With worrying about scary chemicals in our food, massive oil
spills and the overall fear that the planet is warming, I often
find myself complaining about the state of affairs in our environment.
Complaining can be useful when it motivates and inspires us to make
changes. However, being aware of all that is good in the world today
is also useful and, frankly, uplifting. So during this time of Thanksgiving,
I feel the need to take a step back and think of a few things for which I am thankful.
1. Farmers markets are on the rise. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are 6,100 farmers markets operating in the country in 2010, which represents a 16 percent growth from last year. Check here to find a farmers market in your area.
2. Growth of the green building. A January 6, 2010, Wall Street Journal article states: “Green buildings will make up about half of the non-residential building stock by 2015, up from about 15% currently, according to a new study from venture capital firm Good Energies Inc.” The article goes on to say that “builders and building owners are starting to realize that green building isn’t as expensive as they may have thought.” There just aren’t too many reasons not to build “green.”
3. Thinking out of the box. Check out this video of Scott Brusaw outlining his idea of installing solar panels on America’s roadways. Brusaw, the founder of Solar Roadways, estimates that covering the U.S. roadways (which take up about 1.7 percent of the nation’s land surface) with the solar cells and glass panels could supply our energy demand. Although early in the planning, it is exciting to read about someone thinking about new ideas and new innovations that could change our world.
Could we actually be heading toward a more sustainable lifestyle? Eating farm-fresh foods, building healthier and energy-efficient buildings, and innovating new technologies that could ease our addiction to oil—a step in the right direction?
However, my hands-down favorite way to regroup and remind myself what is important is to go outside, look up at the sky, breathe in the air and take in all the beautiful sites of nature. Treasures surround us. And, of course, nothing beats being with family and friends.
Enjoy your holiday.
In 2006, Francesca Olivieri co-founded the company sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skincare to furniture. In 2010, Francesca launched her green consulting company and continues to help people “go green.” She writes a weekly blog for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living website and a monthly blog for Scenic Hudson as well contributes articles to Daily Candy Kids, Citiscoop and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Francesca lives in New York City with her husband and three kids 10, 8 and 5.