Thursday, June 30, 2011

Organic Wine is Easy to Find

Sorry for the late post, it has been a crazy day at work trying to get everything done before the LONG WEEKEND!
Tonight I'm headed up to the Adirondacks for a nice relaxing weekend in the mountains. Of course, my destination is a 6 hour drive away, so it isn't a carbon-free vacation by any means. But, I will get a chance to enjoy some nature and wildlife, which will be a nice change of pace.

Yesterday evening I made a wonderful discovery: organic wine can be found in just about any liquor store! I wrote earlier this month that I was going to try to drink exclusively biodynamic wines this summer, as I live quite close to the Wine Bottega. However, I was running a bit late for my book club meeting, so I ran into a corner liquor market that was en route. I did not go in with big expectations, but I was able to find a relatively cheap bottle ($14.99) that was made with organic grapes! Check it out!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Boston's Walk/Ride Day

One Friday every month, Boston and Cambridge commuters are encouraged to walk or ride a bike to work as part of Walk/Ride Day. Not only do participants cut down their carbon footprint and avoid Friday traffic, but they also have a chance to win prizes by filling out a survey. People can also win prizes by wearing green on Walk/Ride days and coming out to support the participants who may have walked or ridden many miles to work in order to reduce their impact.

Walk/Ride Days are hosted by the Green Streets Initiative which is an international grassroots organization.

I actually walk to work every day, but perhaps I'll start wearing green and filling out the survey in order to support the initiative! Its a great idea and has already spread to other areas - Maine, Ohio, and even England! Bostonians and Cambridgeans should be proud that this fabulous trend started here!

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vogue Style Ethics

Add Vogue's "Style Ethics" Column to your must-read list! Each month, the world's best fashion magazine highlights socially, economically, and environmentally conscious fashion in the column. It is a great way to find out about high-fashion and high-end trends that are also making a positive change. Afterall, it is Vogue's mantra that there is "no limit to the power of fashion."

Green Tip: If you don't already have a subscription to the mag, go to the library or borrow a friend's copy instead of wasting the paper and gas to have a new subscription delivered to you. Vogue also has a great website where you can find old "style ethics" columns.

Monday, June 27, 2011

RRR: Don't Replace, Repair!

I will admit that I can be a sucker for "fast fashion" (meaning cheap clothes from places like H&M and Forever21). It is a bad habbit because the clothes are poor quality and aren't meant to last a long time, which means that they enter the waste stream faster and have a larger carbon footprint than higher quality clothing. I've tried to be better about staying away from fast fashion, and take care of the fast fashion items I already own. I try to make them last longer by air-drying them and washing them in cold water so that the colors don't fade. However, probably one of the best green skills to have if you are a fast fashion addict is to know how to sew!

Last weekend one of my super cheap handbags ripped. I was so disappointed, but instead of throwing it away, I was able to salvage it with a bit of needle and thread. As long as you don't look too closely at the looks as good as new!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Boston Green Drinks Returns from Hiatus!

The informal networking group, Boston Green Drinks, is back and better/bigger than ever! The group meets monthly at area bars to discuss sustainability issues and make connections. A new facebook group has formed, and I highly recommend "liking" it in order to keep up to date with future events.

The first meeting of the newly re-vamped group will take place next Tuesday, June 28th at Kingston Station from 6pm - 9pm. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

8 Ways to be Green at a Red Sox Game

1. Do "print at home" tickets instead of having them sent to you. This saves the gas related to shipping.

2. Slather on some chemical-free sunscreen, like Burt's Bees.

3. If you aren't really excited about Fenway food, eat before the game to avoid the waste of paper, trays, and ketchup packets.

4. Bring layers and rain gear. No need to buy one of those silly plastic rain ponchos if the skies open up. Come prepared instead.

5. Walk or take public transit to the game. The Kenmore stop on the green line is super-convenient, so save some money on cab fare and just take the T. If you're worried about crowds, leave before the last inning, or grab a beer at Cask'n'Flagon after the game to wait til the post-game rush to the T dies down.

6. Recycle as much as possible. Don't throw coke bottles or empty beer cups in the trash! There ARE recycling bins at Fenway, and for many games there are also Poland Springs Green Team volunteers who will come around and collect your recyclables.

7. Bring a PeopleTowel or reusable hand towel so you don't need to waste paper napkins.

8. Avoid free stickers, posters, programs, or anything that you will probably throw away after one night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Green Networking in Boston

Just discovered yet another green networking opportunity! The restaurant 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill hosts "Environmental Thursdays" every week! View the invitation below:

Green Thursdays

Every Thursday starting at 5:00pm
Be sure to stop by for: Special Organic Martinis, Specials from renewable and sustainable foods, and Recycling Tips.

