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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm

Pros                                                                            Cons                                          
-Effective at soothing extremely chapped lips                -Price ($4)
-Rated 2 on EWG Database (low concern)                  -Doesn't taste that great, clove oil=strong.
-No animal testing, natural ingredients
-Widely available

Conclusion: My lips have had a rough winter. Despite the mild weather,  the heat in my apartment and in my office reeks havoc on my skin and lips, so I've become a chapstick connoisseur. Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm with Clove Oil is particularly good on dry days because it lasts a fairly long time and the menthol is really soothing. While I  prefer organic products like Eos and Badger Balm, Burt's Bees is always a good emergency choice.


TODAYS GREEN EVENTS: Lecture -Evolutionary Medicine at 20: Not yet Mature, but on the Way, Harvard Museum

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deal: Personalized Tumblers

Get ready for spring by having your reusable tumblers ready to go! If you don't have one yet, check out this awesome deal from Very Jane:

PERSONALIZED ACRYLIC TUMBLERS - $8
Product Description:
These personalized 16 oz acrylic insulated tumblers with straws make your favorite drink look super cute! Available with name over single letter initial, they keep drinks cool on even the hottest summer days and prevent sweating.
These make adorable gifts for teachers, Mother’s Day, birthdays, thank you's, wedding parties, etc. They are also great for the pool and beach. At this price, you need to get some for the favorite people in your life and one for yourself.
16 oz Clear acrylic tumbler with clear acrylic straw
colors: Navy initial with lime green name, Black initial with red name, Lime green initial with pink name
Fonts: Script (Kim/Stephanie)
Block (Chris)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Green Drinks Tonight

I hope everyone can join in for some great discussion at Boston Green Drinks tonight at Kingston Station. BGD has teamed up with Salem Green Drinks to co-host tonight's event.

Where: 25 Kingston St., Boston
When: 6pm-8pm

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men Leading Lady is Scared For Sharks



In honor of the much anticipated Mad Men premeire, I thought I'd highlight the great work done by one of the leading actresses. January Jones has worked as a spokesperson for Oceana's Scared for Sharks campaign since 2009. Sharks represent the largest percent of endangered marine species on the IUCN Red List. Oceana works to protect sharks through communication, scientific research, and policy work. Each avenue is important because humans are the main threat to shark populations. You can see January Jones' video message about the importance of protecting sharks here.





She may be a chain-smoking housewife on tv, but in reality, January Jones is stepping up to the plate for a great cause. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Peter Lindbergh - Photos, Fashion, Awareness

I was flipping through some old magazines, and I absolutely loved this "Global Warming" themed fashion photo shoot by Peter Lindbergh for Harper's Bazaar, March 2010.







Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Kiss My Face Lavender Shea Ultra Moisturizer

Pros                                                                Cons            
- Effective!                                                      - Rated 4 on EWG SkinDeep Database (moderate concern)
- Smells amazing                                             - KMF has not signed Compact for Safe Cosmetics
- No parabens or artificial fragrances.
- Committed to charities such as "Seeds of Peace"
- Good price ($12)
- Biodegradable



Conclusion: While I wish this it had a lower score on the EWG SkinDeep Database, I really love this product. For me, the pros outweigh the cons, and I am sure to be a repeat customer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

8 Ways to Green Your Shower Routine

Image courtesy of Anthropologie.com


1. Take cooler showers, and keep them 5 minutes or under. Try using a timer  - you'd be surprised how long you actually have the water running.

2. Turn off the water while shaving or soaping up. This is called a navy shower and is a great way to reduce water waste.

3. Rub your shampoo between your palms for a few seconds before applying it to your hair. Many natural shampoos don't lather as well as traditional shampoos and can be tricky to spread over your whole scalp, but getting the lather started in your hands beforehand is a tried and true solution.

4. Put your shampoo and conditioner on at the same time and leave it in while you're doing whatever else you need to do, this gives more time for the products to work.

5. Shower only every other day. This is better for your hair and your skin - and saves water. If your hair gets greasy after just one day, try a dry shampoo.

6. Use natural and organic shower products, and use bar soap instead of liquid shower gels. Not sure what to buy? Check Boston Green Blog often for product reviews! (click the "Eco Beauty" and "Hair" tags to see past reviews).

7. Put a bucket in the shower to collect exess water that can be used for watering plants or other grey water uses.

8. Avoid PVC (vinyl) shower curtains. PVC emits harmful chemicals including VOCs. They may also contain lead.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Homemade Popcicle Recipes

Gear up for spring with these easy popcicle recipes that avoid extra sugar and use whole ingredients.



Mint-Watermelon Lemonade Pops:
Combine 2 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, 1/2 lemonade, 1/4 cup simple syrum (or sweetner of choice) in blender, then stir in 2 tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves (home grown perhaps?!). Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze for 4 hours.


