Being a conserver - what does it mean? We talked to elementary students all over the county

about water quality and conservation well in advance of the voluntary order now in effect. But

one conserves in other ways as well. And we’re not just talking about the old adage: Reduce -

Reuse - Recycle.

Buying quality items that will last, are recyclable and that were sustainably made is one way.

This goes for anything from clothing to housewares to appliances to vehicles.

Supporting farmer’s markets and other local businesses promotes a restoration economy.

People invested in various enterprises as more than employees but also small business owners.

Some things don’t need to be trucked in from a distance. People also don’t need to drive great

distances to work.

With regard to restoration, these three R’s come to mind: rebuild, revitalize and renew. This

could mean anything from a clean-up of main street to restoration of old schools, reclaiming

abandoned buildings, etc.

If there’s anything our “economic downturn” should teach us it is that wealth is more

importantly defined in terms of family ties, friendships and community well-being. Sharing of

ourselves - be it produce from the garden we tend to lending volunteer time in various

community organizations - will give us more satisfaction and make more of a lasting impact

than anything money can buy.

And if this year’s weather extremes have you going crazy, consider the nut, the coconut, that is. Examine a coconut. Does it have exterior characteristics that resemble a monkey’s face? The English word coconut is derived from the Portuguese word “coco” meaning “monkey face.”

Did you know that coconut water is naturally sterile and in an emergency can be used in place of medical saline in an IV? (How neat is that?) And that despite its name, the coconut is not a nut at all, but a drupe-related to a peach and the olive. Also, the coconut is no stranger to the Pacific but didn’t make an appearance in the Caribbean until the mid 16th century. And finally, it’s believed more people succumb from coconut blows to the head than from shark attack. There. I’ve REALLY told you more about coconuts than you want to know.