“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” — William Wordsworth 1798
Agreeing makes us feel calm; disagreeing makes us stressed. Why do that to ourselves when we don’t have to?
Fortunately, there is near-100 percent agreement on home-based actions we can take to lessen the harm of a changing climate. Among them are buying practices, recreation, household management, civic participation, and home improvement.
This new column in The Mountaineer focuses entirely on partial solutions that all or most experts agree on:
1) what we can do now,
2) why we all should do it,
3) who says—the experts,
4) and all the information readers need to leap into action.
It’s brought to you by volunteers, most of us retirees; other volunteers are professionals with special expertise in farming, gardening, water conservation, and more. We are part of the Haywood County-based WNC Climate Action Coalition (WNC CAC). Our members also belong to some of the oldest, largest conservation, farming, and nature organizations: the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and more.
Some members are active in local groups tacking the food insecurity crisis while helping out local farmers in the process.
Among members’ organizations are the Creation Care Alliance of WNC, whose churches and other faith-based groups are already actively solving climate-related problems. Because it is relatively new in Haywood County, yet encompasses so many WNC organizations, readers may be especially interested in learning about Creation Care. It is
a network of people of faith and congregations who have united around a moral and spiritual call to preserve the integrity, beauty and health of God’s creation. We bring practical and hopeful solutions to our congregations and broader secular communities by engaging hearts and minds through inspiration, education, service, and advocacy. Our work is an expression of our love of God and God’s love for the earth and all life. https://creationcarealliance.org/about-us/
Your first action option for making life better x3. Plus a bonus, making four good reasons to act
To do now: Find the time and place of your local farmers’ market. Buy all the produce and plants you can this Saturday. Every WNC County has at least one.
A quadruple win: First, the pandemic threatens food supplies from elsewhere (we’ve read that news). I want to know who raises and processes the meat, fish, and eggs I eat. Second, local food tastes better and has more nutrients because it was picked more recently. As the bumper sticker says, “Local food—thousands of miles fresher.” Third, supporting local farms boosts our local economy. Fourth, depending on where and how local farmers deliver, less gasoline was probably burned to deliver local food. Additionally (five reasons!), “on average, local fresh fruits and vegetables that are sold in direct markets are less expensive than fresh fruits and vegetables sold in grocery stores” (NC state research, below).
The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project https://asapconnections.org/find-local-food/
NC State research on local, small vs. food from elsewhere: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/local-food-systems-clarifying-current-research
The US Department of Agriculture https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-choices-health.aspx
Action info—how to find your farmers’ market
Macon County https://www.americantowns.com/macon-county-nc/local-food/
Buy Haywood https://www.buyhaywood.com –two Saturday Markets off Pigeon Street
Swain County https://nfmd.org/nc/bryson-city/1011592/
Jackson County https://www.localharvest.org/jackson-county-farmers-market-M3225
Mary Jane Curry, Haywood County
WNC Climate Action Coalition volunteer, retired teacher, Climate Reality® Leader