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Christy Smith’s (of the band Tender Fruit) top ten ways to live sustainably

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“Walk softly and wear a big sweater.” – Tender Fruit’s Christy Smith

Christy Smith has one of those voices that can stop you dead in your tracks.  It’s strong, relaxed and powerful at the same time, and breathtakingly gorgeous.  And she writes a mean song.

Her Americana/ alt-country project, Tender Fruit, is coming out with a new album this November, and we are dying to hear it.  Luckily, we’ll be able to catch some of the new songs when the band headlines Abundance NC’s Amazing Pepper Festival this October fifth, in Chapel Hill.

Besides being a great musician, we also know Smith to be a lover of nature and a person who lives by her ethics.  We asked her to share with our readers ten ways she chooses to live sustainably in her daily life.  Her ideas were inspiring to us, and hopefully will be to you too.


My top ten ways to live sustainably, by Christy Smith

  1. Compost –> food scraps, tea bags, paper plates, newspapers, etc.  Our compost overfloweth!
  2. Buy second-hand clothing, furniture, books and more –> almost all my clothes come from thrift stores that are run by non-profits or school organizations. I feel good about supporting my community, I enjoy the challenge/treasure-hunt aspect, and I save lots of money too.
  3. Use biodegradable cleaning products, shampoos and soaps –> in addition to being better for the environment, natural cleaning products are also better for your skin, and they’re not tested on animals.
  4. Support local farms, local restaurants and local businesses –> with so many amazing farms and businesses in the Triangle, it’s easy to find fresh, delicious, local food around every corner.
  5. Visit natural spaces and support the organizations that protect them –> the Eno River State Park is my favorite place to hike, swim and meditate.
  6. Plant a garden –> even a basil plant in the window counts!
  7. Invest in the arts, crafts and culture of our community –> our ancestors used to sit around the fire singing, playing drums and telling stories. Our grandparents or great-grandparents used to buy the goods their neighbor made – or trade goods of their own. Finding and celebrating the art in my city/cities helps me feel connected and restored.
  8. Use public transportation –> I live near downtown Raleigh but work at Duke — so I’ve learned to make good use of the TTA buses. I also recently discovered that Amtrak (stationed 1/4 mile from my apartment) runs trains to Durham that arrive in half the time of the bus! At $5.50 a ride (with a 10-ride ticket), the train is both quaint and affordable.
  9. Keep electricity, heat/ac use to a minimum –> walk softly and wear a big sweater.
  10. Dreaming of my cob or cordwood house on 5 acres –> I’d love to someday have a sustainably-built house on a bit of land where I can grow vegetables, raise chickens, pet cats and dry clothes on a long line.

Watch Christy sing a gorgeous solo version of “Weighted Down,” for Indyweek:


Catch Tender Fruit live on the outdoor stage at PepperFest this October fifth!  Listen to some of her music here.

Phil Cook (Megafaun, The Guitarheels) also plays PepperFest.

Don’t miss their amazing sets!  Buy tickets now!

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