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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Almost every product and service we rely on today is manufactured with or transported by some amount of fossil fuels. Of course, the most important thing we can do to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is to use less. However, when you do make a purchase, we encourage you to shop for energy-smart products that use less energy.

Here at CEC, we’re all about energy-smart products that help us move towards a fossil-free lifestyle and a fossil-free future for Santa Barbara.

Last time, you heard about Kathi’s reusable produce bags and today, we’re hearing from Christa Backson, CEC’s Office Manager.

Favorite eco-product: “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture” by Toby Hemenway
: $19.77

I’ve been an avid gardener since childhood, and for years have grown most of my family’s produce in our own backyard. Several years ago, my daughter, husband and I dug up our front lawn and planted food there as well. This gave us much more land to work with and also reminded passersby that there were other options besides maintaining a water-wasting stretch of grass.

Santa Barbara is the ideal place to grow fresh, healthy food year round.  In our yard space we are able to seasonally harvest, beets, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, string beans, tomatoes, squash, berries, apples, plums, apricots, kale, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic, potatoes, lemons, limes, oranges, avocados and many other vegetables, herbs and flowers!

By growing so much of our own food, we support a locally sourced food community. Not only is this a delicious way to eat, but it also helps reduce my family’s dependence on fossil fuels. Think about all the gasoline needed to transport food into Santa Barbara — not to mention the amount of plastic packaging and shipping materials that are involved in transporting produce from out of the area. A short walk from the garden to the kitchen is the only transportation that our food needs, no packaging necessary! We’re also helping eliminate the fossil fuels used in big agribusiness’s fertilizers and equipment.

Get started on your own edible landscape by reading my favorite eco-smart product: “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture” by Toby Hemenway. It is an excellent book full of practical information for the beginner, as well as a great resource for more experienced gardeners. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to develop a healthy food production ecology in their own back (and front) yards.  And along with the healthy harvest, you will be contributing to a cleaner, fossil fuel free environment.

You can get a copy of Christa’s book recommendation at CEC’s Amazon Store in the Books (Food) section. We hope you’ll find an idea to inspire you. If you find something you like, a percentage of your purchase comes back to CEC.

Did you miss one of our favorite things? Catch up and read them all in Our Favorite Things blog category.

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