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Daily Eco


Check out this great site Earth Seasons for USA specific season foods. This way you can know what to choose at the grocery store. Fruits and Veggies are flown in from all over the world, costing a lot and wasting a lot of fuel. That's not very eco-friendly is it? When you go to the site, don't forget to choose Canada/USA!

A sneak peak? Sure!

Celery Root, Leeks and Potatoes are in season right now

Nature Inspiration

The Composting Diaries


So, after lusting after the Nature Mill Automatic Composter for about a year, my darling Kevin surprised me with our very own for Christmas!

I've never composted before, automatic or manual, so I am super excited to get going! I'll be posting my progress until I have my very own handful of "homemade" soil.

Week 1

To get the composter up and running properly, it needs a week of uninterrupted churning and warming to activate the cultures. The problem is, we aren't sure if the 2 cups of soil we added have live cultures. The instructions call for 2 cups of natural top soil, not packaged soil. Well where does one get this in Brooklyn? We snuck down to the 3 feet by 3 feet plot that houses a tree in front of our apartment and scooped up what we hope is natural soil that has live cultures in it. There's no way of knowing since we have no clue where that soil came from. We're taking the gamble on this one.

We collected food scraps (including a few old potatoes, some leftover ground beef, a nub of passed mozzarella, vegetable peels, garlic & onion skins and 2 old pieces of bread) and finally some dried leaves. We added the obligatory pellets of sawdust and backing powder (for balance) and shut it for the week! We'll have to wait an entire week to find out if our soil had cultures or not. If the answer is no mind you, we will be opening a container of extremely warm, rotting food. So you can imagine my fear.

The composter woke both Kevin and I up during the night churning away, it's supposed to quiet down after a few weeks of breaking in, here's hoping.

More to come next week as we unveil our first batch

(Image: naturemill.com)

Daily Eco

New Year's is right around the corner, think about making some environmental resolutions this year...

Here are some ideas to make

*Start your very first herb garden, stop buying and start growing

*Think about composting, if not at home in your neighborhood, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for example you can bring your scraps to the park.

*Cook more organic food

*Actually use those reusable tote bags you have been buying yourself all year

*Subscribe to Urban Branches, it's easy and you can receive the latest articles right in your inbox! (shameless I know) You can do this on your right in the subscription box

*Make the real change and have a meat free week starting today. It can be done all you meat lovers, you'll end up spending less, eating better and saving the planet!

*Cut out chemical laden drinks, vote for natural juices, natural sodas, organic wines and liquors and good old water!

*CONSUME LESS

More to come.....

What are YOUR resolutions?

Warm & Happy Holiday

Have a safe, warm, cozy, romantic, loving and eco holiday! No matter what you celebrate, remember this is a time about friends & family. It's taking that long awaited nap, spending time with the friend or relative you rarely see, baking for the first time in months and eating till you can't button those pants (that's what sweat pants are for anyway!)

Kevin and I are headed to Connecticut till the end of the weekend, we can't wait to get out into nature for a nice snowy walk, curling up to the fire and enjoy one of my favorite meals.

warm wishes...

Fox makes me sick


Fox, known for it's extreme right agenda does it again. Ecorazzi highlights another insane slew of comments meant for the trash...

On the show 'Fox and Friends' a bunch of idiots get all excited talking about PETA and their efforts to stop KFC from treating their chickens inhumanely all the while gnawing on fried chicken and cracking jokes. Then to top it off, they discuss the new culture of eco-friendly kids and how he wishes he had children so he could punish them for their beliefs about the environment.(and he actually says eco-kids, pronouncing it echo-kids!) I'm not making this up! Click the link and watch the entire few minutes of utter creepy ignorance and grossness.

Thanks to Ecorazzi for bringing this to our attention!

(Image and source: ecorazzi.com)

So you've heard washing with hot/warm water is bad for the environment and your wallet. I just finished reading a great article on TreeHugger that explains it all in black and white.

Here are some highlights to shock you into choosing cold wash!

