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Just Say No: The Evils of High Fructose Corn Syrup Continue

After seeing a whole new round of crappy HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is good for you commercials I present you with the latest HFCS findings....

"Many of the snacks you and your family enjoy are flavored with high-fructose corn syrup. A new study reveals that many of those products contain some levels of mercury -- a poison that can hamper brain development and cause serious kidney problems, among other things." -Sourced from MSNBC article

Mercury! Hello! STOP finding excuses to keep eating it you HFCS industry idiots (and those of you eating it while knowing the dangers!).

What their misleading and evil ads here: (I almost didn't want to include that link, but in case you haven't seen it already it's a must)



Part of loving the world around us is noticing it's beauty. We can't begin to save the planet if we aren't madly in love with the world around us right!

While we trudge through winter, counting the days till we see blades of grass again, flowers peaking through the concrete (for us city kids) and feel the warmth of the sunshine again we can seek beauty out in other ways. I've been checking in with a few amazing blogs for a while now, all of which are inspirational both in their content and their beauty. Here are some of my favorite:

Go ahead, inspire yourself!

Nordljus - a delicious photographers view of food, farms & life. Complete with mouth watering recipes to get you running to the market

Oh Joy!
- a stunning page after page list of ideas for your fashion sense, home style and of course lifestyle.

This Is Love Forever - a winding path through DIY projects and other inspirational ideas such as landscape snapshots and home decor.

What are your inspirational sites, where do you go for a window into a world you want to live in? Do tell...

(Images all came from the above mentioned blogs)

Eco-Reading List

There seems to be a constant stream of environmental reading out there whether the book's focus is on climate change, animal/nature conservation, organic farming or sustainably & humanly raised animals. I like knowing there are books waiting for me, I get on a path of reading and I devour all in the genre, so I've been taking a back seat, letting the titles build up and I can't wait to delve back in! Here's my current "to read" list:

The United States of Arugula by: David Kamp
In Defense of Food by: Michael Pollan
The Botany of Desire by: Michael Pollan
Do Animals Have Rights by: Alison Hills
Seal Wars by: Paul Watson


Nature Inspiration


In my daily eco reading I came across something pretty cool on Environmental Graffiti. A living bath mat that feeds! Not only does this bath mat look beautiful but it requires no washing, is resistant to mold and is totally environmentally friendly. What a conversation starter....

(Images: Environmental Graffiti)

The Composting Diaries

Well, it's been a few weeks of NOTHING. Kevin and I have been regularly checking our compost, and it's turned lighter in color, isn't digesting food and is basically churning around the same stuff over and over. We're upset and confused. The manual that comes with it is NO help, they basically say "it will work" and if it doesn't "start over" well we'd like to know what went wrong. Our theory is that the soil we scored from the tree plot on our block didn't have adequate cultures living in it. Snow currently covers the ground and we're not even sure where to get soil with active cultures living in the city. AH! Next theory, since putting it on the balcony, we think it's been too cold for it, and we're looking into that.

I've written an email to the company asking for help, and am working on more research. So for the time being, stay tuned....

Urban Branches Hearts Vert: Los Angeles

I'm always looking for boutiques and online stores that feature eco-friendly brands. There are a select few that I frequent for the latest in earth lovin' beauty products. Vert, a shop in Los Angeles launched an online companion store, for all us living outside Los Angeles this is great news! They feature brands such as Red Flower, Nuxe, Buddha Nose and Erbaviva. In addition to luscious skin, haircare and beauty products they stock baby products and a doggie section!

Some of my favorite products include

Hamadi's Honey Soy Milk Hairwash made with 100% organic essential oils & plant extracts. Start your day with delicious & natural shampoo.

Supermodel Josie Maran's new line of eco-conscious makeup, including her amazing Beach Bronzing Powder for a sun kissed glow. It doesn't stop there though, stock up on lip gloss & tinted moisturizer too!