The path to a more sustainable life can be delicious!

75 Chestnut has sought to minimize our impact upon the earth, while maximizing our ability to deliver the earth’s nutritional bounty to our guests. You can join us on the path right now, simply by enjoying our new spring collection of environmentally friendly and sustainable menu items.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moving Season

Mid-to-late summer is when the big apartment switch goes down in Boston. August 1st and September 1st are the big moving days, but all summer long people will be moving in and out before starting new jobs and college semesters in the fall.

I'm not moving this year, but my roommate is moving to NYC and while watching her pack and taking note of how many couches suddenly seem to be lining the sidewalks, I've decided to put together a list of sustainable moving tips!

1. Plan ahead! The best way to avoid waste and need for one-time-use boxes and bags is to plan ahead. How much stuff do you have? What are you going to pack it in? Can it all fit in one car trip or would it be better to borrow a friends larger car or rent a truck? Is there a Goodwill dropoff bin nearby? Is there anything you no longer need that you can sell ahead of time? The earlier you can answer these questions, the more smooth the big day will be.

2. Whatever you do, don't purchase cardboard boxes to pack your stuff. Use reusable crates, and if you don't have enough of them, ask a friend if you could borrow a few. If you still need boxes, head to Costco or a local liquor store and ask if they have any boxes you can take.

3. Before sorting through all of your belongings and starting the packing process, make space for four piles or bins: trash, recyclables, to donate, and to sell. This will help decrease waste.

4. Use newspaper to pack fragile items instead of packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Packing peanuts are made from polystyrene...yuck! And bubblewrap doesn't biodegrade. Packing with newspaper is a good way to reuse, and can still be recycled at the end.

5. Minimize your car trips. If you can fit all of your belongings into one vehicle, great! If not, try to decrease your gas usage by renting a truck or borrowing a larger vehicle for the move instead of driving a small car back and fourth.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lazy Chef: Snack Time

Here is an easy vegetarian recipe that is delicious and satisfying: Apple Slices & Goat Cheese on Raisin Toast.
Ingredients: organic apples, locally produced goat cheese, raisin bread (try to purchase from a local bakery, if not, Whole Foods Market has a great selection of environmentally conscious breads).

-Toast bread, and while bread is toasting, slice apples thinly.
-Spread goat cheese onto warm bread, top with the crisp cold apples, and serve!

Takes 2-5 minutes to make, and gives you an opportunity to support some local businesses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New goal: Biodynamic Summer!

The Organic Wine tasting event last night was great. Learned about some great local companies and initiatives, tried some delicious foods, and was given inspiration for my new summer goal: purchase only biodynamic wines!

One of the sponsors of the event was the Wine Bottega, which happens to be located in the North End, right down the street from me. So, what am I doing walking past the Wine Bottega to get mass produced non-organic wine?! Silly me! I mean, Hanover Liquors carries my favorite brand of organic vodka, VeeV, but I have never purchased organic wines from them. I will definitely have to check out the Wine Bottega and their organic/biodynamic wine selection. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Organic Wine Tasting Tonight!

Tonight there is an organic wine tasting and networking event hosted by BostonEco! All are welcome (but must register in advance). Hope to see you there - I will def be there mingling and eating as much as possible...the lazy chef is excited to have the night off from cooking!

Monday, June 13, 2011

News on Women

An article I wrote about the non-profit "Dress for Success" is featured on!!!
check it out:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Organic Self Tanner for Faces!

Yes, there is an exclaimation point on the title of this post, because, finding organic self tanner is tricky enough, but finding a brand made specifically for faces? Minor Miracle! Plus, I didn't go to a specialty store to find it, I spotted it in a Duane Reade during a recent trip to NYC.

Lavera Organic Facial Self Tanner smells great, isn't too dark, and is made from natural ingredients like soy and fruit extracts. Please note - the lotion is not verified as organic by a third party and because the product is German, there isn't much information about it in the Skin Deep Database (a website that tells how potentially hazardous various skin products are).  So I still have my doubts about this product, but in general, I like it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

See Change

TOM's Shoes has just come out with a line of eyewear! I absolutely LOVE my TOM's shoes - super comfortable, reasonably priced, match everything, plus it feels great to know that by purchasing those shoes, a disadvantaged person would also get a pair of shoes. Now, the same thing can be done for vision! The sunglasses are a bit more expensive than the shoes - they start at $100 or so. However, this $100 investment will not only get you a stylish pair of shades, it will also help pay for someone's vision medical care - be it surgery or glasses.

