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Support Local Organic Farmers

Certified Organic Farms are on the rise it seems, check out this number from Organic Farming Magazine:

Certified organic farms in 2000: 6,592
Certified organic farms in 2005: 8,493

Let's keep this number growing. Like the bumper sticker on my car says, "Support Local Organic Farmers"


Eco-Bella: Homemade Treatments

If you are blessed with what in the is know in the industry as "normal skin" consider yourself lucky. REALLY LUCKY. Though you don't need treatments to combat extremes you should still keep up that normal skin of yours and keep it looking tip top.

Lindsay's Normal Skin Treatment:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 apple cider vinegar

As with all 3 masks, olive oil removes dirt like a pro, the lactic acid in the yogurt removes dead skin cells to unveil dewy fresh skin and apple cider vinegar is a natural astringent, what more could you ask for!
Voila, natural beauty home-made simple!

Crazy like a Fox

Wow, Fox News is up to it again. This article is a MUST read. Stephan Colbert gathers it all up and makes us laugh about it.

Enjoy & Click Here :

For more great stories also check out the ecorazzi homepage (link in my list in the right column)

Definition: Emissions

We all have heard the buzzed around the word "emissions" but it shouldn't be assumed we all know exactly what it is. I found a great definition in Natural Health Magazine last month.

"Emissions: When gasoline and coal burn, they bond with oxygen in the air- so they become heavier. (For example, one gallon of gasoline weighs six pounds, but when burned, it produces more than 19 pounds of carbon dioxide gas.) That's why it doesn't take much fuel to cause air pollution- and why small changes, like turning off lights when not in use, can improve air quality."


Daily Eco: Travel Tip

When staying at a hotel do you really need to have your room cleaned daily? Kevin and I only had our room cleaned 1 time while we were in New Orleans, our sheets and towels only get washed once a week at home, why must we have them changed daily? We can make our own bed thank you.

By leaving the Do Not Disturb sign (or calling the front desk to let them know not to clean your room) you are saving a lot. Think about it, water for the washing machine, less chemicals in the water (detergents and bleach they use), less waste (they toss half used toilet paper rolls etc) and so on...

News Story: Oh What A Day!

I know this is somewhat unrelated, but I couldn't be happier to announce New York is going to be recognizing same sex marriage rights! " Failing to recognize gay marriages would violate New York's human rights law" Click here to read the CNN article!

Eco-Bella: Homemade Treatments

As promised here's a DIY face mask to whip up tonight! This one is for oily skin.

Lindsay's Oily Skin Treatment
1/2 tsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 cup of plain yogurt
(Mix together and spread over face, can spread on t-zone only if you're not oily elsewhere!)

The olive oil removes dirt like a pro, lemon juice tightens those pesky pores and the lactic acid in the yogurt removes dead skin cells to reveal radiant lovely skin, what more could you ask for!

Voila, natural beauty home-made simple!


Daily Eco: Travel Tip

Before heading on board your next flight make a quick pit stop in the bathroom. Airplane bathrooms are sometimes powered by gasoline! Whoa, who knew?

Nature Obsession

My current obsession: Succulents! They are beautiful, easy to care for and require little water (eco-friendly eh!) . Kevin and I are planning on using lots of potted succulents at our wedding and this picture is from my parents garden. They've fallen in love with succulents too!

New Orleans: A City To Inspire

The vibrant, stunningly beautiful and tender New Orleans.

Amidst the drunk Bourbon street tourists and bead wearing twenty somethings was a city full of rich history, pride and beauty. I saw a passion and love for nature. I saw beautiful trees rising up touching the heavens. I saw balconies overflowing with foliage and flowers. I fell in love with the tender side of New Orleans, the French influence took my breath away. Stuck on cars all over the city were message of hope, via bumper sticker.

Daily Eco & Stay Tuned

Hello! I am home from a wonderful weekend in New Orleans, I have eco news to share and eco travel tips to post. Check back in later today or tomorrow for some update posts.

As for today's Daily Eco, I am going to focus on some travel-friendly daily eco tips as we are all making summer plans to take off to lovely destinations across the country or across the globe.

Daily Eco: When travelling make friends at your hotel with that couple you made small talk with at the pool, you might be able to share cabs to tourist hot spots or airports. Kevin and I rented a car while in New Orleans and drove some friends around while there instead of having them hire taxis.

Heading To Nawlins

So, I am off tomorrow morning to New Orleans for a friend's wedding! I will be bringing my green down south for a few days. I am excited and nervous to see how New Orleans has changed since I saw it many years ago. To many Hurricane Katrina was a stark reminder of the effects global warming is having on the world already. All the more reason to stand up and make the changes NOW.

Urban Branches will be "on hold" until I return unless I find my way to a computer while down there. Enjoy the long weekend, and think about ways to make your memorial day weekend greener, from ditching the paper plates for real dishes or buying an organic brew for your BYOB BBQ, whatever you do this weekend, stop and think of how you can make your choice a bit healthier for the planet.

