Friday, October 31, 2008

Guest Blog: What Does 'Going Organic' Mean?

Hello my favorite environmental advocates! I have recruited a nutritional genius from across the pond. Amanda Miles lives in England and is a Nutritional Therapist. I had a few questions for Amanda on the benefits of eating organic and I thought 'who better to share this with than my favorites Greenies?!?!', so here you go! I will be doing a series of posts with Amanda so hopefully you find this information interesting and informative. Please feel free to leave any of your own questions in the 'comments' that Amanda will address right here!

And without further adieu, Amanda Miles' brilliance:

My organic journey started from a desire to maintain my own health and well-being. The more I thought about it, the more illogical it seemed to eat food that is sprayed with pesticides, which are designed to kill living organisms!

Organic certification means that the food is produced without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic farmers encourage crop rotation to produce naturally fertile soil and therefore also support greater diversity in the local environment.Organic certification also prohibits the use of GM crops, which are untested in regards to safety in long term use.

I made a decision to remove all food from my diet that is treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and to remove meat from animals that are routinely treated with drugs and antibiotics … i.e. to ‘go organic’.

After I had changed my food choices to organic, I changed the beauty products I use to more natural alternatives, as the toxic chemicals that are in many products are easily absorbed through your skin. I also changed all the household products we use, to really try to minimize our exposure to unnecessary chemicals.

After eating organic food for some time I started to think more about the global issues associated with food production … was it really right for me to eat organic beans that are flown in from Kenya? How much did I really know about the supermarket’s organic livestock supply chains?

Embracing the organic movement shouldn’t just be about eating organic food that has been air-freighted hundreds of miles from its origin, or being ignorant about the origins of your food; it should be about eating responsibly and with the knowledge that your choices are sustainable.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Green Up Your Holiday Festivities!

Eco- Libris (one of my favorite organizations) has done it again! They have collaborated on a great book full of green tips for the holidays. It is called Celebrate Green and here's what the authors had to say about why they decided to write this book:

"the reason it's important to green up our celebrations is that holidays and special days are plentiful...holidays and special days don't happen on one day only in one place; they occur throughout the year in homes, schools, and places of work across the globe."
Also, not to mention that greening up your holidays reconnects you with the Earth, makes you grateful for what you have, and what better way is there to recognize this than to make sure your celebration doesn't impact the Earth in a negative way! Being green conscious will also send a great message to the younger generation at our celebrations who will then be able to incorporate these great tips into their future celebrations with their families.

Also, the authors have started a website dedicated to Greening up your Halloween! Perfect timing!

Thanks for the tip Eco Libris! As always, keep 'em comin!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nice one Charlie Christ: FL Voters, vote YES on Amendment 4!

Governor Charlie Christ, Governor of Florida, has endorsed Amendment 4 which will help in the conservation of all environmental refuges in Florida. A 60% vote of yes will ensure that the following will happen:

This is especially important because the Everglades National Park is deteriorating very rapidly and the State does not have enough money to really preserve it properly. This is resulting in the animal life and some rare plant life also becoming extinct. Click here for additional info on the Everglades deterioration. Having a tax break for all preserved land would help with the expense of upkeeping the natural beauty of Florida's Everglades Park.

I grew up in Florida and would often visit the Everglades with my science class or to go on air boat rides and visit the Miccosukee Indian Tribe reservation. The Everglades is one of the biggest national parks in the country and seeing it disappear would really diminish the quality of life for Floridians.

Follow Gov. Charlie Christ's lead and vote YES on Amendment 4. Do it for the animals!

Green Drinks

So I just recently learned about this excellent networking event where you can mingle with like minded environment lovers. They are held all over the world and are called "Green Drinks". This is an excellent way to meet people who work for environmental non-profits, have green careers or just plain love recycling! The next one in NYC is November 11th and you bet your sustainable-loving self that I will be there with bells on!! Click the link below to get to the Green Drinks homepage:

Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back after taking a week off from life to attend the CMJ Music Conference last week, in NYC. It was pretty fun and I learned lots of great info.

I will be back to blogging 3-5 times per week tomorrow, so please keep checking back. Also, I went to a FANTASTIC seminar on Green Careers on Saturday. I have a lot of excellent information to share if greening up your career is something that you are interested in.

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Organic Shmorganic

We have all heard about the health benefits of buying food that is organic. We know that ingesting pesticides are bad for us, but we still don't make buying organic a priority. Why? Well some people tell me that the cost is prohibitively expensive. That if they bought everything organic, their grocery bill may jump up by $30 or more per week.

