Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Svelte - A Better Protein Shake

In general I'm not a huge fan of protein shakes because I prefer to get my protein from whole food sources such as beans, but I recently tried a free sample of Svelte, and I was pleasantly surprised. 
Svelte is a different kind of protein shake - they have four flavors that all include  16g of protein from fresh organic soy milk, along with complex carbs for sustained energy—and each shake provides 20 percent of the daily value of fiber. Plus there is only 9g of sugar - making them perfect for a meal replacement or a post-workout rejuvenator. These shakes are also great if you're trying to cut meat out of your diet, but want to maintain good levels of protein - they make the transition much easier. 

I love that many of the ingredients are organic; its something you don't often find in protein or diet shakes.  They are really delicious - effective too - I was often full before finishing the whole container! My favorite flavors were chai and chocolate, but they also come in cappuccino and vanilla. Vanilla was my least fav.  Svelte is now sold throughout New England, and can be found at Whole Foods. If you want to sample the shakes before you buy them, some tastings are coming up in the area:

2/4 - Boston Common Frog Pond, Boston, MA
2/5 22-4PM Devine Rink, Dorcester, MA

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tomorrow is the First BGD Meetup of 2012!

Boston Green Drinks is kicking off 2012 tomorrow at Kingston Station in Downtown Boston from 6-8pm. Its sure to be a packed house - so come ready to mingle! All with a green outlook on life are encouraged to attend. See you tomorrow night! 


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friendly Reminder

Don't forget to bring your favorite mug to Starbucks and other coffee shops for great discounts!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Great PSA Billboard

This caught my eye in the North End:

I know its a little blurry, but the bottom says "Secondhand smog from other states is polluting Massachusetts"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Korres White Tea Gel Cleanser

PROS                                                                                CONS                                  
-No mineral oil, fragrances, dyes,or parabens                      -Not usually available in standard drugstores
-Effective                                                                            -Moderate price range ($21)
-Rated a 2 (low concern) on Skin Deep Database               -Data conflicts about this product
-Vegan/No Animal Testing/Cruelty Free

Conclusion: I would definitely buy Korres White Tea Gel Facial Cleanser again! Its a great company that is rooted in homeopathic healing and a commitment to using natural and organic ingredients. It works better than any other natural face cleanser I've tried yet!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Cute New Earrings from Ecolissa!

Last week I won an Ecolissa giveaway! My prize was this pair of modern looking earrings made from recycled materials:

So exciting! I will definitely be wearing these to some green events - maybe even to next week's Boston Green Drinks Meetup. Ecolissa is a great (locally-based) website for finding eco-aware jewelry and women's apparel, and they have great sales!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Its Easy Being Green with Pinterest

I joined Pinterest last week - and I am obsessed. The entire website is full of great DIY and craft ideas for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling just about anything! If you're bored on a rainy day, or have a bunch of leftover jars, corks, popsicle sticks, etc. check out Pinterest for some great ideas!

Follow my favorite Pinterest ideas by clicking the "follow" button on the right of the page!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Event Review: Intelligent Green Building Panel with the MIT Enterprise Forum

Last week I went to my first MIT Enterprise Forum Event. Beforehand, I was nervous that the panel on Intelligent Green Building would be too technical and specific for my taste, but I was pleasantly surprised. The discussion was informative, but also easy to understand.
        The evening began with a VIP cocktail hour at the R+D Lounge at MIT. The crowd was a well rounded group of architects, engineers, people from USGBC, The Sustainability Roundtable, and area law firms. I had some great discussions, but I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that there were no organic or local beer and wine choices (and the panelists were later given BOTTLED WATER!). I stuck with Allagash White - which I decided was reasonably local, given the selection. Then we all gathered downstairs for more snacks and conversation before the panel began.

Fun Facts I Learned During the Panel:
- Boston was rated the 7th most sustainable city by Sustain Lane
- 75% of GHG emissions in Boston come from buildings
- Boston was the first city to incorporate LEED standards into city zoning laws/regulations.
- The average "green home" is expensive - $235 per sq. ft.
- Lighting and plug loads account for most energy use in homes
- MA is a water-rich state, so there is great potential from storm water reuse, but greywater and blackwater systems are expensive to build.
- The MWRA uses waste water movement (aka toilet flushes) to power their plant.
- People are naturally risk averse which may be why people don't live a more "green lifestyle"
-  Ideas like "Green Leases" may be the future for the green movement in Boston, which will require cooperation from owners, managers, and renters.

