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Daily Eco: How Are YOU Saving Green In This Insane Economy!?

In this insane economic time, money is on all of our minds. There's not much we can do about the big things (you know, that 70 billion) but we can make small changes at home. Spend wisely, it's not only ecomically a good choice but an environmental one too.

Groceries should be purchased when needed, don't buy and toss, it's a habit we all do, purchasing food we think we'll eat only to find we need to toss it later as it goes bad. Think about your upcoming meals, plan them out and use what you buy.

Evaluate you're upcoming bills, how can you reduce them, can you cut out somethings? I am cutting our HBO/Showtime today, it's a small reduction yes, but it's the first step to cutting back. Can you adjust your thermostat, lower the level of your fridge so it isn't working so hard to keep your food cold (a little change won't ruin your food, so don't worry!) or can you reuse those dryer sheets to save a few pennies here and there!

It all adds up, that's my point! How are YOU saving green, both in your wallet and for the environment?

I'm excited to hear about it, so comment away!!

CSA Pickup: Moi!

A friend was out of town for the weekend, so she lovingly gave us her CSA (community supported agriculture) pickup that week. It included flowers, a dozen eggs and more fruit and veggies than I could carry! Needless to say I squashed a green heirloom tomato against my side while walking and it dribbled down my dress and leg, lovely! It was all worth it though once I got home, cleaned up and surveyed my goodies.

While Kevin and I are quite content shopping for local fruits and veggies in our neighborhood, I highly recommend this as a great way to support local farmers and get fresh and delicious food. If we couldn't get locally grown food so easily in our hood, I'd do this in a heartbeat! The experience of the CSA pickup is nice, you feel a part of something larger than yourself, you feel almost privileged, that you are in fact "allowed" to choose amazing looking fruits and veggies from the bins, at least that's how I felt. And it felt great!

Here are some photos to enjoy:





Eco-Bella DIY Spa Treatment

BellaSugar is one of my favorite sites, and they recently posted a DIY spa treatment I can't wait to make myself! (I love all the sites, popsugar, citizensugar, bellasugar, yumsugar, fitsugar, etc....) Of course swap the ingredients below with the organic variety, store in an old jar and bam, you've eco-fyed it! Oh, take it one step further and make some for a friend, cause you know, sharing is eco-friendly too!

Here's the info and link below:

Here's what you'll need:
3/4 cup coffee beans1 tablespoon olive oil2 tablespoons vanilla extract1/3 cup brown sugar1 teaspoon ground cloves
Step 1: Put coffee beans, powdered clove and brown sugar in a coffee grinder.Step 2: Grind coarsely, put in empty tub or Tupperware container and mix a little more.Step 3: Add vanilla and oil and mix. Feel free to add more olive oil, but do it slowly, as it's easy to go overboard!
By being able to control the sizes of the particles in the scrub, you decide how rough you want it. The oil really does the trick in terms of keeping your limbs smooth. I shaved after using it, and my legs are super-smooth and soft, so don't be afraid to keep it a little chunky.

http://bellasugar.com/2070743 (check here for pics and more details!)

Also, I am sure you'll fall in love with the site like I did!

Rainy Eco Day

So, it's a rainy day in New York City today, and I was wondering what's an eco-gal to do to eco-fy her rain gear?

Well, while not extremely practical, I did come across a great eco-invention I just had to share:
http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/07/02/naked-unbrella/

The concept is use what you can find along with the handy dandy naked umbrella, haven't you seen tons of people running through the streets with a newspaper over their head, well they would be happy to have this I am sure!

Now, onto more practical items, Brelli makes a stunningly gorgeous (dare I say that about an umbrella!) one that's a must check out! Their tag line says it all, "it's chic, functional, and, of course environmentally responsible." Oh and if that wasn't enough, their website was designed and built by a fully solar powered graphic design studio! The website isn't too shabby either.

http://www.thebrelli.com/

(Image: http://www.yankodesign.com/2008/07/02/naked-unbrella/ & http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/09/the-brelli-sustainable-styles-100-biodegradable-umbrella/)

Daily Eco

I just learned that oil from pizza can't be removed from pizza boxes during the recycling process, therefore adding the box to your recycling can taint the entire patch! So, don't do it!

