Five Eco-Friendly (and Fun!) Holiday Tips for Girls on the Grid

By Jennifer Fearing

1.    Grid or Ride It – Why drive over the moat when there are so many fabulous shops, eateries, and fun things to do between A & X and 1st & 65th!? Ok, need to traverse further? Plan your trip via Light Rail or bus or hop on your bike… lots of great ways to move about River City that don’t burn up excess carbon. Wanna do both? A friend of mine likes to ride his bike to the Light Rail station at 48th and Folsom and head out to the Mather Field/Mills Station. He jumps off and rides about 1.5 miles to Soil Born Farms to help pull weeds during the volunteer season (more info), but you can visit the farm stand for two more Saturdays in 2009.

dog wash2.   Scrub the Pooch – Recently my boyfriend introduced me to the clean and fun self-service dog wash at Grateful Dog (17th and E Streets). This super cute doggie day care center was stocked with Fido-appropriate herbal shampoos and conditioners (like Buddy Wash), clean brushes and nail trimmers, and aprons to keep you dry during the inevitable full-body-wet-shake-with-enthusiasm. Our rescued shelter dogs (the best kind) strutted like Westminster winners once we dried them with the clean towels and high-power blow dryers. Walk away and leave the clean up to them – only $14 per canine!

3.    Tote your Totes – Yes, it’s all the rage to bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store (and by all means, please get one of the darling chi-chi ones I saw the other night at NewsBeat in the MARRS Building while waiting on the ice-skating tots). But if you have one on hand all the time, you can also reduce your use of throwaway bags anywhere they’re coming at you. Extra waste during the holidays amounts to 25 million(!) tons of garbage. Some more great stuff here.

Kathmandu, 1728 Broadway
Kathmandu, 1728 Broadway

4.    Eat (Your) Green(s) – Did you know that the livestock sector (read: meat-producing industry) creates 51% of the world’s greenhouse gases? Yikes, that’s way more than the entire transportation sector creates (that’s cars, planes, you-know, those big gas-guzzling, fossil-fuel burning machines). Girls who want to make a statement drive a Prius (and please do – I love mine), but girls who want to make a difference are giving peas a chance. All the cool girls (divas Oprah and Martha and my friends the original Skinny Bitch Rory Freedman and the fabulous Kathy Freston) are doing it.  In my recent review of veg life in Sacramento for Veg News magazine, I highlighted midtown’s Celestin’s, Broadway’s Andy Nguyen’s and Kathmandu Kitchen and East Sac’s Thai Palace.

5.    ‘Round the House – Some no-no’s worth heeding… (1) Turn off your sprinklers for the winter… no need to send our most precious natural resource careening down the street. You can anonymously report water wasters to the City by calling 3-1-1; (2) Don’t throw your doggy dooty bags into the charming (or notsomuch) street leaf piles. The bags aren’t compostable like the leaves are and unless your dog is an herbivore, neither is his business. Carry it home and dispose of it in the garbage can, where it belongs; and, (3) Check to see if it’s legal before you light that romantic wood-burning fire in the fireplace. Now through the end of February, wood burning is restricted or prohibited in the Sacramento area on days when fine particle air pollution is elevated. I signed up to receive daily “Air Alert” emails and now plan my heat-making accordingly.

Jennifer Fearing has the best job in California. She is the California state director for The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, advocating for animals in the halls of the Capitol, in the media and on street corners around town. Though recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Jennifer prefers to define herself through her Facebook and Twitter efforts. She lives in Sacramento’s Elmhurst neighborhood with her rescued pets Yoda (dog) and Kennedy (cat).

EDITOR’s NOTE:  We said we wanted to hear from you and we meant it!  Please submit all press releases, tips, reviews, articles and/or commentary to girlsonthegrid AT gmail DOT com.  We can’t promise we’ll use everything but we’ll definitely review everything.  Thanks again Jennifer – can’t wait to see the next article!

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