So, Kevin and I saw this on the news and I knew I had to bring it to your attention.
The new South Korean president, Lee Myung-Bak, a US lovin' conservative is pushing for the restating of US Beef imports to be allowed into the country after a 2003 ban stopped all beef trade. Why is he pushing for this? Well, to improve the relationship with Washington. At the expense of his own people. (Now, we eat US beef, which is terrifying and should be cause to worry in my opinion!) Well, the people are fighting back, taking to the streets in protest. A civilian army as large as 100,000 in some reports.
Protesters are angry that their president is not listening to public opinion, which is strongly against this trade deal. Their health is being compromised and they are not taking it lying down. Mad Cow disease still haunts the beef trade (the 2003 ban was after a mad cow diseased cow was found) and those in South Korea don't want US beef coming into their country infecting their people.
The real issue I brought this up is because if those in South Korea don't want our beef, why should we?
Click the following links for more in depth articles:
(Image:www.chinadaily.com.cn www.bilaterals.org, )
Here's a great one to keep around the house for those clumsy moments.
Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid dish soap and apply to the stain with a sponge. Apply to stain with sponge. Blot and repeat if needed. Rinse with warm water and let dry.
“And I think people have a lot of nerve locking up a tiger and charging four dollars to let a few thousand worthless humans shuffle past him every day. What a shi**y thing to do. Humans must easily be the meanest species on Earth. Probably the only reason there are any tigers left is because they don’t taste good.”
“Eating meat is one thing, but this whole beef-rancher-manure-cattle-hamburger side show is a different skillet of sh** altogether. Each year, Americans eat 38 billion hamburgers. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of red meat. Cattle consume one half of all the fresh water consumed on Earth. The sixty million people who will starve this year could be adequately fed if Americans reduced their meat intake to just 10 percent.”
– The late comedian George Carlin from his book Brain Droppings.
Click here for the link to ecorazzi: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/06/25/the-green-quote-george-carlin-on-eating-less-meat/
Blue Angel Wines
What: Two enterprising ladies (one an Astor wine alum) with wicked booze knowledge open a mostly organic (yet reasonably priced) wine shop in the BK.
Why: Thank the divine messengers.
When: Mon.-Wed., noon-9 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., noon-10 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.
Where: 638 Grand St., b/t Leonard & Manhattan Aves., B’Burg (718-388-2210).
Snaps to Brooklyn! I can't wait to check this out and pick up a few bottles of organic wine.
For those of you in the New York area:
New Amsterdam Market
What: Hoping to become a permanent fixture, tons of local purveyors show off farm-fresh cheese, produce, meats, and prepared foods — with a focus on sustainability.
Why: Bread (from FCI to Sullivan Street), honey, mushrooms, and other mouth-watering groceries.
When: Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: South Street Seaport, South St., b/t Beekman St. & Peck Slip.
I am enjoying the 3rd in this "series" of animal ethics based examinations into animal factory farms, science labs and everything in between. Animal Factories is an in depth look at the details of factory farming covering issues such as the environmental impact of all we do to these poor animals, the ethics of creating "biomachines" and the human health risks of consuming factory farmed meat/poultry/dairy have.
As always, I am going to be sharing interesting things as I read them...
Here's a great explanation of the downfalls of factory farmed eggs. If the environmental benefits of eating organic weren't enough, here's a health reason:
"Most commercial poultry operations therefore use feed additives containing xanthophyll or beta-carotene to enhance the yellow color of skin and egg yolks. The brighter color may be attractive to the shopper's eye, but there is evidence that color additives actually lower the quality of eggs. More important, eggs from caged layers may be lower in some nutrients-particularly vitamin b12 and folic acid-than eggs from free-ranging hens."
-Jim Mason & Peter Singer
Going organic is paying off for farmers! Keep supporting local organic farmers!
Click link for the rest of the article.
Carbon Footprint= a tool of measurement that captures the impact human activities have on the environment. It is describing the amount of greenhouse gases produced which are measured in units of carbon dioxide. The concept of the carbon footprint is an offshoot of the original ecological footprint.
Check out the following links for great carbon calculators
Here's a great link (once there, click Act, then Live Green and you'll find a carbon calculator)
I takes 48 gallons of water and 7 lbs of grain to produce just 1 "battery cage" egg. JUST ONE. Think about that. Those numbers go down when the animals roams freely, and eats bugs and things out of the grass and can enjoy a rain bath every now and again.