Well, if you have to prioritize what foods to buy organic, use this great tool created by the Environmental Working Group. You can print out the below from their website (click the image) so that you can see which foods are rated the highest and lowest in pesticide retention. The idea being that some fruits & veggies are more porous or their fuzz will now allow you to clean them fully, removing all of the bad stuff.

You can keep this conveniently sized organic "how to" in your wallet and the next time you are doing your food shopping, refer to it to do something good for your body!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bike Stop NYC

Hello Fellow Cyclists!!

Please click the above logo to fill out a survey I created to help gather information for a start up business I am currently a part of. We are trying to collect data about people who cycle in NYC.

George Soros on Green Investing

Here is an interview with George Soros discussing how the business of green could serve as the new "motor of the world economy"

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month!!

Try to say that 5 times fast!! So October is Vegetarian Awareness Month and I thought I'd blog about it because I am a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian about 9 months ago first cutting out red meats and then chicken and lastly, fish. I still sometimes eat fish but I try not to eat it too much. I have found the most difficult food to cut out, weirdly, to be cured meats. Not that I eat so much proscuitto or sopressata but it is just SO YUMMY! I still find that once in a great while, I will induldge with a bite or two.

In honor of vegetarians everywhere, here are some great reasons to eat meat-free:

• Reduction of the risk of major killers like heart disease, stroke and cancers while cutting exposure to food-borne pathogens.
• Offers a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry, through more efficient use of grains and other crops.
• Saves animals from suffering in
factory farm conditions and from painful slaughter.
• Conservation of vital, but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources.
• Preservation of irreplaceable ecosystems, such as rain forests and other wildlife habitats.
• Mitigation of the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture.

Here is an INCREDIBLE vegetarian recipe that I learned last week at the Martha Stewart show. Just watching her prepare it made me hungry for lunch at 10:00am. October is the perfect excuse to put my kitchen skills to work and cook this yummy dish!


Serves 4.

  1. Slice a very thin layer from the base of each bell pepper so they sit flat. Slice off tops just below stem. Discard stems; chop tops, and place in a medium bowl. Remove ribs and seeds from peppers.
  2. To bowl, add beans, feta, couscous, scallion whites, garlic, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Stuff peppers with bean mixture; place upright in slow cooker. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours.
  3. Sprinkle peppers with scallion greens; serve with lemon wedges.
How easy/yummy does that sound? You can get loads of other great vegetarian recipes at Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Website and also at Care 2 Make A Difference.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Who Woulda Thought?

So, part of me writing this blog is learning how to approach everyday life tasks in a more green way. Today's topic is washing your car. Now, this is something that I won't have to worry about as long as I live in New York City, but I remember the days when I was a kid washing my parents car in the driveway and letting the water just run...and run....and run from the hose, down the driveway into the road/sewer drains.

If someone would have told me then that washing the cars at home can use between 80-140 gallons of water for each car and the commercial car wash alternative only used 45 gallons, I definitely would have chosen the latter.

BUT, it gets BETTER! I found this great article on how to wash your car WATERLESS! No excuses! We can all do this one!! Check it out. They pose some great questions for us to ponder:

I guess we are not off the hook so easily, because even 45 gallons of water to wash one car seems like a waste of this precious resource, especially because that 45 gallons is becoming highly polluted. Besides, how many car washes do you know that use a “green” detergent? The story gets even worse if you choose the waxing option. And how much energy does it take to wash one car? Some in the industry are making strides in using sustainable energy, but such places are still hard to find.
It also goes on to describe how fund raiser car washes can be "green". Give your local high schools an extra challenge and raise awareness about water conservation while raising money for their band trip, or whatever their cause may be.

You can also follow their easy recipe using everyday products to make your own non-abrasive concoction.
Winging It Waterless Car Wash
½ to 1½ cup baking soda (non-abrasive cleanser)
½ teaspoon jojoba (liquid wax)
½ teaspoon liquid castile soap or vegetable-based green detergent
2 teaspoons water
Or, purchase one of these no-water-car-cleaners for your home. Next time your car is looking dingy, make sure to take the water conservation route and help save the environment WHILE cleaning your pimp mobile.

Click the pictures below to find out more info about the products:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ABC won't air this ad!

ABC recently refused to run We Can Solve The Climate Crisis's "Repower America" ad, even though they run ads from oil companies that mislead the American people about the role fossil fuels play in the climate crisis.

Watch the ad and then sign the petition!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My TV Debut!!!

Hello Fellow Greenies!!

I am very pleased to announce that on Wednesday, October 8th, I am going to be on the Martha Stewart Show with my book club. We call ourselves the Health and Happiness Club because we read books focused on personal growth and education. We are a very diverse group who have passions for all different things and the best part about interacting with such an eclectic group is learning from each of them!