Who knew!

Fig & Sage: Sale Link!

I receive daily emails from one of my favorite blogs, Fig and Sage. Today they sent out a great sale item I thought I'd share with my audience!

Enjoy, and check out Fig and Sage, it's a wonderful blog!!

http://figandsage.blogspot.com/2008/09/always-free-shipping-and-12-off-organic.html

Link Time!

Daily Candy serves it up again!

This time with a great eco-loving toothbrush:

Check out the article: http://www.dailycandy.com/everywhere/article/38955/Oral+Fixation

Stay Tuned...

I am back from my wedding! I've got so much to blog about, from the eco-friendly touches at our wedding to the mini-honeymoon we took this weekend where we spent our days bike riding to farmers markets, and nights cooking up fresh local ingredients and watching a crackling fire. I am getting back into the swing of life and will be posting photos and stories all this week.

So, stay tuned.....

Hope you are all happy and healthy
xx
Lindsay

Eco-Bella: Non-Toxic Nails

Yay! An article about the woes of nail polish full of chemicals. PeaceKeeper makes a beautiful line of non-toxic nail polish, available at Whole Foods. Also check out their website:

PeaceKeeper nail polish is toulene-free, formaldehyde-free, and phthalates-free. Yep, you read that correctly, formaldehyde-free! Formaldehyde! EWW!

Check out this site for more PeaceKeeper info: http://www.iamapeacekeeper.com/department.aspx?DeptId=2

And the link to the Lime article I read this morming: http://www.lime.com/node/21486

Daily Eco

Do your research, find out which candidate aligns with your environmental views. The Internet is a great resource to finding this information out. This election is more important than ever, and knowing all you can know is so important. Share your findings, you never know who may be seeking this information out in order to make a choice!

Animal Abuses

I've read about the abuses in farms over the past few years. It breaks my heart to have to report these stories to you, but I strongly believe they are happening every day. Here's a link to the latest story of animal abuse.

Please think about your meat/poultry & animal byproduct purchases if you have to make them at all. Support ONLY those you trust and believe are abiding by the codes of humane animal treatment. Animals do not deserve our frustration, anger and abuse. Not even for a second. Choosing to be a meat eater carries with it the responsibility to treat the animals with respect, some may disagree with me on this one, that maybe we should be eating no animals at all. I totally understand that view point, it is one I am close and closer to believing myself. One thing I do stand strong on is that this world is not going to turn Vegan over night, which means there will continue to be factory farms, local small farms and companies selling meat/poultry and their by products. We need to make sure that all those participating in that market are treating the animals fairly, with humane care and are truly doing sticking to their "humane" "grass-fed" "free-range" label promises.

Kevin and I try to only eat meat/poultry/by products from animals raised humanely, treated with respect while supporting local and organic farms. This is our way and this is how we live.

Here's a snippet of the article:

PETA is seeking prosecution of 18 people on animal cruelty violations. According to PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich, the video shows eight people directly abusing animals.
"Abuse on factory farms is the absolute norm, not the exception, and anyone eating factory-farmed meat is paying to support it," Friedrich said.


http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/16/abused.pigs.ap/index.html

Organic Style Sale Alert!

Check out this site for great mens, women's, home, baby and gifts!