Here are some super easy ideas to get you inspired:

*Take reusable bags to the store for your holiday food items
*Say no to plastic cups, if you're hosting that is.
*If you're bringing something to a party, make it organic!
*Opt for large bottles of items like sodas and condiments instead of multi packs of small individual sizes
*Ride your bike instead of driving somewhere
*Finally take that bag of clothes to the Salvation Army, Good Will or local donation spot
*Take the opportunity with the long weekend and finally plant that garden or work in the yard
*Since you've got a few extra hours to spare, research green initiatives in your neighborhood and see what you can do to contribute
*Read the articles you've been to busy to read on Urban Branches :)

Voila! Eco-Holiday Weekend, that was easy wasn't it!

Eco-Fashionista: Green Queen

I remember my prom. Well, it’s more like I can’t escape the flashbacks, whenever I hear the word, and no matter how often I seem to try to hide the ghastly photos, they always seem to creep back into existence.
It wasn’t like I had a bad prom. The memories were fond, but I get a shiver down my spine just thinking about it, which changes into eruptions of laughter due to my choices in fashion. I mean, did I have to be an individual? My favorite year? Long purple skirt, purple tube top with silver shimmer tiger print, telephone chord spirally hair which made my blonde navel long locks as short as my chin, like Shirley Temple, large chunky and strappy heels, complete with a purple bindi in the middle of the forehead. Not my proudest moment, even though the hair still looked fantastic the next day after a long night and little sleep.

Prom is a time of year where girls pull out all the stops. Yet it occurs to me, as we are in the midst of prom season as school is coming to a close for summer, that everyone that goes to a prom wants to be an individual. Whether it’s best dress, best entrance, best at pretending you don’t care, best at not dressing up, best at spiking the punch…the list goes on…you want to stand out. So why not do it by being green?
Here are a few tips you can use so you can remember your prom, not only for having an impeccable sense of style, but for doing your part in going green.

1) Shop for a dress at vintage shop. I’m not necessarily talking about going to the salvation army. There are consignment shops and flea markets that sell well preserved dresses that will surely be one of a kind.

2) You could make your own dress, like Molly Ringwall in Pretty in Pink. Piece dresses together from vintage shops. Or Borrow from a friend that went to another school.

3) If you do want a dress (which girls on average across America pay $500 on a dress for one night only) Why not invest in a dress made from sustainable fabrics that didn’t use toxic chemicals or unfair labour?

4) Men always have rented tuxedos, why not rent a dress? Why spend a bundle on a dress for one night? At closet elite you can rent a used designer gown for half the price, and they deliver to your door with a returnable envelope.

5) If you do buy a dress, donate it afterwards so someone less fortunate than you can have a chance at looking great at their prom.

6) Instead of renting a hummer or limo to get to the prom, why not spend the money on a horse drawn carriage, or a bicycle built for two? Using a normal family car and carpooling is okay as well! And its not so embarrassing if everyone’s dad’s drove them to the prom!

7) Instead of going to a restaurant, try hiring a personal chef for the evening that can shop beforehand at an organic market and cook for everyone at one house.

8) Make sure your corsages and boutonnieres are flowers from an organic flower shop. Or be unique; use henna or vintage jewelry instead.

Daily Eco

I am the worst speller, many can back me up on this, make sure you edit and spell check before printing so you don't have to print twice! (plus you'll look more professional if you spell correctly!)

Method to the Maddness

Not sure if you New Yorks get Daily Candy sent to you, but I thought I had to share this one! (and if you're not in New York, never fear Method products are available nationwide!!)

Method has a pop up shop in the city starting this weekend through the 7th, go check it out! Details below, and as always Daily Candy knows what's going on!

Squeaky Clean Method Products
What: Walk into new pop-up shop of ecohappy cleaning products. Say “DailyCandy” and walk out with ginger yuzu hand wash and cleaning wipes (while supplies last).
Why: Tackle 5,989 feet of limestone, granite, and cables across the East River. (Or your 600 sq. ft. 1BR.)
When: Daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.Where: 550 Broadway, at Prince St. (212-994-5396); online at To save 25 percent, enter “methodcandy” at checkout. Valid thru June 7.

(Image: I love this Method Ad by the way...

Shave off Some Bad Eco-Karma

Dry your razor blade after each use, this will extend the life of your razor and keep more of them out of landfills. Why you ask, well they will rust at a slower rate.

I found this fact online: americans toss roughly 2 billion disposable razors and cartridges each year.

You can also go greener with your razor choice by purchasing razors & razor blades made from recycled materials, Preserve makes a great one! Yes, the same company that makes preserve toothbrushes, tupperware and cutting boards.
Check out the site online for more information and where to buy:


Eco-Bella: Homemade Treatments

While it's great to treat yourself to a nice new organic and natural skin care product, it's equally exciting to make it yourself. This allows you to really know what ingrediants are going into your products. So, look forward over the next few days for some at home do it yourself skin therapy.