Smashbox knows makeup, and they've finally spread their wings into the realm of eco-friendly makeup. Each purchase will lead to the planting of a tree, that's good stuff. Packaging is biodegradable or recyclable, as it should be.
Click the link and enjoy...
Rubie Green Textiles, why are they green? Here's 2 great reasons, 100% certified organic cotton and water based inks used. They are described as a "fresh take on vintage styles". So if you're looking for some new fabrics to create your next set of curtains, pillows, clothing or just want some to display, check it out!
or simply go to www.rubiegreen.com
Walking through the Union Square farmers market is such an experience. Everywhere your eye can see fresh fruit and vegetables delight the eye and wet the palate. Ethically responsible meat and poultry is sold and local flowers dot the line of booths. Chefs all over New York City rush to the markets to gather fresh ingredients and locals stroll, snacking on the baked good offerings and fresh juices. It's like Mecca for locavores and organic foodies. I just started a new job merely a few blocks away and I can't wait to incorporate the farmers market into more of my weekly shopping routine. So, if you live in New York City, you can find local, organic and fresh food easily here at the market, in fact there are green markets all around the city. Look these up in your own hometown, frequent them, meet your farmers and connect to your food!
Frizz Fighter Hair Treatment
Mix ingredients in a blender until fluffy. Apply to towel dried pre-washed hair. Wrap your head in a hot moist towel and seal in heat with a second dry towel*. (to be honest, I am not sure how to make that hotel hot and moist, if you figure out a good way let me know) Sit back and relax for approximately 20 minutes. Then hope in the shower and shampoo out. (If your hair is coarse simply rinse thoroughly with water) Voila! Beautiful, luscious locks!
I know Urban Branches sometimes blurs the line between Green and animal rights, ethics and health. I feel that they all are connected. I hope you enjoy the well rounded content and realize as I do how connected these all are. For example, going green includes eating less meat. (and weaning off of meat from factory farms which are causing much more environmental damage then small managed farms)
That being said.... I came across this article on CNN online this morning and was instantly agitated. 10-16 pigs were shot while wading through flood waters after making it out of their flooded farms. Police claim these pigs are a threat to the sandbags as they are trying to climb to safety. 36,000 pigs were trucked out to safety (yes that word is relative depending on their lifestyle!) and some 1,000 were left behind. Left behind to be shot. I found it so wrong that nothing could be done other than shooting them. I just don't agree that animals should be a cruel causality in this way.
Here's the quote that really sent me off,
"It happens every day. My gosh, that's what slaughterhouses do -- that's how we get bacon and pork chops," Lippert said (chairman of the county emergency management commission)"It's just one of the casualties of the flooding situation."
The fact that his rational for shooting them is that they'd die anyway is horrific.
Read the rest of the article here:
"The U.S. has enjoyed an awfully good run since the middle of the 20th century, a sudden ascendancy that no nation before or since has matched. We could give it up in the early years of the 21st, or we could recognize-as we have before-when a leader is needed and step into that breach ourselves. Going green: What could be redder, whiter and bluer than that?" -Bryan Walsh
Great statement, although I always cringe at the so often seen "leader mentality" that the United States has. It irks me considering many countries have been living much greener than us for years yet we still feel that we need to step up and be a driving force. It's like the United States is that child who needs to think they rule the roost in order to get anything done. Well, I've got to pick my battles.
Oh, and for an article debating the choice of cover image for this Time issue, click on to ecorazzi for more...
Organic Eggs: Chickens are fed organic feed, have access to the outdoors and live in a cage free environment. Antibiotics can only be used during a infectious outbreak (as opposed to all the time like factory farms). Forced molting is not allowed. (see below)
And I thought you might need some further explanation of what Forced Molting is.....
Forced Molting: Chickens naturally molt to replace their old feathers with new ones. This happens at the beginning of winter when chicks are not born. (the hen stops laying eggs in order to stay warm and grow new feathers, this is a natural instinct in all sense of the word). Farms starve chickens for 5-14 days in order to send their systems into shock thus forcing the molt. Egg production and quality peaks after molting this boosting the farms production rate. It is considered cruel and inhumane by many. (For more on forced molting, Google: Forced Molting)
By purchasing organic eggs you are making a statement that you are against forced molting and cages!
Rule of thumb, ingredients should be simple, easy to pronounce (in most cases) and the list should be short.
This week I'll be bringing you my 2 favorite at home hair treatments straight from this month's beauty mags. Here's an amazing homemade mask for clean & shiny hair, who wouldn't want that?
