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This trailer for Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, features his dog and his grandmother.
A nod to the meat-eaters amongst us:
If you live in the city and can’t seem to make it down to the farmer’s market on the weekends, fear not. Fresh, organic veggies can be as close as your windowsill. A low maintenance “no dig garden” can be planted on a rooftop, a large windowsill, or even a windowbox. The garden literally composts the materials while feeding the plants. Find all the details you need to get started right here.
Green Truck serves healthy, gourmet organic food to Los Angeleans. Their mobile catering trucks run off of vegetable oil and all of their food packaging containers are made from biodegradable products rather than plastics and Styrofoam. Vrooom and yum.
We know organic farming can help reduce the impact on our environment, but we never imagined it could fight crime as well. Alemany Farm is a four-acre organic paradise amidst the urban sprawl of one of San Francisco’s worst crime areas. Executive Director Alice Carruthers says her vision with the non-profit “was to slow the crime down.” Since the farm began in 1991, families have been able to put fresh organic food on their tables and find a safe haven from the hostile environment where their children play and learn about the environment. Check out the story at Huffington Post.
According to just about everyone who covers these things, Chelsea Clinton has been meatless for more than a decade. Insiders say that her wedding will be catered vegan-style and feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. The same insiders say that beef will also be served but that it will be grass-fed and organic.
Read more: slashfood.com
Advice from the hitchiker board – Don’t Panic, it’s organic!, originally uploaded by ribot
The organic foods movement took a huge blow last year when a team of American researchers reached the conclusion that organic foods were no more nutritious than industrially grown products (of course there was no mention of the damage industrial farming can do to the environment, but that’s beside the point). Unfortunately, many people read those headlines and decided not to spend the extra money for organics. Few are aware that a 4-year, EU study on the benefits of organic foods suggests that some of them, such as fruit, vegetables and milk, are more nutritious than non-organically produced food and may contain higher concentrations of cancer fighting and heart beneficial antioxidants. Get the whole story here.
Thomas Goetz, owner of the ‘Maison d’envie’ (House of Desire) brothel, is offering discounts to customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transport. “It’s very difficult to find parking around here, and this option is better for our environment,” says Goetz.
Hat Tip: cbsnews.com
Can kids really change the future of the planet? A bunch of Australian youngsters reckon they can – in just five minutes a day. See if you’re up to their challenge.
The lifespan of this energy-saving, LED bulb can reach up to 100,000 hours. It emits no UV radiation and remains cool to the touch. Equivalent to a 25 watt incandescent bulb, It costs about $10. You can buy an equally energy-efficient 40 watt LED bulb for about $20. Amen.
Available at Home Depot.
Behold, the eco-friendly, hand-cranked paper shredder. No power required (except your own). Available from Amazon.
Airport sleeping compartments (or micro-hotels) are nothing new, but the designers of Dream and Fly have taken the environmentally friendly concept to a whole new level of cool. According to their website: “Inspired by the nature of a womb, this space aims to transmit a feeling of protection in contrast to the movement and agitation of the outside world.” Dreamy.
The PB&J Campaign is working to combat environmental destruction by reducing the amount of animal products people eat. The PB&J Campaign approaches positive change one meal at a time by illuminating the differences one single dining decision can make. For example, the water it takes to produce the beef on one burger could produce peanuts for about 17 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the land that it takes to produce that beef could produce peanuts for 19 PB&Js. It’s also why the livestock sector is responsible for 18 percent of global climate change, and why you can fight global warming by having a PB&J for lunch. Peanut butter & jelly addicts unite: visit http://www.pbjcampaign.org for more info.
Friday’s Focus is Spring Cleaning (what to clean and how best to clean it). Of course we’re not even scratching the surface, but if we did, we’d use a 1/4 cup of olive oil, a 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, 20-30 drops of lemon essential oil, and shake well before using. Okay, six or seven or eight pristine posts ahead. But first, our anthem:
At last year’s Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup, 400,000 volunteers found more than 6.8 million pounds of trash at beaches and lakes in 100 countries and 42 states in just one day last year. Their flagship event in September is the largest single-day volunteer effort aimed at protecting our ocean and waterways. But don’t wait until September. Enter “beach cleanup” into your favorite search engine and there’s a good chance you’ll find one coming soon to a beach near you.
HAT TIP: oceanconservancy.org
The Purple Waffle plant (hemigraphis alternata) can help clean the air in your home by filtering out noxious household chemicals like benzene (found in glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents, and cigarette smoke) and trichloroethylene (found in adhesives, paint removers, and spot removers).
Like many other houseplants, the Purple Waffle works during the day while the soil in which it’s planted works at night to remove gases and other impurities. For more information about natural air cleaners, visit sciencedaily.com.
Is your drain clogged? Can it be unclogged without using toxic chemicals like Drano? Try the following: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that doesn’t work, follow the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar, cover tightly, let the fizzy chemical reaction do the unclogging, and then flush with one gallon of boiling water. Read more: thedailygreen.com.