Lindsay's Dry Skin Treatment
1 Cup Organic Plain Yogurt
1/2 mashed avocado (or banana)
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tsp. Olive Oil

This mask is wonderful and performs double duty with the moisture rich avocado or banana and exfoliating yet soothing yogurt (lactic acid helps rid those dead skin cells). Store your mask in a jar in the fridge for about a week. Use again, don't waste those organic ingredients!

Voila, natural beauty made simple!

Daily Eco

Start collecting scrap paper and cut into squares to keep by your computer, phone and coffee table to jot down notes without wasting new paper.

Eco-Fashionista: 'Just Do It' Green

Okay, so you’ve finally switched your wardrobe to organic fabrics and vegetable shoes. You’re looking good and feeling great. But part of that is because you just got up and went to the gym before work this morning, and what did you wear? Rubber soled gym shoes. Unfortunately vegan shoe lines have yet to tackle athletic footwear, but there is hope. Nike, although once having the reputation for being an environmental and social enemy, seems to be making strides in more sustainable production practices.

Nike’s ACG line of sneakers is the best example in positive green evolution in active footwear. They use reground soles acquiring rubber from used shoes through its Reuse-A-Shoe program, and are PVC free. It is their longest active “Let me Play” campaign catering to environmental and community programs. You can drop off your old sneakers at:

6 E 57TH ST
NEW YORK, NY 10022

They will be reground and reused in new sneakers! And currently they are developing a material for the soles of sneakers that would safely and harmlessly biodegrade in soil. Don’t ask me how, but I’m quite excited about it.
So as the weather starts to turn to spring, and new shoes need to be bought, keep in mind some Vegan and PVC free options!

Daily Eco

Wash your clothing in cold water thus helping to reduce energy usage up to 90%!

Who Doesn't Love a Meyer!

Sunday is usually laundry day at my house. There's nothing quite like fresh washed sheets straight from the dryer smelling of lovely natural scents. Now you don't have to compromise your green nature at the laundry mat. Not only are there tons of great laundry room options for the eco-minded, but in my opinion they work better!

Kevin and have tried a bunch of different products and we switch up our routine too, it's fun! We've used Seventh Generation, Ecover, Mrs. Meyer's and Method for both detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets.

I love Mrs. Meyer's lavender dryer sheets!! They are made from biodegradable paper and contain vegetable (not chemical) based fabric softener. I use each sheet at least 2 times to stretch the dollar. You can also use these as closet refreshers or anywhere you need to soften the scent.
Check out all products at:

Mrs. Meyer's makes tons of great products and I love them all but today I am highlighting her dryer sheets! If you can't afford them, please use something equally free of chemicals. And don't think "unscented" or "free and clear" means anything other than it has no scent but still has all the chemicals. Just read the ingredients.


Nature Inspiration: Pure Innocence

New babies born near my parents house in Connecticut. So precious!

Daily Eco

Next time you're at the ATM, choose NOT to print receipt when asked. Do you really need it? I know I don't.

(2 billion feet of paper could be saved if everyone in America picked the no receipt option)

Green Your Diet Series V. 7: Don't Water It Down

The never ending bottled water topic, switching to a reusable water container is one of the easiest switches you can make in your life to make it a bit greener. This is one of those switches that is not only earth friendly but is easier on our wallet as well.

I was reading Eat Well magazine (love it!) and thought I'd share these facts I read:

*40% of bottled water is actually just filtered tap.

*In the US alone, nearly 10 BILLION barrels of oil are used to bottle water annually. (that's just production)

*It takes an average plastic water bottle 1,000 years to decompose.

*In the US we toss over 22 BILLION water bottles each year.

Yet another reason to say "screw you" to bottled water and stick with your reusable one. Kevin and I use a Pure water filter and love it. We used to tote home Smart Water in huge bottles wasting money and a lot of plastic. We are happy to have made the change.

Oh, and please stop buying those tiny baby bottles of water, that's just insane, do we really need to bottle our "sip size" water needs? I mean come on really. SIGG makes small, medium and large bottles, no excuses people!

Daily Eco

When it rains put your plants outside to catch the lovely rain!  Or keep a rain catcher to catch the rainwater to use on houseplants. Voila!

Eco-Fashionista: Juice Beauty

Most women have rigid cleansing routines in the am and pm. At least I do, and I’m pretty sure it verges upon being OCD. Putting the daily shower/shave aside, there’s the face wash (two in the shower I rotate, one exfoliator twice a week, the other a clay wash), and then the under eye de-puffer/anti-wrinkle cream (you are never to young to start preventative wrinkle measures!!!). Then there’s the serum I put on to fight free-radicals, which is followed by my SPF 15 face moisturizer that claims to be a multi-protection fluid that help prevent first signs of aging as well as energies. At night it’s a different face wash, eye make up remover, different under eye cream to help put moisture in my skin to fight unsightly crows feet, on the spot acne treatment on those nasty little buggars that show up every once in a while, and a light moisturizer to finish.
AM I CRAZY? Probably….but it seems to be doing the trick. But with all that I use, there’s a difference in what I put on my face. There are those products that I use and that I love, and those that I simply love and can’t live without and refuse to use any other product.