Mango Margarita Pops:
Comine 2 1/2 cups chopped mango, 1/4 silver tequila, 1/2 fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup agave nectar (or sweetner of choice). Freeze for 4 hours.


Honey Cherry Yogurt Pops:
1 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 honey (or sweetner of choice), 1/2 chopped and pitted cherries. Freeze for four hours.


Image of courtesy of fivegirlschiropractic.com


These recipes are great because they are easy to adapt for organic ingredients and are fun & light adult treats! The recipes were adapted from ones published in Shape Magazine, Summer 2011.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hammocks and High Tea: Green Chic

Hammocks and High Tea is one of the best places to get organic, stylish designer goods. I am obsessed with their reversible clutches! All of HHT fabrics are organic, and all of their dyes are water-based and VOC-free.

 Dopp Kit

Throw Pillow


Tote


Reversible Clutch

Friday, March 16, 2012

Uncommon Pillows

One of my favorite online shops ins Uncommon Goods. They sell hand-crafted, traceable, and sustainable items with a unique flare. Right now, the top of my wishlist includes these awesome sets of throw pillows:




Thursday, March 15, 2012

8 Ways to Go Green on St. Patrick's Day


image courtesy of eventjubilee.com

 
1. If you're hosting a party, make sure to clearly mark recycling bins for cans and bottles.

2. Either use reusable cups, or supply a sharpie marker so that people can put their name on their disposable cup and use it throughout the day.

3. Choose beers from local breweries.

4. Skip the corned beef - stick with vegetarian fare like cabbage and mashed potatoes.

5. Avoid disposable decorations. No need to go to Party City just because its a theme day.

6. Decorate with plants. As an alternative to green plastic decor, decorate with green potted plants, perhaps clover?

7. Avoid driving. There is bound to be traffic in and out of Boston, so choose public transit or bike if its nice out.

8. Since green is the color of St. Patrick's Day, its a great time to wear one of your eco-themed shirts since most of them probably feature green as well. I'm thinking of wearing my Boston Green Drinks t shirt!

Most of all, have a safe and fun holiday!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Burtynsky: A Modern Day Ansel Adams

Edward Burtynsky is well renowned for his nature photography. He does exquisite aerial photos, photos of natural wonders, and even captures environmental threats like mines and oil rigs. This spring some of his photographs will be on exhibit at Dartmouth College's Hood Museum of Art, from April 21 - August 19. The exhibit will feature photos of Vermont quarries. For more information, visit EdwardBurtynsky.com




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: FakeBake Shimmer Medium Instant Tan Lotion

We all know that tanning beds are horrible for our health, but that doesn't stop us from wanting a nice warm glow. I've been on the hunt to find some great self tanners, and I recently tried a sample of Shimmer Medium Instant Tan Lotion Wash-Off by FakeBake. I like the idea of a wash-off self tanner because even if the product contains some chemicals, at least it washes off in the shower and doesn't sit on your skin for days at a time like more permanent tanners.




Pros___________                                                    Cons______________
-Washes off                                                              -Not rated on Skin Deep database
-Paraben free                                                            -Limited ingredient info on fakebake.com
-Won't permanently stain clothing                               -Contains synthetic fragrance
-Not tested on animals                                               -A bit dark for my skin tone
-Moderate price ($20)
-"Not chemically based"
-Effective

Conclusion: While this isn't the "greenest" skin product I've come across, it is one of the healthier self-tanning options.The formula is plant based, not chemically based which makes me hopeful, but it is not yet rated on the EWG skindeep database. The product is also very effective and looks natural. I hope that FakeBake comes out with an "unscented" version - if so, I'll likely purchase a tube. Until then, I'm keeping my eyes out for something with a little more information available.

Monday, March 12, 2012

'Green Monster' Gets a New Meaning

I've been reading recaps of last week's NESEA Building Energy 12 Conference, and I was excited when I read about a presentation that described the use of solar at Fenway Park!

image courtesy of blog.travelpod.com

According to one of my favorite local blogs, Green Lifestyle Consulting, Fenway has solar thermal collectors for their hot water system. This system provides hot water for all of the park's winter events. Even when its not baseball season, the park is home to many of our city's greatest activities!


solar system at Fenway. Image courtesey of GreenLifestyleConsulting.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

Special Event: Green Your Eats

This weekend Boston Green Drinks and Boston Food Swap are co-hosting an event in Cambridge about sustainable food sourcing:


Boston Green Drinks and the Boston Food Swap have teamed up to bring you an evening of cocktails and conversations about sustainable food sourcing.  Learn to make greener decisions about your food and drinks from an expert panel and engage in conversations about green eating, all while enjoying organic cocktails and coffees. 
Our panel includes:
Dave Madon, Founder and Executive Director of THE MOVE
Dawn Laidley, NorthEast Family Farms
Jack Kutner, Co-owner of Rafiki Bistro and Clear Conscience CafĂ©