* 90% of all energy used in washing our clothes goes straight to heating up that water

* 392 = the average loads of wash a U.S. household will go through in a year, that's a lot of hot water

* 1 year of hot/warm washing = 182 gallons of gas

* 1 year of hot/warm washing = 2,407 lbs of CO2 (which is equal to 1 round-trip cross country flight)

I always choose cold water, you should too, read there rest of the article, and tell your friends, COLD is where it's at! Plus many companies are making cold wash specific laundry detergent, no excuses people!

(Image:kevino.net)

Urban Branches Gift Guide: Last Minute

So you've got days of Hanukkah left and Christmas just a few days away and you're still not done with your shopping? Here are some easy to find, eco-friendly choices for great gifts this year for just about everyone on your list.

1. Burt's Bees products, they are available at most drugstores these days and are totally affordable. My favorite products include Beeswax Lip Balm, Naturally Nourishing Milk & Shea Butter Bodywash and Hand Salve for super dry skin.


2. Whole Foods
Gift Cards -because even though it's often called "whole paycheck" it's nice to splurge on healthy, organic goods every now and then.

3. A Bag of Fair Trade coffee beans, you can find these at your local cafes, supermarkets and specialty shops. Totally worth it. (See earlier articles about why Fair Trade is the way to go by typing Fair Trade into the search this blog box on the left)

4. Homemade Organic Cookies, it's not too late to whip up a batch of cookies using the best organic ingredients, there are tons of recipes online. Check out these great recipe sites for some ideas: Epicurious, All Recipes and Cooking Light. Gift them in reused tins, jars, recycled paper bags or other unique, thoughtful and eco-friendly ways!

5. Drugstore shopping, pick up all anyone needs and put together in a reusable canvas tote or basket. Include Tom's of Maine toothpaste, Eco Tools makeup brushes (can be found in most drugstores), yummy and health snacks Clif & Luna bars, Kiss My Face handsoaps in a variety of scents and finally score a copy of Plenty or Natural Health Magazine and turn them onto something.

6. itunes gift cards- give music this year without the waste of CD packaging, plus itunes offers the code up so you can email it to those far away saving on paper and mailing costs (not to mention fuel for the mail trucks)

Daily Eco

When baking or cooking this holiday season, spring for the organic, fresh, humanly raised and grass-fed ingredients this year. It's the holidays, your food gifts are supposed to tell someone how much you care.

This year I am making vanilla cupcakes with fresh homemade frosting. They will be made with grass-fed butter and milk, organic sugar and vanilla. Next time you're in the grocery store, check out the ingredients in a tub of frosting, you'll want to make your own too!

I'll post the recipe soon!

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v6


No need to forget your pets this holiday season, get out there and treat them to an eco-gift!

•Cats: Eco-Me Cat Kit- $28.00 – This AMAZING cat tool kit enables you to make safe, organic, all natural products for your cat using everyday kitchen ingredients and specially blended essential oils such as rosemary, citronella and lemongrass. You’ll be able to make:
- Flea and Bug Spray
- Litter Freshener
- Organic Catnip Pillow
- All-natural Cat Treats
It also contains a heart shaped cookie cutter, reusable containers and a 15ml supply of essential oils - enough to make 2 fillings of each cat kit product.

•Cats: $5.09 bio-degradable litter box liners. (they have some for dogs as well!)

•Dogs: HarryBarker Dog Dispensers: $10.00 All dog owners in the city know that they must clean up after their pets. It’s not only common courtesy, it’s the law! Most owners you see use those bright blue plastic bags to pick up the matter. Problem is, what’s in the bag is bio-degradable, the bag itself is not. Harry Barker has bio-degradable no.2 bags and they come in a recycled plastic dispenser that can hook on to your dog’s leash so you’ll never be without a bag!

•Dogs: AKC Green Planet Plush squeaky toy $8.99. I buy my dog one of these environmentally friendly dog toys made by the American Kennel Club, which uses recycled packaging and recycled and non-toxic materials every few months. He LOVES the toys, because they are not only soft, but they have a squeak apparatus in the middle. My dog, Gustav’s favorite is the Squirrel!