This is the mantra behind Juice Beauty. They guarantee an all-natural, organic product that you will not be able to live without! Juice Beauty uses over 40 organic, raw ingredients including juice, aloe vera, honey, botanicals, plant oils, sugar, and essential fatty acids directly from USDA approved certified organic farms, and holds certificates of organic authenticity for all of their ingredients.

Started by Karen Behnke and Melissa Jochim, these two Californian women believed that living an organic lifestyle extended far beyond what you put in your body, but also to what you put on your body. What makes this organic brand so unique is the fact that they use JUICE, instead of water. Almost like going to Abdul my juice man on 7th ave, they send a menu of frozen five-gallon pails of apple, lemon, pomegranate and white grape juices (to name a few) to the lab. These juices have an expiration date of a few months, so you can imagine how “fresh” your products are!! Even their packaging is make of soy-based ink and recycled packaging!

If you’re thirsting for a new product, or simply wanting to go green in your choices, I highly recommend Juice Beauty. I have to tell you, I’m stuck on some of my products, but others I’ve been debating a change. I went to Sephora ( to check out the products in person. They really were yummy! They had subtle undertones of fragrance, nothing heavy. All the products were light and smooth. They blended well onto the skin and left it amazingly soft, not oily at all! And they have a product for everyone.

They have four core collections: Green Apple Body Brilliance Collection, an Anti-Aging Regimen, Oily/Combination/Blemish Regimen, and Sensitive Skin Regimen.
If you go to their website: you can even find out through an online test what products are right for you depending on the type of skin you have!

Nature Inspiration

Daily Eco

When you're out at a restaurant, be aware of when they are filling up your water glass, are you heading out the door momentarily? Do you really need them to top it off? If not, say so, and thank them for trying. :)

Green Your Diet Series V.6: Stearic Acid

I know that it doesn't always seem apparent why food ingrediants are on this environmental blog, I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and how I would explain myself. Well here it is:
I believe the following, what you consume, love, create, throw away and keep is what makes us who you are. Take that one step backwards and realize that everything you consume had a whole life before you came along to eat it.

I disagree with how animals in factory farms are raised and killed as well as what happens to them afterwards. I am not a vegetarian and don't plan on becoming one necessarily. What I consider myself is a 'ethitarian' (am I coining this term?), I care about what I eat and what it ate and how it was treated and so on.... It's easy to avoid a steak dinner, trust me, I've never had one. It isn't as easy to avoid the hundreds of products, both edible and non-edible that are in someway made from animal parts. Products you never imagined (I am sure many of you were shocked to learn that gelatin was made from animals!) are made from animal renderings.
So that brings me to the decision that this knowledge is vital to the health of our planet that we wake up and question the everyday norms, question where our ingredients are coming from and how they are made. We are putting some of these products in our bodies for god's sake!

To Summarize:

1.Factory farming not only treats animals with extreme cruelty but is environmentally damaging due to the use of chemicals, fertilizers, fuel, herbicides, antibiotics, poor waste systems in place etc.
2.The animals are turned into a products for humans consumption, beauty products, apparel etc. 3.Humans using products ignorantly thinking nothing is wrong.
4. Humans become generally unhealthy and watch as the environment deteriorates around them. (and all the while find someone or something else to blame other than what they eat)

All that said I believe strongly that each ingredient in our food and drink matters, and it is the responsible thing to do to learn what they are and if you want to put them into your body. A lot of times we make a bold statements while unknowingly still supporting the industry we are trying to stand up against.

So little by little I am trying to inform you all of what you are eating and small changes you can make that will make a huge difference. I believe strongly that eating mindfully will not only make you happier but healthier! The Green Your Diet Series is meant to help educate and give you the interest to question your ingredients and care about what you are eating. I hope it is working. Here is today's ingredient definition, I pulled this from a great site check it out, it's a must! I will be posting from it again I am sure!

"Stearic Acid: Fat from cows and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut."

Green Your Diet Series v.5: What is Gelatin?

So, as part of the Green Your Diet series, I will be sharing ingredient definitions with you to let you in one the things you eat and where they come from.

I thought I would start today with an ingredient we all may already know about.

Gelatin: This is a protein derived from the boiling of skin, ligaments, tendons and/or bones in water. Derived from cows or pigs. Gelatin can be found in candies, marshmallows, cake, ice cream and yogurts to name some. Gelatin is used as a thickener and as a coating for nutritional supplements. There are alternatives, you can find plant sources such as pectin from fruit, cotton gum and dextrins.

Check your ingredients, I don't know about you, but no thanks on the gelatin for me, thanks.


Fact Shocker

Daily Fact, direct from my weekly email:

"We throw away an inkjet cartridge every eight seconds. Each one takes a gallon of oil to produce. Refilling or recycling your inkjet cartridges using is one easy way to reduce our oil dependency."