Making beauty treatments at home helps you control what goes into everything you use. There are so many chemical ingredients in beauty products. By making something fresh at home you avoid all the preservatives and color agents that are just plain unnecessary. Plus it's more fun this way!
The first step is to make yourself a square one organic vodka & soda, squeeze a little lime in there and start spreading that mask on your lovely hair....
Mix together the following ingredients till creamy:
2 tablespoons vodka (see I told you to get that vodka out!)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 a ripe avocado (slather the rest on a warm tortilla for a mid mask snack!)
1 egg yolk
Vodka=stellar at removing buildup from products and oil
Honey & Avocado=super luscious moisturizer
Egg Yolk=lovely shine, smoothing and conditioner to the scalp
apply mixture to freshly shampooed hair, sit and enjoy your latest novel or monthly tabloid magazine. Wash out after 30 minutes with warm water. Lightly shampoo & condition hair after as well to make sure you got all ingredients out. Voila! Beautiful, luscious locks!
So you're running errands and picking up groceries, make the switch to recycled toilet paper today. Come on, you can do it. Kevin and I love Green Forest brand, honestly it's super soft and not too expensive! Save virgin trees by buying recycled toilet paper! If every household in the US switched there next 12 pack to recycled it would save a whopping 4.4 million trees and keep around 17,000 garbage trucks worth of toilet paper from ending up in a landfill.
“These necklaces are made by Danna Weiss, a celebrity stylist that adds Jewelry Designer to her resume. As I’m told”, she continued, “celebrities call to ask her to borrow jewelry and she makes them come in, because one doesn’t choose the jewelry, it chooses them.” I was under her spell, or the necklaces’ spell. Either way, I needed to learn more. The reason she laughed, she later said, was because every person is truly drawn to a different stone, and more often then not, it corresponds to their star sign or an ailment they have that the specific stone heels in.
Let me get specific. Danna Weiss designs a jewelry line called Conscious Jewelry. Each piece is metaphysically designed in an eco-conscious way with crystals hanging off a non-metal based chain. There is a stone or mineral that correlates to just about any ailment one can have. People around the world for centuries have been using crystals and gemstones to heal the mind, body and spirit. Danna Wiess is the first commercially sold designer line to use the metaphysical properties of crystals and gemstones to design conscious healing jewelry. Each stone correlates to a certain chakras on the body. Each piece of jewelry comes with a card that explains the metaphysical meanings of the stones in the piece, as well as how to energize and clear them. To find out what stone you’re drawn to go to: http://www.consciousjewelry.com/stone.html Danna Weiss not only creates with heeling people in mind, but the world as well. Efforts are made to make this line and the office it is created in, in as conscious a way as possible with recycled cards, eco-friendly packaging, carbon offset shipping, as well as a portion of all proceeds going to restore the earth where gem stones and minerals are mined.
Needless to say, I didn’t leave with a dress, nor a piece of jewelry, because it retailed for roughly $300 bucks. BUT I was able to find a really cool jewelry line that I could share with you
Certified Humane- Chickens that have receive this Humane Farm Animal Car certification are given room to nest, perch and express natural behaviors. Basically chickens can be chickens.
Just when you thought you figured out what organic meant! Biodynamic is thought of as the "one step further"...
Biodynamic: This term refers to a type of farming that doesn't use chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides (yes, like organic). For a farm to receive the accreditation of being a biodynamic farm they must enrich the soil, inspect plants constantly and hand remove weeds and insects instead of using machines. This process is said to yield better more nutrient rich produce and continues to enrich the soil year after year (instead of depleting it rapidly like convention non-organic farming does).
The Demeter Association is one organization that certifies farms in the US. In addition to the above requirements, farmers must plant indigenous flowers and trees as well as livestock (cows, sheep and goats). There must be a natural supply of water and in order to attract wildlife, 10 acres must be devoted to native flora & fauna. Wow!
You can find biodynamic wines and beers out there, I'll toast to that! To find a Demeter Association list of U.S. biodynamic farms check out www.biodynamics.com
*note, this term is by no means regulated, the government not only doesn't regulate this term but also doesn't include any birds (chickens too of course) in any of their humane farming & slaughter laws. Think about that for a second, NO regulation. We see how "regulated" animals are treated, imagine how these are...
I read a great article in Travel & Leisure regarding the ultimate green hotel, one of the best ideas it mentions was a electricity activiation key that you "plug in" when entering and take out when exiting therefore conserving all that power when you are gone sightseeing! Perfection.
