Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - Toyota Prius gets makeover - Toyota Prius gets makeover

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Turn Your Restaurant Into an Eco-eatery

Turn Your Restaurant Into an Eco-eatery This is a great story found on Black Enterprise online, about a young black man who is living his green dream. Going green has also helped him to keep overhead expenses low in these tough times. If you are in Maryland, you know have to show some eco-love to this brother.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Community Re-Design Competition:Deadline July 31

Okay you design types out there, sorry for the last minute notice, but check out this exciting design competition. The goal is to map out a "do over" of suburbia which promotes sustainability, walkability and community, thus the title of the competition, ReBurbia. Entries are due July 31, 2009.

Vouchers double value of food stamps at Boston farmers' markets - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe

Vouchers double value of food stamps at Boston farmers' markets - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe In an effort to improve access to healthy produce in urban areas and to expand demand and markets for local food producers, at least six communities nationwide (it's a start), including Atlanta and San Diego, have introduced double voucher programs for residents using food stamps. Hopefully this access, coupled with efforts to raise nutritional awareness among urban residents will reduce our mortality rates; because look around, we are having some issues in the health department. Adult onset diabetes, high blood pressure, premature development and obesity are afflicting so many of our children, something needs to be done. A good start at home would be to have a vegetarian potluck or a cooking demonstration for your neighbors and extended family, you could then expand to teaching classes at inner city housing authorities and community centers. Bring a yummy, but healthy dish to your next potluck affair at work or baby shower. Model the way. Check out Soul Food Vegetarian and Grub cookbooks by Bryant Terry, Black Vegetarians website and Post Punk Kitchen blog for some great vegetarian recipes.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies You Can Believe In And They're Good Too!

I think we all share some favorite childhood memories in which Chip Ahoy cookies were front and center. I certainly can. Ahh. Nothing like pulling out that familiar cellophane blue wrapped package of Chip Ahoys. And they had the best commercials. While I do still indulge in a Chip Ahoy cookies from time to time, in an effort to reduce the amount of corn syrup and hydrogenated oils, I eat "back to Nature" brand chocolate chip cookies - they are a pretty close second (and I'm serious about my chocolate). These cookies are corn syrup free, have no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors and the packaging is compostable and eco-friendly. The company also supports The Nature Conservancy, an organization that protects ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

Wanted: Plastic Pots

I was pleasantly surprised to see this sign this weekend at the garden center. It is encouraging gardeners to return their plastic pots and flats. Yeah! Everyone is getting the eco-fever baby!

This Week In The Garden: Oriental Lily Peach Butterflies

How can you not buy a flower called Peach Butterfly? I like this flower, because it is unique with its peachy complexion and its freckles remind me of my personal array of freckles! Smells great too! It is positioned right next to one of my sitting areas to take advantage of its wonderful characteristics.

This Week In The Garden: I'm Ready For My Close Up!

My beautiful ebony daylily up close and personal.

This Week In The Garden: Daylily Favorites

Since I haven't posted in over a week, I figured I would ease into things by posting this week's garden photos. Pictured is a wonderful black daylily that I just love and a lovely, crinkly daylily that greets me on the way to the backyard.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture: Cityfresh

This is my first Cityfresh bounty of the season! (Excuse the blurry photo, I can never find my digital camera when I need it, so I always seem to use the Blackberry). All of this tasty fresh grub for $24. Pictured are collards, squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, black raspberries, potatoes, cabbage, beans, basil, beets and parsley! Cityfresh is a unique CSA program that provides access to locally grown food to urban locations throughout two counties near Cleveland, Ohio. Shares of produce can be purchased with WIC, food stamp and other government vouchers and are half-priced for low income individuals, so this share would have been $12.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This Week In The Garden: If I'm Really Lucky...

If I'm really lucky, after my daily after work yard tour, I get to enjoy a light snack and cup of hot tea (with a spring of mint from the garden) at my not so secret sitting spot in the front side yard. It sits directly behind this arbor that I planted with clematis vine and honeysuckle. "I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener." John 15:1-17. Everyone should have a sitting nook or area (for you men) outdoors, hopefully not too far from some jungle inspired lush vines.
The chairs were picked up from someones front yard on trash day and painted. The tablecloth is actually a repurposed sarong from World Market (thanks Grandma and Mom for teaching me about rethinking items). The oversize teacup is vintage. It is one of the items, I decided that I'm taking if I have to leave the house in an emergency! Frivolous, yes.

