Monday, July 28, 2008

the green epidemic

We had brunch with these lovely home owners yesterday morning. On the menu: banana oatmeal pancakes, a goat cheese scramble, the perfect wheat toast (and I don't even like toast), and for dessert: homemade strawberry sorbet with fresh basil and a dash of balsamic.

I was able to prevent a pancake overdose because I ate a pre-breakfast cliff bar about an hour before heading over to the homestead. I did not, however, refrain from having a cup of coffee with all those sweet bread products (how do you eat pancakes without coffee?). It was cup #2 for the morning, and the repercussions were not pretty. Shortly after we left the table, I felt impatient, nauseous, jittery, and generally unhappy with the world, even after drinking several Nalgenes of water. It's clear that caffeine has a major impact on my ability to be patient and control my reactions to what would otherwise be a normal interaction.

Speaking of not pretty, I've been reading the book Affluenza and it's beginning to really depress me. I won't get into my specific reactions just yet, but if you're looking for an inspiration to get you running full tilt after the "green" bandwagon, read this book. Inspiration may not be the right word. Catalyst by way of grotesque reality checks might be a better way to put it.

The good news is that "Affluenza" has made me appreciate the efforts of people like Jo & Dave (the homeowners) even more. They're both Ph.D. students with a very restricted income, but they were able to buy a house in East Atlanta several months ago. Since their purchase they have made incredible strides toward sustainable living. They installed rain barrels, set up a compost, rerouted the kitchen and bathroom pipes for gray water, added an energy efficient screen door, created several raised bed gardens in their backyard with another set of vegetable beds in front that they're planning to donate, and they even used eco-friendly paint for their interior remodeling (as "eco-friendly as paint can be). They really do have a homestead going, and with a little tweaking in the garden, they could probably get most of their fresh food (a lot of which are heirloom varieties) from their own backyard.

I admit, I've got the bug. I can't wait to attempt some sort of container garden when we get up to NYC. The trick is going to be keeping the damn cats out of it if we can't find a place with a balcony.

1 comment:

Steve said...

In NYC, balcony = fire escape.

The good news is, they're everywhere. The bad news is, buildings often won't let you keep plants on them. :(