15% off everything till September 30th

http://www.organicstyle.com/

Eco Mama: The Dirty Dozen

THE DIRTY DOZEN.
no, not eggs, but foods, 12 of them! oh so dirrttyyy.
As I am preparing to feed Siena her first solid foods, I have been reading several articles in magazines, online and in books about foods and what to feed a little precious. This includes the following two books, as I find I abide by them pretty closely.(not fully, but closely) A breastfeeding book written by the woman who introduced La Leche league to Germany, 'Breastfeeding Naturally' by Hannah Lothrop and the book by the anthropop doctor Dr. W Zur Linden, 'A Child Is Born' published by the Rudolf Steiner Press. I am still not ready to fully introduce foods to Siena as she is 5 months old, and can't sit up on her own yet. She is beginning to show some interest in food, but not enough for me to feed her. (her two bottom teeth poked thru on wed/Thursday Sept 3/4th!) Even through the presence of teeth sometimes coincides with a baby wanting to eat, I want her to be able to sit up first. The two books I just mentioned suggest waiting until 6 months, and I totally agree. They also say organic is best all the way. So, hence I won't be taking the pediatrician's advice to begin solids at 5 months. (Pediatricians always seem to suggest feeding at 4 1/2- 5months) I have let her taste banana and apple, but not more than a pinkie fingernail portion...She makes a face like she ate a lemon, and her thrusting reflex is still in full effect so the food comes out more than goes in.

So, as I continue down my path of organic fruits and veggie consumption, I must draw attention to this list, as published in American Baby, Sept 2008, article "What to Buy Organic". These are the top items to watch out for, I mean, eat them organically! they are the most contaminated by pesticides. (think: skin on fruit/veggie, probably not safe as pesticides "lay" in the skin, like out skin protects our innards)
1. potatoes
2. apples

3. pears
4. sweet bell peppers
5.celery
6. nectarines
7. strawberries
8. cherries
9. lettuce
10. grapes (imported) 11. peaches
12. spinach


NOTE: the 2nd and 3rd items are the first fruits besides bananas that we start feeding babies!!! Take a big hint and buy buy buy ORGANIC.
The list is NOT LIMITED to those 12, but also contains these: MILK, PEANUT BUTTER, BABY FOOD, KETCHUP, BEEF. Also, always remember to pinch off the last inch of the banana, where the little black stem is, that is the portion which absorbs pesticides.
I also want to point out that I gave up on Whole Foods while I was pregnant because they had such a small selection of organic produce, I was appalled. They never had organic potatoes either! My sister agrees with their serious lack of organic produce and had noticed the potato thing too in Allston. (Boston). So see ya never Whole Paycheck! I am very happy to spend my hard earned money at the McCarren Park Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8am-3pm. And for that matter, Farmers Markets are the best. no check out lines, no aisles, just bins of freshly harvested produce and fruits. You're in the sunshine, you breath air under huge trees, you clamor over a bin of huge heirloom tomatoes, talk to the growers...its great. And Siena is always super content to take a stroll to the park. As I am to get some exercise and munch on some peaches and nectarines.
take care! eat well! and be happy
you Brooklyn Eco mama,
Mariah

McCain/Palin: Why a Vote For Them is a Vote AGAINST the Environment!

I am super busy but wanted to post these articles as I see them, I will provide a nice review soon! I am deep in "eco-friendly" wedding errands/last minute pick ups and things before my Sunday wedding!

Here's an article highlight Palin's horrid views:

Here's an excerpt:

She wants to start drilling. She wants to block US moves to list the polar bear as an endangered species. And she has allowed big game hunters to shoot Alaska's bears and wolves from low-flying planes.
The 44-year-old governor says a federal government decision to protect the polar bear will cripple energy development offshore. As a result, she is suing the Bush administration, which ruled the polar bear is endangered and needs protection.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/palin-the-real-scandal-920803.html

More to come!

P.S. If you read similar articles, please email me and I will happily post them!