•Pets: travel water bowl. Great to take to the dog park or on a road trip.

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v5


Here are some gift ideas for just about everyone!

Indoor Planting! $30.00 For the Gardening Enthusiast, this cute indoor garden will inspire joy to anyone with hint of a green thumb! The Indoor gardening Kit is made from advanced environmentally friendly materials - helping to reduce fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions, all in the name of good green fun!

•Book - $16.95 The Eco-Chic How to live Fabulously Green Guide to Life Book - Lower your carbon footprint—in your favorite pair of stilettos—with The Eco Chick Guide To Life. Here you’ll find hundreds of ideas on how to be ecologically smart and still be stylish and trend-setting. Haven’t read this but I just ordered it!

•ICU – ICU eyewear is one of my favorite eye wear brands, especially since I need glasses for seeing, as well as to block out the sun! They have an amazing sustainable eyewear line. They have eco-friendly sunglasses made from recycled material in an ode to Rayban Wayfarers. $21.95 as well as glasses made from Bamboo perfect for a mother like mine!
$62.95

Daily Eco

In lieu of paper holiday cards this year send e-cards, people love receiving mail yes, but they love saving the planet more! Although I do admit I love receiving mail too!

Urban Branches Gift Guide: Animal Aid

During the holiday season, we mustn't forget to give voice to the voiceless. Animals. What better time to share with your children the plight of the animals of the world, be it endangered species, unwanted shelter pets or victims of abuse and cruelty. It is always valuable to teach our children how to treat, protect and enjoy animals.

There are many ways you can do this, here's some great ideas:

1. Call your local shelter and see if they need anything, like towels or blankets. Then take the chance to clean out your closets and donate your unneeded linens.

2. Donate money to an animal related charity such as: ASPCA, North Shore Animal League, Farm Santuary or Sea Shepard

3. Sponsor an animal, this not only teaches the recipient about giving but it shares the animal story with you. Here are some great ideas:

*North Shore Animal League- You can sponser a pet in need

*World Wildlife Fund - Sponsor a variety of 90 animals, including snow lepords, pandas and
anacondas!

*National Wildlife Federation - "Adopt" a polar bear and pass on your knowledge of global warming

*The Dian Fossey Foundation - Help continue her amazing work to save the world's Gorillas.


Even if you have only a few dollars this year to give, it's important. So bring your lunch to work, skip the afternoon latte and give what you can. I know I am.

(Images: WWF- www.ecopacifico.org, National Wildlife Federation- www.nwf.org, Dian Fossey- www.messageproducts.com, North Shore Animal League- www.nsalamerica.org)

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v4


Whether you've got literal in-laws or significant other's rents you've gotta get them a little something, a token of your admiration for their raising such a wonderful son or daughter. Here's some ideas to help you along your way.

Bamboo and Reclaimed Teak Garden Ducks - $89.00 - Hand carved from sustainable bamboo root and reclaimed teak, these web-footed wonders come in natural finish or colors.

•Old Cookbook – Everyone like’s grandma’s cooking. Why not go to a used book store and get a really old cookbook to give!

Eco Starter Kit - I know I already mentioned in the her guide, the eco starter kit, but this one is a little hefty, more for your parents or those that have not really been in tune with how important it is to going green! $97.50 – In this box, you have the tools to conserve energy, water and the ability to save up to $260 per year and shrink your carbon footprint by 2.5 tons!

Nature Inspiration

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v3


The ultimate gift guide for the men in your life, be it boyfriend, friend, nephew or good old Dad!

Indoor Water Conservation kit: $34.95 – includes: (1) 1.5 GPM Earth Massage Showerhead, (2) 1.0 GPM Sink Aerators, (1) Deluxe Kitchen Swivel Aerator, (1), Toilet Tank Bank, (1) Toilet Water Saver Fill Cycle Diverter, (1) Toilet Leak Dye Kit, Teflon Tape, Flow Meter Bag, and a Water Conservation Wheel with tips.

