Today’s Wednesday Writers guest is Elizabeth Maddrey, author of A Splash of Substance. Elizabeth will be talking about sustainable living in today’s blog. Why sustainable living on a writer’s blog? Keep reading to find the connection, and get some great advice on how you can reduce your footprint no matter where you live. As a gardener, I found Elizabeth’s post very interesting.
If you’d like to know more about Elizabeth, check out her Wednesday Writers interview.
Sustainable Living…in the Suburbs?
I imagine we’ve all heard something in the last year or two about how we should be making efforts to reduce our footprint on the Earth in one way or another. Whether or not you agree with the various (and often conflicting) studies on climate change and the decline of natural resources, it’s never a bad idea to think about the choices you’re making in your daily life. And that thinking is what prompted part of my latest book series.
I’ll admit it, the idea of sustainable living isn’t one that I naturally flock toward. After all, I live in the suburbs (and I love it here). I’m not hankering to chuck it all, build a “tiny house” and move to the country where I can grow my own food. Some of that might be because if I had to live off only what I could grow myself, I’d surely starve. Fast. Black thumb doesn’t even BEGIN to describe my ability to not grow plants. But…even still, there are things I can do that take very little effort on my part but that can make a decent impact in the overall scheme of things.
Like what? Well, I’m so glad you asked!
I know, I know. Everyone harps on recycling, and I agree it’s a good thing. But I’m thinking outside the blue bin here. Look for ways to reuse within your household so you’re not just adding more to the pile that needs to be processed in a factory. Junk mail makes great drawing paper for kids (and mine, at least, love to use the envelopes to play mailman). Those reusable containers that lunch meat comes in are great for much more than food storage – organize your jewelry and craft supplies, make a first-aid kit for the car or a collection of themed traveling toys for the kids that you can easily swap out to keep car trips interesting. If you really can’t come up with a way to re-use it, well, drop it in the bin, it’s better than the trash.
Composting is a daunting word. To me it smacks of a huge garden with a pile at the end of it full of rich dirt made through painstaking effort. But even if you don’t have that huge garden, you probably have a few plants in your flower beds or boxes that would love more nutrient-rich soil. And I guarantee you throw away things they’d love to have (or toss them down the garbage disposal) without thinking twice. Egg shells? Yep – crunch ‘em up. Fruit peels and cores? Coffee grounds and tea bags? Yep yep yep! Basically as long as it’s not an animal product (think meat scraps, grease, or dairy products) you can toss it in your kitchen compost. And that doesn’t have to be huge or fancy, though you can buy some pretty and decorative ones if you want, but an old plastic coffee tub with some holes and a charcoal filter in the lid will do the trick (plus you’re reusing!) And as long as you remember to keep it covered and keep out the no-no items, you shouldn’t have an issue with bugs or smell.
It’s very likely that you have, within a reasonable distance, some kind of farmer’s market or produce co-op that will allow you to get in-season, local food. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this can end up costing a little more than the supermarket or warehouse store produce flown in from Argentina – or even just across the country. But you’ll be helping support smaller, local farmers and fruit and vegetables that are allowed to ripen naturally are yummier. This is one I don’t do perfectly, I admit it. But I’m at least starting to look more carefully at the labels on things and I search for produce that hasn’t come from so far away before settling for the distance travelers.
Whatever you decide – remember that it’s all about baby steps. Maybe step one is just to spend some time praying that God would show you if and where He would have you make a change. That’s where Jackson Trent, the hero of A Splash of Substance starts when the heroine, Paige, challenges him to do a little evaluating.
She doesn’t vote. He works for a Senator. Is it a recipe for romance or disaster?
Paige Jackson has always stayed out of politics, leaving it to God to govern the world. She has enough on her plate as the owner of a catering company founded on convictions to buy local, sustainable fare. Jackson Trent works on Capitol Hill for Senator Carson, putting his beliefs in action to help shape national policy.
Hoping to find high-end clients to keep her business afloat, Paige bids on a contract to cater the Senator’s next fundraiser. Shake-ups in the Senator’s staff leave Jackson grudgingly in charge of the event. After Paige is chosen as caterer, she and Jackson must work together despite opposing beliefs on how God calls Christians to participate in government. As Paige introduces Jackson to sustainable fare, it’s not just the food that piques his interest.
When Senator Carson becomes front-page news in Washington, Paige is sucked into the whirlwind of scandal. Can Jackson convince Paige he wasn’t complicit and win her back or has politics burned his chance at love?
You can get Elizabeth’s book at:
About the Author:
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace.
Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website www.ElizabethMaddrey.com or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaddrey