Shawna Weaver is a board member of Sustainable Twin Ports, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She has Ph.D. in sustainability education and teaches at Animal Allies Humane Society and the College of St. Scholastica.
- Member for
- 3 years 1 month
Finally, summer days are within our sights. With them, a shift in our eating habits toward more fresh foods. With rising interest in healthy, local and sustainable choices, summer is a common time for families to start new commitments to healthier eating habits. How do we keep the crunches time, convenience and cost from derailing our best intentions?
As summer approaches, our diets tend to naturally shift with the season. This is good for our beltlines as the long, dark, comfort-food-calling days of winter are finally behind us. Springtime marks the season of crop growth: bring on the fresh veggies at the store (and if we're lucky, our own yards), and the berries in the woods.
As summer approaches, our diets tend to naturally shift with the season. This is good for our beltlines as the long, dark, comfort-food-calling days of winter are finally behind us. Springtime marks the season of crop growth: bring on the fresh veggies at the store (and if we’re lucky, our own yards), and the berries in the woods.
It has been a fun challenge over the past few years to learn how to reduce my waste through the several Rs of sustainability (refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, repair and rot). Dog waste is still the unsolvable issue, especially when I have to package the otherwise biodegradable waste into a plastic bag. As we've gone through days this winter of melting snow and falling rain, surely anybody who shares their yard with a dog has been dealing with this ongoing battle of, well, what to do with all that doo.
Making resolutions for a more sustainable lifestyle is a challenge when money, time and convenience are affected. We feel the pinch when we shift to more expensive products and inconvenienced when trying to make a new habit stick.
For many Northlanders, our ancestors are Scandinavian. Scandinavians have gotten good press lately for their ability to foster a sense of wellbeing even in the harshest of climates. The Danish have a special word for this: “hygge.” It sounds something like, “HYU-gah” and it loosely translates to a combination of coziness, gratitude, togetherness and all that is heartwarming.
After taking up residence in Hillside, I was pleasantly surprised by the frequent wildlife sightings. While some creatures come with nuisance habits, they each have their beneficial contribution to the neighborhood. If you have lost sight of the goodness in these potentially annoying creatures, simply spot one out your window in the presence of a child. The child's excitement about seeing a little chipmunk trumps the chipmunk's annoying habit as a strawberry stealer. Another creature children enjoy spotting in the hillside are the backyard chickens.