Citizen Blue Angels Skyhawk men’s watch $251.00 on sale now, the Citizen JR3155-54E is a great splurge for your man. The Citizen Eco-Dive watch movement absorbs any type of light to continuously power the watch; Citizen Eco-Dive watches never need a replacement battery.

Sports Equipment - Football $29.95 Give your man an Eco-certified and certified Fair Trade football; Union-made and vegan, this will surely make him smile to show his buddies how green he is getting!


Eco-Sphere – $54.95 This amazing little eco-system is filled with microorganisms, bright red shrimp and the algae sustain each other in a clear “soup” of filtered seawater. Calming, and educational, this gift is a great gift for anyone!

Steel Compost Crock - $54.95 Need I say more? Even if you live in an apartment and don’t have access to the outside, you can fertilize the tomato plants on your fire-escape like I do!

Eco-Case – $45.00 – What is being done with all those cassettes that are around in the bajillions?! A perfect up-cycled case for your fourth generation Ipod Nano!

Gifts under $20, easy as pie

So, we're all trying to save a few dimes this holiday season, but that doesn't mean we can shower our friends, family and coworkers with goodies now does it!

Keep your budget by checking out these bright, beautiful, useful gifts, all under $20 bucks.

1. Flip & Tumble - an easy to use grocery/shopping tote that literally flips and tumbles into an easy to carry ball. Comes in 5 color combos to boot!

2. Good Magazine - A political, environmental, social and beautiful magazine I've been reading since it first came out in 2006. The entire, yes entire subscription cost goes to the charity of your choice, no joke. And while it used to cost $20 bucks, you can no pay what you want. So if you can't afford the $20 right now, you can still support the cause and give the gift of GOOD.

3. Slice of Organic Life - For those light green, medium and dark green people in your life gift them this amazing and useful book. Pick up 2 copies, you may not want to give it up!

4. Green Dimes - Help clear clutter this holiday and give the gift of a empty mailbox! Green Dimes will contact those pesky credit card companies and catalogues and ask them to stop mailing all that wasted paper. Because seriously, do you need that boating/sailing catalogue?

5. Korres Shower Gel - Tuck this into your gift bag and you're sure to get a smile! Scents come in such delicious varieties such as Vanilla Plum, Citrus, Fennel, Fig and Jasmine.

While you're at it, pick up Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season by Jennifer Basye Sander & Peter Sander for more Christmas tips, and remember not everyone celebrates Christmas, so be mindful of your "Christmas cheer spreading". Spread smiles, homecooked sweets and enjoy the time together!

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v2


Gifts for Women or Men who are having a baby or already have a cutiepie

ECO-TRIKE –$120.00 Let the kids use their own energy to move them. Plan Toys’ wooden trikes are manufactured from natural rubberwood that no longer produces latex and are dried in chemical-free kilns. Trikes are assembled with E-zero glue that contains no formaldehyde, and wood is dyed with soy- and water-based ink. Solar energy is used to power the wood-drying kilns. Plan Toys employs environmental and social policies to protect the plant and to protect their employees.

Doll House - $129.99 Teach your children green responsibility when playing house! Wonderworld's Eco House illustrates green themes, from recycling and tree planting to collecting rainwater and harvesting solar energy.

Baby Food Making Kit: 34.95 So Easy Baby Food Kit makes it so easy to feed fresh, healthy foods to your baby. Healthy eating habits are essential to your child's health and well being. When your baby is ready to start solids, the So Easy Baby Food Kit will help you prepare healthy, natural, age-appropriate foods at home.

•Plush baby toys - $26, Under The Nile, SO cute. You want to feed your babies organic veggies, why not let them teeth on these organically made veggie toys!

•Reusable Diapers $18 and up, Fuzzi Bunzi, this is amazing. With snaps instead of Velcro, this is the gift that keeps on giving!!

Nature Inspiration

Daily Eco

Wrapping presents for the holidays presents a problem I know, there is such a waste of paper involved and even if you spring for the recycled paper you're still throwing it away.

Get creative!

*For small items use beautiful glossy magazine pages, choose according to the receivers personality, for the rocker you can pull Rolling Stone pages and for your family fashionista you can score some vogue pages.

