Blog : GA Director of Media, Craig Brown, Moving Toward a More Sustainable Lifestyle

By Katelyn | Feb 4, 2015 | in

Green Alliance members have most likely heard of Craig Robert Brown, Director of Media, as he frequently posts good reads to the GA Blog and is often featured in area publications such as Fosters, Seacoast Online, and Portsmouth Patch. Here at the Green Alliance, Craig (on the right of the picture) works to promote Business Partners and their sustainability initiatives through his writing and various social media outlets. So we know he publicizes the environmentally conscious decisions that others make, but what does Craig do to reduce his own environmental footprint?

Craig is a writer, and naturally you would think that means endless drafts, editing, and tossing before the finished product. While in graduate school at the University of New Hampshire, he switched from regular printer paper to a recycled blend to cut down on the impact of countless peer reviews. He still uses recycled products, but now sends as much as he can digitally to eliminate paper waste. At the same time, Craig has introduced Seventh Generation cleaning products and Ecos laundry detergent as a part of his efforts to reduce harsh chemicals in the household. Although he does not mind using these products to load the dishwasher and washing machine, Craig claims that “folding and putting away dishes is not my favorite. I want to build a laundry folding, dish stacking robot that would run on a sustainable energy source. But that's a dream.” 

This winter we have not suffered from a lack of snow and many New Englanders have realized how difficult it can be to shovel two feet of snow to clear the driveway. Craig and his girlfriend decided it was time to throw in the towel and purchased a GreenWorks 80V 20" DigiPro Snow Thrower, which instead of running on gas, fully charges in a half hour via lithium battery. “We could've bought a traditional gas-powered snowblower, but the recent low gas prices won't last. Also, I don't like being overly dependent on fuel. There's nothing worse than walking out into a blizzard only to realize you're out of gas. You either have to risk driving to the gas station in a blizzard, or sadly trudge waist-high into a sea of white with a shovel in your hand.”

We hope this winter will not be excruciatingly long (although the groundhog did see his shadow and that means six more weeks of winter) so we will soon be able to enjoy local farms and farmers markets. Craig is grateful that he lives close to farms, allowing them to go apple and blueberry picking each year; it can be more expensive, but he doesn’t mind spending a little extra to support local farms and eat fresher produce. In the winter months when local farms aren’t producing he goes to bigger grocery stores more often, and has noticed that regional stores like Hannaford partner with area growers to offer more local produce when it is possible.

By shopping local, the waste associated with transport and packaging is greatly reduced and composting food scraps further lowers the garbage produced in the household each day. Craig is an avid composter and collects all of their kitchen food scraps to be taken out to their impressive compost pile in the backyard. “I turn the pile by hand with a pitchfork. I'm not kidding. It's a good workout. We compost all year long. What we put in there in the fall and summer is ready to be used in our gardens in the spring. We're renting a house and the previous owners spent years working on the soil in their yard to make it as organic as possible.” They have created a very good soil composition from years of composting, which can be measured using at home soil testers. Craig uses the soil each year in his gardens and has found that the soil they get from composting is the perfect fit for growing New England vegetables (and according to his dog Wilson, it’s great for digging too).

Craig adopted Wilson five years ago and shortly after they brought him home they found a large tumor under his left armpit requiring surgery. Although everything went well, and the surgery was successful, Craig decided that Wilson needed the best diet possible to avoid any other health problems in the future. He explained that “though we were feeding him natural, grain-free food, we wanted to step up his diet to ensure we'd have him for a long time. He now eats holistic, grain-free food. I joke that he eats better than we do, but, really, he does”.

Sustainability is something that Craig has incorporated into his daily life because he knows that the small choices he makes each day can have a big impact in the long run. Now that you know more about Craig Brown and his decisions to shop local and be more environmentally conscious, we want to hear from you!

The Green Alliance recently started a column, posted on our blog and in our Green Families Club newsletter, featuring members and their efforts to develop a more sustainable lifestyle: Meet a Green Alliance Member. If you are interested in telling your story and receiving a free gift membership, email katelyn@greenalliance.biz for your chance to be interviewed.

Check out the last Meet a Green Alliance Member column featuring Josh Denton here.

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