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Cheers! Here's to Earth Day!

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:12am

So, today is Earth Day. No big fanfare over here. No big parade or celebration. Just a simple gesture, yet another, in a long series of them that move me closer to sustainability. I bought a water filter, a 20-dollar item that enables me to filter my tap water and remove any remaining lead, copper, mercury, cadmium and benzene from my municipality-treated water.

I had been using 5-gallon water bottles and a water cooler, easily accessible in the kitchen. The water comes from the headwaters of our watershed, up in Blue Ridge, Georgia, in Rabun County. I read an article recently that said the wells of folks who live near there are going dry because the bottled water companies are removing so much water--which they can do, for free, by the way, up to a certain amount. Plus, the water comes on trucks--more energy. The bottles are recycled but it takes energy to clean and refill them. And it costs money, a steady drip of it each month. Just seems silly and wasteful now.

Got an email this morning from Leslie Hatfield, who is one of my favorite bloggers who wrote for Sustainable Table in New York City (which had that Eat Well Guided Tour of America last summer). She has moved to Baltimore (visions of Anna Paquin leading the geese through downtown Baltimore in Fly Away Home just sprung to my mind again!) yet is still involved with the Eat Well folks.

Turns out the team at Eat Well has just launched an official, free-standing Eat Well Guide blog called The Green Fork. According to Leslie:

The Eat Well Guide, which hosts thousands of listings of small-scale farms, restaurants, and other "green food outlets" throughout the US and Canada, has recently expanded to include produce farms, farmers markets and vegan restaurants, as well as "water-conscious ratings" that let consumers know which of their local restaurants have moved away from the ecologically unsound bottled water trend. The Eat Well team is currently at work on new features to make it easier than ever to eat greener, including an interactive mapping and travel feature due to hit the Web this summer.

So, if you are a reader in the U.S. or Canada, check it out at www.eatwellguide.org. Last time (over a year ago) when I searched this guide for farms, restaurants, stores and more that are doing great things for sustainability close to my home, I came up a bit dry. Today, I had 106 results within 20 miles, and I can check who is conserving water as well. Change is happening, my friends. Change is happening.

No matter where you are on our FoodShed Planet, I lift my glass of filtered tap water to you and say, "Cheers. Here's to Earth Day and the folks who are making a positive difference. One simple gesture at a time."
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