*Consider not wrapping those bigger gifts, stash them in the closet till you are ready to give them out, hide them under a sheet, trust me the look on their face when they get whatever is hidden under there is worth it!

*Use nature when you can for added decor, twigs, leaves, acorns and pine cones make beautiful gift toppers

When all else fails, ditch the bows, sooo unnecessary and way to obvious.

Eco-Fashionista: Holiday Gift Guide v1

This holiday season give the gift of green! Whether it’s the women, men, or pets in your life you’d like to give something special to, here are a few helpful ideas to getting you started on a greener path!

1) WOMEN / GIRLFRIEND
Aromatherapy candle set: $16.95 Candles are always a safe bet for gifts. And with these, you can’t go wrong! Not only are made of a pure soy blend, they are hysterical in their names and what each candle’s purpose is and will surely bring a smile to any receiver!!
The Co-dependent Candle - Must light both wicks for full aromatherapy effect.
The arousal candle - Even the romantically challenged will have trouble screwing this mood up.
The Chill Out Candle - Having a problem unwinding, mellowing out or just shutting up?
The Therapists' Choice Candle - If your moods change faster than you can light a match, this self-diagnosing layered candle will help keep you on track.
The Quick Fix Candle - Cheaper than a sports car - more spiritual than a bottle of Jack.
The Placebo Candle - Your problems are of your own Making. This non-therapeutic candle is all you need.
The Wedded Bliss Candle - Aromatherapy for those who can share the same soul without ever feeling cramped for space.
The Panic Attack Candle - Aromatherapy for general fears of job loss, computer viruses, blind dates and WMDs. Check out Green Feet for more!

Noon Solar – $412 All the collections at Noon Solar are inspired by the need to rethink the way things are made, and what they are made with. Each material used in their bag are specially chosen for its longevity and its ability to biodegrade. The other materials, such as the hardware and the solar panels can be reclaimed and reused for many generations of bags. Not only is it roomy, but solar panels on one side can power up a cell phone, PDA or iPod in minutes, saving on energy use. Made from vegetable tanned and dyed leather with an interior of organic hemp and cotton hand-dyed with natural pigments.

Eco Skin – $230.00 Okay, this is one of my favorite NEW Green Designers. This specific dress is perfect for any friend, or yourself, where size does not matter! The Tiger’s Eye wrap dress from EcoSkin can’t miss: the go-anywhere style looks good on anyone, nipping in a waist here, slenderizing hips there, and making even the A-cups among us look decidedly voluptuous. I will have more to say when spring comes on this site. But if you are going anywhere tropical, GO here to check out their AMAZING bamboo dresses.

Melissa Joy Manning Jewelry - $575.00 Melissa Joy Manning jewelry is hand made in her Oakland, California studio. Her work is eclectic and modern. Using gold, silver, semi-precious and precious stones and found objects, her line blends traditional and modern jewelry by utilizing unconventional materials to create meteoric pieces, and all is inspired by nature! SPLURGE : limited edition prong set black druzy earring-14 karat gold.

•Green Starter Kit - $65.00 Have a friend that’s not really green and not really sure how to start!? Give her this amazing starter kit, complete with a green guide, a reusable coffee mug, a reusable shopping bag, an energy saving compact fluorescent bulb, a bamboo cutting board, all natural hand soap, and a bamboo box to hold your stuff! Visit The Green Perspective website. They have other great starter kits including ones for your kitchen, the office, and for mothers!z

Urban Branches: Gift Guide

Between my Eco-Fashionista Brett and I you'll be all set for a season of eco-giving. Check back daily for ideas on what to get your mom, boyfriend, neighbor and anyone on your nice list, and a few on your naughty list.

Here's something amazing:


The Bubble Roome, a Brooklyn based company (shout out!) making delicious bath & body products that are stylish, sexy and full of natural goodness. They make amazing body lotions, soaps and scrubs but what caught my eye was a new product, the Doorknob Ornament Soaps. For $26 you score 3 vintage doorknob shaped soaps, so beautifully sculpted you might never want to use them for anything other than decor. Scented with red rose & soft amber they are delightfully intense and come wrapped in a glossy black box complete with a skeleton key gift tag. The company donates (aka Brooklyn) to the local community and is paraben free with all their products. Voila, gift giving made easy

New Orleans: And Counting.....











