7 things you can do right now to further the sunshine economy: Resources for sustainability

May 19, 2009

• Plant lettuce in a window box. Lettuce that you grow yourself does not have to be transported from farm to grocer to home, burning fuel. A home garden can be as simple as a window box and as elaborate as a carefully designed urban plot. (kitchengardeners.org)

• Boycott meat from Confined Animal Feeding Operations. Anything that comes shrink-wrapped in the grocery store is from a CAFO unless otherwise noted. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

• Urge members of Congress to create a farm bill that separates nutrition programs from funds for agri businesses, so that a sustainable farm program can be developed. (Bread for the World)

• Buy from a local farmer or a farmers market, receive home delivery of local and organic food (in Chicago try Fresh Picks), or sign up for a share of produce from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Find a CSA near you by going to localharvest.org/csa. (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education)

• To offset the cost of paying more for responsibly produced food, plan and plant a garden at your church or volunteer to organize one for a local school. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be donated to a local food bank, distributed by church members or used by a soup kitchen. Churches large and small have such gardens, and they help bring community and church together. Denver Urban Gardens has models on its Web site. (farmtoschool.org)

• Take the 100-mile challenge—eat only food available from your region. (100milediet.org)

• Request local food from your local restaurants and supermarkets. Sustainable Table has cards you can print out to give to store managers.

See also Sunshine-powered: The next agrarian revolution, by Norman Wirzba.