Eco-Mama: The Plastic Diaries

As we find ourselves in the busy throws of September, with back to school shopping frenzies, back to work, needing "supplies" etc, we find that it may be a very difficult month to do something I am doing: I am on a plastic strike! For the whole month of September.I am going to see how hard it is to keep from bringing plastic items into my home for the whole month. So far, I am not totally free. I will at some point this month attempt an average number of plastic items that already live in my home. I know I will be sickened by it.
Here's a few examples, listed by day, of little things that can be easily or very difficult to avoid.Sept 2nd: I purchased a gallon of Poland Spring water. This one is really tough, if like me, you purchase your water, its unavoidable. If anyone knows how to get gallons any other way please let me know.On that same day I also picked up a pint of Ben 'n' Jerry's ice cream. On the container is a plastic sealant. Not to mention how many times I had to say: "I don't need a bag" when I purchased both mentioned items! I swear people are so used to swiping and bagging your item at the stores that they almost don't hear you say it. I end up feeling rude by the time I have repeated myself 2-3 times, each time saying it louder.Sept 6th: I bought Ronny Brook ice cream at the Farmer's Market in McCarren park, sans plastic sealant! yay. No new plastic in home, just re-used plastic bags I already had to put my produce in to carry home.
Some items that will live in your home for awhile, then be thrown out to buy yet another plastic item to replace the old one with: BRITA water filters. Plastic shopping bags. Yogurt containers/ most drinks. Pens. Most packaged food items. Clothing (the little things that attach the price tag to the clothing) If you don't use Nature Baby Care diapers, then all the packaging for the diapers and wipes. Magazine subscriptions sent in plastic wrap. Miscellaneous mail. Tape on the boxes used to ship items you purchase online.
I stopped buying plastic kitchen garbage bags, I have (as pictured) a pile of plastic bags from shopping for food/clothing that have been sitting in my closet. Now I am using those as garbage bags. I also don't purchase the blue recycling bags. I hand carry my items to recycle down to the bin out front and toss em in, sans bag. whats the point of recycling if we are sending those items off inside a plastic bag?
More to come! this is an ongoing posting.as always, your Brooklyn Eco Mama,Mariah

Ah Beautiful Trash

I just read a great Daily Candy email and wanted to share:
Artist Adrian Kondratowicz is pushing the public to see just how much trash they produce. He's did this by producing 100 biodegradable bubble gum pink (and covered with huge polka dots!) trash bags. They carry a hefty pricetag, $30 bucks for a box of 10, but as they say, you can't put a price on art and education!



Fact Shocker

Americans get over 19 BILLION catalogs every year! While many of us recyle them, catalogues are still among the top non-recyled items out there.

Step it up, recyle them if you get them.

More importantly get your name off of those lists with http://www.greendimes.com/

Eco-Wedding Countdown: I'll Toast To That

Well, we are 12 days away here and it's getting a bit insane! Here's our latest green wedding tip.

Go for organic wines, beers and liquor if possible. Speak up, ask for those options to be given to you, if you like the taste, go with it! Spotlight those choices at your wedding by displaying them prominently, show off your eco-ness you savvy couple! Another option, if applicable is going with local brews/wines. Brooklyn Brewery is local for us, and we're planning on serving up their beer at our wedding. We are still finalizing our lists, but going local was an easy choice!

Square One Vodka is an organic vodka that I've reviewed here in an earlier post. Check that post out, but searching for "Square One Vodka" in the search bar (search my blog, not the whole web).

There are many organic wines out there, do your research, speak to the local wine shop and you'll see how easy it is, and how good you'll feel.

Happy Toasting!

Eco-Mama: A Whole Lotta Beeswax


Home air quality is important, especially for the health and happiness of your little precious! Right before Siena was born I read up on the difference between beeswax candles and "regular" paraffin ones. The facts I found were shocking to me. I definitely felt like I should have known this all along...but just glad I found out before she was born. The only serious downside to switching to beeswax is that it costs an arm and a leg compared with "regular" candles. I bought 6 beeswax tea lites, and you wanna get ready to bug out?! It cost $7.50!! for only 6!! compare that to the bag of 100 you can get at ikea for $2.99...and its no wonder more people don't switch. I remember my early years in Steiner school (Waldorf) when we would burn candles, they were always the ones hand rolled from sheets of beeswax with the honey comb pattern. There was no frivolous candle burning there, that's for sure! But it was always a special occasion...which made it seem so much more meaningful...pure...no wonder, we were breathing in good ions! and also...."can be used on sewing needles and thread, fishing line, create beauty products, eliminate door squeaks, door hinges, waterproof your favorite shoes, and has even been known to shape those handle-bar mustaches!" (http://www.beeyondthehive.com/)

