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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Letter from Publisher: Celebrating Earth!

Mar 30, 2012 02:04PM ● By Nancy Caniff

photo by Yelena Yahontova

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We have much good news to celebrate this month, all related to living more sustainably here at home.

We lead off with the area’s first EcoFest Indy 2012 hosted by Natural Awakenings in partnership with City Market. The big event will take place in May, but there is a lot of fun planning going on this month.  See pages 9 and 40 for details. Please save the date and join us on May 12. Visit the website for details,

We have some wonderful content for you this month, as we always do. Articles such as rainwater harvesting on page 18, with tips I look forward to implementing in my own home. If you have an interest in creating your own rainwater catchment system, be sure to sign up for the Rain Barrel Workshop at EcoFest Indy this year, brought to you by Andy Cochran. Details and registration will be available at

In April, I hope you’ll join us for an Inaugural Earth Day Celebration at the JCC on April 22 as we recycle - yes you guessed it - dated magazines and newspapers into sheets of writing paper! This is a family friendly, interactive celebration with something for everyone. Meanwhile, the Earth Day Indiana annual Earth Day Festival on April 28 is the place to catch good vibes, eat great food and see what green businesses and organizations are doing to support living in Indiana at its best. We’re pleased to be sponsoring this event and look forward to joining forces with you. Please stop by our exhibit and say hello.

As we all know, the large-scale long-distance food production widely practiced in this country carries a big carbon footprint.  During the past year, my bedside reading stack has largely comprised books exploring issues related to food, nutrition and agriculture. Expert opinions differ about how to feed nations the healthiest possible food in environmentally sound ways; and few disagree that today’s monster agribusiness methods aren’t even in the ballpark. One uniting principle that most agree on in one way or another is that the most environmentally sound, and likely most nutritious foods are those produced close to home. The irony is that much of what is produced in our region (like other regions) is shipped elsewhere, while people continue to eat food transported in from hundreds and even thousands of miles away.

Local food supporters suggest that we get involved in community gardens, start a backyard garden, join a food co-op, patronize farmers’ markets and uncover local produce stands and stores. Vertical gardening, which is gaining in popularity, can be done almost anywhere the sun shines. I’m excited that my own backyard garden has tripled in size this year (with much appreciation for the hard work of my partner Sean) and affords me the opportunity to share the bounty with our neighbors. Now if I could just find some space for that chicken coop!

Discovering all the ways that Indiana is becoming a more sustainable place to live is really something to celebrate! I leave you with this thought from my new friend Albert: “When we speak of sustainability it is helpful to remember that what we are seeking to sustain is human life and all that is interdependent with life.”

See you at the festivals,

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