Green Your Diet Series V.4 Prepare Greener

Ok, so you've taken my advice and enjoyed some organic wine, switched to whole grains and lessened the meat in your diet. You think I am done with you, no way!

Preserve products are no stranger to Urban Branches, I've been tooting their horn for a while and have finally switched to their toothbrush (love it!) as well as tongue cleaner and have gifted the razor & blades to friends and family. They have a robust kitchen line I thought important to tell you about.

Their product lines include 100% (yes 100%, not 30, or 40 but the full 100!) recycled materials made into cutting boards, colanders and food storage containers. They are all dishwasher safe too! The best part is that they are made from #5 recyclables, which in NY state cannot be recyled (because it costs too much, not because it can't be done), so they are turning literal trash into a wonderful and useful product. Go Preserve! Kevin and I collect #5's under our sink to donate to them, our bag is full and I am looking forward to handing over a years worth of #5's to be made into new products.

These products can be purchased around the country and are found at Whole Foods. Check them out, they are worth it! They come in a wide array of bright colors and are totally affordable.

Here's the link to their website to read more:
Pssst, the collection would make a great housewarming gift!

(All Images:

Daily Eco

Use what you have, so often we toss things we don't love for something better. Take stock of what you do have, use it and then buy new. If you really can't find use for it, give it away before you toss it.

I know I do this with makeup and hair care products, I am very picky and often change my mind. I do always make sure they go to a good home!

New Story: Trash to Treasure

I stumbled across this article on and wanted to share it.
The article hightlights the growing eco-fashion industry and the budding businesses focused on reusing what others would call trash.

The companies hightlighted include Ecoist who has partnered with big names such as Coca-Cola, Luna Bar and Aveda to create handbags from discontinued and misprinted packaging.
Check out the article for more in depth information and pictures.

Daily Eco

Have a meat free meal tonight, heck, have a meat free week! It's really not that hard, who doesn't love pizza, pasta, veggie burritos and deliciously dressed salads.

Nature Inspiration

Eco Fashionista: 'Good Will' Hunting

Fashion uses more water than any industry other than agriculture. At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. Dyes run off and contaminate water supplies. Who knew women would actually kill for an outfit??
So what are we supposed to do, just wear all white? Besides seemingly a bit cult-ish, I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. Actually, we as a human race would probably benefit from it. But until we decide to conform, we still dedicate most of our lives to being unique. AND now we can still do that through our wardrobes without feeling guilty.
Now there are limitless possibilities of eco fashion. The craftsmanship that goes into the work has resulted in a new form of high-end design.
EarthPledge has teamed up with Barneys New York to create one-of-a-kind designer pieces, and designers lined up to be a part of it. Calvin Kline, Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, Yves St Laurent, Jil Sander, Marni, and Behnaz Sarafpour for a start.
Earth Pledge partners with business, communities and government to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices. And ladies, I couldn’t be happier! The fashion industry has been considered hypocritical by the green community for favoring artistry over sustainability and for the fact that they haven’t exactly raced to embrace green design. Even if its only limited edition, or seasonal pieces, at least it’s a start.
Barneys turned organic fashion from granola chic to haute couture through the venture with EarthPledge. So next time you go to Barneys, remember, if you’re going to spend a bundle on designer wear, go to the green section and now you can do it knowing that you’re still doing your part by stimulating the economy and saving the environment one outfit at a time!

Check it out now: or for more information

Daily Eco

If you have a car don't keep a lot of stuff in the truck or backseat, you use more gas to move that weight. Only keep essentials in there and do a weekly or monthly cleanout to make sure you stay on top of it.

Green Your Diet Series v.3: Make Each Bite Count

I don't know why anyone would be still eating white bread and cooking up white pasta anymore. I realized that not everyone knows the real story behind the choice they are making, so I thought I'd share it with you in this greening your diet series. What better way to green your diet then to add vitamins and nutrients along with it!

Wheat is made up of 3 basic parts, starch, germ & bran. All together this is good healthy stuff. Somewhere along the way though it become desirable and better to eat whiter foods, the whiter the bread the better. Big no no, and we are only now figuring this out publicly. This is not new information by any means, people have been eating nutritious and unscrewed around with bread & pasta for thousands of years, but there definitely, in this country at least has been a moving away from the white bread sammies of years past.

When wheat is processed to make white bread, pasta, cereals and other foods it is heated to a level where the germ & bran fall off, leaving behind the white part, the pure white "goodness", the starch. By doing this you the eater are receiving next to nothing nutritionally. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are in the germ & bran. Making white bread removes the only part worth anything. Big companies know this, so after doing that, they enrich (I love that they use the term 'enrich' as if what they are doing isn't totally wrong!) the starch with vitamins, fiber and iron, but never close to the amount of nutrition originally in whole grains. Wanna know another reason they do this? If you guess money, you'd be right! Starch alone, without the oh so nutritional germ & bran is more bug resistant and has a much longer shelf life. These two things are like dollar signs in a manufactures eyes.

