Eco expert Deborah Barrow explains why November is a good time to go green.
"Puckish, not preachy"—that's how publishing executive Deborah Barrow describes TheDailyGreen.com, the eco-conscious website she launched a year ago, which now attracts some 1.2 million page views per month. In a playful, inviting tone, the site (which, like O, is a Hearst venture) provides green shopping tips and recipes, an environmental news feed, and the user-generated Weird Weather Watch. Here, Barrow offers ways to put the earth first amid the Turkey Day rush and the chills of late autumn.
Even in the run-up to Thanksgiving, minimize trips to the market. "I used to think nothing of jumping in the car to run an errand," Barrow says. "Then I'd come home, remember another errand, repeat. I'm now combining several trips into one, and my neighbor and I often drive together."
When the gravy boat capsizes or the cranberry sauce revolts, remember that you don't need paper towels to cope. "It drives my son crazy, but I've stopped using paper for anything but the most atrocious messes. I collect cloth dish towels and napkins at flea markets for pennies, and I keep them folded and stacked on the kitchen counter. They're pretty too."
If you're using your green thumb to flip through next year's seed catalogs, consider going organic (if you haven't already). "Check out specialty vendors such as Johnny's Selected Seeds (JohnnySeeds.com) and Seeds of Change (SeedsofChange.com). They have the best earth-friendly deals around. Even in the chilliest areas, you can raise hardy delicacies in pots near your back door, eight months a year."
Do the earth and your wallet a favor by keeping your energy bills low as temperatures drop. "Turn the dial down to 68. Get a programmable thermostat, so you're not heating an empty house when the family is at work or school. Knit or crochet a throw. Grab a sweater."