I have been on a green kick lately. After watching the movies Food Inc. and Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution, I have become more aware on how the food industry business works, from the different methods of raising a farm animal to the process of delivering food from the factory to the kitchen table. I have also been trying to be conscious on what my household does to reduce our carbon footprint. Because of this, I have been trying to eat less meat and to buy organically when I can. Here is a list of San Diego Resources that has helped me strive to become an eco friendly citizen:
Food Shopping: There are numerous Farmer’s Markets scattered throughout San Diego County, the schedule is here. My favorites are the Little Italy Mercado on Saturdays and the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Sundays. I try to go there when I can, but if I can’t buy my produce at the Farmer’s Market, I try to buy organic at the local supermarket. My favorite markets for food shopping are: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Henry’s, Windmill Farms and Trader Joes, I like these stores mostly because they are mostly convenient but I find different qualities in each one. Other good markets include: Bristol Farms, Farmers Outlet, Whole Foods and Jimbos. Also, you can buy produce direct from Specialty Produce (wholesales to restaurants). When shopping, I try to bring my own shopping bags so I don’t have to use those plastic ones. I also try to dispose of jars, cans and packaging that can be recycled in the “Blue” City of San Diego Can.
Restaurants: I have been trying to eat at restaurants that buy locally, use sustainable farms or are certified green. My favorite restaurants that fit these criteria are Terra, Ranchos and Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar.
Terra’s Owner Jeff Rossman is very involved in the community from developing local school gardens to being a voice for the Childhood Obesity Initiative in San Diego. He also maintains his restaurant blog that updates his life as an author, a restaurateur and his visits to local farms.
Besides the Rancho’s Mexican Restaurant (I go to the one in North Park), Ranchos also has a natural food, vegan store. The store is small but after eating a nice meal, it is a great little place to pick up some produce/vegetarian products.
Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar is the only certified Green Restaurant in the Gaslamp. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ingrid Croce at a local Girls Night Out event. Ingrid was so warm and generous, she made our group feel like a part of her family. She even presented our group with her book Thyme in the Bottle, which tells of her life with Jim Croce to her present day success and sprinkles some delicious sounding recipes in between.
Transportation: If you lack time restraints, think about taking MTS or Coaster for public transportation or take the Amtrak train to your destination. If you have to drive your car try to map out your destinations before you hit the road. This will help save time and gas when driving your vehicle.
Conserving Water: To conserve water at home – I take 5-minute showers, water my lawn every three days in 5-minute cycles, andwatch my water usage when washing dishes and brushing my teeth (when I am not using the water, I turn it off). Also, I was not aware that a typical car wash uses approx. 500 gallons of water, so I have stopped washing my car at home. I made it a point to take it to a car wash that recycles water. I have also looked into eco friendly alternatives to a car wash.
I highly recommend CARBONita Detail for their detail service. I got a full-detail on my car that was very dirty inside and out. When they washed my car, CARBONita only used one pint of water. I was able to go on with my typical day because they came to me in the cutest little Smart car. A few hours later, my car looked spotless, the paint had a glassy finish and I was actually proud to drive it again. Another plus, was that the entire line of auto detailing supplies and products that they use are biodegradable and/or VOC Compliant, which is key in preserving the environment.
In conclusion, I know that I won’t ever be completely free from harmful things in my food or in my environment. But I figure as long as I keep learning about making the world a better place, any little improvement I make can’t hurt. Please share any green tips by commenting. I wrote this post for my own reference and in hopes that other San Diegans (or visitors) will find this list helpful as well.
*Disclosure- I paid for all the services I have tried in this post. I went to Croce’s with a group of girls and received a bag with the Thyme in a Bottle cookbook and a couple of Jim Croce cds as a gift.