and fresh, my tomatoes are sweet and tart, warm from the sun and always at hand.)

10. I compost, but I am still working on that one. The green reason is it will (hopefully) create soil out of my scraps. (The real truth is my compost still looks like twigs and sticks, but I am working on it, or the worms are… I think.)

My point with this list is that the more I learn about the green choices we are supposed to make, the more I realize that these choices all benefit our lives immediately and directly. So come on friends, let’s all be terrifically selfish and make our choices green!

LINK » The Practically Green Quiz: How Green are You?



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2 Responses

  1. sarah robinson says:

    Kristen, you’ve got an entire new book to write about all of these wonderfully funny and helpful tips for healthy green living. Go girl! And I feel sorry for that carrot — he doesn’t have a chance! Sarah

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