Red Flower's Gardenia candle, the perfect gift for a friend (or yourself!)

(All Images:

Barack Obama, Mr. President

"We are the ones we have been waiting for." - Barack Obama


Countdown To Obama

Countdown to a President who cares about the environment, who cares about the food his family eats, who cares about the future he leaves behind!!


Daily Eco

Just say no! To double bags that is, bring your own or say "no" to that extra bag. Be present when you shop, most often you don't need that double bag. And really, bring your own anyway!

Eco Chic Casa

It's time for some eco-casa makeovers! There's tons you can do to spruce up your digs while staying eco-friendly. From a fresh coat of paint to some new plants...

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to really change it up. As winter seems to be getting most of us down, pick a bright cheery color to bring you some happiness each day. Choose a low/no VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paint from Sherwin Williams and you're set!

West Elm
, one of my favorite home stores in the city has a huge eco collection right now. The collection includes bedding, bath, decor and furniture! Pick up a set of organic cotton sheets for about $100 bucks! Transform your bathroom with safari inspired organic cotton towels for around $25 bucks, and host a dinner party and serve homemade cocktails in recycled glassware.

Treat yourself or a friend to Wine Grape Bonsai from Organic Bouquet. Less than $100 bucks and you've got quite the conversation starter.

Of course you can always clear the clutter, rearrange your decor and sit back and enjoy the fact that you haven't spent a dime!


Who Knew?

That the white house has a rooftop garden! Who knew they ate grass-fed beef and organic & local foods!

Check the article!

Define: Composting

Composting: The decomposition of once-living & plant remains. When decomposed the matter turns into an earthy & dark substance that is wonderful for enriching garden soil and houseplants. It is a wonderful way of recycling kitchen waste and keeping that waste out of landfills.

Composting can be done in many ways, some opt for a compost pile in their backyards, compost bins or an automatic composting like I have.

Composting has been done for centuries as a way to turn waste into useful material.


As If We Needed Another Reason

I received this article link from an Urban Branches reader and wanted to share it.

The article does a great job of explaining how detrimental it is to pump our animals full of antibiotics, those drugs end up in our vegetable and fruit crops and end up lowering our resistance. This happens because 90% of the drugs administered end up in animal manure which is used to fertilize land. Not to mention the excess waste runoff and what that is doing to the water systems (marine life, drinkable water) and the animals themselves! Those antibiotics are NOT necessary, trust me. They are used because the animals are kept in unnatural conditions (such as cramming hundreds into unventilated barns/rooms, feeding them corn and other grains (and animal parts) they would never eat naturally. Because of this they end up missing key nutrients that would enrich their body and help them fight off illness). This cannot be stressed enough, JUST SAY NO, to drugs that is, for animals. NOW.

Here's a great quote from the article to wet your appetite:

"Today, close to 70 percent of the total antibiotics and related drugs produced in the United States are fed to cattle, pigs and poultry, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Although this practice sustains a growing demand for meat, it also generates public health fears associated with the expanding presence of antibiotics in the food chain."

*Thanks again for sending the article!


Eco-Splurge, come on, it's ok!

It's time for an eco-splurge isn't it! We all need to treat ourselves every once in a while in order to keep that zest for life going right? The splurge can be inexpensive or expensive, if you can handle the cost, go for it. Feel good doing it too! Here are some great ideas on how to splurge. And if you're feeling not in the celebratory mood, Obama's inauguration is in 12 days, it's time to celebrate!

*Take your friends out for some organic brew, on you! Treat your best pals to organic whole food muffins, a cup of fair trade java and some conversation (that's free!)

*Pick up a lavender sachet from Local Harvest and tuck it under your pillow. Enjoy the soothing scent of lavender as you fall asleep each night.

*Cook a meal for a loved one, splurge on 100% organic, natural and fair trade ingredients, cook it from scratch and sit back to enjoy the evening

*Head to the bookstore, stock up on some eco-reading! Here's a book list:

Real Food

The Ethics Of What We Eat
Organic Inc.
Diet Of A Dead Planet
Omnivore's Dilemma

And if none of those spark your interest, do whatever it is that makes you feel good about the environment and yourselves. Keep that attitude alive!

