Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Food Fights The Flu

Hmm. Which would you prefer? A big bowl of sweet, juicy fruit and a handful of crunchy nuts? Or a shot of something that you know little about into your body? This article from the Wall Street Journal, tells you why the first choice may be a reasonable weapon in the war on influenza. There is even a calculator to help you determine how many fruit and veggies your body needs. Check it out.

A Stretch To Call Silky Smooth Bamboo Fabric Eco-Friendly

Bamboo fabrics aren't as eco-friendly as they are promoted to be. I guess it was too good to be true to think that something as tough and stalky as bamboo, could easily be converted to a silky smooth to the touch fabric. Apparently, a lot of polluting toxins are used to transform the thick grass into a lovely sundress. Manufacturers are either abandoning the fabric all together or seeking more environmentally friendly processes. Click here to learn more.

Thank you, Vegan Life, for enlightening us on this fabric!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tomberlies RAW Vegan Ice Cream

Tomberlies RAW Vegan Ice Cream If you don't feel like making your own, check out this site for competitively price raw vegan ice cream and ice cream cakes. Just in time for the holidays!

Agro-Imperialism: Africa's Resources Targeted

Let's see, at first it was spices, gold and bronze, then it was people, then came gold again and diamonds, followed by oil and now the latest grab for African resources is land to feed the hungry. Not the hungry people of Africa, but the very well fed and wealthy populations of the Middle East, most notably Saudi Arabia. We must realize that though some nations are very wealthy, they have minimal national sources of food and sometimes water, so when global food prices rise, there is a lot of nervousness. Many nations have invested in African land to provide for their agricultural needs. Hey, don't get me wrong, I think it would be great for investments to be made in African agriculture as long as these investments are good for the people and the planet. But history has shown that rarely do the people or the continent benefit from outside investments in its resources. How ironic is it that our ancestors were at one time shipped to other countries to work the fields and today things have progressed to the point that they can work the fields for minimal wages in their own country? I hope that African leaders and activists don't allow the continent to become the biggest plantation in world history. Click here to read more.

More Environmental Grants From The EPA

Are you looking to fund an enviromental education and awareness initiative? You have until December 15th, 2010 to apply for up to 100 grants from the EPA to finance your education project. Grants may be as large as $200,000, but will be more in the range of $25,000. Pass this on to a teacher or school administrator, if you are not directly seeking funding. One will find tips on applying for grants and a list of other EPA grant programs. Goodness knows, we could all benefit by learning more of the need for stewardship of this good earth.

EPA Showcases Communities Promoting Enviromental Justice

The EPA has decided to highlight and profile enviromental justice initiatives in 10 communities across the nation. If you are seeking to launch an environmental justice effort in your neighborhood, you may want to model yourselves after those in this report.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More schools cultivate learning in student gardens

More schools cultivate learning in student gardens Is there a school garden in your neighborhood? Volunteers are always needed, call your local board of education or attend a school board meeting to encourage and support school gardening.

Urban Sprouts Grows School Gardens and Much More

Urban Sprouts School Gardens: About Urban Sprouts Ecologocial education, self-sufficiency, economic empowerment, parental engagement, nutrition and the chance to get outdoors, all rolled up in one mission that is spreading like wildflowers across San Francisco. A project that started out as a thesis a few years ago, is impacting the lives of thousands of young people and their families. This is one of the concepts that I am incorporating in my sustainable do over project for a design class I'm taking. I selected the exterior of my old high school, at this time, it is only a project, but I would love to see it become a reality. Principles of permaculture and a sense of place will play a key role in the campus design. I am working on my site plan today as the project presentation is scheduled for next week. I will be sure to post photos.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Enviromental Justice Grants for Non-Profits

The EPA anticipates awarding 40 grants of $25,000 each to non-profit agencies offering solutions to addressing enviromental justice and education issues in 2010. Click here for details.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

African Nations Hot Over Climate Changes Talks

How familiar does this sound? You are not the primary contributor to certain economic or pollution related problems, but they hit you the hardest and your voice can be barely heard at the table. Well, ourAfrican brothers and sisters are feeling this way about climate change and have walked out of U.N. climate change meetings in Spain. Read more about their dramatic actions to bring attention to this life or death issue by clicking here.

Employee Engagement In The White House Kitchen

Sam Kass, a 29 year old University of Chicago alum with a degree in history, is the personal chef of the first family and a White House food initiative coordinator. Not only does he prepare fine meals for the Obama's, but he also advises policymakers on initiatives ranging from the local food movement, to farmers markets to healthy school lunches. This is truly a first for the White House in terms of fully engaging all of the skills of its employees as well as a great example of how we should not allow our job titles or educational background to limit our contribution to our careers or our community. Read more about him here and be sure to checkout the recipe at the end of the article. I shared a while back that as part of a sustainable design course project, I am redesigning (on paper only - for now) an urban high school exterior (my old high school) to create a sense of place as well as to make it more sustainable. One concept that I want to incorporate into the design is the establishment of an urban farm on the campus grounds as well as fruit trees for shading and food. The produce could be used in the school lunches and sold at farmer's markets. How exciting would that be?! Sound crazy? There is actually a high school in urban Philadelphia that is already doing this. Read about Martin Luther King High School to get a feel for the possibilities. Anyway, this is something, based on the article about Mr. Kass and the White House's food initiatives, that I believe could be implemented at schools across the nation. Now that's something we can all sink our teeth into.

The First Lady and The Food Network

Mark your calendars for January 3rd, when a special day of food and fun with the First Lady airs on The Food Network. The Iron Chef tv show will air a special episode in the White House garden and kitchen, which will feature Bobby Flay, Mario Batala and Emeril Lagasse. Bam!! Michelle Obama is not playing when it comes to getting the word out to our kids and families on the importance of good, healthy eating. She is such an inspiration. I know that many of you have your own community food initiatives, so read this article from the NY Times, it will make you laugh and encourage you to keep on keepin' on (I'm so old school)! Check out her colorful outfit in the photos.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Child Labor | The High Cost of Cotton

Child Labor The High Cost of Cotton "The look, the feel of cotton!" Remember that marketing campaign by the cotton industry, it made you feel that cotton was such a pure, simple and natural choice of fibers. Almost made you forget about the misery that our ancestors endured in the cotton fields. Well it appears according to this article, that many cotton growers continue to rely on cheap labor to feed our appetites for jeans, tees and dresses. If it was wrong for our ancestors, why is it okay for today's laborers, especially if they are children? There are retailers that are investing in purchases of organic cotton goods in their stores, but I don't know if organic translates into fair trade. So let the buyer beware.

The Best Green Fashion Online Shopping 2009

The Best Green Fashion Online Shopping 2009 One negative aspect of living a more eco-conscious lifestyle is the guilt. Once you have a better understanding of the amount of pollution, waste and poor working conditions it takes to make that cute little top, you just don't have as much fun shopping. So while most of my fashion purchases are not eco-friendly, I have been more discrete about what I do buy, limiting my selections to well edited, unique classics. I have included more vintage and thrift pieces into my wardrobe and have really worked what I already have in my closet. Dick's Sporting Goods offers a line of organic workout wear, so that is something that I support with my shopping dollars. My son enjoys shopping at Urban Outfitters and I have been able to buy him a few organic pieces from that retailer as well. The author of the article featured in this post has done the homework of finding some great green fashion sources for us. God bless you! She has screen shots and reviews of the websites, so you can eyeball the sites to see which fits your style. Kind of like walking in the mall and visually scanning each retailer until you see something that catches your eye.

So enjoy some guilt free shopping from the cozy comfort of your home and support the green economy!