The evening will include a cash bar with organic featured cocktails and complementary coffee from Jim's Organic.
We're expecting a big crowd so if you want to stay for a full meal after the event, we suggest that you make reservations.
According to Google Maps, Rafiki is an 8 minute walk south of the Porter Square T station and a 15 minute walk north of the Harvard Square T station and is along the 77 bus route.  Although not the greenest option, if you need to drive, meters are free in Cambridge on Sundays.
Please spread the love by tweeting about the event with the hashtag #GRNEATS



I'll be up in Stowe, but I look forward to hearing about the event!!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Lazy Chef's Lucky Day: Campbell's Soup Goes BPA Free

This week Campbell announced that it is phasing out  BPA from its canned goods. The company was clear that they do not believe that there are any safety issues with their old packaging, or with BPA in general, but is responding to consumer concerns.
Read more about the debate leading up to this decision.


The lazy chef is excited to introduce soup back into her diet - for those super lazy evenings. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good Scents: 21 Drops

In my quest to rid my beauty routine of harmful chemicals and toxins, I've been avoiding artificial fragrances. However, essential oils are all natural fragrances that can be used to make all types of products smell good, and can also be used for aromatherapy and perfume!


I recently tried a free sample of perfume called "#12 Uplift" by 21 Drops. All essential oil perfumes by 21 Drops are 100% organic and are therapeutic grade (meaning that the scents can have a positive impact on your mood and well being). Uplift is an artisan blend of rose flower oil, lavender, helichyrsum oil, and chamomile.

I really like this product. Using a light scent in the morning - like Uplift - makes me feel fresh and light. And though I haven't noticed a significant change in my mood, anything that may be helping the winter blues is greatly appreciated! On the downside, the scent is dominated by the rose oil and I wish the lavender was a bit stronger - maybe I will try a different blend next time, afterall, they have 21 different blends, as well as an option to create your own! I will definitely go back to 21 Drops for all of my aromatherapy and essential oil perfume needs.





Tuesday, March 6, 2012

RRR: Shoe Woo Wow!

Saturday in NYC this past weekend was beautiful! So what better way to be a tourist than walking around and hitting the shops! In Shoe Woo I could barely even look at the shoes because I was so distracted by the AMAZING sculpture in the middle of the store. It was hundreds of old shoes, painted, and built around one of the store's huge columns. I love when RRR creates something so visually stunning.




Friday, March 2, 2012

Make Your Clothes Last Longer

One of the best way to conserve resources is to take care of what you already have. Here are some tips to make your clothes last as long as possible.

1. Got pills? Use a fabric saver - my roommate just got one of these and it really works! The mini razors simply shave off the unsightly fuzzballs, making your clothes look newer.


2. Wash your clothes in cold cycles. High temperatures can be harsh on clothes, especially brightly colored items.

3. Air dry. Avoid shrinkage, color loss, and preserve energy by air drying your clothes.

4. Read the tag before you wash. Your clothes tell you what they need (but if the item is dry clean only, make sure to go to a green cleaners because traditional dry cleaners use many dangerous chemicals).

5. When you spill red wine, tomato sauce, or other dark liquids - use the old salt and soda water trick for  chemical-free stain prevention. It works, I've only had to use this a million times (I'm trying to work on being a more graceful eater, but its a struggle).

image courtesy of garmentcare.com

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Top Sites for Eco Interiors

I love looking at decor and interior design magazines and blogs (not to mention Pinterest) to get ideas for my apartment. Of course, I especially love decor with a green twist. These are my four favorite green interior decor websites:


1. Apartment Therapy Green Living
Apartment Therapy is a wonderful design blog, and though their "renest" sub-blog no longer exists, they still have a fabulous green living page with lots of before and after ideas, and tips on antiquing, and reusing materials.


2. Pure Green Living
While I don't yet subscribe to the actual magazine, I do often read their blog for ideas. There are many polished and stylish looks to see - all of which are sustainable in some way or another!


3. Inhabitat
Inhabitat is one of the most popular green design resources on the web. They focus more on the green aspects of individual products or designs (such as the lamp made out of repurposed toys above).


4. Green Your Decor
Green Your Decor has a much more personal feel, since the author writes about sustainably designing each room of her own home. She does a beautiful job and gets inspiration from all over the web, which she often shares with her readers. I was lucky enough to interview Jennae in 2010, and I continue to be inspired by her work.


If you like these sites, you should also check out the new Merida Open Studio Blog which also has lots of green design and interior decor advice.


READERS: please note the new banner on the right of this page where you can vote for Boston Green Blog as one of the top 100 green websites. Thanks for your support!