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David's Story

When you sit down at the dinner table to eat, do you know where your food comes from? Maybe Safeway, or Albertsons, or Sprouts. But where do they get their food? In case you didn’t know, food doesn’t magically appear in the back room, fresh and ready to be sold. No, far from it. Have you ever noticed those giant eighteen-wheeler trucks roaring down the street and wondered what’s inside those six steel walls? Well guess what; it’s your food. And that food isn’t from the farm on the outskirts of town.  That food travels an average of 2,000 miles to get to your plate from the farm where it was grown.  2,000 miles. That’s the distance from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Dallas, Texas. So why should you care, it doesn’t affect you, right? Wrong. Agriculture in the U.S. accounts for 17% of all of the oil used.  That produces a whole bunch of greenhouse gasses which trap heat inside the planet, causing the planet to warm up, which, in short, is really bad. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world covered in greenhouse gasses. In fact, I’m not just going to sit around, eating apples bought from Safeway, watching T.V.; I’m going to start to shop at farmers markets. And since I’m going there to reduce carbon emissions, I’m planning on biking with my family to the market once every week. It shouldn’t be that hard to get my parents to go, seeing as they love experimenting with different foods and, like me, are concerned with the environment.   Also, farmers markets are inexpensive, so you won’t go bankrupt while helping the environment, and my parents loooove saving money. How do I know all of this? This year in Earth Camp, we visited a farmers market, and we learned that they had all sorts of amazing fruits and vegetables that I had never even heard of! These are plants that don’t go anywhere near grocery stores.  So remember, farmers markets are fantastic places to get a variety of fresh, tasty food and help out the environment at the same time.

Saguaro Fruit

I also enjoyed harvesting Saguaro fruit. The Tohono O’odham Indians were the original Saguaro fruit harvesters, since their lives revolved around making food. The picking of the fruit represented that the monsoon rains are coming. The fruit tastes really sweet, almost like eating sugar, and rests in a greenish-pink husk that are on the top of the arms.  The fruit is all natural, and makes great syrup which we poured on ice cream. This was probably the most memorable things that I did in this whole two weeks.

Mall Eco-Quest

Another thing I had fun with was going to the Tucson mall and trying to find the most eco-friendly and eco-unfriendly products. One of the teams found a Buzz Lightyear toy that used 14+ batteries, wraped in a TON of unrecyclable packaging and had a remote control which used more batteries. It won the eco-unfriendly contest.

Waste-free lunch

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your trash, so we had a challenge to go around town in our teams and find the lunch (which you actually bought and ate) with the least waste. Even though our team lost, we had a fun time. Four out of our group of six ate Sonoran hot dogs, which produced four paper hotdog holders and Keenan and I went to The Grill downtown, where Keenan produced two toothpicks and a small mayo cup. I produced no waste, but when it came down to the last fry, I cut it into six pieces and we all took a piece.

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