I took a ridiculous amount of notes during the panel - it was very interesting and I definitely look forward to attending more MIT Enterprise Forum events - especially the one on February 16th about the future of green transportation.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Giveaway: Win a Ticket to The Mini Green TweetUp at #MegaTweetup

Tickets are selling out fast. But you still have a chance to win a free ticket and join social media experts, entrepreneurs, and PR gurus at the 3rd Annual #MegaTweetup on January 24, 2012! This year is especially exciting for Boston's green community because during the #MegaTweetup there will be a MINI GREEN TWEETUP hosted by BostonEco!

"meet like-minded Bostonians who have an interest in eco-living including mission-driven entrepreneurs, natural/local foodies, healthy living experts, green organizers, and sustainability leaders. BostonEco is the place to be inspired, discover new ideas, find collaborators."    

How to WIN: Be the first person to like BostonEco and Green Blogs by Cameron Bruns on Facebook (if you already "like" us, you're halfway there!) and then mention @BostonEco @BosGreenBlog and #MegaTweetup on twitter! 

Good Luck!

Mini Green Tweetup at MegaTweetUp

More about #MegaTweetup: 
It doesn't matter if you’re a business owner, a college student, an executive at a Fortune 500 company, or in transition. People do business with people they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST and this TweetUp is the perfect way to enhance your life and your career by developing new relationships and strengthening those you already have. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with New England’s best and brightest minds in a relaxed fun environment.
Not on Social Media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Don’t let that stop you from attending. There will be plenty of Social Media Mavens present that can provide you with tips on how to get started and help you see the value of social media for your career and business.

A broad spectrum of industries, interests, and professions such as Technology, Social Media, Music & Entertainment, Gaming, Green, Tech, Pharma, Gen Y, Education, Non-Profit Sector, Government, Politics, Research, Art, Marketing & Public Relations will be in attendance. Plus, people will be traveling from MA, NH, ME, RI, CT, NY, VT and Canada. So be sure to come out and celebrate a great year for TweetUps, Social Media, and networking events.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Evol Burritos

So now that I've successfully transitioned into a "weekday vegetarian," I want to take the next step, which means looking at the types of meat I eat on the weekends.

Things a responsible meat eater should look for on food packaging:
Free Range/Cage Free
Grass Fed
No rBST or rBGH
No antibiotics

And of course it is important to remember that larger animals have larger carbon footprints - so beef is less sustainable than chicken.

One company that lives up to my criteria for responsible meet is Evol. Evol Foods makes packaged pizzas, flatbreads and burritos with as many organic ingredients as possible. Their meat all comes from family farms that have committed to high standards of sustainability and animal care.

I recently tried the Cilantro Lime Chicken Burrito (70% organic), and I give it an A+ for taste (though, I think it could have used a bit more lime flavor). All in all, Evol products are perfect for green & lazy chefs!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOS: Save Our Seas!

Two environmental news stories came to my attention this weekend:

1. I'm sure you've all heard about the cruise ship that sank off the coast of Italy, but did you know that it could potentially leak 2,300 tons of fuel into the Mediterranean?!

 photos courtesy of

2. Sadly, over fifty dolphins have been found beached on Cape Cod since Thursday. A Mammal Research and Rescue Crew is working to save and release as many of the animals as possible. This is the largest stranding in years, so to better understand what is causing this phenomenon, scientists are tagging the surviving dolphins with satellite location monitors before releasing them. Read more at 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Week, Bad Week in Ecofashion

Its been a bad week for dumpster divers because when Pricscilla of Boston closed its stores this week, they spray painted and destroyed the wedding dresses before throwing them away! Wow, how DARE people spray paint dresses by Vera Wang! That is simply unreasonable, these gowns easily could have been reused or donated! What a waste.

On the other hand, it has been a good week for Livia Firth's Green Carpet Challenge. Franca Sozzani, the well-renowned editor of Italian Vogue, recently praised Livia for bringing sustainability to the forefront of fashion.
 “The respect and care for the environment, sustainability, and fair trade, nowadays, are features that cannot be separated from the fashion world,” Sozzani says. “Or at least, from those who wish to preserve also the ethic, and not just aesthetic, side of fashion.”

For more info. on these stories, visit Ecouterre.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We're Eating Less Meat

Apparently I'm not the only one with the New Years Resolution to be a weekday vegetarian. According to a New York Times Blog article  fexitarianism is the next big trend for 2012!