We have set up a website: Click here

I do a guest blog for this site a couple times a week, usually tied in to the topic of my Advocate of Green blog.

We are scheduled to be on at the very end for a couple of minutes. I am not sure that I am going to be able to give my greenies a shout out but I will try!!

Thanks for the dedicated reading!

Friday, October 3, 2008

For All of My California Readers:

Man, I'm on fire today! Two posts in one day....maybe I'll make it a record three?!?! Can you stand the excitement?

I saw this cute cartoon with a serious message. For all of my Cali readers: Vote Yes on Prop 2 and give animals that we eat better conditions to live in. It has been said that animals who live a calmer more natural life before slaughter have healthier meat.

And really, isn't it just the right thing to do?

What is Your Candidate's Stance on the Environment?

The Sierra Club launched a new website called CandidAnswers2008 which tracks candidates from every state, how they voted on previous bills regarding the environment and their answers to a questionnaire on the following topics: Global Warming, Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power, Transportation and Fuel Efficiency. Best of all, you can find out if your candidates even bothered to answer the questionnaire, and if they didn't you have the option to send them an email telling them how you feel about their inaction.

We must make the environment a priority. Altering our way of lives, slightly, now, will mean that future generations won't have to alter theirs dramatically in order to survive.

Click here to visit the website:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Odd Cuties!

Web-Ecoist did an article on some of the strangest endangered animals and some of the were too cute to not blog about. Most of these animals are endangered purely because of the destruction we are doing to our own Earth via deforestation and global warming. If you want to support causes dedicated to stopping deforestation visit the Sierra Club website . If you want to see the full list of these amazing animals go here.

My favorites rare cuties are:

Bumblebee Bat

Winning the cutest. bat. ever. award is the Bumblebee bat, which at its largest measures 1 inch. These tiny mammals hover like hummingbirds and like all bats prefer caves and love feasting on insects. They can easily perch on the tip of your thumb. This tiny bat dwells in Thailand and is considered one of the 12 most endangered species. There are fewer than 200 remaining.

Monito Del Monte

The “little mountain monkey” of South America is not a monkey, but rather a marsupial, thought to have arrived from Australia long ago. It’s tiny - only about 5″ full grown. They are nocturnal and carnivorous, and famous (well, among scientists) for their unusual tail, which can store enough fat to make this little pipsqueak double in size. This allows them to go for long periods without food. Sadly, the always-prepared monito del monte is in danger of extinction.

Duck-Billed Platypus

It’s venomous. It’s got a duck’s bill, and otter’s feet and a mammal’s body. Oh, and it lays eggs. No wonder Western naturalists were confused by the platypus when it was first introduced. The platypus, along with the echidna, is a monotreme (egg-laying mammal). It’s native to Australia and Tasmania where it was hunted to near-extinction during the 1800s for its fur, but has been protected since the turn of the 20th century. Thought officially a protected species, the platypus is at risk because of poaching.

Spring Hare

The bizarre spring hare had taxonomists scratching their heads for years. It’s been classified with jerboas (jumping rodents), squirrels and even porcupines. It’s now classified on its own, and it resembles both a kangaroo and hare. It has specialized short limbs with claws for digging as well as flexible ear flaps that can be used to seal off the ear canal to protect against the elements and debris. It’s also got a funny resting position that looks a lot like the yoga Dolphin post: it stretches its long hind legs forward and then rests its head and arms directly on the ground

The Kiwi

Everyone knows the beloved endangered kiwi is a flightless bird. As if to make up for its winged impotence, the kiwi is actually a violent, temperamental little bird. But its quirks don’t stop there. The only bird with whiskers is also distinctly dog-like in its ability to sniff out food and threats. In fact, it has the most highly developed sense of smell of any bird, lifting its “nose” (beak) into the breeze to determine its surroundings, just like a dog would. That’s probably because kiwis are also the only bird to have prominent nostrils. Contrary to popular belief, the kiwi does have wings, but they are tiny and difficult to detect under the loose, fluffy, hair-like feathers. The kiwi has many other unusual characteristics: the eggs are relatively huge, being one-fifth the bird’s weight; kiwi pairs mate for life - as long as 30 years - but tend to have feisty relationships; the females are larger and more dominant than the males. In fact, daddy kiwis incubate the young while mom hunts - for an unheard-of 80 days, no less. Did you know that kiwis are the smallest ratites on earth? Other ratites include ostrich and emu.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

GO VOTE!!! The Environment Needs You!

You can register to vote online. Literally, it will take you 5 minutes. You have to do it with in the next couple of days, for just about every state. Visit Declare Yourself or Rock the Vote to register online.

Just do it already! The polar bears need you!