The environmental toll to process already perfect wheat is staggering, the task creates waste, uses fuel to run machines and is likely using unnecessary chemicals to "enrich" what is left of the wheat after they've processed it to be nice and white for their consumers.

So, what to do? Stick to WHOLE GRAINS, meaning they haven't been processed, WHOLE being the keyword there. Whole wheat bread is great, but make sure you don't see "enriched with niacin, iron, fiber or vitamins" on the label, not to mention if you see this lovely ingredient, molasses, which only serves to darken white bread to make it appear more like whole grain bread. See they've got you! It's really you against the world in that bread aisle. Come armed with the knowledge I've given you and you'll do fine! Here are some pointers to remember

*Bran & Germ = only nutritional part

*Look for 16 grams or more of WHOLE GRAINS and NO refined grains

*16 grams of whole grains = 1 serving

*Refining = Bad

*Molasses = Bad (it's used only to color the bread so it looks more brown)

*WHOLE GRAIN or WHOLE WHEAT should be top 1 and/or 2 on the list of ingredients

*Ingredients should NOT include the word "enriched", if you see that even after the words whole grain or whole wheat you're only getting a percentage of whole grains and the rest is white enriched flour! Beware!

*This effects ANYTHING made with wheat flour, breads, muffins, bagels, pasta, cereals, crackers, the list goes on.....

Make every bite count!

(Image: bread slices:

Green Your Diet Series v.2: Cheers

I'm sitting at my desk, longing for the end of the day when I can relax with a glass of wine and enjoy some conversation. I urge you to do the same tonight, but pick up a bottle of organic wine to truely "green" your red or white. Drinks are often left out of the mix when it comes to discussing organics, fruits and vegetables are often thought of first, but to truely turn that green leaf and make the change you've got to embrace the organic movement into all parts of your life, including the wine you drink.
Conventional wine is grown with chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Organic wine does not. Need I say more? Well in case you answered yes here you go! Organic wine is a "get back to nature" approach to grape growing, it's farming the way you should be farming, following the sun, lunar cycles and enriching the soil with cover crops instead of taking from the land all it has and replacing it with chemicals left beind. Ew that's not very thoughful is it?

Frog's Leap is a Califrornia winery built on respectable morals and a passion for the earth. They are a 100% solar powered, and geo-thermal operation, complete with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification) office and hospitality buildings. They recycle, use double paned windows to keep heat and cool air in (or out), and use low emiting materials (like paints, carpets and sealents), and if that's not all they practice what I like to call Zen Farming. Zen farming is using the land to help guide you, not trying to out smart it with chemicals and pesticides.
Their wines include Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Their site is wonderful and full of great animation, a must check out:
So next time your browing at your local wine shop, seek out organic wine, if not Frog's Leap, than another organic producer, it makes a difference to your health and the health of the planet.

Earth Mama: G is for Green and Good

As Mother's Day approaches I've been thinking about all the new or soon to be Mamas out there and what they are facing when choosing diaper systems. Disposable diapers make life much easier than cloth diapers I can imagine, but the effect on the environment has got to make a few new Moms shudder.

One company is leading the way in environmental design as well as functionality. G Diapers!

Here's how G Diapers work, basically G Diapers are a reusable, washable cotton "pant" (they look like a diaper) like item that your baby wears over and over, in turn saving tons of waste. There is a 'flushable' insert that absorbes the majority of what your baby is producing. There's also a snap in liner that catches any extra, that too is washable and it's suggested you purchase at least 2 so you can swap them out. The flushable/compostable/tossable pad is all you end up having to deal with! Flushing them is easy and simple, there's a great video on their website showing exactly how to flush properly. If you don't want to flush you can compost or toss out.

Since you can simply toss them into the trash it's just as simple as tossing disposable diapers!

To be honest, I have no clue how much diapers cost, but these babies are priced pretty well. The reusable diapers are $16.99 (they suggest getting at least 2 so you'll have one ready if you need to switch them out to wash) and you can purchase the inserts in different size packages, 40 diapers for $14.49 for example. You can shop online, but G Diapers are also available at Whole Foods locations around the country.

Facts to astound you!

*18-23 Billion diapers are sold annually in the United States and ALL are thrown away, ending up in landfills for roughly 500 years before they breakdown, G diapers break down in 50-150 days, that's a huge difference! This is due to the polyprolylene used to make the outer and other layers of the disposable diapers.

*3.5 million tons of poop and plastic go into the grown in the United States each year.

*Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer item in our garbage system

*You can Compost, Toss or Flush your G diaper 'flushable insert'

Check out the G Diapers website, they've got tons of information about how diapers impact the environment and what you can do to make a difference. Learn how to use the diapers in their great short How To Videos and get your first set of G Diapers right on the website.

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Nature Inspiration

Daily Eco: Support Local Farmers

Shop at a local green market/farmers market this weekend! You will find themost fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and much more at your local green market/farmers market.

Support Local Farmers!