I stumbled across this today and wanted to share it here. Frank Relle, a New Orleans native shot these photos of his native land three years after devastating Hurricane Katrina. They are amazing. And if you're wondering what a story like this is doing on an environmental blog, well it's no secret that global warming played a key roll in the intensity of this storm. (This in addition to the lack of government of course)

(Images/Source: www.environmentalgraffiti.com)

Eco-Fashionista: Bathroom Bliss

While cleaning the bathroom today, it got me thinking. My current bathroom cleaner isn’t eco-friendly, I admit it!! I’m waiting for it to run out before I buy products from Mrs. Meyer's, which I do have a few and like the best. Waste not want not, and it’s not very ethical to throw it away or pour it down the drain! BUT, I started thinking about other products in my bathroom that might not be so eco-friendly. Despite my findings, I wanted to give you a few tips for turning your bathroom products into something a little greener, and ultimately better for you in general.

1)Buy your products in glass containers rather than plastic ones when possible. I know it’s hard since not very many products are in glass, but it is easy to recycle and it’s better for the planet.

2)IF you have to buy plastic, make sure you avoid unnecessary packaging. Lush and Kiehls are great examples of companies that do not use external packaging for their products.

3)IF you’re going out to buy, whether it be products or groceries always have a nylon shopping bag in your purse. They weigh NOTHING, take up NO room, and you never have to worry about paper or plastic when you check out. My favorite can be found at greenfeet.com at the below site. They have a great site with so many amazing things to help turn you and your apartment greener! AND it’s great for gifts for the holidays! Check out Green Feet They come in various colours to suit your style, and the best part is it’s only $5.00!

4)If you’re like me, and have a garbage bin in the bathroom, it’s hard to say don’t use a plastic bag to throw away your disposables…especially when us girls must! Use a plastic bag from the grocery store you might have stock piled in your apartment. OR just simply put it in the container, and add it to your kitchen garbage when full. You can always wash it out in the bathtub if and when it gets dirty!

5)I’ve been getting out of the habit of using a cotton pad to remove my eye make up, by simply using my face wash and scrubbing hard. BUT, if you do use cotton pads, make sure the label says 100% cotton. Whether or not it’s organic or not, you don’t want to remove your eye make up with something that might have fiberglass in it!

6)I have liquid hand soap on my sink, which I fill when low with a re-fillable soap pack I keep under my sink. HOWEVER, there’s nothing like a plain old bar or soap. Most people think pump soap is more hygienic, but how do you think it becomes a liquid? Preservatives. Nothing clean bout that.

7)I always use a plastic shower pouf to exfoliate in the shower. Now, some people say this harbors bacteria and is still plastic, but it’s better than using a loofah that is pulled out of the ocean on a mass scale! Plus, if you don’t use a bar of soap in the shower, liquid gels go farther on a pouf, there for less consumption!

8)Look for, and read the ingredients on your products. You care about what you put in your body, so you should care what you put on it. Natural ingredients should be on top, your top priority, and try to avoid extracts. You don’t the essence of; you want the whole damn thing that’s good for you!

9)Most products have an expiration date. So make sure you check those, and throw out responsibly those that are creating clutter in your bathroom, and could create clutter on your body. Like food, most products won’t “work” after a certain point, especially if they are natural.

10)Finally…watch how long you are in the bathroom. Take short showers, and don’t leave the tap running while you’re brushing your teeth! Age old advice, I’m sure you’ve heard from your mother.

(Image: www.housetohome.co.uk)

Giving Spotlight: Eco-Baby



We've got all different types of loved ones to shop for this holiday season, babies included! I nanny a little baby girl 4 days a week and have had the pleasure of "test driving" a set of organic cotton burp clothes and baby blanket made by the Organic Quilt Company. Organic Quilt Company, created by Becky Stone has embarked on the sustainable path. OQC creates beautiful quilts, clothes and blankets, including custom work.



