Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Green Life

by Jena Sanders

The environmentally-friendly buzzword used over the past couple of years is commonly referred to as "Going Green" or "Green Living" or simply "Green(ing)." 

At its core "green" living is really living holistically.  Holistic, defined by the dictionary, refers to something "characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole."  On a broad basis, holistic living views society as a whole, intertwined by understanding of past generations, and considerations of those to come and applies such knowledge to actively enrich and manage present lives.  However, as our society becomes increasingly ego-centric and individualized, less thought is given to a broader picture of mankind.  For man was created to live wholly; a multifaceted life, striving for a broad base of knowledge resulting in skills and aptitude in multiple fields or disciplines, i.e. a renaissance man or polymath, relying on family and local community to fill in the shortages.  Unfortunately, as our society becomes increasingly compartmentalized and specialized, negative results occur: the loss of time-honoured art & craft traditions, decreased quality of life and the inability to live in harmony with the natural world.

To bring in holistic living on a personal basis, we must take control of our personal health and well-being. With the exception of trauma and truly amazing technical advances, standard medicine and the SAD (Standard American Diet) are incomplete paths to well-being and can even be harmful.  Industrialized nations have become dependent on synthetic medical treatments for ONLY the symptoms of an illness or targeting a specific gene while fully neglecting the WHOLE body. Assess and evaluate all medical treatment options at all times. The human body is composed of a web-like matrix of interconnected and entwined parts.  Such a whole body requires optimal nutrition that can be obtained by raising your own food, or knowing personally who is growing what you are eating.

Although there are numerous parts that make up a green life, two crucial aspects are sustainability and seasonality.   These principles are part of the reason Green Streets Market, a food & arts festival was estabilished in Lawrenceburg, TN.  Allison Baker, Jill Poston, Pat Adams and yours truly, embarked on a mission:

"Our objective is to enrich our community through encouraging growth and the revitalization of Lawrenceburg's economy by promoting a monthly food and arts festival during the harvest season.  We hope to sustain a vibrant and flourishing relationship between consumers and local farmers and artisans in a family friendly environment.  We also encourage local business participation by sponsoring our monthly markets.  Our desire is to utilize local resources to educate the Lawrenceburg public about the benefits of living a healthful, "green" lifestyle."

We believe knowledge is key to action, and understanding and ability comes best from personal experience.  Ideally, plant and grow your own food.  Or take advantage of your own local farmer's market.  Wouldn't you rather purchase strawberries (with noticeable and actual flavour) from a local patch in May, than getting a questionable product from a chain grocery store in December?  Who knows from where they have shipped and what chemicals have been sprayed on them?  Eat seasonally and locally.  Likewise, why not support local artists to enhance your community's culture and shop local businesses to the stimulate the local economy?  As our tag line for Green Streets Market states, "Live Green. Buy Local!"

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