Changes Are Happening

I went to the farmers market in Lion’s Head this morning. The market was an initiative of local high school students as a school project. Their belief in the need to support the local economy, and to eat local, drove them. They had the usual challenges with the health authorities, and had to coax the municipal council to allow them to use the beach pavilion, but they triumphed in the end.

The market is still small, but there were peppers, pies, and potatoes. Cucumbers, cabbages, wax beans, bread, cheese, garlic, herbs, onions, bread, jams and jellies. It’s still too early for tomatoes, but they will come. Supply is the problem, not demand. No doubt the growers will be more ready next year.

Then on to Hellyer’s grocery store for the rest of the groceries, cloth bags in hand. Three years ago they would have looked at you like you were crazy if you brought your own bags. Now its routine – a lot of people do it. A few months ago they had a giveaway of cloth bags with a grocery purchase.

Then past the Golden Dawn nursing home. They are considering installation of a solar hot water system that will supply about half of their hot water for their 75 residents. Hopefully that will happen. It will take some fundraising to make it happen. They burn fuel oil for hot water now, and as a non profit organization, the fuel costs are significant.

Then up to Main Street to White’s garage for an oil change. The cardboard was all packed up ready to go to the recycling depot. I noticed a compact fluorescent in one of the fixtures. Isn’t that new?

Next door, Merridale’s restaurant puts its compostables in a place that local gardeners pick up to enrich their soil, cutting their waste in half. They installed a set back thermometer last year that saved a whole tank of fuel oil. This year they are installing ceiling fans to reduce the need for air conditioning.

The small actions of local people and businesses are adding up. Perhaps there is a bandwagon that everyone is getting on. We are all environmentalists now.

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