Access to fresh food is a major concern of the green movement.  Locally grown food is better for both consumers and the environment principally because it most likely was picked within the last day or two and is crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor.  Fresh produce loses its nutrients quickly.  Its sugars turn to starches and plant cells shrink.  Consequently, locally produced fruits and vegetables have more flavor and nutrients and are better for you.

Locally produced food is good for the economy because the money made from sales by local farmers is reinvested into the area economy, enabling these communities to thrive and remain resilient, especially during downturns.  Local farmers are better positioned to practice sustainable techniques and are mandated by local governments to keep pesticides and other chemicals out of runoff water.  Because their farms are smaller than those of corporate conglomerates, these farmers have greater flexibility to maintain crop diversification and to implement sustainable harvesting methods that impact the quality of the water source.  Another benefit of purchasing produce locally is that it reduces our carbon footprint, as food does not have to be transported long distances to be sold.

The emergence of farm-to-table eateries also has become popular all over the country.  Chefs spearhead this movement with a goal to maintain access to fresh ingredients that are not sprayed with chemicals to protect them on long trips to restaurants and also to leave a smaller eco-footprint.  Farm-to-table eateries also serve to assure green-minded consumers that the meals they purchase at restaurants and eateries are healthy.

The current harvest season with its bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables offers consumers a great opportunity to experience locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Make sure you check local directories for times for farmers’ markets or stop by local farm stands to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.  When planning to eat out, do a little research and farm-to-table restaurants and local eateries a try.  Remember to live green, be green.

Kevin and Gillian Halligan at their Local Eatery in downtown Laconia, New Hampshire


Happy Fourth of July.  Hopefully, this holiday will be a fun day spent with friends and family, relaxing and celebrating our wonderful country.  Also, hopefully this day will be a green day.  I have several tips to make the 4th a wonderful green day.

First of all, let’s talk about fireworks.  They are not green.  All polytechnic applications are significant polluters of the environment.  I know it is hard to imagine celebrating the 4th without fireworks.  So let’s compromise here and leave this part of the celebration to the experts.  Plan to go to a community event rather than staging a backyard event.  This way it will be done with more control, alleviating the risk of accidents that occur every year, and plus you get to celebrate in grand style.

Also, for picnics and barbecues, it is important to use biodegradable or reusable plates and plastics.  The picnic will still be fun and you will be doing your part to reduce the piles at the landfills.  Pay attention to the food served at your picnic or barbecue.  Hot dogs and hamburgers are staples at cookouts and barbecues, but be mindful of the environmental impact of the production of such products.  Make sure you incorporate healthy and possibly organic fruits and salads into your menu.  You will be doing a favor to yourself, your family and friends and the environment.

Think green when you crank up the grill.  Propane is three times as efficient as charcoal.  If you opt for charcoal, make sure it is wood briquettes.  They are more sustainable.  Also, do not overcook or char  food on the grill.  This is toxic to the body and the environment.  

Try to incorporate some exercise into the day.  The Fourth of July is a great time to organize a friendly game of baseball, volleyball, dodgeball, etc.  Exercise is great for the health of friends and family.  

As you can see, the Fourth of July is a wonderful day to celebrate our nation and green.  Let’s live green, be green!