I have two green tips for today and then I promise I will post pictures tonight. The first tip I came across accidentally and I think most people already do this, but I will still share. I do not believe I could have survived this pregnancy thus far without Gatorade. We have purchased copious amounts of the stuff in the convenient 6 or 8 packs, whatever is on sale. For months, I brought along 2 or 3 plastic bottles to work with me every day (making sure I recycled them of course, even though we all strongly suspect that the cleaning crew still dumps our bins in the trash). Then one day at the grocery store I noticed they sell a nice container of Gatorade Mix for $4, which makes enough cups of the concoction to last me a month. And I am not talking about the nasty lemon-lime mix that always reminds me of having the flu as a kid (thanks, Mom), but they actually have good flavors like Riptide Rush. Not only is it WAY cheaper, it saves a ton of plastic packaging that is really just pure waste. I am constantly amazed at the amount of trash that is generated from wasteful packing by manufacturers. So, tip #1- buy in bulk whenever possible to save money AND packaging.
Tip # 2 came to mind last night as Craig and I made a run to Longview Gardens to FINALLY purchase plants for this season. When buying plants, it is best for a number of reasons to seek out plants that are grown at a local nursery as opposed to buying them at a big box store. I will confess that I am easily swayed by the rows of cheap plants at Lowe’s and the like. I can hardly visit these stores without managing to buy at least a few things. BUT, it is truly best to buy the majority of your plants locally. The biggest benefit is that you are purchasing plants that are adapted to your local microclimate, and not for example, a “Proven Winner” which has been shipped in from Texas or Florida. If you are familiar with the carbon footprint concept, you are also savings tons of emissions by purchasing plants that haven’t traveled at all. And, you are supporting a local business, which always feels good. And the people at these nurseries really know their plants!! We are trying harder this year to avoid Home Depot and seek out more local sources for what we need. It is definitely hard, but we have enjoyed finding all of the neat local stores and this has a huge “feel good” factor. I would caution that a number of nurseries that seem local still ship in their plant material from out of state. Finding a place that has grown their material from seed or cuttings is worth the hunt. And really, this same concept can apply to veggies this time of year and visiting Farmer’s Markets, if you don’t have your own garden.