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Leading the Eco-Revolution in Our Communities

Bulk food options

by Susan Kiskis

Scientists in Iceland have constructed a memorial to a victim of climate change, Okjökull Glacier, known as “OK.” The plaque acknowledges the glacier's once existence and goes on to say, “This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.” Accosted by another piece of news, about another environmental disaster, many feel the sense of hopelessness.

We ask ourselves what we can do to save the glaciers and polar bears, lessen typhoons in Asia and hurricanes in the U.S., as well as how we can save turtles and pelicans from dying from a belly stuffed with plastic. Most of all, how one small voice can change the food system and remove pesticides.

Where there is hopelessness, there is hope. Television personality Mr. Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Big change never starts on the front page of the New York Times or on the Instagram page of an influencer with 1.25 million followers. It starts at home. It starts in our communities.

Be conscious of waste. Climate Collaborative shares, “In the U.S., nearly 40 percent of the food we produce goes to waste. Reducing U.S. food waste by 20 percent within the next decade could prevent 18 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.”

Buy fewer groceries more often. Plan meals based on ingredients on hand rather than cravings.  Soup is a great way to use up vegetables that have seen better days. Share unused goods with neighbors and area nonprofits feeding the homeless and hungry. Buy in bulk and buy more fresh foods that are package-free.

Bring shopping bags to every store. Bring them to clothing, home goods and grocery stores. Don’t forget to swap out plastic for reusable bags when buying apples, potatoes and other produce.

Make minor replacements. When buying ketchup, pasta, bread and paprika, look for glass containers and organic brands. Chemicals in food make their way into our soil, water and air.

Become a role model. Step into the eco-friendly shoes of a leader. People may not listen to our talk, but they might be inspired by our action. One moment we’re that weird woman bringing reusable shopping bags into Old Navy; the next, we are the leader of a revolution of moms armed with a trunk full of reusable bags, saying, “No thanks” to the plastic bags at checkout.

Susan Kiskis is an author, yoga teacher and general manager of The Healthy Grocer, located in Camp Hill. For more information, visit or

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