I think I'm going to splurge on the wayfarer design. Now here's the real question: tourtise shell or black?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sites I Recommend

My "Blog Roll" is up and running! I've split it up into categories for type of website: blogs, websites, e-zines, and online stores. I've included a bunch of my favorites, but I'm sure the list will always be growing and evolving. Most of the sites are either green living or decor - which - surprise surprise, are my favorite topics to read and write about. My list also varies a lot in scope, from Vogue UK, to little local Boston blogs, I've included a little bit of everything. Enjoy!
If you think something is missing or have a website and would like to do a link exchange, please e-mail me:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Organic Mascara Passes the Test

In this blog I've chronicled my attempt to make my make-up obsession more environmentally friendly and healthy. I had my doubts about switching to an organic mascara because heavy eyeliner and mascara is MY THING! I wasn't quite ready to give up my dark thick lashes in order to save the planet, but it turns out I didn't have to! Physicians Formula has a new mascara for a bolder look: Organic Wear Jumbo Mascara ($8). I have been wearing it every day for a week and a half now...and I LOVE IT! Works just as well as my old favorites (Maybelline Volume Express Falsies Mascara and and Cover Girl Lash Blast Length).
I feel great about the switch: the mascara brush is recyclable, 47% of the mascara ingredients are organic, it is paraben free, cruelty-free, and hypoallergic. I highly reccomend checking it out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

For Smarties

I recently listened to the entire "Green Living for Dummies" Audio Set, and though I have been interested in sustainability for years, I still learned some new tricks from the cds! It is great to listen to while doing something else (like cleaning your room, or folding laundry).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Free Donut Day!

Today is free donut day at Boston's fav coffee spot Dunkin Donuts. Everyone that purchases a beverage of any size can take their pick of any available pastry! yum! I got an iced dunkin dark rost with skim milk and sugar and a cocoa kreme puff (note: this is NOT the way I intended to eat before donning a bikini this weekend...but who can resist a freebee?!). I have one major pet peeve about Dunkin Donuts: when you order an iced coffee (and you accidently forgot your reusable tumbler so you already feel guilty about using a disposible plastic cup) and they put it inside a polystyrene cup. This is SUCH a waste. I understand the idea - it keeps the coffee colder longer and takes care of the condensation problem, but using a polystyrene cup is not the best solution to these problems. There are many companies that make reusable insulated sleeves to fit over iced coffee cups, and the condensation problem can be solved by a coaster. (Coasters are a cute way to add a little fun to your cubicle at work, or to your apartment. See below for some of my fav coaster designs).

Polystyrene (the generic name for styrofoam) is a type of plastic that takes hundreds of years to break down, and is used almost exclusively for disposible purposes. Because these cups, packing peanuts, plates, etc. are all disposible, they become litter very easily. This is gross enough, but the problem is made worse because when polystyrene starts to break apart, it releases both known and suspected carcinogens, like benzene. These items become toxic to marine life and also contribute to the destruction of the Ozone layer because polystyrene is made using HCFCs.

So, when you go get your donut, please say "No, Thanks!" to the unnecessary polystyrene cup.

And say yes to these adorable coasters:
Lilly Pullitzer coasters add a bit of Palm Beach prep to any space (wayyyy classier and cuter than styrofoam)

I LOVE these agate slice coasters from Urban Outfitters. My Grandmother, who was a Geologist would have adored these!

I'm not sure who designed these sailor knot coasters, but they are awesome!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lazy Chef: Mediterranean Take Out

Yours truly has been a lazier chef than ever over the past few days. But that doesn't mean that eco-awareness needs to go out the window! Even while eating out, I look for organic, local, or vegetarian options.  Yesterday, I had a fabulous vegetarian dish for lunch - the veggie plate from Aceituna Cafe in Kendall Square. It included all of my Mediterranean favorites: grape leaves, taboule, hummus, greek salad, and falafel! I highly reccomend it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allergy Avenger

The pollen-count is out of control this spring. I don't usually suffer from allergies, but this year even I am getting sniffly. I seriously dislike being congested, and watering eyes aren't fun either, but I read on a friend's blog [Sparkles of Life] that consuming local honey can bring relief. It makes sense: bees, flowers, pollen honey - they're all related. I decided to give this method a try (and help support local farmers) by purchasing Golden Meadow Raw Wildflower Honey, which is from Holliston, MA. I plan on adding it to my tea for the next few days and see if my allergy symtoms can be mitigated without pills. Certainly worth a try!

Food for Thought

A good friend of mine recently gave me this cute little wooden sign. It makes a good point doesn't it?!