Fact Shocker

Livestock accounts for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and 8% of water use!!

STOP eating as much meat! It's easy as pie, hmmm pie....

Daily Eco

Stop picking up the paper on your way to work only to toss it before you exit the train station (for you urban dwellers). Read the paper online! It's not a hard switch, especially for those of us with Internet accessible phones with us. Podcasts can keep you in tune with your favorite news program too, anything to lessen the paper usage.

Also, I've said this before, share your magazines, don't read and toss, read and share! I bring my old magazines down to the building lobby and leave them for my neighbors. I save a few for friends and family too. Magazines may only cost a few bucks, but everyone loves a free gift!

Eco-Mama: Renew The Soul

Hello and Happy New Year!
I am very excited for this new year for many reasons. My daughter will be turning one this year! First of all she is just about to crawl, that's a first, and will only happen in 2009...along with her two bottom front teeth that just came in. Secondly, we will be finnnnnaaaaaallllllyyy changing Presidents. Much needed, highly anticipated...many hoorays! So as I start off the new year vigorously editing my belongings...I am also comparing notes to myself on where I was last year at this time, and what I didn't get to that I want to this year.

I began by sorting all my magazines. I love to collect things that interest me, and sometimes those things go unused for a year or two...when I was pregnant I read alot, I mean, ALOT! I came home every evening for almost 9 months and just read and listened to calm music. I feel wasteful for the fact that at the record high I had subscriptions to 6 magazines. But I found it all to be very useful for my knowledge and comfort in the darkest moments of the winter. I have everything very well organized so it never looked bad, it just got to the point of taking over a whole bookshelf. Well, mixed in with all my books, Siena's large book collection (already! for a 9 month old!) and all my camera cases and binders of negatives...but I felt it was time to say goodbye. I rip and file all the pages I mark, in categories of: icons, iconic people, artists, art, photography, food and of course home design/decoration...those pages go into binders per category.

I was tying the magazines into piles with bailing twine, and decided to flip thru a few quickly to see if I edited correctly...and of course there was a Green Issue of Elle (May 2008) that I wasn't so sure of throwing out. I mean, it has Madonna on the cover...and I know this green thing will be a "thing"of the past at some point, (as in, we will all be so natural at being no-waste-makers). I can point out to Siena when she's a green conscious teenager, "look, Siena, this is the big issue from the year you were born!" she'll roll her eyes and walk away, of course! she's my daughter, I can only expect a retort of something like: "mom, I've been doing that since I was born"
Well, to point out my main issue here, my new goals for 2009 and beyond. To make a larger impact in my life by practicing a less wasteful existence.

I want to share a passage from the Elle article: "Elle's 2008 Green Awards: They make the truths convenient, the planes fly on coconut oil, the rock 'n' roll lifestyle tread lightly. Introducing this year's eco-illuminators-the people, products and concepts that put energy and our planet in the right place.-By Katie Arnold." (I am sharing this from 2008 in hopes that we can compare notes at this time in 2009 and say we came alot further!)
#4: Urban Outfitters, Colin Beavan and Michelle Conlin.
"...we salute them for proving that they could forgo electricity, create no trash and boycott all modes of carbon-fueled transportation for one year, while living in a Manhattan high rise with a kid.
The point? To become experts in low-impact living. They learned to buy in bulk, stashing everything from flour to almonds in their cloth bags, and to convert their bikes into elaborate grocery carrying rickshaws. (hey, its not that hard, the Dutch do it as a standard, I loved living their and grocery shopping by bike!)
"The whole project had an element of spirituality to it," says Beaven, who offers do's and don'ts for living consciously at "Once we got away from stuff and moved toward people, we began making real connections. In a lot of ways, our quality of life actually improved." And, they got a book and movie deal out of it."