Go to this website and just type in your zip code to find a market near you:

Earth Mama: Noodle & Boo

Mama, Mommy, Mom, Ma, Mother, whatever you call her she's pretty amazing isn't she? I have always loved how soft my mom's hands are, I can close my eyes and feel them soothing me when I am sick or just telling me how much she loves me with a squeeze. Pamper Mama's skin this Mother's day with a adorable skincare line for Mother and Baby (and all of us in between) called Noodle&Boo. They make products to treat and soothe sensitive skin, but of course anyone can use!

Ingredients include oatmeal, Shea butter and aloe, all soothing and moisturizing. Products include shampoo, body wash, lotions, balms, soaps and pregnancy treatments.

Here are some of my favorite products:

*All of My Heart soap for $15 bucks, it's a beautiful pale pink heart shaped soap to soothe her Mom hands.

*Sugar Mama Honey Scrub $26 with organic Shea butter, olive oil and aloe.

*Honey I Believe soap $12.50, the beautiful soap has the words 'love, faith, hope' across it and the profits go to their Raise Your Hand campaign which focuses on getting all children clean purified drinking water. What better way to take care of Mom this year than to help take care of a child.

This company is amazing, 20% of all their profits is given to children's charities and they never test on animals. Put your dollars in the right place with Noodle&Boo. If you have a charity you'd like them to know about to add to their receivers list, email them, they are happy to hear from you. You can shop online and call 888.400.5454 to speed up your shipping, or you can find a retailer by clicking on your state, they are in tons of boutiques and departments stores across the country.

Go now to their site to place your order!

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Definition: Food Footprint

I found a great definition in Eating Well magazine I knew I had to share! Since I've recently posted about eco-footprints, what more perfect than defining FOOD FOOTPRINT

Food Footprint: " The amount of land needed to supply one person's nutritional needs for a year" (coined in a Cornell University land-usage study)

Daily Eco

On of my readers sent me a great tip that I thought I would make the daily eco today, enjoy. Thanks Ariel!

When you have your clothes dry cleaned, not only should you use earth friendly cleaners (look for "organic dry cleaner"), but you should save and recycle the hangers that the clothes come on. Many dry cleaners will take the hangers and reuse them. I personally don't take the bag or hanger hardly ever, I live so close to the dry cleaner that I don't mind carrying my few items with me. This really is a great and simple way to reduce waste. I don't dry clean my things to often, but I now people who do, and that's a lot of wasted hangers and bags!

Green Your Diet Series v.1: Less is More

I just read a great article "Go Green and Cut Red Meat" reaffirming my feelings that cutting out red meat is not only better for your wallet but better for the environment. It is true that when people get there hands on money, they go buy meat, they celebrate with a steak dinner and feel on top of the world. It is important to move away from this notion that meat=higher status. In my opinion meat often means simply sticking with norms, that's all. Break out of that standard, create amazingly delicious meals without meat, you'll be happier and in most cases (because likely the meat you're eating isn't grass fed, humanely raised without antibiotics) healthier.
Cutting down on meat is the socially, ethically and environmentally responsible choice we can all make. Animal farming accounts for about 18% of total global greenhouse emissions, that number comes from the United Nations Food & Agriculture organization's 2006 annual report. (source: Farm Sanctuary)
"Our appetite for meat is actually fueling global warming and other major environmental
problems" -Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary
Here are some highlights from the article, but please click to read the rest of this great piece.

We often forget all that goes into meat production, from raising the animals to processing them for consumption, water, grass/grain/soy (hopefully grass!), fuel in transportation, energy to process, packaging and the list continues.

Daily Eco: Be a Hero!

Convince just one person to do something "green" and you are a hero to me!

Here are some easy switches (for tons more check out all of my Daily Eco Tips)

*Start Recycling! Save those paper bags you get shopping and use them to help sort recyclables at home
*Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits instead of frozen or trucked/shipped/flown from far away
*Must I say it again, tell them to check out Urban Branches!

Rethinking The Line: " Leave Only Footprints"

Want to know your ecological footprint? How about finding out how many Earth's would be needed if everyone living like you do! There's a great website that offers a "game" that helps you discover that very footprint.

This game measures things like gas and heating bills, square footage, transportation and trash you throw away to figure out your eco-footprint. I played and found out that it would take 2.2 Earth's to support how I live if everyone in the world lived like me! Granted I may have made some errors along the way judging my apartments square footage for example, but I think I was pretty accurate. After playing this game I have a renewed vigor to reduce that footprint even more.

Go play, and let me know how many Earth's you need to support your habits. I hope you do better than me!


Nature Inspiration

Daily Eco

Don't throw away, sell on Ebay! Or Craigslist, it's not as hard as you may think. I have sold a ton of stuff on Ebay, and a few pieces of furniture on Craigslist. Like they say, another man's trash is another man's treasure. Leave me an email in "contact me" or comment here for more details, I am happy to help!

