For this week's Patch Picks column, : What are five ways to be green locally? Here are the suggestions we received (and some of our own):
1) Eat locally. Betsey Benagh has a tasty way to go green: "Shop the farmer's market, join a CSA such as the Farm Direct Co-op (www.farmdirectcoop.org), the Houde Family Farm meat CSA (www.houdefamilyfarm.com), and the Cape Ann Fresh Catch CSF (www.capeannfreshcatch.org), all of which serve Melrose. The more locally your food was produced, the less fuel used to transport it. Also, organic farms don't use petroleum-based fertilizers, etc. Plus, everything is so much more tasty!"
2) Read Sleeping Naked is Green. Deb Walz suggested everyone pick up a copy of this book: "It is in diary form of a woman that changed something every day for 365 days to go green. Pretty interesting. Not sure I am up to all of them, but some I can handle."
3) Borrow a Kill-A-Watt meter from the library. Speaking of things you can pick up at the , you can borrow—for free—a Kill-A-Watt meter, with which you can easily calculate the electricity usage of your household appliances (and how much money you could save with just a few habitual changes here or there, or by purchasing energy efficiency light bulbs and appliances).
4) Recycle. The obvious choice that not only helps the environment, but saves the city money on trash costs (which prevents the city from passing the buck on to you). Red or green recycling bins may be obtained at the . Bins are $5 for a 14-gallon bin and $6 for an 18-gallon bin. Residents may also label a barrel for recycling. Stickers to label barrels are available at no cost in the located in City Hall.
5) Attend a Melrose Energy Commission meeting. This dynamic group of volunteers has helped the city with various energy-saving projects, from to the . They also hold events such as the , the Energy Fair, and a Go Green event during Home for the Holidays. Their meetings are open to the public, and you're welcome to observe or participate. The Commission next meets on Thursday, Sept. 22.