4. Local businesses provide services.
5. Locally grown and organic food for receptions.
6. Put out recycling as well as trash bins.
7. Encourage carpooling.
One of the most inspiring receptions I've attended was at the public library in Covington, Georgia. The Montessori School of Covington sponsored the event. There were no cheese sticks, no store-bought cookies. The table held bowls of cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks -- most of it grown by local gardeners -- served on porcelain saucers. Napkins were cloth, rewashable. The group set a goal of Zero Waste and met it.
At a reading in Tifton, the organizer used real coffee cups. She has collected dozens that her church uses in their socials.
We have to practice what we know to be true. We have to weigh every single decision we make.
We have to accept the solutions to our environmental problems are personal and start applying them every day in whatever we do. We have to show that life can be lived differently, without so much destruction, and that the reimagined life can be beautiful and full of rewards none of us expected.
Janisse Ray teaches nature writing in a low-residency program at Chatham University. She lives in Baxley, Georgia.