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South Whidbey Record launches new column on earth-friendly living

Do you wish you knew how to be more “green,” and possibly leave a smaller carbon footprint on the earth?

A new columnist for The South Whidbey Record will offer a roadmap to a more earth-friendly lifestyle.

Nancy Bartlett of Freeland will write regular how-to columns about non-toxic cleaning products, invasive species, stabilizing waterfront banks and more in the months head. The column is called “Tidal Life,” and it kicks off today in Island Living on Page A7.

“Nancy is a skillful storyteller, and just the right person to write the column that readers have been asking for,” said Record editor Brian Kelly. “I’m sure that readers will find her column not only informative and useful, but a good read, as well.”

Bartlett said she will also address topics such as gardening without harmful chemicals. She calls the subject “the weed-and-feed issue.”

Bartlett’s columns will appear on the first Saturday of every month, and should be helpful in understanding how to “live responsibly in a green community,” she said.

“I want to help people figure out how to live green and what products are safe for the environment,” she said.

And, Bartlett added, she also has a column planned about eating invasive species from the beaches of South Whidbey.

“Whidbey’s beaches have been invaded by the purple varnish clam, which is impacting the health of the native butter clam species,” she said.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife allow harvesting of purple clams — up to 40 per day — and have classified the clam as a nuisance.

The purple varnish clam is known as the dark mahogany clam or the varnish clam because of its dark-colored shell. The purple varnish clam has been observed in northern Puget Sound for about 10 years now. The clam apparently was introduced via ballast water from ships coming from Asia.

“Even our diets can impact our environment,” she said.

“If you do use toxic chemicals, how not to let them drain into Puget Sound will be the subject of another column,” she said.

Another subject, Bartlett expects to tackle is cleaning up after pets.

“There is already a Scoop Your Poop campaign by Island County, but I will touch on the best way to deal with poop after it’s scooped,” she said.

Bartlett has lived on Whidbey Island for 20 years and has raised three children. She previously wrote for the Whidbey New-Times, The Record’s sister newspaper in Oak Harbor. She lives on Holmes Harbor.

Bartlett, who was raised in Seattle, is the project coordinator for the Highlands housing development in Langley.

She said working on The Highlands project has given her a background in low-impact green building methods.

“Tidal Life” is the latest addition to The Record’s print edition, and Kelly said more announcements on content changes are expected soon.

In recent weeks, much of the newspaper’s focus has been on adding new content to the paper’s Web site at www.southwhidbeyrecord.com.

In addition to new stories every day, the online edition of The Record also features an extensive offering of new cartoons every day, new videos every week, and changes to the Opinion section on the Web site that include a readers’ poll on the hot topic of the week.

More additions to the Record Web site, including blogs and an extensive community calendar, are also in the works.

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