This Week In The Garden: What's A Rural Looking Man Like You Doing With Collards?

Collard greens that I need to plant. Interesting story here. Checked out the new Burke Lakefront Airport farmer's market this week and stopped at the booth of an older white farmer looking gentlemen. He had on display a small variety of starter plants and harvested vegetables. I was looking for some collard greens, but was highly doubtful that he would have them, much less know what they were. I stared at him for a minute and he asked if he could help me. Spotting what looked to be collard plants, I asked "Do you have any collards?" -surely those weren't collards - "or kale or mustard ?"(Cuz you know, he may not be familiar with collards) Turns out that they were collards and he had about 20 other collard plants in the back! Duh, Gloria! There is a lesson here. Post-racial America? We have a long way to go - on all sides.
Anyway, pictured with the collards are 'mater' plants that I hope will top my delicious cooked greens (assuming I don't fry 'em up in cornmeal first!) Greens and tomatoes are excellent cancer fighters. Okay, so the next time you head for the farmers market - keep an open mind.

This Week In The Garden: Can't Stop, Won't Stop

These beauties love my garden as they spread like crazy and pop up everywhere. I'm always digging up clumps or pulling seedlings. They are good for sharing with friends, family and neighbors and for gardening on a budget. You could plant them in great drifts for drama. Pictured clockwise from the top left: Sedum, eryngium (sea holly), good ole daisy and purple coneflower (aka echinacea - native to this region). Butterflies love all of these plants. So they would also be great for a child's butterfly garden.

This Week In The Garden: Low Maintence Beauties

Top two photos: Annabelle Hydrangea (Isn't it just ridiculously gorgeous?). Oakleaf Hydrangea (lush leaves resemble oak leaves). Both require minimal care after the first year and are drought tolerant plants for partial shade areas. Bodacious bouquets.
Bottom two photos: More lilies. As you can see they come in all shapes and sizes. They spread nicely and are easy to divide and spread around your plot. (Hmm. All this garden talk is making me want to go the nursery.)
Plants in my garden must pass the low maintenance test. Sure, I will add compost, deadhead and water (only in the severest drought), but that's about it. I also use no chemical pesticides or herbicides. It helps if you purchase plants that are native to your region. Ask for these at the garden center.

This Week In The Garden: Lily Palooza!

Most days, after a long stressful day at work, I decompress in the garden before heading in the house to fuss at my son about dirty dishes in the sink. My garden is a place to transition from the world imposed on me through from 9-5, to the world that I created through God's guidance, grace and powers. It is a place to seek His presence, if only by it's affiliation with creation and connection to biblical topics. So I would like to share with you the earthly delights that I stepped into this week over the next few posts.
You see in this post that I have a quite a collection of lilies. "Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, they spin not, and yet I say unto you; that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Luke 12:27-28. Hello! My experience with lilies confirms this statement. Low maintenance and stunning. Also edible, though I'm too chicken to try, based things done in the garden during my pre-organic period.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 Networking Resources for Women Pursuing Green Careers You Should Know About - Updated

Celebrating Women’s History Month: 10 Networking Resources for Women Pursuing Green Careers You Should Know About - Updated . We eco-friendly ladies have to stick together to make it happen!

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Grants Available To Provide Green Job Training for Women

Found this information while looking for some graduate school dollars. The Business and Professional Women's Foundation, with support from Wal-Mart, is looking to award $60,000 in grant money to four organizations to expand capacity to provide green job training. Click here for details. The foundation is also looking for green employers.

Greenpeace Goes To War With Trader Joe's

Traitor Joe's. Wow. Trader Joe's is being accused of greenwashing by Greenpeace in this spoof of the company's website.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Poverty Worsened By Climate Change - Oxfam Report

Poverty Worsened By Climate Change - Oxfam Report

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Panel Urges Federal Funding Increase for Outdoor Resources

Panel Urges Federal Funding Increase for Outdoor Resources

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Hip Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

