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Independence Day Choices and Staycations

This is just a quick blog post today. Since the Gulf Oil Spill began I’ve been seriously reconsidering the structure of my life: where I live, how I shop, how much I need to drive.  For me, this July 4th is the day I want to officially redouble my resolve to become independent from oil. To read why this is such a huge issue for me, read on. Below are some small steps I am personally taking to decrease my own oil consumption:

Cycling Routes This week I’ve been mapping every route between my home and town, trying to evaluate if there is a way to safely bike to town. Or a way to help make a safe bikeway so we can all increase our cycling options.

Staycation I’ve decided to stay local for the holiday, much as I want to hop in the car and drive the 6 hours to visit family this weekend. Staycations can help the environment, reduce stress, and stretch dollars. Luckily there is lots to explore in my area.

Shopping local I can get about 75% of what my family consumes from local farmer’s markets and my own back yard. Buying organic and 100% locally produced directly reduces demand for oil by reducing ‘food miles‘ and pesticide and herbicides.  I’ve made a conscious effort this week to only shop at local stores, and only when I’m in town for other errands or work. No extra trips. And saying no to plastic bags. And buying organic. We can do it. Check out my Local Green Guide for where to shop local and green in Westchester and Fairfield counties.


With the disaster growing and growing, my outrage has increased, as well as my focus on how I personally help to create demand for oil. Driving my car has a direct impact on oil demand, which I knew, but now each time I turn the ignition I think of oil leaking into the region my sister used to monitor the manatees, where her husband’s family fished, and now I can visualize the nightmare of burning turtles and the yet- to-be determined long-term destruction from the dispersants that BP continuously jetisons into those waters, killing everything in its wake.

But it’s a holiday, so celebrate, have fun with friends and family, and take a little time to consider the Gulf and our impact. Consider independence.


About Heather Flournoy

I am a writer, social media connoisseur, environmentalist and professional marketer. My personal blog is and my professional website is I love people's stories, and a passionate cultivator of connections, both for myself and helping others to connect. Tell me who you are, what your story is, and I'll tell you who you should talk to. In my own view, I know some of the most interesting, colorful and profound people in the world. You know who you are. Besides all the above, I am proud to say I am a working class single mother who raised a beautiful daughter. I connect deeply with animals, especially horses. I love music, coffee shops, farmer's markets, growing my own food, sustainable agriculture, broad thinkers, the healing arts, and dive diners.


3 thoughts on “Independence Day Choices and Staycations

  1. Independence (from Oil) Day :]
    I’m carpooling upstate with my uncle and his friends, then I will make sure to bring bags from home to do our grocery shopping. I will avoid extra plastic packaging, as it is a byproduct of oil, and request that we find our picnic foods at a health food store or farm nearby. If my friends don’t have a composting facility, and they say, “No, we’ve been meaning to get one of those…just put it in the trash,” I will make a statement by taking it home on my 5 hour drive to put it in my own compost pile.
    Any other ideas for me?

    Posted by Anna | July 2, 2010, 9:48 am
    • I think this is a very good idea, with the dispensing of plastic bags. I have made my own bags from non-smelly racoon skin from last week’s barbeque. They are very effective and pose as great hats as well. As far as composting is concerned, the cabbage patch doubles up as a great outdoor toileting facility which naturally develops a household compost already deposited on there.

      I am with you on this from the bottom of my empty toilet.

      Posted by Gerard Aza | July 2, 2010, 6:57 pm


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Heather Flournoy is the main author, social media wiz, and community organizer behind KatonahGreen. Hover over the image for more information.

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