Living Economically: Dreaming of a GREEN Wednesday

Laurie Caswell Burke
Laurie Caswell Burke

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. I’d like to vote for GREEN Wednesday since that day still seems to be open. In my dreams, it would be a day that we celebrate all we have accomplished on the sustainable (green) front in our lives and communities. A day that we take stock of what more we can accomplish! It’s very easy to procrastinate making changes, especially when it involves reducing our carbon footprint. Helping our planet can feel overwhelming and a challenge that doesn’t seem possible. One of my favorite stories, The Starfish Story (google it now), by Loren Eisley reminds us that our individual actions do make a difference.

Imagine if we all devoted one day entirely to focus on being kinder to our planet. We spend plenty of time this season shopping, eating, cooking, singing, traveling, attending holiday performances, and spending time with our families and friends. So why not take some time to reflect on how we can each do better to insure our future generations have a healthy planet to live on? Some people say they don’t know where to start or even how to access the information they need to make changes. For folks in this category, here is a list that I hope you find helpful and I encourage you to add to this list. Shelburne News columnist Sadie Williams has done a fantastic job in the past few weeks reminding us to shop local when possible so our shop owners and restaurants can continue to thrive in our vibrant community.

In keeping with Williams’ advice to shop local, this weekend Shelburne will be bustling with two school holiday fairs and one church bazaar that promise to be filled with wonderful items, music, games and fun!

  • Shelburne Community School Holiday Fair, Saturday 9:30-1:30pm
  • 30th Annual Lake Champlain Waldorf Holiday Fair, Friday 6:30-9pm (adults and older teens) and Saturday 10am-3pm
  • Methodist Church Annual Bazaar, Saturday, 9am-2pm
Beeswax candles line the shelves of a vendors booth at the annual Waldorf Holiday Fair last year.
Beeswax candles line the shelves of a vendors booth at the annual Waldorf Holiday Fair last year.

There are also some great bargains to be found at our local SCHIP’s Treasure where all sales benefit local organizations and non-profits. Not only are you purchasing gently used or brand new items but you are helping community organizations provide service to folks in need and other worthy causes. Shelburne Farms Visitor Center, Shelburne Craft School, and Shelburne Museum are also wonderful non-profits to visit.

Other resources to think about on this imaginary GREEN Wednesday might include:

  • For local food sources check out NOFA Vermont, www.nofavt.org, and the winter indoor Burlington farmers market at Memorial Auditorium, www.burlingtonwinterfarmersmarket.org.
  • Take outdated television sets to ReSource VT, www.reSourcevt.org.
  • Outdated computers can be recycled at the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD), www.cswd.net.
  • Visit Efficiency Vermont to see how one can reduce energy costs, www.efficiencyvermont.com.
A girl decorates cookies at the Shelburne Community School Fair last year.
A girl decorates cookies at the Shelburne Community School Fair last year.

As for transportation, think about carpooling more, bundling errands when possible, and consider taking the bus. Our recreation path is bustling these days with dog walkers, runners, strollers and bikers.

I’d like to encourage us to give mother/father nature the best gift of all this holiday season—putting a little more green living into our lives. Think hard about the difference each of us can make. Take a few moments and read the Starfish Story. And maybe there really shouldn’t be a GREEN Wednesday after all. It should be part of everyday living and each of us can do our part!