Earth Mama

Mother's Day is coming up this weekend and I am sure many of you are still figuring out what to get her! What a perfect time to send your mama a eco-friendly gift that she'll treasure. There's still time to shop online, so get clicking!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Organic Bouquet and purchase some VeriFlora verified flowers or plants (search in the search box and you'll see my original post about how important it is to purchase flowers that have been grown and produced in socially and environmentally healthy ways!) I love the " Sweet & Lovely" bouquet. has tons of great picks, but check out the amazingly scented Red Flower candles or treat her to a sampling of 6 Red Flower candles for $60.

Gaiam stocks a beautiful organic cotton jersey knit bathroom in vintage paisley that looks deliciously soft and cozy.

I will continue to get ideas up all week long. I'd love to hear your suggestions!


Daily Eco

Have a car? Keep canvas bags in the trunk so you never forget to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) with you. Whether it's grocery, clothing or flea market shopping!

Don't have a car, pick up a tiny tote that folds up and fits in your bag so you'll never be caught without!

Cause Who Doesn't Love Muffins!

I thought it was time to send a recipe your way again, I know the weekend is over, but there's nothing like midweek baking to keep you going till the next weekend! This recipe packs protein and fiber, along with delicious flavor. And of course, use all natural organic ingredients please!

2 mashed up ripe bananas ( makes about 3/4 of a cup)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2/3 whole wheat flour
1/2 quick cooking rolled oats
3/4 vanilla extract (not imitation please!)
1/4 natural sugar
13/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
paper muffin liners (in place of cooking spray)

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 1: Mix bananas, oil, egg, milk & vanilla in a large bowl, put aside for now
Step 2: Whisk together flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
Step 3: Stir together both sets of ingredients just until they are combined
Step 4: Line your muffin tins with paper liners and spoon mixture into cups 3/4 full.
Step 5: Bake for 16 minutes (check with a toothpick in the center, if it's clean when it comes out, it's ready!)
Step 6: Slice open a muffin, spread on some grass fed sweet cream butter and enjoy!


Farmer Lindsay

Kevin and I are officially farmers! We are growing romaine lettuce in our bedroom windowsills! We wake up each day hopeful that today will be the day we can make a delicious salad with our 'homemade' lettuce. Tonight's menu includes a fresh garden salad, just not from our garden, yet.

Daily Eco

Use paperclips instead of staples which just get ripped out and thrown away, as opposed to paper clips which can be reused over and over, and make a nice necklace project if you're bored on a conference call.

I'll Take My Burger La Cense Please!

Hopefully by now you are all seeking grass-fed beef at all times, refraining from eating at joints that don't serve it up right and speaking out to your grocers to get grass-fed beef in stock! If you're having trouble finding grass-fed I have found a great online resource for all of your pasture needs.

La Cense Beef prides themselves on being a "Direct From Ranch To Door" operation. The ranchers rotate their cattle on pasture, raising 100% grass-fed beef, not beef that has been "finished" on grain or fed any type of grass mixture, La Cense is the real deal. The cattle is raised on 88,000 acres of Montana pasture. Their cows are never fed hormones, are not raised on feedlots and are never around any pesticides.

Raising cows on grass is not only a better choice for the cow, who won't have to suffer the health problems associated with grain or corn fed diets, but it's healthier for us to. Grass-fed beef has 5 times the omega 3's and CLA's than grain/corn fed cows. These are the vital nutrients that fight heart attacks, cancer and improve brain function. Grass-fed beef is also high in Vitamin A, E and Beta Carotene. Take that grain fed! Grain-fed beef has higher levels of cholesterol, fat and calories. (Remind me again why we eat it?)

In the midst of beef recalls around the country, rest assured that La Cense beef has never been recalled and doesn't raise their cows in conditions conducive to food borne illness (ie feedlots, pumping cows full of antibiotics and feeding them animal remains)

I know ordering from this company means shipping is involved and I know that isn't the greenish choice to make, but unless you live on a ranch, I doubt most of your food comes from the 100 mile radius we should all strive for. Do seek out local choices, but if you can't find it, this is a great option that benefits you, the animal and the farmer. Now "can't find it" is no excuse. And another thing, if you find this beef pricey, eat beef less, that's taking step towards a healthier planet as well. Kevin and I purchase grass-fed beef in our neighborhood that comes from a NY farm, it's pricier so we only eat it about 2 times a month, making the cost not seem so high. It can be done, you just have to do it!

When you checkout at type in this code for free shipping: EW5 (expires June 30,2008) There, I just made it that much harder to turn down!

Daily Eco

Eat Less Meat(&poultry)! The amount of energy, water and food wasted on transforming animals into human food is disturbing and wasteful. It's only ignorance if you believe this isn't true.
If you must eat meat (which I still do) limit your meat/poultry intake, stop eating it for lunch, have meat/poultry free weeks here and there to help balance it out and reduces the impact on the earth. It's easy to get into the habit of eating meat/poultry at almost every meal, just like it's easy to get into the habit of NOT eating it at every meal. I never eat meat/poultry at breakfast and almost never at lunch. It's only a dinner food, and I try hard to limit my intake of meat/poultry to a few times a week at most. Come to think of it, I think Kevin and I need to do another meat/poultry free week soon....

Nature Inspiration