J and I went - it had been a late night the night before and there was that wavering moment when we woke up of "are we really going to do this?"
And while it would have been nice to have slept in, I'm so glad we motivated and got ourselves there. I'm so glad that we marched and chanted and cheered and joined in with so many others to take a stand.
HuffPo estimated that there were over 300,000 people for a march which stretched over 4 miles.
It was great to see such an active organized labor presence: unions and environmental activism haven't always gone hand in hand.
But Sunday, the unions were out in full force, and there were plenty of chants demanding green jobs and climate justice for all. So many union folks turned out that we filled seven city blocks!
J and I took turns carrying a UAW sign - there's a picture of me with it - though there were plenty who took the opportunity to be more creative (one recurring theme: taking care of our mother with a drawing of the earth).
One lady who couldn't march because her foot was in a cast sat in the window of her apartment overlooking the march route and held up a sign saying she was with us in spirit.
Other people were banging on homemade drums, blowing noisemakers, and cheering.
The New York City Labor Chorus sang while they marched:
Throughout the day, there was so much great energy, and a real feeling of solidarity and community and hope and passion. Very exciting to be a part of.
So, in the spirit of the Climate March, I wanted to share some of the little things we've been doing to keep our home green, and also make a resolution about what I can do better.
So far we:
- Have started composting. It cuts down on how much trash we have to take out, and forces us to get to the farmers market once a week.
- Are shopping at the farmers market more. I don't think there's anything better than local heirloom tomatoes at the peak of ripeness, but what's available seasonally isn't always so immediately tempting. Even when the market isn't overflowing with late summer gems, it's been good to see what's seasonable and available and know that the food we are eating has been produced using earth-friendly practices.
- Are eating less meat. J and I were both vegetarian for many years, many years ago. Cutting back on meat, and making sure that the meat we do eat has been raised sustainably, feels good. I love the clear labels at Whole Foods, and I also depend on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch to make sure I'm making better choices when shopping for seafood.
- Are wasting less food. I used to have trouble with fresh herbs - why are they always sold in such great bunches when you only ever need a little bit?? Two solutions have helped us minimize the waste: 1) growing our own basil on the deck, so now we just snip off what we need and there's nothing leftover to waste & 2) J is a genius at making pesto: whatever is left over (including any leafy greens, like kale) gets thrown into the food processor with some good olive oil, nuts, and hard cheese, and then we have a lovely sauce to mix into pasta or top seafood with, which has been both delicious and less wasteful (and therefore, more earth-friendly). So hooray for pesto!
What I could do better on: stop shopping for new things all the time! My dresser can barely contain my clothes, and I've expanded beyond my closet and have begun encroaching on J's.
So, clearly, I don't *need* any more clothes - but that doesn't mean a girl doesn't have wants, and a need to stay stylishly updated. I know I'll never stop shopping altogether, but at least I can try to find ways to balance my blatant consumerism with my goal of reducing my carbon footprint.
So my resolution is, if I'm going to buy stuff, to pay more attention to the materials. There's a wealth of options out there: from organic cotton (we got these sheets from Gaiam and they are so lovely and soft and warm) to reclaimed and upcycled materials (like Urban Outfitters' Urban Renewal line, which relies on vintage and deadstock textiles) to thrifting vintage items (like browsing Etsy for vintage jewelry - there are some stunning pieces on there).
So there, that's my resolution - what's yours?