"Some are choosing to eat less meat for all the right reasons. The Values Institute at DGWB Advertising and Communications just named the rise of “flexitarianism” — an eating style that reduces the amount of meat without “going vegetarian” — as one of its top five consumer health trends for 2012. In an survey of 1,400 members, more than one-third of home cooks said they ate less meat in 2011 than in 2010. Back in June, a survey found that 50 percent of American adults said they were aware of the Meatless Monday campaign, with 27 percent of those aware reporting that they were actively reducing their meat consumption."

image courtesy of

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Grapefruit & Sugar Beet Conditioner Review

Pros                                                                                    Cons           
-Available at most drugstores                                               -Doesn't smell that great
-Effective at smoothing out tangles & conditioning hair          -Rated 4 on EWG, high for a "natural" product
-Good price (under $10)                                                     -MAY contain artificial fragrances

Conclusion: While 4 on the EWG Skindeep database is pretty good (moderate hazard) compared to many drugstore brand conditioners, I was disappointed that Burt's Bees still uses some harmful chemicals. I also discovered that Burt's Bees has not signed The Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which made me a bit sad since I trust Burt's Bees claims of making natural safe products. This was the first eco-aware conditioner I've tried and I was definitely pleased to find it was effective, but next time I need to purchase conditioner, I'm going to try an even greener, healthier product.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Natural Home and Garden Magazine

While running an errand at Home Depot the other night, something caught my eye in the magazine rack: Natural Home and Garden Magazine. I currently get far too many magazines, but this is definitely on my subscription wishlist for next year! It features home decor, DIY, green building and all sorts of green lifestyle tips. Plus the design of the magazine is eye-catching and beautiful. Unfortunately, the magazine website isn't quite as easy-to-read, but it does have some good features, including a variety of green themed blogs, videos, polls and ways to interact with the magazine.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reconsidering How Phones & Computers Are Made

This weekend I was lucky enough to catch a good portion of an episode of This American Life on NPR in which author Mike Daisy travels to the Foxconn plant in China. Foxconn is where many Apple products and other electronics are produced. Mike describes his visit and his interviews with candor, humor, and honest amazement. It is an eye-opening story that I highly recommend. It will make you look at your iPhone in a whole new light.

image  courtesy of

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hugo Naturals Tea Tree and Lavender Balancing Shampoo Review

Pros                                                                             Cons            
- Great price (under $10)                                              - Doesn't get very foamy/lathery

- No parabens, sulfates, petroleom products                  - Not carried in standard drugstores

- Smells great                                                                   (try WholeFoods instead)      

- Vegan                                                                       - Company based in LA (not local)

- No synthetic colors/fragrances

- Effective

      Conclusion: I love this product! At first I didn't think it would work because it didn't get as lathery as shampoos I was used to, but my hair was squeaky clean afterwards. Plus the tea tree is great for the winter when my scalp tends to get a bit dry. And, as you may know from reading this blog, lavender is my favorite scent! I was absolutely thrilled when I found a lavender shampoo made by a responsible company. I would definitely buy this product again. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Behind the Scenes

It is sometimes hard to come up with fresh content every day, which is why I keep an inspiration book - clippings of articles and images along with my own drawings and notes. When I'm stumped for post ideas, I look back through the book and usually have an idea within 15 seconds! Its also helped me define my personal taste and style.

So where did I get all of these fun clippings? EVERYWHERE - Elle, TIME, Harper's Bazaar, InStyle, Improper Bostonian, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Stuff, Anthropologie Catalog, Urban Outfitters Catalog, various alumni magazines, North Shore, and, yes, Maxim. I'm a magazine fiend - but no worries - they never go to waste!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Resolutions 2012

Here are my resolutions for the new year! (Some are green, while others are just personal goals). Feel free to comment & add suggestions!

1. Become a weekday vegetarian
2. Do an intensive cardio workout at least 3 times a week
3. Eat more fruits and veggies (organic/local)
4. Use more interesting and active verbs in my writing
5. Stick to my budget
6. Take shorter showers
7. Grow more plants
8. Cook at least one new recipe a month
9. Avoid fast fashion (Forever21, Target, H&M, etc.)
10. Travel to at least one new place every 6 months (I'm thinking Vegas, Chicago, or Napa this year...?)
11. Attend at least two green events per month
12. Not use ANY polystyrene cups
13. Do more sketching/drawing
14. Be on time to work in the morning (I am NOT a morning person)
15. Make someone smile every day

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Earrings by Bottled Up Designs

This Christmas I received a beautiful pair of cobalt blue glass earrings that were made from salvaged glass bottles. Bottled Up Designs upcycles vintage glass bottles to make unique, green, artisan pieces. These particular earrings were made from a 1960's Noxzema bottle!