Here are some things hotels can do to and things you can look for when booking hotels. Don't forget, ASKING is the only way of knowing what programs your hotel participates in.
*motion sensored air conditioner, ventilation and heating which helps to reduce power usage in unoccupied hotel rooms
*water efficient toilets
*natural, organic and sustainable fabrics in all linens, towels and furniture
*low or no VOC paints on walls
*hotel uses natural cleaning products to reduce airborne chemicals
*recycling program in place
*food & drink served is organic, free-range, grass fed and all that good stuff
*leftover food is donated to shelters in the community
*LEED certified building
*energy star appliances
Those are just a few of the ways a green hotel would look. Seek out those hotels that participate in these environmentally responsible changes. Going on vacation shouldn't stress the environmentalist out, it's important to see other cultures and countries. Travel is such a passion and shouldn't be a ethical compromise. If you find yourself outta green luck and in a hotel that doesn't do any of the above, you can take steps on your own to reduce your hotel carbon footprint, here are a few:
*ask that your sheets and towels not be swapped out for clean ones, or choose not to have your room cleaned at all
*bring your own shampoo and conditioner instead of using all of those small bottles
*turn off the air conditioner or heater when out of the room (or ask at the front desk if the can)
*ask if your hotel recycles and how you can help
*think about what you're packing, less weight to transport is better on the environment so toss what you don't need.
Any more ideas? Leave a comment....
So often we hear words thrown around in speeches, bumper stickers and conversation and we all nod along, but aren't 100% sure as to what they mean. Well Urban Branches is here to make sure you know exactly what you or someone else is talking about!
Gas produced by the burning of fossil fuels, like when we drive or use electricity. What happens is those gases absorb sun radiation and trap heat in the atmosphere. Plants & rain can help counteract this effect but in the grand scheme isn't doing enough. We are burning too many fossil fuels! This imbalance can lead to gradual increases in temperature (both air & ocean) which could eventually lead to major weather related disasters.
Avian Flu found in Tyson chickens. 15,000 chickens were killed and buried in response. I have mentioned how badly farm factory animals are treated, when these animals are killed for disease it exceeds imagination. Since these animals are no longer for human consumption, the level of care goes down even further. What does that say about us as human beings? A whole lot if you ask me.
Check out this short article here: http://www.wesh.com/health/16488170/detail.html
Oh this is like Christmas for me! I don't know how I am going to have the time to watch all of the programming, my dvr is already gearing up for being full 24/7! Check your local listings!
Refined (all white sugar is) white sugar has NO nutritional value. Here's a list of ailments and health problems linked to white sugar consumption:
Imbalance of neurotransmitters of the brain, enlargement of liver & kidney, hypoglycemia, yeast overgrowth, mental & emotional disorders, increase of uric acid in the blood, attention deficit disorder, weakened immune system, hyperactivity, dental cavities and weight gain.
2. Extracted juice is boiled to thicken & crystallize
3. Remaining is spun to remove syrup
4. Washed & filtered (filters are often made of charred animal bones, lovely.)
The environmental hazards grow when anything is processed. *rule of thumb- the more processed something is the worse it is for the environment. There's waste from sugar mills and the carbon dioxide released into the air when firing sugar in process stage.
There are many alternatives to white sugar, they are so easy to find it shouldn't be hard. What is hard though is when you're not the one baking, cooking or making the food or drink. That's where it gets tricky, I urge you to speak up, it's your body, why wouldn't you? Ask what sugar was used, when you find out, take the chance to educate (nicely of course) as to the alternatives available. Here are some alternatives: (which actually have small amounts of vitamins, nutrients and minerals, unlike white sugar)
Give one of those a try, just don't be fooled into buying "brown sugar" wanna know what that is? It's refined sugar with molasses added for color, texture and flavor, don't be fooled!
When switching to cleaner environmentally friendly cleaning products make sure you dispose of your old chemical ones the right way. Contact the EPA for how to's.
The shop is set up as a feast for the eyes. Candy colored products are vibrant and displayed to entice. Who wouldn't want cherry soap! You can test out and smell all products. With each purchase you receive a free reusable tote bag for all of your shopping trips! All in all an exciting reason to get home, bust out my candy colored cleaning products and scrub away!
Just don't forget before you go, snag matching brightly colored gumballs because as I was told, "cleaning should be fun too", I couldn't agree more.