The following Easter egg advice is from supereco.com:
Dyeing eggs naturally is all about foods and juices from your kitchen, plants and flowers from your garden, and a healthy dose of experimentation. The basic principle is simple: boil whatever dye material you’re trying along with a little bit of vinegar, then start dipping those eggs. Natural dyes will become deeper and richer the longer you let them sit, so plan ahead for a nice, long stretch of time to play around with. Try some of our color palette inspirations.
- Purple/blue Grape juice, red wine, violet blossoms, red onion skin, blueberries, red cabbage leaves
- Green Spinach leaves, yellow Delicious apples
- Yellow/orange Lemon peel, orange peel, carrot tops, celery seed, ground cumin, ground turmeric, paprika, yellow onion skins
- Brown Coffee, black walnut shells
- Red/pink Beets, cranberries, cranberry juice, raspberries, pickled beet juice, red onion skin
According to worldcentric.org, 73 billion styrofoam and plastic cups and plates were put in the trash in 2003 in the USA alone. World Centric provides high quality compostable food service disposables and food packaging products for use in schools, corporate cafeterias, restaurants, hospitals, and homes. They use renewable resources like corn and discarded sugar cane and wheat straw fiber to make sustainable alternatives to plastics and styrofoam.
You can order a “generic sample pack for $7.50 plus shipping and handling at
A tip on the first day of winter: lowering your thermostat by just two degrees (and raising it two degrees in the summer) prevents the production of as much as 2000 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions. It’ll also save you about a hundred bucks. Cool.
What do you do with your old newspapers? Well, you could be making newspaper yarn – as much as 20 yards from a single sheet. Grab a scissors and a spindle and before you know it, you’ll be weaving everything from rugs to curtains and upholstery. For instructions, visit greenupgrader.
Looking for a way to be eco-friendly even after you leave this world? Resomation is a water/alkali-based alternative to cremation that uses less energy than traditional cremation and produces significantly less CO2, while eliminating mercury emission into the atmosphere. So when you go, go green.
For details, visit resomation.com.
Chilean designer, Camila Gimeno, believes that “Christmas can be a beautiful time for us, but a really hard one for environment, considering the massive increase of energy and material we consume.” She points out that even Santa is taking steps toward saving energy and suggests that we all follow his example.
Hat Tip: designboom.com.
The Ark is an international catalog of 200 rare, regional foods that are threatened by industrial standardization, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.
NOTE: Bronx Grapes (see photo) are on the endangered list.
If you think the government gets enough of your green, here’s your chance to get a little back. 2009 is winding down quickly, but there’s still time to take advantage of several tax incentives for environmentally friendly expenditures – many of them recently created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. For more information, click enn.com.
In the simplest terms, ecotourism is responsible travel that helps preserve the environment and improve the lives of local inhabitants. And while vacationing at home may leave the smallest ecological footprint, one can argue that exploring the planet enriches not only our own lives, but the lives of those we visit. If we can manage to do it without undo harm to the environment, then it’s an opportunity to see the world – and ourselves – in the best possible light.
The end of today’s adventure is 9 clicks down the road.
There’s a great big world out there just waiting to be explored… problem is, in most cases, you’re going to be generating a lot of carbon dioxide just to get where you’re going. Over they past couple of years several companies have begun offering “carbon credits” or “carbon offsets” to compensate for the damaging effects of jet travel – but which ones are legit? And how do you know which one to choose? This should help (nrdc.org).
Mention the word Japan and most westerners conjure up images of flashing neon signs and people being stuffed into subway cars. But if you’re interested in discovering more than bright lights and big cities, One Life Japan offers active and educational journeys designed to give participants an intimate look into Japanese country life. This innovative tour company helps visitors focuses on slow food and slow living, and provides a better understanding of how this complex society has learned to balance human needs and natural eco-systems.
Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) promotes awareness of ecological farming practices by “providing volunteers (WWOOFers) with the opportunity to live and learn on organic properties” around the world.
WWOOFers live with families and get first-hand experience with “organic and sustainable practices including earth building, cooking and preserving, wine, cheese and bread making, crafts, companion planting, worm farming, composting and a whole lot more.”
We don’t mean to get on your case, but chances are you could be using more eco-friendly luggage. Introducing the EcoCase - made from 100% recycled plastic. By utilizing recycled materials to create stylish and functional new baggage, HeyUSA repurposes plastic that would have otherwise taken a one-way trip to a landfill.
The Eco-Trails Houseboats that cruise the waterways of Kerala in Southern India are powered by inboard diesel engines and use solar energy for power requirements. The journey is a window into the culture of local villages that have existed in Kerala’s backwaters for hundreds if not thousands of years.