PS- the no impact man blog is great.

PPS- I was raised far better than I am acting, so I am going to stop acting like I shouldn't be...and get cracking on my deepest apologies to the planet.
Now..let's hope that these stacks of magazines I've put out make it to the right recycling facility.

As always, keep in touch and do one green conscious act per day.
next article: an eco-mama solar vacation, and the 100% biodegradable bag
~your Brooklyn Eco Mama Mariah

*all photos taken by eco mama or the self timer on eco mama's camera

Spotlight: EcoFont

Yes yes, you can even be eco-friendly when you print. We all know the importance of printing only the pages you need on double sided paper no less, but now there's a way to print using a font that requires less ink. No joke! Check out their website for more information.

The Composting Diaries

So it's been quite a week in composting...

Week 2:
After the first morning, woken by the sound of the churning we realized this little automatic composter was going to be be a bigger part of our lives than we thought. When you live in a small apartment you can't get away from the decisions you make of what you bring into your place. Good or bad.

Then came the smell...

As someone with a hound dog sense of smell, it hit me like a ton of bricks, a sour milk smell taking over the house. Day after day we would light scented candles, open the windows, turn on the fan (freeze in the process!) and wait out the week with fingers crossed. Since we had to wait the full week we knew we'd have to deal with it before adding more baking soda & saw dust pellets.

Last night was officially the full week, we made it! We also decided we'd take advantage of our balcony and stick it out there. Phew. I couldn't be happier. We sacrificed the airtight seal we had put on the balcony door to keep the draft out and relocated the Nature Mill outside. We braced ourselves, and opened it! Gone was the beef, mozzarella, potatoes and other veggie scraps, compost soil! Whoohooo, it appears to have worked. We are both skeptical still but have a positive attitude about the future of our compost making.

Update: We added a few moldy corn tortillas, an old apple and a huge handful of dead leaves from pruned plants around the apartment. Can't wait to see them disappear.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

It's mighty important to find pleasure in the small things, whether it's a delicious cup of coffee, homemade whipped cream or your favorite friends over for dinner...Here are some of my favorite eco-friendly things that bring me a little smile each time I use them.

*Eating Well Magazine- This magazine is full of health information, nutritional stories and amazing recipes for mouth watering dishes to cook up. Check out this link for healthy recipes organized by holiday or ethnic type.

*Mrs. Meyer's Lavender Fabric Softener. I want to smell myself all day long! Their website is so cute too!

*Succulents- It's no secret that I just love any and every succulent out there. They really bring me joy, I want a whole house full someday!

(Images: Succulents, Mrs. Meyer's, Eating Well

Baby Cows are Darling!

Daily Eco

What am I doing to stay eco-friendly today? Well, I'm heading to the thrift stores in my neighborhood with 2 huge bags of clothes/shoes and coats to sell, hopefully I can make enough to take my husband to dinner tonight!

In addition to that, I'm counting the days till Sunday, when I can see how my compost is fairing, I've been anxiously waiting...

What are you doing to stay eco-friendly today? Tell me!

Happy New Year: Eco-Resolutions

As you're mulling over your resolutions today over a big brunch, consider the environment and the impact you can have this year. Here are some more ideas to get you started:

*Mend your clothing instead of running out to buy more, even if the new clothes are eco-friendly!

*When you travel this year, purchase carbon offsets at TerraPass to help offset the fuel burned on your flight to paradise

*Sign up to help organizations spread the word and make the chance in government at sites like

*Have a potluck dinner instead of going out, this way you can control the ingredients, make it an "Organic Pot Luck" and serve delicious Organic vodka cocktails (with Square One) and biodynamic wines, like from Benziger Winery.

*Purchase energy star appliances when you shop this year, they are better for the environment and your wallet

*Cutdown on paper waste, go in on a magazine subscription with a friend or neighbor, share the cost and the magazine!

More to come...