In your travels this summer, try out a few green or vegetarian based restaurants. Click here for a list of hip restaurants from the west coast to the east coast that feature phenomenal plant based delights. Chicago - Green Zebra, Atlanta - Dynamic Dish, LA - M Cafe de Chaya, Boulder - Organic Orbit and New York - Dirt Candy, are just a few named in the article. I had the pleasure of dining last week at The Greenhouse Tavern, a newly opened green certified restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio that specializes in preparing meals from locally grown and produced food. I will be sure the try out another restaurant featured on the Bon Appetit list, Dragonfly Neo-V Cuisine in Columbus, Ohio later this month when I visit that city for their jazz festival. A vegan restaurant that I will have to try soon is VegiTerranean, in Akron, Ohio, not a far drive from the Football Hall of Fame and only 45 minutes from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

What's your favorite green or vegetarian restaurant? Can't find one in your area? Check out for a directory of compassionate eating spots around the world.

Vegan O'Rama!

While searching for an article on Bon, I found one amazing vegan website, The Post Punk Kitchen. The creator posted a comment critical of the Bon Appetit vegetarian restaurant list. The site features recipes for ice cream, bbq sauce, brunch, sushi and baked goods (including cupcakes). Stuff you don't normally think of when you think vegan. The writing is fun, snazzy and sometimes naughty (hello - it is titled the post punk kitchen). There is even a cooking show that you can find on Google Video. A good site to add to your favorites if you are trying to eat less meat or entertaining vegans.

(Pictured is my favorite vegan snack, Black Eye Pea Fritters. Recipe from Bryant Terry's new cookbook, Vegan Soul Kitchen)

Russians Dig Michelle Obama's Earthy Digs

Michelle Obama in Russia What's not to love about our First Lady? Well, according to the Washington Post, the Russians aren't so intrigued with her wardrobe. They were however, eager to get the dirt on her organic garden, as home gardens have special place in the hearts of Russians that lived through the Soviet era. I can dig that!

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20 Companies That Are Leading The Way To A Sustainable Economy

Sustainable Business Com announces it's third annual Top 20 Sustainable Stocks list. Included are some of our favorites, Timberland, Google, Chipotle, Herman Miller Furniture and IBM and some fairly unknowns, Plant Health Care, United Natural Foods and Ormat Technologies. If you are no longer licking your wounds from the damage done to your portfolio or 401k plan last year, these might be some stocks for you to invest in to get back in the game.

Profit over Organics: Natural Doesn't Always Equal Organic

Profit over Organics: Nation’s Largest Dairy Marketer Sets Up Competing Market Category Interesting news about Silk and Horizon dairy products. Many products formerly made of organic beans, now using conventionally grown beans and conventional farming practices. This article points out how the "natural" label doesn't always meet the standards of certified organic labels. For those of you seeking to avoid pesticides, herbicides and sludge fertilized products or that care about animal living conditions, this is important information.

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Organic Soy Food Brands Importing Beans from China - Report

Organic Soy Food Brands Importing Beans from China - Report

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Food Inc. - Being Served At A Grocery Store Near You

Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change? - About the Film Since I started this blog about 18 months ago, I have become increasingly suspicious about my food. This concern stems from several food recalls, a greater awareness of how food is grown and processed and the fact that much of it is sourced from large corporate agri-businesses. Though not always the case, I have found that many large corporations will do whatever it takes to drive profits, even if human lives are at risk. In fact, my businesses courses taught us that our primary goal as managers was to maximize shareholder wealth. We see where that got us (refer to your 401k statement). The good news is that more companies are coming around to the idea that shareholder wealth can be put at risk if the impact of a companies actions to their stakeholders aren't properly considered. Stakeholders include employees, communities and government. Hence the concept of the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) is gaining ground as an appropriate measuring stick for a companies performance. This movie should further open our eyes to the practices of the companies that grow the food that is supposed to sustain us. I would encourage you and your family/friends to watch this, so that we can educate ourselves on what we are consuming and push for these companies to gage their success using measures of quality not quantity.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

From Inhabitat: 5 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Fourth

For you last minute green people, check out these last minute July 4th ideas to keep your party real-green. I especially like the BYOC concept-bring your own cup. You could have a lot of fun with that one. Inhabitat is a cool weekly newsletter that shares dozens of news features and product ideas centered around green design.

Quiskaeya: Yummy Mangonade Pipops (Popsicles)

Quiskaeya: Yummy Mangonade Pipops (Popsicles) Mango! Oh yeah. Just in time to cool off on July 4th. The photos are so cute!