Because conventional cotton uses tons of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in order to grow, going organic was a move made for both the health of the child but the health of the planet. OQC quilts and receiving blankets are all made with organic cotton fabrics are are dyed using low-impact fiber-reactive or naturally-sourced dyes.

So if you've got a child yourself, a niece, nephew, friend's baby or just a cutiepie in your life consider environmentally friendly gifts this year, start them off right. Check out the Organic Quilt Company and you can rest assure you are giving that little baby the best money can buy.

TreeHugger Breaks Down Green Myths


TreeHugger breaks down the top 5 myths about going green. Myths that if believed truly hinder the eco movement:

Here's the 5, for explanations click the link below:

1. Genetically Modified Crops Have Higher Crop Yields and Help Reduce Poverty
2. Clean Coal Technology Will Solve the Coal Pollution Problem
3. Developing Nations Need to Stop Having Babies
4. Wind Turbines Are a Serious Threat to Birds
5. Small Green Steps Won’t Make a Big Difference

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/12/five-dire-green-myths-causing-the-greatest-global-harm.php

Nature Inspiration OF THE YEAR!



This is such an enchanting image, I couldn't love it more! Merci Mama

Eco-Gripe

I am superbly annoyed at the commercials I am seeing on TV that are using the economic situation to describe organic foods as a luxury item. I understand that we all need to make budgeting choices, and I am not exempt from this by any means. Kevin and I choose some organic and some not more that we used to in order to be able to afford everything, but I have done my research, I know about what fruits and veggies are worth spending the money for organics (peaches, grapes, berries as opposed to avocados or bananas).

The commercial literally has a women say "organic food or college tuition?" I mean seriously, this is almost as annoying as the High Fructose Corn Syrup ads!

Giving Spotlight:: Farm Sanctuary


There is a growing list of those who need our charity, time and attention. It is so important that we all give what we can to the organization we most feel connected to. This time of year I think about my most special one, Farm Sanctuary and hope I can spark your interest in learning more about this amazing group.

Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 by Gene Baur, who worked tirelessly with a band of volunteers selling vegetarian hot dogs to raise funds for their animal advocacy work. It is their work where their hearts truly are. Farm Sanctuary's goals are to combat the animal abuses at Factory Farms across the country. Their mission began as many do, small and full of energy. It only took Gene a few visits to stockyards and slaughterhouses to unveil an industry that cares more about the bottom line than any animal that passes through its doors.

It was Hilda, a sheep layed out on the 'dead pile' at a stockyard that touched Gene Baur's heart in a way that changed his life path forever. He rescued her and thus began Farm Sanctuary. He has since opened 2 Farm Sanctuary locations, one in California and one in New York. Kevin and I plan on visiting in the spring and can't wait to spend a weekend there visiting with the animals. There's a B&B on site to help you really connect with the farm, ya!

Being the nation's leading farm animal protection organization they've got a lot on their plate, and they are not slowing down their efforts any time soon. They've got multiple campaigns going on at any given time, including the No Foie Gras, No Veal and the No Downes campaign. They received quite a victory in 1992 when their expose of down animals (animals too sick to stand) in stockyards and factory farms resulted in the Downed Animal Protection Act! Nice!

This holiday you can share Farm Sanctuary with your friends and loved ones by shopping at their online store and donating! Stock up on books, mugs, bumper stickers, t-shirts and education videos for all of your compassionate friends and family members. And of course pick up a copy of Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur

I am madly in love with this organization and I hope you are too now! Read the book, donate to their cause and please remember that it really matters how we treat those without a voice!

