The grocery store on our corner is part of a national chain yet the cloth banner that beats in the breeze makes claims of local produce inside. I believe they do have local produce but I have little confidence that it came directly from local production. I suspect that despite it’s nearby habitat, the produce went from here to some distant warehouse and back again.
My dry cleaner now has a sign that says Organic and Green. I don’t know what that means and to be fair, I haven’t asked. But I do know that everywhere I’m turning, I see claims designed to influence my thinking about the “greenness” of a particular business.
Sustainability and green are becoming as overused as “strategic”. I’m an advocate of being both sustainable and green but frankly, there’s more information than I have time and I need to turn to knowledgeable pundits. One answer to knowledge and standards is regulation and while good regulation has a place, our current climate has many asking for less of it.
Some organizations like DAVOS and Corporate Responsibility Magazine have created lists of some of the most sustainable businesses but it’s highly unlikely that I can get information about my local merchants. Is this an opportunity for someone willing to research and organize data? Where do you turn for information?
Turning to my kitchen, I find I’m also deluged by green. It begins this month and we’ll see it through until at least April. Before it starts, I cannot wait and suddenly, I’m swept into green abyss. This week we have spinach, mizuna, arugula and bok choy. I love the mild spinach and bok choy in smoothies and on their own but also enjoy the more fierce mizuna and arugula in salads and tossed into many dishes.
One thing that all greens have in common is the need to be washed. I’m certain that everyone has a way to do this but I’m often surprised but the number of people that ask me about it. Here’s the way I do it:
- Fill a bucket or large pot with cold water.
- Separate the greens by the bottom of the stalks.
- Holding your greens by the root end, plunge them into the water.
- Swish them around and pump them up and down in the cold water for about a minute. The dirt washes out and then sinks to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove your greens and put in a salad spinner to dry. You can also let dry on towels.
- Use the water to hydrate your house plants or other patio flowers.
There you have it – both green and sustainable!