Tenuta di Spannocchia offers week-long vacation rentals in rustic farmhouses and nightly stays in a bed and breakfast that also houses Spannocchia Foundation education and enrichment program groups. The foundation’s mission is to encourage global dialogue about sustaining cultural landscapes for future generations through natural resource conservation, local ecology, sustainable agriculture and forestry, cultural history, traditional land management practices, and farm-based education.
Most people vacation to relax. Some to rejuvenate. But a few go to reforest. Reforestation projects are just one of the many “volunteer vacation” choices available to travelers who don’t just want to soak up the local color, but actually help replenish it. From collecting seeds in a Costa Rican “forest in the clouds” to planting saplings in Guatemala, explore your options at charityguide.org.
EcoCamp in Torres del Paine National Park, invites you to “explore Pagtagonia with the least ecological impact possible; to trek in virgin beech forests; to admire colossal calving glaciers; to think and wonder about humankind while standing at the foot of the towering granite peaks of the Torres del Paine; to sit in total silence under the Southern Cross; and to share a glass of wine with new friends.” EcoCamp’s domes are modeled on an ancient design, built to survive stress caused by Patagonia’s winds (often surpassing 180 km per hour).
Pennsylvania’s Woodloch Pines Resort was honored by the Global Renewable Energy Expo Networking Summit April 16, 2009 for demonstrating ingenuity, creativity and perseverance in the pursuit of pioneering green goals. Their “Green Team” meets regularly to implement eco-friendly solutions for the resort. Here is just some of what they offer:
• Environmental programs for class trips, corporate groups & scouting programs.
• Use of bio-degradable disposable plates, flatware, cups and to-go containers.
• Energy-Saver faucets and shower heads as well as faucets with infrared sensors to limit water waste.
• Energy saving compact fluorescent lighting
• Tree replacement program through their landscaping department.
• Use of recycled paper whenever possible for promotional materials.
• Recycling of economy-sized cans and packaging in their kitchens.
• Installation of an energy management system, which controls the air conditioning/heating and lighting of public areas through the use of infrared sensors.
• Co-mingled recycling bins throughout the grounds of the resort for guest and employee use.
• Bat Boxes throughout the resort – a natural way to control insects
originally uploaded by likeablerodent
This Friday, our focus is Holiday Gifts.
Eleven posts ahead. Proceed with caution. And consider these few random tips that can help make the giving and the receiving as eco-friendly as possible:
1. Whenever possible shop local (or shop online, it saves gas) 2. If you’re heading for the mall, take your own reusable shopping bags 3. Buy gifts that will actually be used or consumed (e.g., cookies, wine, etc.) 4. Buy rechargeable batteries for your electronic gifts (include a battery charger) 5. Give the gift of experience (e.g., tickets to a concert) 6. Use plantable, seeded paper for gift-wrapping 7. Gift a loved one with a donation to charity 8. If you fall a little short of your eco-friendly standards, don’t worry about it. Guilt is toxic and dangerous to your health.
Global Girlfriend is a “Greater Good” online store” created to help women in need help themselves by producing products that solve their community environmental issues, producing healthier children, rivers, skies and world.” Here you can purchase a “Gift That Gives More“(e.g., 50 lbs of seed corn, 50 lbs of beans, and 50 lbs of organic fertlizer to help a struggling farmer in Guatemala help herself and her family). Or you can buy one of these beaded and embroidered ornaments, handmade in India.
Global Girlfriend makes its home at globalgirlfriend.com.
originally uploaded by ravenswift
If you’re looking for a truly original and locally produced gift, skip the mall and hit the farmer’s market. Thousands of farmers markets across the U.S. continue to operate through the holiday season (even in cold country). Not only will you find all kinds of great foods for your holiday meals, you’ll likely find all kinds of great locally-produced gifts like soy candles and fresh seasonal wreathes. To find a farmers market near you, check here.
The all new, 100% electric BRAMMO Enertia Powercycle is the perfect commuter vehicle for the environmentally-conscious visionary. The Enertia’s Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are very safe, do not contain any heavy metals, and can be recycled for many other uses. BTW, top speed is 60+ miles per hour. Price: about $8000. Details at brammo.com.
Unlike any other running bikes, the Wishbone Bike evolves with a child’s different stages of development. It starts as a trike, converts to a running bike as the child grows, and by four to five years old, the ‘wishbone’ frame is flipped, making it one of the largest running bikes on the market. Every Wishbone Bike has 60% post-consumer recycled plastic wheels, is made from sustainably managed woods and is bonded and finished with eco-friendly products. The Bike box and all printed material inside is recycled and printed with non-toxic inks. For more information, visit skiphop.com.
Silvana. A Table. Date of birth: 2002 Previous occupation: Washing Machine Drum.
Reestore takes everyday waste objects and “cheekily turns them into charming yet functional pieces of furniture and accessories.” Their most popular product is silvana, a table “producing a beautiful ambient glow and casting beams of light from her polished stainless steel body. Finished with a frosted glass surface for mug resting heaven.” About $600 USD at reestore.com.