(Image:oliveloafdesign.files.wordpress.com)

Eco-Fashionista: Make Your Clothes Work For You

As soon as the Holiday season is upon us, it is tradition, for me, to clean my closet. I bring out the trunks under my bed, stuffed with sweaters and winter gear, and I trade it with all my summer dresses and clothes. But during the process of trading places, I end up making several piles. The first one is straight up donation. This has been a ritual for me, and something I’m very proud of. The second is clothes I don’t wear anymore but I know friends will….hardly the appropriate Christmas gift, but in times like these, it’ll have to do. The last pile usually sits in the corner of my room for a while – it is the try on pile, mainly consisting of pants and jeans that I NEVER wear. I’m talking straight leg, boot cut, high waisted, wide leg, skinny jean…you name the style, and it is in my closet. Every Holiday season I say to myself “I might like it next season, I swear they’ll make a come-back”…only every season it secretly is: “I might fit into those again next season”. This year was as terrible as last. My jeans didn’t fit right. So again, I decide to go on the hunt for yet another pair of so called “perfect fit jeans”.

I also came to find out that they released for fall an exclusive series of styles, designed for a chosen organization, including Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (the pants that I happened to be trying on) and Earth Day Network. Each jean is stitched with that charity’s signature color.

Moral is: clean out your closet this Holiday season and donate to those less fortunate than you are. There are major coat drives and food drives going on all over the city. You can go to NY Cares To see where you can drop off old coats, or go to Food Bank NYC To see where you can drop of food to feed the hungry. NOW, for those of you that have extra cash to spend, and are looking for a great fitting jean, go to Aristocrat Denim to find the nearest location to you! They are located in stores all over Manhattan, and all over the world! But if you have a fondness for that certain pair that you simply can’t give up. Hold on to them. You just might want to transform them into this summer’s most essential item: the denim jumper. It’s easy, unique, upcycled, and definitely affordable!

1) Cut 15” from the top of the jeans and mark with a piece of chalk. Fold in half and cut straight across.

2) Take the bottom of the ants and cuff them twice.

3) Take the two legs that are left over and cut them in half. Use a ruler to draw a 1.5 inch line all the way down half the leg. Lay the two halves on top of each other and cut along the marking. These will be the suspenders.

4) Make sure you sew inside out and sew the straight end closed.

5) Try the shorts on to figure out how long you need the straps to be, then cross from the back and sew in place!

6) Et voila! A head of the curve, and if you’re going somewhere sunny this holiday season, you’ll be looking hot!


Giving Spotlight:: Let's Start a Revolution

Economy Shmonomy, it's time to give! The holidays don't need to drain our funds, they can enrich our sense of community, friendship and you can score some pretty great gifts out of it. That being said, let's focus on the giving part for now. Before you start breathing out of a paper bag, take that deep breath and realize the gift you give means the world, no matter how much you shell out for it. It truly is the year of THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS. Make it count, put extra thought into your prezzies this year, don't just run through a store pulling shiny things off the shelves and slapping a bow on it. Urban Branches is no stranger to steals, deals and eco-luxuries, so we'll be bringing you our favorite holiday goodies to give (and receive!). To kick things off I bring you one of my new discoveries....
Revolution Organics sent me their entire USDA Certified Organic product line to indulge in over the past few weeks, and let me tell you, I am softer and more moisturized than ever before. Revolution Organics was born out of the desire to keep things simple, the less is more concept. Their whole line consists of 3, yes just 3 products: All Over Creme, All Over Body Balm and Lip Balm. What a relief it was to know that I don't need to loose the bank buying the entire line of skincare. The All Over Skin Creme and Lip Balm are true treats for your body. My skin is smoother and softer than before, and my lips have finally ditched it's chapped past.
While I loved the entire line, I was truly blown away by the All Over Body Balm. It boasts 22+ uses and is small enough to toss in your bag for your daily adventures. The 22 uses include:

*Relieve chapped lips

*Softens lines
*Conditions dry hands
*Tames flyaway hair
*Nourishes dry cuticles
*Primes skin for makeup
*Conditions hair
*Seals in skin moisture
AND MORE....

Revolution ingredients include loads of organic goodies such as organic olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. In this time time when we are all shelling out for gifts and trying desperately to reign in the spending, this is a great way to have you dollar stretch even further. It's like getting 22+ gifts in one! Who wouldn't love that?

Viva La Organic Revolution!

(Images: Revolutionorganics.com)