Sunday, March 23, 2014

Imagine if suburban gardening crews created organic farms on their customers’ lawns

Imagine if instead of hiring gardeners to mow their lawns each week, suburbanites could hire gardeners to come and grow food on all or a portion of their property.
What do you think?
It would probably be quieter and less polluting than using lawn mowers, weed-wackers and leaf blowers.  Different plans could be available– the pick-your-own plan where gardeners plant and weed, but let the homeowners have the fun of harvesting, or the full service plan, where gardeners plant, weed, harvest and leave the fruits and veggies in a basket by the door.
While some of us (including me!) love to grow our own food, other people don’t have the time and/or inclination to garden.   Wouldn't it be great to give folks an option that was just as easy and convenient as hiring gardeners to tend their lawn? 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Are free weekly newspapers a form of litter?

Each morning when I walk my dog, I see that more and more snow has melted.  While I love seeing the snowdrops popping up, I don't love seeing some of the other items that are emerging.

In a 20 minute walk, I spotted over 30 blue plastic bags filled with soggy, dirt-encrusted newspapers.   One house had over nine of these free newspapers, in various states of decay, on its property.  I ask you, why would anyone continue to deliver free weekly newspapers to a house that already has the previous eight weeks worth of newspapers covering its front lawn?

The newspapers are tossed out of a moving car window each week.  Some weeks the blue bags seem to be flung helter-skelter and end up on empty lots or midway between two houses.  During the winter, the freebies were often promptly covered by a snowfall before anyone noticed they had been delivered.
Usually I find them to be a nuisance - one more thing to pick up and add to the recycling container.  Upon occasion, I have found myself short of a dog poop bag, and the blue bags have come in handy.  I wonder if anyone reads these papers.  They are mostly a bunch of advertisements with only a single page of newspaper.

Several of these blue bags have found their way into the gutters that run along the side of the street, and I am concerned that they may clog up the storm drains.

Communities across the US have been faced with this same issue.  In many areas, newspapers are exempt from litter laws.

What do you think about having a plastic-wrapped newspaper that was not requested deposited on peoples' property?  Who is responsible for picking up the ones that end up in "unclaimed territory"?   Is it possible to opt out of these deliveries, so we can reduce rather than recycle?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Would you wear a “special occasion” dress twice?

So here’s the deal.  I’m not a big shopper; in fact, my natural tendency is to avoid shopping for clothes as much as possible.  With my niece’s Bat Mitzvah rapidly approaching, I feel the usual societal pressure to buy a new dress for the party.  But, I’m thinking of (gasp!) re-wearing the EXACT same dress I wore to her sister’s Bat Mitzvah party two years ago, which I, incidentally had also worn at my own daughter’s Bat Mitzvah party two years before that.   

Why is it considered taboo for a woman to wear the same outfit to more than one special occasion?  Men, in general do not feel the same pressure, and many regularly re-wear the same suits for special occasions, without mentally going over the who-might-be-there list, to make sure they are not committing a fashion faux pas. 

In the great mantra of sustainability, reduce, reuse, recycle, reduce comes first.   How many dresses do we need?  Especially for those of us who are not fans of shopping, how did we get to a point where we feel compelled to consume more goods rather than reuse and reduce simultaneously?

In an interesting post, Nadia Eghbal, writes about her experiment wearing one outfit for an entire year.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this!

(This post was also shared on Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Hop and Frugal Thursday.)

Almost Spring

Seeing the snowdrops push up through the snow always reminds me of part of a song my mother sang when I was younger, "he thinks the tulips bloom beneath the snow."

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are not native, but I love to plant them.  They are harbingers of spring and always bring a sense of hope when they appear.    I've seen snowdrops emerge as early as November, but they usually wait until the cusp of spring.    Deer, skunks, and squirrels leave them alone, so once planted, they will be reliable bloomers year after year.  In fact, like most bulbs, they will multiply, and after a few years, each single bulb becomes a cluster of bulbs.  My mother gave the snowdrops in the photo to me a couple of years ago -she dug up a clump of her snowdrops, split them up, and I replanted them.   The photo was taken two weeks ago in my garden.

Most garden lore insists that bulbs like snowdrops must be planted in the fall, but I've found that they can be planted any time at all.  In fact, it's usually easier to dig them up when they are in bloom, so that you can find them, and split them up then.  For me, spring planting of snow drops works just as well as fall plantings.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Imagine if ... public transportation connected the Hudson line, Harlem line and New Haven line of the Metro-North Railroad

Imagine if ... a light rail ran along Route 35 in Westchester connecting three branches of the Metro-North Railroad lines:  the Hudson line, the Harlem line and the New Haven line.  

The light rail would stop at the Peekskill train station on the Hudson line, the Katonah train station on the Harlem line, and the Branchville, CT train station on the New Haven line.  

Additional stops would be made along the way in Yorktown, NY and Ridgefield, CT.  

What do you think?
Would you ride on this if it existed?
Is there another place you think a light rail connection would help?
All thoughts, comments appreciated!!

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