*I am quoting Annie Bond below because I like the way she vocalized the info. I'm into it. get into it too, people!
Annie B Bond, author of the eco blog: care2.com, read her full article about candles here. or read the quoted info below.
By Annie B. Bond, author of Home Enlightenment (Rodale, 2005).

Beeswax candles offer a honey scent, a golden flame, and the longest, cleanest burn of any candle. But there is much more benefit to beeswax candles compared to paraffin candles (that are made from polluted petroleum sludge), or even vegetable-based candles that are a big improvement over paraffin. When beeswax candles burn, they clean the air like a great, natural, air purifier, and they are a link to a deep spiritual belief system. For each pound of beeswax provided by a honey bee, the bee visits 33 million flowers. It eats 10 pounds of honey. It secretes the beeswax from its abdomen, and then uses the wax to construct a honeycomb. Beekeepers recover the wax from the comb by heating it in water where the melted wax rises to the surface and can be removed. Many have written about the wisdom of the beehive, and how burning beeswax puts a person in a special mood of reverence. It is easy to imagine why, given that millions of flowers have been visited and pollinated to make any one beeswax candle! Healing and spiritual powers have been attributed to all products of the beehive. Honey has always been considered holy, a gift from God, and endowed with esoteric and mystical qualities. The Path of Pollen, or bee shamanism, is a calling into the secrets of healing, longevity, and spiritual powers of bee products, including honey, wax, and pollen. The Hebrew word for bee is dbure, meaning word, with the message being that the bee brings the Divine word. Specifically beeswax candles are designated for the Christian Roman Mass. To burn a beeswax candle is to enter into the wisdom world of the bee, and you enter, too, into a world of benefits from the bee. Compare this to breathing toxic fumes from paraffin candles! (For more on toxic candles, see Candle Soot. Cleaning the Air by Burning Beeswax CandlesAir contains billions of electrically charged particles called ions. Ions act upon our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen, and therefore cause powerful effects on our lives and well being. The ions in the air can affect our mood, energy and health. Negative ions actually feel good. Too many positive ions make us feel bad and they are loaded down with pollution and allergens that are drawn to them and suspended in the air. Negative ions, on the other hand, remove the pollution and allergens from positive ions, allowing them to drop harmlessly to the ground. Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary scenario for clean air.

AND PS: my new obsession: Lead

****Besides these chemicals, Kaiss K. Al-Ahmady, Ph.D., P.E., of Indoor Air Solutions, Inc. of Tampa Florida, found in testing of over 20 candles, that 30 percent of the metal wire wicks used in some candles can contained lead."We all want to protect ourselves from lead exposure, if this last bit of info isn't enough to get you to stop burning paraffin...then I don't know what to say. I am a mother. I care deeply about these things now that I see my little pure baby being exposed to all these pollutants just by living in a city.

Eco-Wedding How To: Soap Up

So, after a weekend full of wedding errands, playlist creations and timeline discussions, I am ready for a nap! But I discovered another great eco-tip that we'll be putting into place!

Supply your own eco-friendly hand soap to your wedding bathrooms! This can obviously be done in your own home or at any event you have. No need to use what they have, likely cheap stuff full of chemicals. Pick up some Method, inexpensive and comes in great shaped pump containers. If you'd like to step it up, invest in reusable ceramic dispensers and buy Method in refillable sizes! Make the statement that even in the insanity of planning a wedding/party you can take the time to provide a earth-friendly option for your guests. A little goes a long way!

(Image:coolproductexpo.stanford.edu)